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How to inject zepbound? (US Version)

How to inject zepbound? (US Version)

Navin Khosla NowPatientGreen tick
Updated on 12 Jun 2024

In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the step-by-step process of properly injecting Zepbound, a once-weekly (tirzepatide) injection used to aid in weight loss. We understand that injecting medication can be intimidating, but rest assured that with the right knowledge and guidance, you can confidently administer your Zepbound injections at home.

Before we dive into the details, it’s essential to note that this guide is for informational purposes only and should not replace the instructions provided by your healthcare provider. Always consult with your healthcare professional for personalized medical advice and guidance regarding your specific medical condition.

What is Zepbound?

Brand name Zepbound is a new medication manufactured by Eli Lilly that has gained attention for its potential as a weight loss drug. It is a cutting-edge drug that has shown promising results in body weight reduction in clinical trials. Zepbound shares the same active ingredient, tirzepatide, with Mounjaro (another FDA-approved drug by Eli Lilly that treats diabetes). The drug joins a list of six other similar prescription drugs that are FDA-approved (Food and Drug Administration). Like Novo Nordisk’s Ozempic and Wegovy containing the active ingredient semaglutide

Zepbound targets specific mechanisms in the body to promote weight loss and contain the same active ingredient called tirzepatide. Zepbound activates receptors of hormones secreted from the intestine, such as glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP), which reduce appetite and food intake.

Zepbound is indicated for chronic weight management in adult patients with obesity with a BMI (body mass index) of 30+, or who are overweight with a BMI of 27+ with weight-related medical health conditions. Weight-related conditions may include high blood pressure (hypertension), type 2 diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea, cardiovascular disease or high cholesterol. It is typically prescribed in conjunction with a low-calorie diet and increased physical activity to help people lose weight and maintain weight loss. The most common side effects of Zepbound include nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, constipation, stomach (abdominal) pain, indigestion, and injection site reactions.

The benefits of Zepbound extend beyond weight loss. Studies have shown that Zepbound can also help improve various weight-related medical problems, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes. By addressing these underlying conditions, Zepbound may contribute to better overall health and well-being.

Understanding Zepbound and its benefits

Zepbound is a weekly injection manufactured by Eli Lilly that is designed to assist adults with obesity or excess weight in their weight loss journey. When used in conjunction with a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity, Zepbound may help individuals lose weight and maintain their weight loss over time. It contains tirzepatide, a medication that works by regulating blood sugar levels and reducing appetite.

Preparing for your Zepbound injection

Before administering your Zepbound injection, there are several important steps you should take to ensure a safe and effective administration.

Step 1: Gather Your Supplies

To prepare for your Zepbound injection, gather the following supplies:

  • Zepbound pen: Ensure that your pen is not damaged and contains the correct medicine and dose
  • Alcohol swabs: Use alcohol swabs to clean the injection site
  • Sharps container: Have a designated sharps container ready to safely dispose of used needles
  • Cotton ball or gauze pad: Use a cotton ball or gauze pad to apply pressure to the injection site after the injection

Step 2: Choose an injection site

Your healthcare provider will help you determine the most suitable injection site for your Zepbound injections. Common injection sites include the stomach, thighs, or back of your upper arms. If you are uncertain about the best location for your injections, consult your healthcare provider for guidance.

Step 3: Wash your hands

Thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water before handling the Zepbound pen or administering the injection. This step is crucial for maintaining proper hygiene and reducing the risk of infection.

Administering your Zepbound injection

Now that you have prepared for your Zepbound injection let’s walk through the step-by-step process of administering the injection.

Step 1: Clean the injection site

Take an alcohol swab and clean the chosen injection site. Allow the area to air dry or use a clean cotton ball or gauze pad to dry it gently. Cleaning the site helps minimize the risk of infection.

Step 2: Prepare the Zepbound pen

Remove the Zepbound pen from its packaging. Inspect the pen to ensure it is not damaged and that the medicine inside is clear and free from particles. Do not use the pen if it appears frozen, cloudy, discolored, or expired.

Step 3: Unlock and prime the pen

Hold the Zepbound pen with the needle pointing upwards. Twist the lock ring counterclockwise until it stops. This action unlocks the pen. Press the purple button once to prime the pen. You should see a drop of liquid at the needle tip. If you don’t see a drop, repeat the priming process until you do.

Step 4: Administer the injection

With the pen still pointing upwards, gently pinch the cleaned injection site to create a small fold of skin. Insert the needle straight into the fold of the skin at a 90-degree angle, following the instructions provided by your healthcare provider. Once the needle is fully inserted, press the purple button on the pen to deliver the medication. You should hear two clicks, indicating that the injection is complete. The first click means the injection has started. Keep holding. The second click means it’s done. The injection is complete when the gray plunger is visible.

Step 5: Remove the needle and apply pressure

After the injection, carefully remove the needle from the injection site. Use a cotton ball or gauze pad to apply gentle pressure to the injection site for a few seconds. This can help reduce any bleeding or bruising.

Step 6: Dispose of the used pen safely

Place the used Zepbound pen in a sharps container immediately after use. Sharps containers are specifically designed to safely store used needles and prevent accidental injuries. If you don’t have a sharps container, you can use a heavy-duty plastic household container, such as a laundry detergent bottle, that can be tightly sealed and properly labeled.

