(469) 625-1000


8901 Virginia Pkwy

Ste 200, Mckinney, TX 75071

M-F: 9am-6pm

Sat: 10am - 1pm

Zepbound Shortage

Zepbound Shortage

What is Zepbound and why patients love it?

Zepbound is a relatively new injectable medication gaining popularity for weight loss. Here’s why people are excited about it:

  • Impressive Results: Clinical trials showed promising weight loss, with some patients losing up to 52 pounds, rivaling weight loss surgery results.
  • Dual Action: Unlike some weight-loss drugs, Zepbound targets two hormones. This dual approach may lead to more significant appetite suppression and improved blood sugar control.
  • Reduced Calorie Intake: By mimicking satiety hormones, Zepbound can help people feel fuller for longer, potentially leading to a natural reduction in calorie intake.
  • Potential Health Benefits: Studies suggest weight loss with Zepbound may improve blood sugar control and reduce the risk of weight-related health problems like heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Which Zepbound Strength are not easily available?

  • Zepbound 2.5mg Injection ✔
  • Zepbound 5mg Injection
  • Zepbound 7.5mg Injection
  • Zepbound 10mg Injection
  • Zepbound 12.5mg Injection
  • Zepbound 15mg Injection

Zepbound Shortage Reasons 

The main and foremost reason for weight-loss drug Zepbound shortage is that its facing a surge in demand. Eli Lilly, the manufacturer, underestimated the drug’s popularity and can’t keep up with prescriptions for both diabetes and weight management. While they’re working on expanding production, it won’t be enough to meet current needs until sometime next year of 2025 or more. Some common challenges for the manufacturer may include:

  1. Unprecedented Demand: There has been a significant surge in demand for weight loss drugs, driven by their proven effectiveness and broadening indications for use. This demand has outstripped current manufacturing capacities.

  2. Manufacturing Challenges: Producing weight loss medications like Zepbound which is an injectable drug, involves complex manufacturing processes. Challenges in scaling up these processes to meet demand can lead to shortages.

  3. Supply Chain Issues: Zepbound is supplied in different countries, may be under different trade names and this global supply chain demand can cause raw material shortages, logistics issues, or regulatory challenges. Al these factors will definitely contribute to the problem to United States patients. These issues can delay production and distribution, exacerbating shortages.

  4. Regulatory Delays: Approvals are always needed for expanding manufacturing facilities or changing manufacturing processes can be time-consuming. These regulations may delay responses to increased demand.

  5. Market Dynamics: The entry of new patients in weight loss market and diabetes can suddenly increase the demand, which may not be immediately meetable by existing supply capabilities.

  6. Quality Control and Safety Issues: Zepbound is a drug that needs refrigeration. Therefore ensuring the safety and efficacy of increased production batches, safely and timely redistributing the drug to various drug vendors and then to pharmacies  can also lead to delays if problems are identified during quality checks.

This leaves patients struggling to find their medication and potentially facing weight regain. Please read this news article from CNBC regarding Zepbound shortage

Possible Impact of Zepbound Shortage 

Zepbound shortage has significant impact, affecting various stakeholders from patients to healthcare systems in multiple ways:

  1. Patient Health and Treatment: Patients who rely on Zepbound for weight management and related health issues like type 2 diabetesmay experience setbacks in their treatment plans. The shortage could lead to interrupted treatment, which can cause regression in health gains, increased weight, or a rebound in related health issues.

  2. Increased Healthcare Burden: Interruptions in effective weight management treatments can lead to increased healthcare visits, more intensive medical interventions, and potentially higher healthcare costs in the long term. This is especially true for chronic conditions that are managed through steady medication, where disruptions can lead to complications.

  3. Patient Stress and Anxiety: The uncertainty about time and difficulty in obtaining necessary medication can cause significant stress and anxiety for patients. This emotional strain can be compounded by the potential health repercussions of not being able to maintain their treatment regimen.

  4. Pressure on Healthcare Providers: Healthcare providers are also impacted as they need to manage patient care under these constrained conditions. This might involve spending more time to help patients navigate the shortage by finding alternative pharmacies, adjusting prescriptions based on availability, changing dosages to available ones, or switching to other treatment options that are not as positively impactful on health. All these alternative options adds to their workload and can strain resources.

