ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The Federal Drug Administration has approved the rebranding of a diabetes drug to help manage weight loss.
This comes after the increase in popularity of Wegovy and Ozempic over the last year.
While diabetic drug ‘Mounjaro’ has already been used by some patients as an ‘off-label’ for weight loss, the FDA’s recent approval will allow the drugmaker to officially rebrand itself as ‘Zepbound.’
Doctors said it works by slowing down digestion by having the brain think the stomach is full, thereby reducing the appetite.
The company says the medication, which will be administered by an injection pen, will be sold at a cheaper price than its competitors.
According to CBS, early research suggests that the drug could outperform Ozempic. However, Rochester Regional Health says before heading to the doctor to get a prescription, you should know the side effects that the drug could present.
“People feel nauseous. Acid reflux can get worse. Constipation can be absolutely troublesome,” Director of Bariatric Surgery at Rochester Regional Health Dr. Dilendra Weerasinghe said. “It can also lead to a condition called gastroparesis. That is where the stomach doesn’t really work very well to empty its food and contents. As a result, the patient feels bloated, nauseous, wants to throw up and in some cases, these side effects are permanent.”
Rochester Regional Health adds that while benefits of the drug outweigh the risks, research does not yet show the long-term effects of use.
According to the drugmaker, Zepbound will be available for patients in the U.S. by the end of the year.