Zepbound availability: how do you find Zepbound?

Patricia Weiser, PharmD - Contributor Avatar

Written by Amelia Willson 

Patricia Weiser, PharmD - Contributor Avatar

Written by Amelia Willson 

last updated: May 28, 2024

5 min read

Key takeaways

  • Zepbound is currently experiencing limited availability in several dosage strengths. The current shortage is expected to last through June 2024.

  • Drug shortages have affected Zepbound on and off since spring 2024, and are expected to continue through the end of the year.

  • During a Zepbound shortage, consider ordering your refill earlier than normal, requesting a 2- or 3-month supply, or contacting other local and online pharmacies to see if they have Zepbound in stock.

  • You can also talk to your healthcare provider about Zepbound alternatives, including other injectable GLP-1 medications or prescription weight loss pills.

Zepbound (tirzepatide) is an injectable prescription medication for weight loss, indicated for people with obesity or overweight and designed to be used in combination with diet and exercise. Zepbound shares the same active ingredient and dosage strengths as Mounjaro, a medication for type 2 diabetes that may be prescribed off-label for weight loss.

Both drugs have been affected by long-term drug shortages. The demand for Zepbound, Mounjaro, and GLP-1 agonists drugs, such as Wegovy (semaglutide), Ozempic (semaglutide), and Saxenda (liraglutide), continues to outpace supply.

At the time of writing, several dosage strengths of Zepbound are experiencing “limited availability,” with a shortage expected to last through the end of June 2024. Read on as we dig deeper into the details behind this Zepbound shortage, and offer advice for finding Zepbound in stock near you.

Zepbound Important Safety Information: Read more about serious warnings and safety info.

Mounjaro Important Safety Information: Read more about serious warnings and safety info.

Wegovy Important Safety Information: Read more about serious warnings and safety info.

Ozempic Important Safety Information: Read more about serious warnings and safety info.

Saxenda Important Safety Information: Read more about serious warnings and safety info.

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Weight loss

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Lose up to 20% body weight in a year, if prescribed.

Weight loss claims apply to branded medications. Limited availability of some doses of Zepbound. See Important Safety Information

Is Zepbound available? 

At the time of writing, all but one of Zepbound’s dosage strengths are in shortage, according to the Drug Shortages website managed by the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA). The starting dosage strength of 2.5 milligrams (mg) is available, but the 5 mg, 7.5 mg, 10 mg, 12.5 mg, and 15 mg dosage strengths of Zepbound are listed as having “limited availability.” The current Zepbound shortage is expected to last through June 2024, according to the FDA.

However, it is possible the shortage will continue past June, or occur again later in the year. This latest supply update comes on the heels of a previous update, when Zepbound first went into shortage in April 2024. Moreover, Eli Lilly (the manufacturer of Zepbound) acknowledged in an early 2024 investor call that it expects demand to outpace supply through the rest of this year.

To understand if a Zepbound is experiencing a shortage, you can search for “tirzepatide” (the active ingredient in Zepbound) on the FDA Drug Shortages website. You can also sign up for supply update emails on the LillyDirect website (make sure that “Lilly medicines/supply updates” is checked when you subscribe).

Why is there a Zepbound shortage? 

The FDA lists the cause of the Zepbound shortage as “demand increase for the drug.” On their own website, Eli Lilly, the drug maker behind Zepbound, explains that even though they are still manufacturing and shipping doses of Zepbound, the “unprecedented demand” for Zepbound is causing a shortage. In other words, demand is simply outpacing supply. 

In order to catch up with demand, Eli Lilly is expanding their global manufacturing and supply chain. In a February investor call, the company announced that it plans to produce 1.5 times as many doses of Zepbound in the second half of this year as it did in the second half of 2023. Eli Lilly also said that a new plant in North Carolina will open at the end of 2024, and begin shipping Zepbound doses in 2025. The company is also planning to build several new facilities over the next few years to meet demand. Even so, the drug maker expects demand to continue to outpace supply throughout 2024.

In addition to the sky-high demand for the weight loss drug, the injector pen it comes in is yet another factor contributing to the Zepbound shortage. Zepbound is administered via a once-weekly injection. Each box of Zepbound includes four pre-filled pens, each containing a single dose of the medication. According to David Ricks, the CEO of Eli Lilly, producing these pens is one of the “most complex [processes] on the planet,” further contributing to and exacerbating the shortage.

When will Zepbound be available? 

The current Zepbound shortage is expected to last through June 2024, so hopefully the medicine will be more available starting in July 2024. It’s worth noting that Eli Lilly is still manufacturing and shipping all dosage strengths of Zepbound; it’s just that demand is outpacing supply at the moment, which is making it more difficult to fill prescriptions and find a pharmacy that has Zepbound in stock. Hopefully, starting in July, Zepbound supply will be more reliable and people will have an easier time filling their prescriptions. 

How can I find Zepbound in stock near me? 

