Medication Compounding

Compounded Tirzepatide: How It Works and Where to Get It

Tirzepatide, originally designed for diabetes, emerges as a potent weight loss aid, boasting exceptional efficacy in shedding pounds. While its high price tag poses a barrier, compounding pharmacies offer a more affordable avenue to access this transformative medication, ensuring broader availability and personalized treatment options.

MD EXAM

  • Monday, March 11, 2024

Tirzepatide is a novel weight loss drug sold under the brand names Mounjaro for diabetes and Zepbound for weight loss. Although originally approved for the treatment of diabetes, tirzepatide is becoming increasing popular for the treatment of weight loss. It has set itself apart from competition by acting on more receptors than other medications, often resulting in significantly more weight lost. However, tirzepatide's sticker price of over $1000 per month keeps it out of reach for many people that struggle with obesity.

Approval and How it Works:

Tirzepatide is a medication that was initially approved for medical use in the United states in May of 2022. It was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as an adjunct to diet and exercise to improve blood sugar in adults with type 2 diabetes, then approved again to improve weight in November 2023. Like other popular medications Ozempic, Wegovy, and Rybelsus, tirzepatide works by mimicking GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide-1) hormone receptors, receptors in the gut responsible for feelings of fullness. Unlike these other medications, however, tirzepatide is a dual-acting medication, so it also activates GIP (glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide) receptors. This dual-action is what truly sets tirzepatide apart from the competition, and is part of the reason it is so much more effective than traditional options.

Dosage and How to Use:

Much like any other medication, when it comes to tirzepatide, doctors prescribe different dosages depending on what they’re treating and who they’re treating. Dosages can vary, but a typical starting dose for the purpose of weight loss is 2.5mg weekly, injected under the skin. The medication comes in a pre-filled pen to make it easy to inject. It's important to follow your doctor’s instructions closely to get the best results.

Research Findings: Exceptional Outcomes

A 2023 clinical trial titled SURMOUNT found that the average person lost 26.6% of their weight over the treatment period of 84 weeks. If you read this article about Ozempic or any of the other articles about semaglutide, you may remember that the average person lost around 15% of their body weight. That’s a huge difference! As with any medication, results vary person by person, but as a whole tirzepatide is incredibly effective at treating obesity.

A Quick Guide to Compounding

Compounding is a way of customizing medications to meet each patient's unique needs. This is especially helpful when regular medications aren't suitable due to allergies, intolerances, or other specific requirements.

In compounding, pharmacists team up with healthcare providers to create personalized medications. This could involve adjusting the dose, changing the form of the medicine (like turning a pill into a liquid), or leaving out ingredients that might cause problems.

Perks of Compounding: Access and Affordability

Compounding can be especially useful in cases where branded drugs are expensive or in shortage. In the case of tirzepatide and semaglutide, both are true. When there's a shortage of certain medicines, the FDA allows compounding pharmacies to step in to fill gaps in supply. When regular drugs aren't available, compounding pharmacies can make versions of the needed medicines.

Compounding pharmacies can also provide medication at a cheaper price point. They make medicines from raw ingredients, so they're not relying on pre-made drugs. This helps when there are problems with the supply chain, natural disasters, or sudden high demand, while also bringing down costs.

When medications are approved in America they are also protected by a patent. The patent gives big pharmaceutical companies the power to set the price, making medications like tirzepatide, which can be over $1000 per month, out of reach for many people. Compounded medications are not bound by patent or retail price, so patients can get medications at much less of a mark-up — in our case, less than 1/3 of what the brands charge.

To read more about compounding, check out this article

How to Get Compounded Tirzepatide

Before jumping into using tirzepatide for weight loss, it's crucial to talk to a healthcare provider like the medical team at MD Exam. We have a simple questionnaire where you share your medical history and we set you up with a personalized weight loss plan. Usually we start people on semaglutide, a slightly cheaper and better tolerated medication than tirzepatide, which we save for people that want to lose weight more aggressively or aren’t happy with their progress on semaglutide. Both medications, however, have proven their effectiveness and are tolerated differently on a person-by-person basis.

Healthcare professionals, like the MD Exam team, play a big role in understanding overall health, creating personalized treatment plans, and explaining the possible risks and benefits. No offense taken if you don’t choose us, but be careful when looking for compounded medications. Most services only offer the retail price on branded medications, and services that offer cheaper, compounded versions can be shady. Look for accreditations, like  LegitScript, thorough medical questions and testimonials.

Navigating Tirzepatide's Role in Weight Loss

Tirzepatide might have started as a helper for diabetes, but it has quickly taken its crown in the context of weight loss. While not everyone might see the same results, it's clear that tirzepatide can be a helpful tool. Talking to healthcare providers, like those at MD Exam, ensures that you get the right guidance and make informed decisions about using tirzepatide for weight loss. Making informed decisions can protect against bad actors and irresponsible compounding, so we encourage you to do your due diligence and pick an accredited service like MD Exam.

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