  5. Economic Impact on Pharmaceutical Companies: While shortages can initially seem to be a demand opportunity for pharmaceutical companies, they can also lead to reputational damage and loss of trust among consumers. Companies like Eli Lilly with Zepbound shortage might face pressure to quickly resolve supply issues to maintain their market position and consumer trust.

The shortage of Zepbound underscores the need for robust supply chain management, strategic foresight in production capacities, and effective communication between pharmaceutical companies, healthcare providers, and patients to mitigate the adverse effects on public health and economic performance.

Zepbound alternatives

Zepbound is a relatively new once-weekly injection medication that has shown promising results for weight loss. However, due to its popularity, there is currently a shortage of Zepbound. If you’re unable to find Zepbound, here are some alternative medications your doctor might be interested in recommending you:

  • Wegovy (semaglutide)

This is another GLP-1 receptor agonist similar to Zepbound, but it targets only one hormone. Wegovy is also FDA-approved for chronic weight management and has been shown to be effective for weight loss. However, Wegovy is also facing supply shortages especially their 0.25mg and 0.5mg which are considered beginners dosages.

  • Saxenda (liraglutide)

Saxenda is also one of the GLP-1 receptor agonist injection that has been FDA-approved for weight loss. It works by increasing satiety and reducing appetite, leading to decreased calorie intake.

  • Mounjaro (dulaglutide)

Mounjaro is a GLP-1 receptor agonist that is FDA-approved for type 2 diabetes, but it can also cause weight loss as a side effect. It’s also injected once weekly. This is a perfect alternative to Zepbound. However being one of the alternatives, Mounjaro is causing severe shortages and it is also produced by Eli Lilly.

  • Ozempic (semaglutide)

Ozempic is the same medication as Wegovy, but it’s FDA-approved for type 2 diabetes, not weight loss. However, like Mounjaro, it can cause weight loss as a side effect.

  • Contrave (naltrexone/bupropion)

Contrave is an oral combination pill that works by regulating appetite and reducing cravings. It is not an injection medication and is taken orally once or twice daily.

  • Qsymia (phentermine/topiramate)

Qsymia is another combination pill that works by increasing feelings of fullness and reducing cravings. It is also taken orally, once daily.

  • Orlistat (Xenical or Alli)

Orlistat works by blocking the absorption of some dietary fat. It is available over-the-counter (Alli) or by prescription (Xenical) and is taken with meals.

Frequently asked Questions and Answers

Is There a Zepbound Shortage?

Yes, there is currently a Zepbound shortage in the United States. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) maintains a drug shortage database, which confirms limited availability for most Zepbound dosages. 

This shortage is due to high demand for the weight-loss drug, exceeding Eli Lilly’s production capacity. 

How long Zepbound shortage will last?

The current shortage of Zepbound is expected to last through at least 2024 and beyond, particularly affecting certain doses. Eli Lilly, the manufacturer of Zepbound, has indicated that the shortages are due to unprecedented demand and challenges in scaling up production to meet this demand. 

They are actively working to increase manufacturing capacity, which should gradually help alleviate the shortages throughout 2024 and beyond. Source

Can you drink on zepbound?

When taking Zepbound (tirzepatide), it’s generally recommended to be cautious with alcohol consumption. While there is no specific contraindication for drinking alcohol while on Zepbound, several considerations should be kept in mind:

  1. Blood Sugar Fluctuations: Alcohol can affect blood sugar levels, potentially leading to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) when combined with Zepbound, which is designed to help manage weight partly by influencing insulin levels.

  2. Dehydration Risks: Zepbound may slow gastric emptying, which can intensify the dehydrating effects of alcohol. It’s crucial to stay hydrated if you choose to drink.

  3. Caloric Intake: Alcohol contains calories that might counteract your weight loss efforts on Zepbound. Additionally, alcohol can lower inhibitions, possibly leading to less disciplined eating habits.

  4. Potential for Increased Side Effects: Although direct interactions between Zepbound and alcohol have not been extensively studied, alcohol might exacerbate side effects such as gastrointestinal discomfort or dizziness.

Moderation is Key: If you decide to drink alcohol while taking Zepbound, it’s best to do so in moderation. Guidelines suggest limiting intake to one drink per day for women and two for men, and never on an empty stomach to avoid an increased risk of hypoglycemia.

Please discuss your alcohol consumption with your healthcare provider, particularly when taking medications like Zepbound, to ensure that your treatment plan is safe and effective.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *