How much weight can I lose on Zepbound?

How much weight can I lose on Zepbound?

How much weight can I lose on Zepbound?

The newest obesity drug is also one of the most effective: Studies show people lose up to 20% of their weight on it.

Elizabeth Millard
Last updated:
March 14, 2024
5 min read
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With the recent U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of Zepbound® (tirzepatide) for chronic weight management, demand for the weight loss drug is already strong even though it's only just been released. One of the top questions when considering whether this might be an option for you is likely, "How much weight can I lose on Zepbound?"

While the rate of weight loss depends on a number of factors, here's a look at what some initial research found, along with strategies for understanding whether FDA-approved Zepbound can help in your weight-loss journey, and how to find out if Zepbound is the right drug for you. The FDA fast-tracked Zepbound so it could join a small—but growing number—of drugs used to help people in their treatment of obesity, which includes Novo Nordisk’s Wegovy® (semaglutide) and Saxenda® (liraglutide). This group of medications is now allowing providers to further personalize treatment. Plus the expansion of this drug class with Zepbound’s approval may help reduce some of the past shortages we’ve experienced in these drugs. 

Instead of the one-size-fits-all approach to weight loss, now, physicians who are trained in obesity medicine—such as those at Found—can evaluate your medical and weight history, understand more about what’s causing your weight gain, and choose medicine specifically to target those blockers. 

What is Zepbound?

Before delving into how much weight you might lose on this new weight loss drug, it's helpful to understand how Zepbound works. Similar to Eli Lilly’s other drug with the active ingredient tirzepatide, Mounjaro®, Zepbound is a once-weekly injectable medication that utilizes a dual-targeted mechanism, relying on a glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) receptor agonist and glucagon-like peptide-1 agonist (GLP-1 agonist). (A drug that works as an agonist activates the same cell receptors as the body's natural hormones.)

That combo is important because it comes with several effects: increased energy expenditure, better-regulated blood glucose levels, and decreased appetite.

How much can I lose on Zepbound?

In assessing the efficacy of Zepbound, the FDA looked at results from multi-phase clinical trials—which gives a good general idea of how much you might expect to lose if this weight loss medication is a good fit for you. 

These studies suggest that use of Zepbound may provide between 20% to 26% weight loss after 88 weeks, with less—but still dropping—weight loss once patients reach a maintenance dosage.

The first study, SURMOUNT-1, involved 2,539 adults with obesity, or excess weight and weight-related medical problems not including diabetes. People taking Zepbound along with lifestyle changes, such as diet and physical activity, experienced substantial weight loss. At the highest dose (15 mg), people taking Zepbound lost nearly 21% of their body weight on average, compared to 3.1% for those taking a placebo. The average starting weight was 231 pounds.

The second study, SURMOUNT-2, looked at the effects of tirzepatide in participants with obesity or excess weight who also had type 2 diabetes. Similar to SURMOUNT-1, people experienced significant weight reduction here, too. At the highest dose, people taking the medication lost about 15% of their body weight, compared to 3.3% on the placebo.

A more recent study, called SURMOUNT-4, showed 20.9% weight loss within 36 weeks, with an additional 6.7% weight lost over the next year.

And, while not approved to treat these conditions, in a clinical trial, people who dieted, exercised, and took Zepbound to treat obesity or excess weight with weight-related medical problems saw improvements in their high cholesterol and high blood pressure and reduced waist size, according to Eli Lilly.

What are Zepbound's side effects?

According to the Eli Lilly release on the medication, the most common side effects of Zepbound (tirzepatide) are nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and acid reflux. More serious but less common side effects include pancreatitis, gallbladder disease, and worsening of diabetic eye disease.

Those with a personal or family history of medullary thyroid cancer or multiple endocrine neoplasias should not use these drugs. Find detailed side effect and risk information on our dedicated Zepbound page.

Is Zepbound right for me?

Given the research findings from clinical trials, Zepbound certainly sounds like a compelling option, but keep in mind that, like any medication, it's not right for everyone.

To determine if Zepbound seems right for your weight-loss journey, Found's doctor-designed weight-loss program leverages MetabolicPrint™, a proprietary metabolic health assessment engine, and clinicians specialized in obesity medicine to find the right medication for you.

In looking at the results of your MetabolicPrint, it might turn out that you're a candidate for Zepbound, but you may also discover that there's a different medication that's likely to be more effective. There’s an entire class of GLP-1 drugs as well as other effective medications that don't involve injections.

When you’re ready, a Found-affiliated obesity-trained health care provider will be able to determine if Zepbound is right for you. See if you’re eligible for medication and get started today by taking our quiz.

About Found

To discover your MetabolicPrint and start your journey with Found, take our quiz. Found is among the largest medically supported weight care clinics in the country, having served more than 200,000 members to date.

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Ready to lose weight and live your healthiest life?
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Published date:
March 14, 2024
Ready to lose weight and live your healthiest life?
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Meet the author
Elizabeth Millard
Freelance health journalist
Elizabeth Millard is a freelance journalist specializing in health and wellness, with a particular focus on weight management, hormone regulation, and emotional health.


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