Managing your Zepbound dosage schedule

Consistency is crucial when it comes to taking Zepbound. It’s important to follow the prescribed dosage schedule provided by your healthcare provider. However, life can sometimes disrupt our routines, so here are a few key points to keep in mind regarding your Zepbound dosage schedule:

Changing your dosing day

If you need to change the day of the week you take your Zepbound dose, ensure that there is a minimum of three days (72 hours) between doses. This allows enough time for the medication to be fully effective before your next injection.

Missing a dose

If you accidentally miss a dose of Zepbound, take it as soon as possible within four days (96 hours) of your scheduled dosing. If more than four days have passed, skip the missed dose and resume your regular dosing schedule. Avoid taking two doses of Zepbound within three days (72 hours) of each other to maintain proper dosing intervals.

Setting reminders

To help you remember when to take your Zepbound dose, consider setting reminders on your phone or using other tools such as medication reminder apps or pill organizers. Being consistent with your dosing schedule is essential for the effectiveness of Zepbound.

Storing your Zepbound pens

Proper storage of your Zepbound pens is crucial to maintain the integrity and effectiveness of the medication. Follow these guidelines to ensure that your pens are stored correctly:

Refrigerator storage

Store your Zepbound pen in the refrigerator between 36°F to 46°F (2°C to 8°C). Keep the pen in its original carton to protect it from light. Avoid freezing the pen, as freezing can damage the medication. If the pen has been frozen, discard it and use a new pen for your injection.

Room temperature storage

If refrigeration is not possible, you may store your Zepbound pen at room temperature up to 86°F (30°C) for up to 21 days. Once you remove the pen from the refrigerator, do not return it to the refrigerator. Discard the pen if it has not been used within 21 days of removing it from the refrigerator.

Handling and care

Handle your Zepbound pen with care, as it contains delicate glass parts. If you accidentally drop the pen on a hard surface, do not use it. Instead, use a new pen for your injection. Keep your Zepbound pen and all medications out of the reach of children to prevent accidental exposure.

Disposing of used Zepbound pens

Proper disposal of used Zepbound pens is essential to ensure the safety of others and protect the environment. Follow these guidelines for safe and responsible disposal:

Sharps containers

Used Zepbound pens should be placed in an FDA-cleared sharps container immediately after use. These containers are specifically designed to safely store used needles and prevent accidental injuries. Do not throw used pens in the household trash or recycling bins.

Household containers

If an FDA-cleared sharps container is not available, you can use a heavy-duty plastic household container, such as a laundry detergent bottle, as an alternative. Ensure that the container has a tightly fitting, puncture-resistant lid and is properly labeled to indicate that it contains hazardous waste.

Community guidelines

Follow your community’s guidelines for the proper disposal of sharps containers. Some communities offer special collection programs or facilities for safe disposal. Contact your local waste management or health department for guidance on how to dispose of your sharps containers appropriately.

Finding the right Zepbound dose

Determining the appropriate Zepbound dose for your specific needs is a collaborative process between you and your healthcare provider. Zepbound dosing typically starts at a 2.5 mg once-weekly dose for the initial four weeks. After this initial period, your healthcare provider may increase your dose to 5 mg once weekly. Further dose increases of 2.5 mg increments may occur after a minimum of four weeks on the current dose.

The maximum recommended dosage of Zepbound is 15 mg subcutaneously once weekly. Your healthcare provider will closely monitor your progress and adjust your dose accordingly to ensure optimal results.

Monitoring and managing potential side effects

As with any medication, Zepbound may cause side effects. Most side effects are mild and resolve on their own. However, it’s essential to be aware of potential side effects and monitor your body’s response to the medication. If you experience any concerning side effects or symptoms, consult your healthcare provider.

Common side effects

Common side effects of Zepbound may include:

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Stomach (abdominal) pain
  • Indigestion
  • Injection site reactions
  • Fatigue
  • Allergic reactions
  • Belching
  • Hair loss
  • Heartburn

It’s important to note that not everyone will experience these side effects, and individual responses may vary. If any side effects persist or worsen, consult your healthcare provider for guidance.

Managing nausea

If you experience nausea as a side effect of Zepbound, several strategies may help alleviate this symptom:

  • Eating smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day
  • Avoiding fatty or greasy foods that can exacerbate nausea
  • Consuming bland foods such as toast, crackers, or rice
  • Stopping eating when you feel full to prevent overeating

If nausea persists or becomes severe, consult your healthcare provider for further guidance.

Conclusion

Administering Zepbound injections is a straightforward process that can be safely performed at home. By following the step-by-step instructions provided by your healthcare provider and practicing proper injection techniques, you can effectively incorporate Zepbound into your weight loss journey. Remember to consult your healthcare provider for personalized advice and guidance to ensure the best possible outcomes. Stay consistent, stay informed, and stay committed to your health and well-being.

Sources

Medical Disclaimer

NowPatient has taken all reasonable steps to ensure that all material is factually accurate, complete, and current. However, the knowledge and experience of a qualified healthcare professional should always be sought after instead of using the information on this page. Before taking any drug, you should always speak to your doctor or another qualified healthcare provider.

The information provided here about medications is subject to change and is not meant to include all uses, precautions, warnings, directions, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or negative effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a particular medication does not imply that the medication or medication combination is appropriate for all patients or for all possible purposes.

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