What Is Semaglutide For Weight Loss?

Ever since the FDA approved semaglutide in June of 2021, it's been growing in popularity with doctors and patients alike as a medical weight loss aid for the obese. Learn more about semaglutide injections before you ask your doctor if it's an option for you in your weight loss goals. 

What is semaglutide?

Semaglutide is an antidiabetic medication that resembles the glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1)  hormone, which plays a large role in cognitive appetite regulation. Semaglutide works by suppressing the patient's appetite. Doctors administer semaglutide injections under the skin once a week. 

Are you a candidate for semaglutide injections?

Semaglutide injections are designed for patients with obesity. For patients to qualify, they must have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or greater or a BMI of 27 or greater with a contributing ailment, such as diabetes or heart disease. Patients with a lower BMI should talk to their doctor about other options. People with allergies to semaglutide shouldn't get semaglutide injections. 

How long will you need to take semaglutide to see the desired results?

Patients prescribed semaglutide injections will get one injection a week. The doctor will gradually increase the dosage up to 2.4 mg over the course of 16-20 weeks. Test groups have received the medication for up to 68 weeks. Long-term treatment plans generate the best results. Test subjects lost over 10% of their weight after 20 weeks. Patients who don't see results after 20 weeks should consider other treatment options. Subjects who considered treatment lost over 17% of their weight after 68 weeks. After 68 weeks, many doctors will encourage patients to maintain their weight loss using diet and exercise. 

What are the side effects of semaglutide?

Semaglutide does come with a significant amount of side effects, most gastrointestinal, including:

  • nausea
  • diarrhea
  • vomiting
  • constipation
  • indigestion
  • stomach pain
  • headache
  • fatigue

In rare cases, patients also report more serious side effects, such as intestinal infection and gastroesophageal reflux disease. Semaglutide injections can also impact blood sugar levels and the liver. Talk to your doctor about any side effects you experience. 

What are the benefits of semaglutide injections?

Semaglutide injections offer numerous benefits compared to alternative weight loss options for obese patients. Namely, semaglutide injections don't require surgery. The minimally invasive procedure won't put the patient out of commission or impact their gastrointestinal tract as severely as gastric bypass surgery or other bariatric surgeries. 

Semaglutide injections give obese patients hope for a healthier life. For more information on semaglutide for weight loss, contact a professional near you.