Natural Zepbound Over the Counter Alternatives – OTC Weight Loss Pills that Work Like Tirzepatide Injections

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Peter Williams

Zepbound is a weight loss medication delivered to the body once weekly, via a self-administered injection just under the skin. It’s a rebranded version of Mounjaro, an anti-diabetic medication that gained FDA approval in May 2022 and subsequently became a popular “off-label” treatment for weight loss.

Granted FDA approval in early 2024, Zepbound is identical to Mounjaro in every way. Both medications provide the same active ingredient: Tirzepatide. The only difference is that Zepbound has FDA approval as a treatment for chronic weight management and Mounjaro does not.

Research shows that Zepbound can work well for appetite suppression and weight loss, but it’s costly and only available to people with a high BMI (body mass index). It can also present some very nasty adverse effects. The high price tag, distribution restrictions, and potential health risks don’t work in the medication’s favor. There’s a big interest in cheaper and safer alternatives.

In this article, I’m going to introduce you to four supplements that you can use as substitutes for Zepbound.  I’ll explain what they do and look at some of the ingredients that make the benefits possible along with the relevant supporting science. 

Top 4 Natural Alternatives to Zepbound

Losing weight doesn’t have to be expensive, and dangerous side effects should never be considered an acceptable part of the weight loss process. After you become familiar with the following products, you may wonder why Zepbound gets as much attention as it does:

  1. PhenQ
  2. Phen24
  3. Zotrim
  4. Berbaprime

All four of the above supplements are high-quality options that are produced by reputable manufacturers that provide their customers with money-back guarantees.

The Best Zepound Alternatives Reviewed and Compared

I’m placing PhenQ at the top of the list because it offers the greatest level of weight loss support. However, each of the other three options offers specific value in areas other than weight loss, and, depending on your requirements, one of them may prove to be a more appropriate choice.

#1 PhenQ – Best Zepbound Alternative Overall

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PhenQ is a dietary supplement that targets weight loss from multiple angles. Unlike Zepbound, it does a lot more than control hunger. It’s not unusual for new users to lose 10 pounds or more during their first month of using PhenQ.

As with any weight management product, including prescription medications, results can vary on an individual level. Some people may lose weight faster while, for others, progress may be a little slower. Nevertheless, PhenQ has excellent customer reviews and the manufacturer provides a 60-day money-back guarantee.

PhenQ is powered by 13 natural ingredients. All of them have excellent scientific credentials in areas related to weight loss. Working in harmony, the PhenQ ingredients suppress hunger and cravings and increase metabolism to promote faster, more efficient fat loss.  They also support higher energy levels, enhance mood, and inhibit fat cell creation.

Capsicum extract is one of the most important inclusions. It provides capsaicin. This natural plant compound boosts metabolism by increasing thermogenesis, causing the body to lose extra calories by generating heat.

Research shows capsaicin also suppresses hunger and aids weight loss in several additional ways including inhibiting adipogenesis (fat storage).

Another vital component of PhenQ, α-Lacys Reset® is a proprietary formula that has been shown to decrease weight and body fat while increasing muscle mass. This is particularly important as more muscle mass can help enhance metabolic rate, further promoting weight loss.

PhenQ also contains nopal cactus fiber, which has a long history of use for appetite suppression. Research shows it further supports weight loss by boosting metabolism.

Chromium picolinate is another key player in the PhenQ formula. It supports weight in several ways including stabilizing blood sugar levels to help curb sugar and carb cravings.

PhenQ offers an approach that’s gentler than that of chemical-based prescription drugs. It’s also cheaper to use and, with no need for a prescription or a clinically obese status, it’s much easier to obtain. 

#2 Phen24 – Best for Overweight People with Sleep Difficulties

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Phen24 is another great alternative to Zepbound and other weight loss drugs. This option is particularly appropriate for people struggling with weight gain linked to sleep issues. It’s specifically designed to address both weight regulation and sleep quality, recognizing the intricate relationship between sleep and weight.

