Hey there, weight-loss warriors! Zepbound, the latest FDA-approved weight-loss injection, seems to be a real gamechanger in the weight-loss world.

But, amidst the excitement, a crucial aspect needs our attention: the side effects. Zepbound isn’t a magic pill that helps you shed a few pounds overnight. It’s a serious treatment, a prescription medication, approved by the FDA for adults battling obesity or weight-related health issues. And like any drug, Zepbound comes with its own share of side effects, warnings, contraindications, and interactions.

We’re here to break it down for you, from the most common side effects to the more serious stuff you need to be aware of before starting your treatment.

Related article: How to Store Zepbound? Does it Need to Be Refrigerated?

What is Zepbound (Tirzepatide)?

Before we dive into Zepbound side effects, let's understand first what exactly Zepbound is and how it works.

At the core of Zepbound's effectiveness is tirzepatide, its active ingredient. It is the first dual GIP (glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide) and GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide-1) receptor agonist drug ever developed. Now, I know it sounds like I'm speaking Chinese here, but bear with me—it's not as complicated as it seems!

It simply means that, unlike other weight-loss injections like Wegovy (semaglutide) or Saxenda (liraglutide), Zepbound (tirzepatide) operates on both GIP and GLP-1 receptors, offering a dual-action mechanism that helps:

  • reduce appetite and control hunger pangs to limit food and calorie intake,
  • improve metabolic function and reduce fat storage,
  • and control blood sugar levels.

Zepbound isn’t just about suppressing hunger or burning fat; it operates on a much more complex level of hormonal interaction and regulation that sets it apart from other weight-loss drugs and potentially provides a more potent tool in the fight against obesity.

Zepbound is approved for chronic weight management in adults with obesity (BMI of 30 kg/m² or higher) or overweight adults (BMI of 27 kg/m² or higher) with weight-related health issues, like diabetes or hypertension.

It is administered through weekly subcutaneous injections and comes in easy-to-use, pre-filled, single-dose injection pens. Zepbound should be used alongside a balanced diet and regular exercise for optimal results.

It’s a potent drug that’s not intended for cosmetic weight-loss. So, it’s essential to consult your healthcare provider to make sure it’s suitable for you, receive medical prescription, and monitor your body’s response to the treatment and its potential side effects. Actually, these side effects are our topic of the day, so let’s get to it!

Related article: How to Switch from Wegovy to Zepbound?

Travel coolers and refrigerators for Zepbound


Zepbound Common Side Effects

In medical terminology, common side effects are those that occur frequently in a significant number of patients but are typically mild and temporary. They are often observed during clinical trials, where large groups of individuals are closely monitored while taking the medication. But it does not mean that everyone will experience these side effects, as individual responses always vary.

Eli Lilly, the manufacturer of Zepbound, provides a list of common side effects:

Nausea and vomiting

Feeling queasy or nauseous is a common side effect of Zepbound. It usually diminishes or disappears as your body adjusts to the medication. Eating smaller, more frequent meals and avoiding spicy or greasy foods may help.

Vomiting may also occur initially. Again, avoiding large meals can help reduce the likelihood of vomiting.

Diarrhea and constipation

Some patients may experience loose or watery stools while taking Zepbound. Staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water and consuming foods rich in soluble fiber, such as bananas and oatmeal, can help manage diarrhea.

On the flip side, Zepbound can also cause constipation as a side effect. Increasing your intake of fiber-rich foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and staying physically active can help you here.

Related article: How Much Weight Can You Lose on Zepbound?

Stomach pain, indigestion, belching, and heartburn

Stomach (abdominal) discomfort or pain may also occur as a side effect of Zepbound. Another common side effect is excessive belching, burping, or sulfur burps. Eating smaller meals, avoiding carbonated beverages, and chewing food slowly can help reduce belching.

Zepbound may also cause indigestion or discomfort in the upper abdomen. Heartburn or a burning sensation in the chest are quite common. Again, eating smaller, more frequent meals and avoiding spicy or fatty foods should help.

Injection site reactions

Zepbound is administered through weekly subcutaneous injections, just under the skin. While the injection device is very easy to use, the needle very thin, and the process mostly painless, skin reactions at the injection site are common side effects of Zepbound.

They include redness, swelling, or pain at the area where you injected Zepbound. Rotating sites every week and applying a cold compress to the area before injecting can help.

Related article: How to Use the Zepbound Injector Pen: A Comprehensive Guide for Patients.


Feeling tired or more fatigued than usual is a common side effect of Zepbound and may occur especially at the beginning of your treatment. This is often the case with new medication because your body undergoes adjustments as it adapts to it, which can sometimes result in tiredness or fatigue. But rest assured, Zepbound making you tired often resolves over time.

