What Is Semaglutide Injections?

Semaglutide is a diabetes medication used to control blood sugar. It may also reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke and other serious complications of type 2 diabetes or heart or blood vessel disease. It works by increasing the amount of insulin in your bloodstream, reducing the blood sugar levels of a person who has trouble regulating. Though semaglutide may be used to treat diabetes, it’s not insulin. It’s a medication that can be used to help insulin do its job and lower blood sugar, but most patients are advised to use it as part of a comprehensive approach to treat type 2 diabetes, in conjunction with diet and exercise and any other medication or dietary supplement their doctor has approved.

Semaglutide for Weight Loss

Originally developed as a treatment for type 2 diabetes, semaglutide has also found a niche helping people with weight-related medical problems rapidly lose weight. It does this in three ways:

  1. The GLP-1 hormone present in the medication slows down how fast your stomach moves food through, which makes you feel fuller longer and discourages binge eating.
  2. The hormone prevents the liver from releasing sugar into the bloodstream, which would otherwise contribute to fat buildup.
  3. Semaglutide stimulates the pancreas to secrete insulin, reducing blood sugar still more.

The FDA first approved semaglutide to help people lose weight in 2021, making it the first anti-obesity medication to be allowed onto the market since 2014. When used for treating obesity, the medication should always be paired with improved diet and a regular healthy exercise program. Subcutaneous semaglutide, a brand name of  semaglutide was subjected to four separate placebo controlled trials lasting 68 weeks. The testing showed that medication was more effective than the placebo for weight loss and chronic weight management. For people with weight-related medical problems, semaglutide can be an effective choice for helping lose weight, advance a successful weight loss program and maintain a healthy body weight for as long as the treatments are given.

Young fit ladies after a successful semaglutide fat loss treatment
Young fit lady after a successful semaglutide for weight loss.

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Candidates for Semaglutide Fat Loss Treatment

Semaglutide is effective, but it isn’t for everybody. Under the indications adopted by the FDA in 2021, when the drug was first approved for general use in weight management, children shouldn’t take semaglutide. Adults who take it to lose weight should have a BMI greater than 30 or a BMI of 27 and up with one or more weight-related medical problems, such as type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol and/or high blood pressure.

You shouldn’t be taking semaglutide if you’re at risk of developing a thyroid C-cell tumor or you have a family history of thyroid tumors. Others who should avoid taking semaglutide include people with a history of severe allergic reactions to the medication or any of the inert ingredients of the solution.

One of the more commonly used brands, Wegovy, carries a warning for potential inflammation of the pancreas, gallbladder issues, low blood sugar, kidney injuries, diabetes-related damage to the retina of the eye (diabetic retinopathy), elevated heart rate and suicidal thoughts and behaviors. These side effects are rare, and because semaglutide is administered under a doctor’s supervision, they’re generally manageable.

What to Expect During the Treatment

Treatment with semaglutide generally starts with an assessment at Vitalyc MedspaDuring this initial screening, our medical team will determine whether this medication is a good choice to help with your weight loss. Expect to get a physical exam and a medical history work-up. Our practitioners  will assess your history of allergies and cancer and review other medications you may be taking. Your current body weight, history of weight loss attempts and body mass index will all factor into the decision to try semaglutide for losing weight.

The initial treatment will be a subcutaneous injection of a low dose of  semaglutide. This is a deliberately low dose, since possible side effects include a serious drop in blood sugar and it takes time to adjust. Over four weeks, the dose is gradually increased until you’re getting the full dosage  once a week. The injections are given on the same day each week for for a specified time determined with the practitioner. During your treatment period, the Vitalyc Medspa will work with you to develop viable weight management strategies that go beyond the medication. Diet and exercise patterns, building healthy lifestyle patterns and a strong social support network are all part of your strategy to lose weight, and they’ll be included as part of your weight management plan.

FAQs

How much weight will you lose on semaglutide?

The Semaglutide Treatment Effect in People With Obesity (STEP) trials have found that obese patients who take 2.4 mg of semaglutide weekly lose an average of 6% of their body weight by week 12. This roughly doubles to 12% of body weight lost by week 28.

How fast does semaglutide work for weight loss?

If you’re taking semaglutide for chronic weight management, you can expect to see some results by the end of the first month, though the low initial doses of this drug treatment mean the initial results will be subtle and only appear a few weeks in. Larger amounts of excess weight come off in subsequent weeks, with the peak weight loss happening between weeks 8-28.

Is semaglutide approved for weight loss in non-diabetics?

The FDA approved using semaglutide as an adjunct for weight management in adults without diabetes, but only under a doctor’s supervision and as part of a larger plan to treat obesity. When used in conjunction with evidence-based lifestyle interventions, such as improved diet and exercise, semaglutide injections can help treat obesity.

Do you need a prescription for semaglutide?

Semaglutide is only available with a medical provider’s prescription. Because of the risk of side effects or interactions with other prescription drugs and herbal products, you’ll need to check in with a practitioner on a regular basis as long as you’re using semaglutide as a weight loss medication.

Start Your Weight Loss Journey Today

It’s never too soon to start the journey to a healthy weight. If you’re living with obesity or related medical conditions and you think semaglutide might be a viable choice for shedding excess weight, get started today by contacting Vitalyc Medspa for a free consultation.

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