Poor sleep quality can significantly influence weight gain in several ways. Firstly, lack of adequate sleep disrupts the balance of hunger hormones, namely ghrelin and leptin.

Ghrelin triggers feelings of hunger. When you’re sleep-deprived, your body produces more ghrelin, potentially resulting in overeating.

Leptin works differently. It helps you feel full. Unfortunately, sleep deprivation lowers its levels. This hormonal imbalance often leads to increased appetite, along with cravings for high-calorie, carbohydrate-rich foods.

Additionally, insufficient sleep can decrease your energy levels, making you less likely to engage in physical activity. This reduction in daily activity contributes to fewer calories burned, compounding weight gain issues. Furthermore, when tired, people often turn to food for a quick energy boost, increasing their daily calorie intake.

Phen24 addresses these problems by supporting both day and night metabolic processes.

During the day, it boosts metabolism and energy, helping you burn more calories and stay active. At night, Phen24 helps reduce cravings and continues to support metabolism without compromising sleep quality. Its formula includes ingredients that aid relaxation and promote better sleep, crucial for resetting the body’s hormonal balance and supporting overall weight loss. 

Griffonian seed extract is a notable example. In addition to supporting weight loss, the 5-Hydroxytryptophan it provides also offers protection from insomnia and depression.

By tackling weight loss from both a metabolic and a sleep perspective, Phen24 offers a holistic approach to weight loss, making it an ideal option for those whose weight issues are compounded by poor sleep. 

#3 Zotrim – Best Herbal Substitute for Zepbound

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Zotrim is a great choice for overweight people who prefer to use natural products instead of pharmaceutical drugs and chemical compounds. This popular herb-powered supplement has much in common with Zepbound because both options increase satiety and reduce hunger by slowing down gastric emptying.

Gastric emptying is the process by which food exits the stomach and enters the small intestine. Slowing this process, as both Zotrim and Tirzepatide do, can prolong feelings of fullness. This helps control appetite and reduce overall calorie intake, thereby aiding the maintenance of the calorie deficit that necessitates the need for fat-burning.

Zepbound influences gastric emptying vial hormone manipulation. Zotrim achieves it by providing a unique blend of South American herbs: Yerba Mate, Guarana, and Damiana.

Each herb offers benefits in its own right. For instance, Yerba Mate helps increase vitality, while Damian has been used traditionally to enhance mood and reduce emotional eating.

However, Zotrim’s power is due to the herbs’ synergy, not their individual qualities. Although none of them could influence gastric emptying while acting alone, research shows that, when working as a team, they can.

Like Zepbound, Zotrim mainly functions as an appetite suppressant. It’s not nearly as versatile as PhenQ or Phen24 but its abilities are a good match for Zepbound’s and it is much cheaper and safer to use.

#4 BerbaPrime – Best Option for Weight Loss and Reducing Cholesterol

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If you are overweight and also have issues with high cholesterol levels, BerbaPrime may be a compelling solution. It’s a no-nonsense supplement that provides a potent dose of berberine in the form of a high-quality extract.  

Berberine is a compound that occurs naturally in several plants and has a long history of use in traditional medicine. Research shows it supports weight loss by activating an enzyme called AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), which is often referred to as a metabolic master switch.

This activation enhances the body’s ability to convert sugar into energy instead of storing it as body fat.

Research shows berberine extracts are also effective for providing blood sugar regulation and can influence cholesterol levels for the better. 

There are two types of cholesterol. LDL cholesterol, often termed “bad cholesterol”, is the form that poses a risk to cardiovascular health. HDL cholesterol, or “good cholesterol” is the better of the two forms. It actually supports heart health by removing fatty deposits from the artery walls.

By helping to improve its users’ lipid profiles and inhibiting their ability to store fat, BerbaPrime supports their weight loss journey while also encouraging good cardiovascular health.

What Is Zepbound?

