The FDA authorized semaglutide (Wegovy), an injection given once a week, in June 2021 for the long-term treatment of obesity in adults when combined with regular exercise and a nutritious diet. Prior to FDA approval, during semaglutide clinical trials, patients had dropped 15% of their initial body weight. Kids 12 years old and older have been able to use it to manage their weight.
So, is semaglutide a good option for you to lose weight? In this guide, we’ll discuss the essential information about semaglutide for weight loss, including how it works, what the potential side effects are, if any, and who is a good candidate for semaglutide.
What is Semaglutide?
Semaglutides consist of glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) used for individuals with Type 2 diabetes, a once-a-week injection that was first authorized in 2017. A few years later, other medications, such as Rybelsus (a once-a-day tablet), were approved by the FDA.
An added benefit for people on semaglutide for Type 2 diabetes is weight loss. Wegovy, a once-weekly GLP-1 injection for long-term weight management, was approved in 2021. As a result, pharmaceutical companies conducted further research at a higher dosage, especially for weight loss.
How Does Semaglutide for Weight Loss Work?
Semaglutide for weight loss functions by imitating the incretin hormone GLP-1, which is involved in hunger and digestion. It is believed to aid in weight loss in a few different ways. This medical weight loss treatment helps decrease the rate at which food leaves your stomach, focuses on brain regions that aid in controlling hunger and fullness, and lessens salty or sweet snacks.
- Semaglutide mimics the actions of the endogenous GLP-1 hormone by binding to and activating GLP-1 receptors in the pancreas and other target tissues.
- It promotes the production of insulin in reactions to elevated blood sugar levels by activating GLP-1 receptors in the pancreas. Insulin lowers blood sugar levels by assisting in the flow of glucose into cells.
- Another pancreatic hormone, glucagon, is likewise suppressed by semaglutide for weight loss. Glucagon stimulates the liver’s discharge of glucose, which increases blood sugar levels. Semaglutide assists in controlling glucose levels by blocking glucagon.
- It also delays the stomach’s emptying, which can assist in controlling how nutrients—including glucose—are absorbed by the digestive system. This activity helps decrease hunger and promotes a fullness sensation.
- Selmaglutide can increase feelings of fullness and decrease food intake by influencing the brain’s appetite regions.
Clinical Efficacy of Semaglutide for Weight Loss
Semaglutide works by emulating a hormone that causes the pancreas to create more insulin, which lowers blood sugar, lessen cravings, and slows down digestion. All of these systems keep you full and stop you from overeating, which eventually results in weight loss.
Patients who have taken semaglutide for weight loss report feeling full in lesser quantities and experiencing a decrease in “food noise” or constant thinking about food and eating.
Additionally, data demonstrates that drugs like Ozempic, Wegovy, Mounjaro, and Zepbound are significantly more effective than other drugs that have traditionally been used to treat obesity, resulting in a greater overall body weight loss more quickly.
Semaglutide, marketed under the brand name Wegovy, is FDA-approved for the treatment of obesity and overweight people, but it is primarily used for diabetes patients. A similar medication, tirzepatide, is marketed as Mounjaro for diabetes and received FDA approval in November 2023 as Zepbound for the treatment of obesity.
Safety and Side Effects of Semaglutide for Weight Loss
On the same day every week, semaglutide for weight loss is injected once. It can be administered without consideration of meals at any time of day. Usually, you’ll begin with a low dose of semaglutide and increase it every four weeks until you reach the goal maintenance dose of 2.4 mg once per week.
It is designed to assist in controlling possible adverse effects. Your doctor may reduce your dosage or have you stop taking semaglutide if you are unable to handle it. When using semaglutide to lose weight, individuals may experience:
- Lightheadedness and dizziness
- Weary and fatigued
- Digestive problems, including gas, diarrhea, and constipation
- Headache and nausea
- Stomach pain, such as bloating, discomfort, and vomiting
Who is a Good Candidate for Semaglutide?
Consult your healthcare practitioner about the possible advantages and risks of treatment prior to beginning semaglutide for weight reduction. This is because not everyone is a good fit for semaglutide. It’s also a long-term commitment because stopping it could result in weight gain.
For continued weight supervision, semaglutide is used along with diet and exercise.
- Those who have at least one weight-related illness, such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, or elevated cholesterol, fall into the obese or overweight categories (BMI ≥30 kg/m2) or overweight categories (BMI ≥27 kg/m2).
- Adolescents aged 12 and above whose initial BMI was at or above the age and sex 95th percentile (as determined by growth charts).
Semaglutide for Weight Loss vs. Other Medications
Compared to other weight-loss medications, semaglutide has demonstrated significant efficacy in clinical trials. Here’s how it compares to some other weight-loss medications:
- Effectiveness — Clinical trials have reported significant weight reduction in individuals using semaglutide compared to those on a placebo. In trials, participants using semaglutide achieved greater weight loss compared to other weight-loss medications like orlistat (Xenical, Alli) and liraglutide (another GLP-1 receptor agonist).
- Mechanism of action — Semaglutide works by mimicking the effects of a hormone called GLP-1, which helps regulate appetite, food intake, and body weight. This mechanism differs from some other weight-loss medications that might work through different pathways, such as appetite suppression, fat absorption reduction, or increasing metabolism.
- Safety profile —- Generally, semaglutide has been found to be well-tolerated, but like any medication, it may have side effects. Common side effects include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and constipation. Some people may also experience hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) if they have diabetes. Monitoring by a healthcare provider is important.
- Approval and availability — As of January 2022, semaglutide (under the brand name Wegovy) had received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for chronic weight management in adults with obesity or who are overweight and have at least one weight-related condition. Its availability may vary in different regions and countries.
Semaglutide for Weight Loss FAQs
How much weight can you lose in a month with semaglutide?
As per the official website of Ozempic®, the brand name for semaglutide, individual differences exist in the quantity of weight reduction. Semaglutide users dropped an average of 12.4 pounds over a 26-week period in clinical trials.
What happens after you stop semaglutide?
Regaining weight is a possibility after discontinuing semaglutide. But each person may experience weight gain in a different way. Sustaining a healthy lifestyle is crucial in order to avoid gaining weight.
Can you lose weight fast on semaglutide?
Semaglutide is not a weight-loss miracle drug. This prescription drug is used in conjunction with diet and exercise to help persons with type 2 diabetes control their blood sugar levels. Semaglutide users dropped an average of 12.4 pounds over a 26-week period in clinical trials.
How much does semaglutide cost?
The brand name and dosage have an impact on semaglutide’s price. A 4-pack of Ozempic® pens costs about $900 without insurance, according to GoodRx1.
Can I buy semaglutide over the counter?
No, semaglutide cannot be bought over the counter; it is a prescription drug. To get semaglutide1, you must get a prescription from a qualified healthcare professional.
Can you take semaglutide without a doctor?
Is semaglutide safe to consume without a prescription? No, semaglutide is a prescription drug that needs to be used under a doctor’s supervision exclusively.
Even though weight reduction medication appears to be like a miracle drug, it’s important to discuss a comprehensive strategy with your doctor to guarantee long-term success. At the Anti-Aging and Ketamine Center, we offer complete medical weight loss care, along with various choices to assist you in achieving your goals Contact us today.