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New Medication approved by the FDA for Chronic Weight Management!

By Marilyn Cox posted 11-30-2023 14:04


The FDA announced November 8, 2023 that it granted approval to Eli Lilly and Co. for Zepbound (tirzepatide) via priority review and fast track designation for chronic weight management (CWM).  This is an injectable prescription medicine indicated for CWM in adults with obesity (body mass index (BMI) of at least 30 kg/m2), or with an overweight BMI (at least 27 kg/m2) AND at least one weight related chronic disease/comorbidity, such as diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol.  It should be used in conjunction with increased physical activity and a reduced calorie diet.

Zepbound (tirzepatide) is administered as a once weekly subcutaneous injection in the thigh, abdomen or upper arm.  It reduces appetite and food intake by activating glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) receptors of intestinal secreted hormones.  Zepbound should not be used with other tirzepatide-containing products or any GLP-1 receptor agonist medicines. 

Target doses are 5mg, 10mg, or 15mg (max dose) once weekly, increased over 4-20 weeks.  The single use pens may be kept at room temperature for up to 21 days; unopened pens should be stored at refrigerated temperatures.

Side effects may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, gastroesophageal reflux, abdominal discomfort or pain, as well as constipation, injection site reactions, fatigue, hypersensitivity (usually rash and fever), burping, and hair loss.

More serious side effects may include severe gastrointestinal issues with the stomach, gallbladder or liver, pancreatitis, kidney failure, hypoglycemia, or depression/thoughts of suicide

Zepbound (tirzepatide) causes thyroid C-cell tumors in rats, it is unknown whether it causes such tumors in humans at this time. It has not been studies in patients with history of pancreatitis or severed gastrointestinal diseases such as gastroparesis. Safety of use with other weight management medications has not been determined.