Zepbound is the brand name for Tirzepatide. It works by mimicking the effects of hormones known as incretins. These hormones play a key role in the regulation of blood sugar levels, appetite, and satiety.

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When incretins are released after eating, they signal the brain that you are full, which helps reduce the amount of food you eat.

The two hormones Tirzepatide mimics are  GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide-1) and GIP (glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide). By activating the receptors in the body that respond to them, Tirzepatide increases insulin release in response to meals, which helps lower blood sugar levels.

It also decreases glucagon production, which further aids in controlling blood glucose levels. Going a step further, as with all GLP-1 receptor agonists, Tirzepatide increases satiety by slowing down gastric emptying.

The average weight loss with Zepbound is unclear but patients taking part in one clinical trial showed an average bodyweight reduction of 26% in 88 weeks.

Related: Natural Ozempic Alternatives – These natural OTC alternatives aim to mimic the appetite-suppressing qualities of Ozempic without the same level of risk

Why the Need for Alternatives to Zepbound

I began this article by pointing out there are several reasons why people may have to go in search of weight management options other than Zepbound. Now I have introduced you to the best supplements to use in this role, let’s take a closer look at factors fuelling the current demand.

Zepbound Prescription Eligibility Criteria

When it approves a new weight management drug, the FDA sets specific eligibility criteria that largely center around Body Mass Index (BMI). BMI is a numerical value derived from a person’s weight and height, providing a rough measure of whether someone has a healthy body weight for their height.

Doctors can only prescribe FDA-approved weight management medications to people whose body weight complies with BMI restrictions that are in place.

In common with other drugs for weight loss,  doctors mainly prescribe Zepbound to people who have a BMI of 30 or higher. This classifies them as obese.

Doctors may also be able to prescribe Zepbound to people with a BMI of 27 or higher. Anyone whose BMI is 27 or higher, but lower than 30 is classed as being overweight but not obese.

However,  overweight people (BMI 27+) are only eligible for prescription weight management drugs if they have weight-related health issues. Examples include type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and obstructive sleep apnea.

The aforementioned restrictions are in place for a reason. They help ensure the medication is only available to people who stand to benefit the most from weight loss rather than those who want to lose a little excess weight for cosmetic reasons.

If this sounds unreasonable, you need to remember all weight management drugs can present health risks. Because of this the potential benefits always have to be greater than the potential for harm.

Suitability Issues

Even if someone meets the BMI and health condition requirements for a Zepbound prescription, there might still be reasons why their doctors may consider them unsuitable candidates for the medication. Certain medical conditions can make the use of Zepbound inappropriate and greatly add to the risk it presents.

For instance, Zepbound is not recommended for people with a history of severe thyroid problems, pancreatitis, or gallbladder disease because it has the potential to aggravate the symptoms. It’s an equally poor choice for people with severe gastrointestinal disease.

People with a personal or family history of medullary thyroid cancer or Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia syndrome type 2 need to avoid Zepbound as well because the risk of the medication causing harm is too great to be seen as acceptable.

How Zepbound may react to existing medical treatment plans is also a major consideration. Tirzepatide can interact with a wide range of drugs, potentially diminishing their effectiveness or increasing their side effects.

For example, Zepbound may alter the way the body processes insulin or oral diabetes medications, requiring careful monitoring and possible dosage adjustments.

Related: Amycretin Pill – “Amycretin is a weight medicine that’s taken daily and used alongside diet and exercise to speed up the weight loss process. It’s a combination medication that pairs Semaglutide with an experimental drug called Cagrilintide.

Zepbound Cost Considerations

Zepbound has a list price of $1,059.57 for a 4-week treatment (4 injections). That’s a few hundred dollars cheaper than Wegovy but still extremely expensive. Using any of the best OTC alternatives will cost you less than $70 per month.

The cost can be a significant barrier for many people requiring continuous treatment. Long-term use, which is often necessary for sustained weight management, could lead to high cumulative costs.