As you may already know, trying to fill your prescription during a Zepbound shortage can be frustrating. But there may be some hacks you haven’t yet tried that can help you find Zepbound in stock. Below, we share seven tips for finding Zepbound in stock.

1. Follow up with your pharmacy

During a Zepbound shortage, your phar macy’s supply can be unpredictable. If your pharmacy is out of stock, Eli Lilly recommends continuing to check in with them over the next 2–10 days as their stock can change day to day and prescriptions can continue to be filled, just with a delay. You can also check the status of your prescription on the pharmacy’s website or app. 

2. Contact other local pharmacies

Just because your pharmacy doesn’t have Zepbound in stock, it doesn’t mean that other pharmacies don’t have it. A Zepbound shortage is a good time to call around to other pharmacies in your area and see if they have Zepbound in stock. If they do, you can transfer your prescription. Also, be aware that some pharmacies don’t actively keep Zepbound in stock, but they can try to order it if you have your prescription for Zepbound sent there.

When calling, be sure to ask about your specific dosage strength. During a shortage, pharmacies may have some doses in stock but not others.

You can also follow the “Weekly Availability Discussion” thread on Reddit (helpfully pinned to the top of the r/Zepbound subreddit) to find local pharmacies that have Zepbound in stock near you.

3. Order refills earlier than normal

To avoid a delay in filling your prescription, it’s a good idea to order your refill much earlier than you normally would. This may help you get ahead of the delays that typically occur during a Zepbound shortage. 

4. Request three-month supplies

Zepbound is available in one-, two-, and three-month supplies. If you’ve been filling your prescription on a month-to-month basis, ask your pharmacist about a three-month supply instead. Having access to a longer supply may help you avoid any gaps in your treatment plan during a Zepbound shortage. 

If you are taking advantage of the Zepbound Savings Card program to lower the cost of Zepbound, the two- and three-month supplies are eligible for the program as well. 

5. Try online fulfillment options

If you can’t find Zepbound in stock near you, go online. Online pharmacies like Amazon Pharmacy and others may have Zepbound in stock. Eli Lilly also offers home delivery of Zepbound through their LillyDirect Pharmacy Solutions program. Conveniently, many online pharmacies also offer free home shipping.

Online weight loss programs, such as Ro Body, may offer prescriptions for Zepbound or other weight loss medications (if appropriate). In addition, Ro Body offers a personalized coaching regimen that helps you keep up with the lifestyle changes recommended when taking Zepbound, such as diet and exercise, as well as help with getting insurance coverage

6. Get help from online communities

You can also monitor Zepbound supply near you by joining the r/Zepbound subreddit on Reddit. At the time of writing, the community boasts 41,000 members. There are many threads about Zepbound availability—so many, in fact, that the moderators have instituted a “Weekly Availability Discussion” thread. Each week, users share pharmacies where they were able to find Zepbound and in what dosage strength so others can find it, too. There are even regional chat rooms that make it easier to find Zepbound in stock. 

Plus, the community is a great place to connect with other Zepbound users to ask questions and get support. 

7. Consider Zepbound alternatives

During a drug shortage, some health providers may recommend switching to a different drug to avoid any disruptions in treatment. Some health providers may recommend switching to Mounjaro, which contains the same active ingredient as Zepbound but is FDA-approved for type 2 diabetes, or they may recommend switching to another medication altogether, such as another GLP-1 injectable medication for weight loss or a weight loss pill

Zepbound alternatives for weight loss include:

  • Wegovy (semaglutide)

  • Saxenda (liraglutide)

  • Qsymia (phentermine/topiramate)

  • Contrave (naltrexone/bupropion)

  • Xenical (orlistat)

  • Alli (orlistat)

Similar to Zepbound, Wegovy and Saxenda are both injectable medications that are FDA-approved for weight loss. However, at the time of writing, Saxenda and several dosage strengths of Wegovy—including the 0.25 mg starting dosage—are in shortage, without a projected end date, according to the FDA

The other Zepbound alternatives we listed—Qsymia, Contrave, Xenical, and Alli—are all oral medications you can take for weight loss. At the time of writing, none of these medications are in shortage, according to the FDA Drug Shortages website.

Drug shortages can be an unwelcome surprise, to say the least, but you have options for finding Zepbound. Plan ahead for refills, explore local and online pharmacies near you, and talk to your healthcare provider about your concerns.

DISCLAIMER

If you have any medical questions or concerns, please talk to your healthcare provider. The articles on Health Guide are underpinned by peer-reviewed research and information drawn from medical societies and governmental agencies. However, they are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.


How we reviewed this article

Every article on Health Guide goes through rigorous fact-checking by our team of medical reviewers. Our reviewers are trained medical professionals who ensure each article contains the most up-to-date information, and that medical details have been correctly interpreted by the writer.

Current version

May 28, 2024

Written by

Amelia Willson

Fact checked by

Patricia Weiser, PharmD


About the medical reviewer

Patricia Weiser, PharmD is a licensed pharmacist and medical writer. She has more than 14 years of clinical experience in community and hospital pharmacy.

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