Is it safe to use Semaglutide and Tirzepatide compounds for weight loss?

The demand for Ozempic, Wegovy, Zepbound and Mounjaro rose this year as the news of the drug’s dramatic weight loss results. But many people eager to get their hands on one of these once-a-week injectable medications are finding access difficult.

Patients face barriers to obtaining prescriptions and insurance. Price is a concern. Without a coupon or manufacturer’s warranty, the cost of Wegovy is $1,350 for a one-month supply, according to its manufacturer, Novo Nordisk. Zepbound for weight loss costs more than $1,000 according to the creator Eli Lilly.

Pharmaceutical companies also struggle to produce enough of these medications to keep up with demand, leading to shortages.

The result is the rise of a niche industry of so-called compound pharmacies that sell knockoff versions of these drugs for weight loss: compound semaglutide (as a substitute for Ozempic or Wegovy) and compound tirzepatide (as stand -in for Mounjaro and Zepbound).

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