Try to prioritize good sleep and rest during this adjustment period. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle with regular physical activity should also help combat fatigue. While it seems counterintuitive, physical activity actually boosts your energy levels and improve your overall well-being!

Related article: How Long Does it Take for Zepbound to Start Working?

Hair Loss

Hair loss is a surprising, yet common side effect of Zepbound, although the reasons behind aren’t fully understood. It may be caused by hormonal changes induced by tirzepatide. Another explanation could also lie in the stress and lifestyle changes associated with your new weight-loss treatment. Rapid weight loss can also be an explanation, as it can cause hair loss, shedding, or thinning.

Hair loss has also been observed with other GLP-1 drugs, like Ozempic, for example. But it is temporary and hair growth typically resumes as the body adjusts to the medication. Besides, hair loss only occurs in a small percentage of Zepbound patients.

Allergic reactions

While rare, allergic reactions to tirzepatide, the active drug in Zepbound, can occur and are included on the list of Zepbound common side effects provided by the drug manufacturer. Seek medical attention immediately if you experience allergy symptoms such as hives, difficulty breathing, or swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Related articleZepbound Dosing Guide: Essential Tips for Sustainable Weight Loss

Do Zepbound Common Side Effects Go Away?

Yes, for most people, the above-mentioned common side effects of Zepbound tend to diminish and go away over time as the body adapts to the medication. They mostly occur when initiating treatment with Zepbound.

However, these are general information and may not apply to you. The body's response to any medication can vary widely among individuals, and while many people may experience a reduction in Zepbound’s side effects over time, others may find that their symptoms persist or become more severe.

If these side effects don’t go away or tend to aggravate, you should consult your doctor. They can help you manage side effects, adjust your dosage, or recommend alternative treatments if necessary. Remember that everyone's body reacts differently to medication!

Related article: Traveling with Zepbound (Tirzepatide): Storage & Regulations.

Zepbound Serious Side Effects

Now, let’s move on to Zepbound’s serious side effects. While they rarely occur, understanding the risks is always important for anyone using any medication, including FDA-approved drugs like tirzepatide.

Serious side effects differ from common side effects in that they are less frequent but may have severe consequences for your health and often require immediate medical attention. So, here are the potential serious side effects associated with Zepbound during clinical trials as reported by the manufacturer.

Severe stomach problems

While we’ve already seen above that gastrointestinal issues like nausea and diarrhea are common side effects of Zepbound, severe stomach problems are less common but more serious.

These may include persistent abdominal pain, severe vomiting, or other symptoms indicative of significant gastrointestinal distress. If you experience severe stomach problems or gastrointestinal side effects that do not go away, you must seek medical attention.

Kidney problems

Although rare, Zepbound use has been associated with kidney problems, including dehydration and kidney failure, a serious condition where one or both of your kidneys no longer work on their own.

Dehydration may occur due to common side effects like diarrhea and vomiting, leading to fluid loss and potential kidney complications. Drinking plenty of water and staying hydrated can help reduce the risk of kidney problems while you’re on Zepbound.

Gallbladder issues

Some patients using Zepbound on clinical trials have reported gallbladder problems, such as inflammation or obstruction. Symptoms may include upper abdominal pain, fever, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes), or changes in stool color. These can be the sign of serious side effects and must be evaluated by your doctor. 

Inflammation of the pancreas (Pancreatitis)

Inflammation of the pancreas, also known as pancreatitis, is a rare but serious side effect of Zepbound weight-loss injections. Symptoms may include severe abdominal pain, which may radiate to the back, along with nausea and vomiting. If you experience persistent abdominal pain while taking Zepbound, seek immediate medical attention.

Serious allergic reactions

While very rare, serious allergic reactions to Zepbound may occur. These reactions can manifest as swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat, difficulty breathing, severe rash or itching, fainting, rapid heartbeat, or other severe symptoms. This is a medical emergency, and you must seek emergency medical care immediately.

Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)

Zepbound, especially when used in combination with other medications that lower blood sugar levels, such as sulfonylureas, other GLP-1 drugs, or insulin, may increase the risk of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar levels). Symptoms of hypoglycemia include dizziness, confusion, sweating, shakiness, weakness, and others.

People taking Zepbound, particularly those with type 2 diabetes who are also using other diabetes medications, must monitor their blood sugar levels closely, especially at the beginning of their treatment.

If you experience symptoms of hypoglycemia while taking Zepbound, you must act quick. Consuming fast-acting carbohydrates, such as sugar, fruit juice, or glucose tablets, can help raise your blood sugar levels quickly. However, if symptoms persist or worsen, you must seek medical attention.

Related article: 10 Best Diabetic Snacks On The Go for Travels and Road Trips!

Changes in vision

Changes in vision may also occur and be a sign of Zepbound’s serious side effects and underlying conditions that require medical evaluation.

