Semaglutide is used as medication for people with Type 2 Diabetes. It works to mimic a hormone called glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) thereby increasing insulin secretion and increasing blood sugar disposal to control glucose levels. It also targets areas of the brain that regulate appetite and food intake at higher doses. The brand name for the medication used for Diabetes is Ozempic. Wegovy (semaglutide) was FDA approved in 2021 specifically for weight loss after a large randomly controlled clinical trial showed the impact on weight loss in NON DIABETIC patients. Individuals (74% female) who received Wegovy (semaglutide) lost an average of 12.4% of their initial body weight compared to individuals who received the placebo.
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Your provider will obtain the following: Medical History, Blood Pressure, Heart Rate, Weight, BMI.
You will go home with a form to take to LabCorp or Quest (based on your insurance) for baseline labs. Results will be reviewed PRIOR to starting the medication.
You will come to the office and get an injection once a week. This will need to be on the SAME day every week, so pick a day that consistently works for your schedule. It DOES NOT have to be at the same TIME of day.
The injection is subcutaneous, meaning that it is injected into a fat source on the body (most often your thigh) with a small needle and there is little pain with the injection.
It is IMPORTANT to maintain a healthy lifestyle and stay active during the use of this medication.
Escalation of Medication
The dose of your medication will be increased every 4 weeks. Yet, escalation of dosing will be based on your labs, weight, and tolerance of the medication.
Common side effects include nausea, bloating, and abdominal pain.
It will take approximately 4 months to reach maintenance dosing. You will typically see an increase in weight loss as the dose of the medication is increased.
The average TOTAL amount of time clients take the medication is 1 year. This is VERY dependent on each client and can GREATLY differ based on the amount of weight loss needed, tolerance of drug, and lab results.
A healthy rate of weight loss is 2-3 pounds/week. If the client is losing a lot more weight than this prior to reaching maintenance dosing, you might remain on the current dose and not escalate to maintenance dosing.
Discontinuation of Medication
When you have reached your goal/healthy weight, you will discontinue the medication.
There can be a slight increase in weight when stopping the medication as you do not have the medication suppressing your hunger. Therefore, it is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle and regular exercise when taking this medication so that your body is accustomed to it.