15 Jan Everything You Need to Know about Semaglutide for Weight Loss
If you are interested in using Semaglutide as a weight loss tool but need help determining which type is right for you, you’ve come to the right place. This article will look at the different kinds of Semaglutide, how to use it safely, and its potential benefits.
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Understanding the Forms of Semaglutide
There are three types of Semaglutide, and only one is FDA-approved as a weight loss treatment. Originally, Semaglutide was used strictly to treat diabetes and for blood sugar management purposes. However, the FDA recently approved a specific type of Semaglutide, known as Wegovy, for weight loss.
Ozempic is an injectable form of Semaglutide that is used once per week. It is FDA-approved to help patients with type-2 diabetes control their blood sugar levels. While it isn’t currently FDA-approved as a weight loss treatment, Ozempic can be used off-label for this purpose if your doctor determines it is appropriate.
As with Ozempic, Rybelsus is not FDA-approved as a weight loss drug. This drug is used to help people with type-2 diabetes control their blood sugar levels by lowering sugar in the blood. The difference here is that this form of Semaglutide is taken orally each day in a form of a tablet. Much like Ozempic, Rybelsus can be used off-label for weight loss as directed by your doctor.
Of the three types of Semaglutide, Wegovy is the only one approved by the FDA for use as a weight loss medicine. The most effective way to use Wegovy is by incorporating it as part of a weight loss regimen that includes exercise and a healthy diet.
Wegovy is only used to treat certain patients for weight loss. It can be used for patients with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 kg/2m or higher or a BMI of 27 kg/2m or greater, plus a pre-existing weight-related health condition. Throughout the rest of the article, we will focus on only this type of Semaglutide.
How does Semaglutide for Weight Loss Work?
Wegovy is a peptide-1 agonist prescription weight loss drug that falls into the incretin mimetics drug class. Many studies have demonstrated that Wegovy is effective for those who are solely overweight or overweight and have an additional health condition due to obesity.
Wegovy signals the brain into thinking that you are fuller than you are by imitating ghrelin and leptin, two hormones that help control your appetite. Wegovy poses as these hormones and travels to your brain. Upon Wegovy’s arrival, your brain thinks you are full, reducing your appetite and desire to eat.
Because you are eating less than you typically do, it is easier to lose weight, especially if you pair Wegovy with exercise and a healthy diet. You may not see your desired results unless you incorporate exercise and healthy eating into your regimen.
What is the Semaglutide Dose for Weight Loss?
Wegovy is administered via subcutaneous injection and is given once weekly. You can go to a medical professional for injections or administer the treatments yourself at home, saving time and money.
Wegovy is available in the following dosage amounts:
- .25 mg
- .5 mg
- 1 mg
- 1.7 mg
- 2.4 mg
While treatments vary from person to person, you will typically start with a once-weekly injection of a low amount, such as .25 or .5. Every four to five weeks, your dose will increase until you reach 2.4 mg. The exact time between doses will depend on how your body reacts to each adjustment.
When administering your doses, you must inject Wegovy according to the instructions from your healthcare provider. Here are a few additional tips for taking a Semaglutide injection for weight loss.
- You can inject Wegovy into your upper arm, thigh, or stomach, but never into a muscle or vein.
- Never inject Wegovy into the same spot more than once in a row, and rotate the sites regularly.
- Inject your Wegovy on a timed schedule so you don’t forget an injection or double-inject.
- If you miss a dose, contact the doctor who prescribed your Wegovy and ask them what to do unless they have already provided these instructions.
- Because Wegovy is not a pill, you do not need to eat food before taking this medication.
The best practice is to create a Wegovy dosing schedule and stick to it.
Semaglutide for Weight Loss Side Effects
While Wegovy is effective at helping people lose weight, it’s essential to be aware of the possible side effects before taking it. Side effects vary from person to person and may be impacted by factors such as your age, whether or not you have other health conditions, and whether or not you are taking other medications.
The most common side effects include:
- Abdominal pain
Talk to your medical provider for a full list of side effects and what to do if they occur.
What are the Benefits of Semaglutide for Weight Loss?
Wegovy has many benefits. Some of them are direct benefits and the rest are indirect as a result of weight loss.
Prolonged Weight Loss
Wegovy is one of the safest and most effective ways to lose weight over a long period. The longer you take it, the more effective it will be. While you might start seeing some weight loss and fat reduction results within the first month or two of taking Wegovy, most results occur after a year or two. This will enable your body to adjust to the changes, and reduce skin problems and hormonal imbalances. What’s even more useful is that it will make it harder for you to regain your weight after the end of your treatment.
Not a Controlled Substance
Wegovy is FDA-approved to help people lose and maintain a healthy weight. Because Wegovy does not contain phentermine, another drug commonly used for weight loss, it is not a controlled substance. However, in most cases, you’ll need a doctor’s prescription to purchase and use Wegovy.
May help Increase Energy
While Wegovy itself doesn’t increase your energy levels, increased energy is often a by-product of a comprehensive weight loss program that includes exercise and diet changes.
Backed by Science
According to a recent study, Wegovy was used during a 2-year trial to examine its effect on weight loss. During the two years, those taking Wegovy lost just over 15% of their body fat, while those taking the placebo lost just over 2% of their body fat. Additionally, more than 77% of the participants taking Wegovy lost 5% of their body weight.
How much does Semaglutide for Weight Loss Cost?
The biggest downside of Wegovy is that it can be fairly expensive if your health insurance does not cover it. Wegovy also does not have a generic or off-brand version.
However, when considering the long-term costs associated with obesity and treatment for health conditions, Wegovy is an investment that could save you tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills.
While it can be pricey without insurance, Wegovy is a science-backed weight loss option that can be self-administered in the comfort of your home. Regardless of which type of Semaglutide you use for weight loss, you should always get a doctor’s prescription and guidance. As with any weight loss program, you will see the best results when combining treatment with exercise and a healthy diet.
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Semaglutide prescriptions are most effective as part of a comprehensive weight loss program that may include exercise, behavioral changes, calorie restriction, and diet changes as determined by a physician.
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