Semaglutide is a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) agonist. Interestingly enough, this peptide was originally FDA-approved in 2017 to help control blood sugar in people with Type 2 diabetes.
You may know semaglutide as Ozempic or Wegovy, the injectable form of semaglutide. You can also find it as an oral pill called Rybelsus. Both Ozempic and Ryblesus are used in people with Type 2 diabetes. But they are given at a lower dose.
How does semaglutide work for weight loss?
Semaglutide should be used with lifestyle changes, including a healthy diet and exercise, to help people with weight loss.
Semaglutide works by mimicking a gut hormone, glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1). When you eat, GLP-1 is released and tells your brain you are getting full. It can also slow down how fast food leaves your stomach. This makes you feel full longer and suppresses your appetite.
GLP-1 also causes your pancreas to release insulin, which lowers your blood glucose (sugar) and helps your cells use glucose from the food you’ve eaten. This is helpful because extra glucose your cells don’t use is stored as fat, which is why high blood sugar can lead to weight gain. All of these things together lead to weight loss.
*It’s important to know that semaglutide is not a type of insulin. Semaglutide stimulates your pancreas to release insulin when sugar is present after you eat. The insulin you inject works to lower your blood sugar even if you haven’t eaten.
How effective is semaglutide for weight loss?
One reason there’s a lot of buzz around semaglutide is the amount of weight people lost during clinical trials.
A 68-week study with almost 2,000 adult participants reported an average weight loss of nearly 15% of their body weight (approximately 35 pounds). The placebo group lost an average of 2.5% of their body weight.
The most common side effects of semaglutide are stomach-related, including:
People have also reported headaches and tiredness.
Who shouldn’t take semaglutide?
You should not use semaglutide if you have the following:
- A personal or family history of medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC)
- Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN2)
- If you are pregnant or breastfeeding
- Type 1 diabetes
- Bariatric surgery (within the past 18 months)
- A personal history of pancreatitis
- Active gallbladder disease
- Kidney disease or transplant
- Heart attack, stroke, heart conditions that limit your daily activity in the last 6 months
You shouldn’t take semaglutide if you’re taking other GLP-1 agonists like semaglutide, which include:
- Bydureon Bcise
How do I take semaglutide? Semaglutide for weight loss is given as a weekly injection under the skin (subcutaneously).
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS FOR SEMAGLUTIDE
How much weight can I lose with semaglutide?
Healthy, sustainable weight loss is 0.5 to 2 pounds per week. Some people routinely lose more than this. A 68-week study with almost 2,000 adult participants reported an average weight loss of nearly 15% of their body weight (approximately 35 pounds). The placebo group lost an average of 2.5% of their body weight.
How fast does semaglutide work?
The short answer is that many patients will lose weight in the first week of taking semaglutide if they make lifestyle changes. The first 4 doses are small and are primarily used to gently introduce the peptide to the body without risking stomach-related side effects. Here at BIFAT Center, we understand that it’s possible to “out-eat” any weight loss medication. So, you may see little to no weight loss in the early weeks without making lifestyle changes.
In clinical trials, people lost about 10% of their body weight during the first 20 weeks. They lost an additional 8% of their body weight through week 68.
How often is semaglutide taken?
Semaglutide is taken once a week, any time of the day that works best with your schedule, with or without food.
Do I have to take semaglutide on the same day every week?
Yes. It’s recommended that you take semaglutide on the same day every week. However, if you need to change the day of the week you take semaglutide (e.g., vacation, illness), you may change the day of the week you take semaglutide as long as your last dose was given 2 or more days before.
How fast can you increase the dose?
Typically the dose of semaglutide is increased no faster than once every 4 weeks. For example, you would receive one month (4 prefilled syringes) of 0.25mg, then one month (4 prefilled syringes) of 0.5mg, and so forth, assuming your side effects are not bothersome.
At BIFAT Center, we consider three factors when deciding how to increase the dose for our clients. Each month, we will discuss whether you’ve experienced bothersome side effects, how well semaglutide managed your hunger, and how much weight you lost. How fast we increase the dose for our clients is individualized to the needs of each patient.
Will I have to take semaglutide forever?
The answer to this is complicated. The short answer is it depends on the person.
Nutrition, physical activity, and good-quality sleep are essential for weight loss. And unfortunately, stress can also impact your ability to maintain a healthy weight. Semaglutide is helpful but may only be necessary for a while if you can adopt lifestyle changes and continue to use them after you stop semaglutide.
Semaglutide is a medication that’s meant to be taken long-term. But some people may want to stop taking it or need to because of side effects or other reasons.
It is possible to regain some weight you’ve lost after you stop taking semaglutide. The STEP 4 trial found that people switching from semaglutide (Wegovy) for weight loss to placebo regained about 7% of their body weight in 48 weeks.
Why do I regain weight after stopping semaglutide?
It’s important to know that regaining weight isn’t unique to semaglutide. It’s possible to regain weight after stopping any weight loss medication.
Because semaglutide suppresses your appetite, stopping treatment can cause your appetite to return. Also, keep in mind that semaglutide should be used with lifestyle changes, including a healthy diet and exercise. Getting enough quality sleep is important, too. If you stop incorporating these healthy habits into your routine when you stop semaglutide treatment, you’ll likely regain weight.
Do I need to wean off semaglutide?
No, you don’t need to wean off semaglutide. At BIFAT Center, your healthcare provider will provide instructions for stopping treatment based on your individualized needs.
Where can I inject semaglutide?
You can inject semaglutide into the fatty tissue of your upper arms, stomach, or upper legs.
What if the liquid in my semaglutide syringe is cloudy?
Semaglutide should be clear. If it’s not clear, DO NOT USE IT. Please send us a WhatsApp message for a replacement syringe.
What if I’m nervous about injecting myself?
Our provider at BIFAT Center can walk you through the injection process or administer your first injection at the clinic. We also have a video located above that guides you through the self-injection process.
What if I accidentally skip my semaglutide dose?
If you miss a dose of semaglutide and your next scheduled dose is less than 2 days (48 hours) away, do not give yourself the dose. Instead, take your next dose on your regularly scheduled day.
Where should I store my semaglutide?
Semaglutide should be stored in the refrigerator.
Here at BIFAT Center, we’ll provide you with your very own peptide travel cooler case that’s equipped with a reusable gel ice pack. This case will keep your peptides cool and safe for easy transport to and from BIFAT Center to your home.