Insurance coverage can play a critical role in mitigating these expenses. Some health insurance plans may cover a portion of the cost of Zepbound. Especially if a doctor deems it medically necessary based on the presence of certain health conditions and/or failure to lose weight vial previous weight loss efforts with a low-calorie diet and increased levels of physical activity.

However, coverage varies significantly by provider and plan, so some patients may still face high out-of-pocket costs even with insurance.

For those without adequate insurance coverage and people who are simply looking for a more economical option, OTC diet pills like like PhenQ can be an excellent alternative. But, as I have already pointed out, the fact that this and similar options are so popular is not solely due to competitive pricing. The lack of side effects is a contributing factor as well.

Adverse Effects and Potential Health Risks of Zepbound

Like any other weight loss medication, Zepbound can cause side effects. It also has the potential to present some worrying health risks that potential users need to be aware of and consider carefully before deciding to accept a prescription.

Common side effects include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea,
  • Constipation
  • Abdominal pain

These symptoms are typically mild to moderate in severity and often decrease over time as the body adjusts to the medication. There is also a risk of bruising or skin irritation around the injection site but Zepbound users can often avoid this by rotating the injection site locations.

However, there are more serious health risks associated with Zepbound that warrant careful consideration. One of the most worrying ones is the drug’s potential to cause thyroid cancer.

Data from animal studies suggests using GLP-1 receptor agonists may lead to thyroid C-cell tumors. Although it is not definitively proven in humans, users are advised to be vigilant about any symptoms that could suggest thyroid issues, such as a lump or swelling in the neck, hoarseness, trouble swallowing, or shortness of breath.

GLP-1 receptor agonists may also increase the risk of developing pancreatitis—a serious inflammation of the pancreas that can be life-threatening if not treated promptly.  Symptoms of pancreatitis may include severe abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and very rapid heartbeat.

Additionally, Zepbound has been associated with kidney problems, including worsening of pre-existing kidney disease and acute kidney injury. Signs of kidney issues might include changes in urine output, swelling in the ankles or feet, and unusual tiredness or lethargy.

Zepbound users who experience side effects that may indicate thyroid issues or organ harm will need to seek medical advice promptly. This is also true for those showing symptoms of serious allergic reactions. Symptoms may include, swelling of the throat or tongue, and difficulty breathing.

Zepbound OTC Alternatives Summary and Conclusion

Zepbound is a new weight loss drug that may be available to people who are obese or to those who are overweight with weight-related medical problems. As with other weight loss drugs, it’s intended to be used as part of a structured weight loss regimen that includes a reduced calorie diet and suitable attempts to increase physical activity levels.

Although Zepbound has not been available long, the drug it provides (Tirzepatide) is not new. It’s also distributed as Mounjaro—a medication that helps to regulate blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes.

Many of the new weight loss drugs, such as Semaglutide (Wegovy/Ozempic) were originally developed to treat diabetes, so the situation with Tirzpatide is not unique. However, most of the diabetes medicines that subsequently attained FDA approval for weight loss are GLP-1 receptor agonists. Drugs of this type are associated with potentially life-threatening side effects. They are also hard to obtain and extremely expensive.

In this article, I have introduced four possible alternatives. All of them are powered by natural ingredients that have proven abilities in areas related to weight loss. They are not overly expensive to use and have manufacturer’s guarantees. Perhaps more importantly, none of them have any known side effects or are likely to disrupt normal endocrine function or increase susceptibility to potentially dangerous medical conditions.

However, they do have something in common with Zepbound—to get the best results, you will need to incorporate them into a healthy lifestyle that includes sensible food choices and appropriate efforts with diet and exercise.

Research Sources

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About the author

Peter Williams has over 20 years of experience as an endocrinologist. Peter specializes in the study of diabetes, thyroid and parathyroid disorders, obesity, lipids disorders, and hormonal imbalances. He is actively involved in research investigating new medications and technologies for managing these chronic conditions.