Depression or suicide thoughts

While Zepbound is a weight-loss drug, certain patients may experience mental health issues during their treatment. Depression and suicidal thoughts are included on the manufacturer’s list of serious side effects.

The link is not clear and may involve various factors. One possibility is that fluctuations in blood sugar levels, which can occur because of Zepbound's effects on metabolism, may impact mood regulation. The psychological stress associated with weight management lifestyle changes may also be overwhelming for some people.  

Stay vigilant about your mental health while on Zepbound, especially at the beginning of your treatment. Don’t hesitate to seek medical attention if your suffer from the following symptoms:

  • Persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness
  • Loss of interest in previously enjoyable activities
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

You doctor can adjust your dosage, refer you to a mental health professional, and help manage your symptoms effectively.

The list of potential side effects of Zepbound is not exhaustive, and you may experience other symptoms not listed here. If you have any concerns about potential side effects while using Zepbound, don't hesitate to ask for your doctor’s advice. Remember, open communication is key to ensuring your safety and well-being while taking Zepbound!

Related article: Zepbound, Mounjaro, Wegovy, Ozempic: What’s the Difference?

Cooling cases for Zepbound


Zepbound Warnings and Contraindications

Besides common and serious side effects, Zepbound’s manufacturer also mentions some important warnings and contraindications that you must be aware of before initiating your treatment. Zepbound may not be the best weight-loss drug for you, so make sure your doctor knows about the following situations before writing down your prescription.

  • Thyroid cancer: There’s a chance that Zepbound could lead to thyroid tumors, including thyroid cancer. This has not been studied in humans yet, but it occurred in laboratory rats. So, keep an eye out for symptoms like a lump in your neck, hoarseness, or trouble swallowing. If you notice any of these, give your healthcare provider a heads-up pronto.
  • Thyroid cancer history: If you or any family members have dealt with medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) or multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN 2), Zepbound is not recommended.
  • Allergy: If you've had a serious allergic reaction to tirzepatide or any of the stuff packed into Zepbound injections, it's a no-go zone for you and you must inform your doctor about it.

Related article: Zepbound Reviews from Real Users: The Good and The Bad!

Drug interactions with Zepbound

Now, let's talk about how Zepbound could interact with other meds you might be taking and what you need to watch out for.

  • Birth control pills. If you're on the pill, Zepbound may throw a curveball at its effectiveness. Better have a chat with your doctor about alternative birth control options to stay on the safe side.
  • Insulin. As mentioned above, Zepbound might do a little tango with insulin, so it's crucial to keep tabs on your blood sugar levels. Give your healthcare provider a heads-up if you're using insulin for your diabetes treatment.
  • Sulfonylureas. If you’re taking sulfonylureas drugs to control your blood sugar levels, like Amaryl, Glucotrol, Tolinase, DiaBeta, or others, Zepbound could increase your risk of low blood sugar. So, make sure to let your doctor know, and keep an eye out for signs of low blood sugar episodes.
  • Warfarin. Zepbound could shake things up with warfarin drugs too, like Jantoven, used to prevent blood clots. Make sure your doctor knows!

Remember, Zepbound is a newly approved drug and has only been launched in 2023. Not all drugs interactions are known yet. If you have any doubts, let your doctor know before initiating your weight-loss treatment. Better safe than sorry, right?

Related articleZepbound Cost: Coupons, Insurance Coverage and Savings Card.

Zepbound and pregnancy

If you’re pregnant or plan to be soon, let your doctor know before taking Zepbound. There are no known contraindications so far, but the side effects of Zepbound on pregnant women and fetus haven’t been studied yet. It could potentially harm your baby. And the same goes if you’re breastfeeding.

There’s going to be a pregnancy exposure registry for all the women who've used Zepbound during pregnancy. It will help gather information about pregnant women’s health and their baby's, so we know more in the future. If you’re interested, you can join the registry by reaching out to Zepbound’s manufacturer, Eli Lilly, at 1-800-545-5979.

Related article: How to Store Zepbound? Does it Need to Be Refrigerated?

So, is Zepbound safe?

Zepbound has officially received the green light from the FDA, and it's been through all the hoops and loops of laboratory and clinical testing. It is considered a safe drug if taken within its official use and as recommended by your doctor.

However, like every med, Zepbound may cause common or serious side effects and interact with other of your drugs. Remember that every person responds differently to medication. That’s why Zepbound should only be taken below medical supervision. For your safety!

We want to hear about you! Are you taking Zepbound? Have you suffered from any side effect? Leave us your questions and comments below!

April 05, 2024

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The information presented in this article and its comment section is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a replacement for professional medical advice. Always consult with a qualified healthcare provider for any medical concerns or questions you may have.