Is It Safe to Use Compounded Semaglutide and Tirzepatide for Weight Loss?


Demand for Ozempic, Wegovy, Zepbound, and Mounjaro has skyrocketed this year as news gets out about the drugs’ dramatic weight loss results. But many people eager to get their hands on one of these once-a-week injectable medications find themselves struggling for access.

Patients face roadblocks in getting prescriptions and insurance coverage. Price is a concern. Without a manufacturer’s coupon or insurance, Wegovy’s cost is $1,350 for a month’s supply, according to its producer, Novo Nordisk. Zepbound for weight loss costs over $1,000 according to maker Eli Lilly.

Pharmaceutical companies are also straining 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 compounding pharmacies selling knockoff versions of these weight loss drugs: compounded semaglutide (as a substitute for Ozempic or Wegovy) and compounded tirzepatide (as a stand-in for Mounjaro and Zepbound).


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