Semaglutide Weight Loss Medication – Review by a Dietitian

Semaglutide is a new FDA-approved weight loss medication that caters to those with a specific BMI index and is available through a prescription only from accredited medical providers.

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The Food and Drug Administration estimates that as many as seventy percent of Americans are currently suffering from being overweight and obese. This obesity pandemic is not only affecting people’s self-esteem, but also their health. Being overweight can lead to issues such as heart disease, an increased risk of stroke, high cholesterol and diabetes. Losing just five percent of your body weight by way of a healthy diet or exercise can reduce these risks substantially.

There are so many different diet plans, exercise programs and products that are marketed towards making your weight loss journey easier and more effective. Semaglutide is one medication that you can use to boost your metabolism by increasing the secretion of insulin in the body. The use of semaglutide along with lifestyle changes can make a big difference in how much weight you can lose.

Quick Summary of Semaglutide Weight Loss Review

Medication:Semaglutide
Best for:Obesity / overweight people
Best combined with:Healthy diet and regular exercise
Prescription Needed:Yes
Key Benefits:Can lose up to 10% body weight when combined with a healthy diet and exercise
How to take:Injection, Tablets, Capsules
BMI Index Qualifications:>30
GW Rating:4.5/5 ⭐
summary review of semaglutide weight loss medication

What Is Semaglutide?

semaglutide weight loss prescription medication

Semaglutide was originally created as a treatment for Type 2 Diabetes. However, the Food and Drug Administration recently approved this medication for weight loss purposes. It’s a medication that’s injected right into the body to help people lose weight and keep it off along with the use of a diet and exercise regimen.

You can only obtain semaglutide with a prescription from a doctor. You must have a body mass index that is greater than 30mg/kg², or 27 mg/kg² if you also have a medical issue that is related to your current weight. There are a number of weight loss medications on the market right now that contain semaglutide as their primary active ingredient. This includes Wegovy, Ozempic and Rybelsus.

Pros

  • Semaglutide is a cardiovascular protective medication that can reduce your risk of heart related disease as well as kidney disease.
  • Aids in weight loss, which can prevent diseases like diabetes.
  • The medication is only used once per week and provides you with effective weight loss support for seven days.
  • This is an FDA approved medication that has been used by many people over the years with various health issues.

Cons

  • Semaglutide must be injected under the skin.
  • The cost can be expensive when you don’t have a prescription. Take a look around the internet for coupons that can be used for products like Wegovy. There are usually a few of them available.

Is It FDA Approved?

Yes, Semaglutide was FDA-approved for weight loss purposes in June of 2021. The approved dosage is 2.4 milligrams injected on a weekly basis. This is actually the first chronic weight loss medication to be approved since 2014.

Who’s Eligible for Semaglutide?

A prescribed injectable dose of semaglutide usually starts out low and is increased as needed. It initially started out at a low dose because of potential side effects. If those side effects don’t become an issue, more of the medication can be used. The initial dose commonly used is 0.25 milligrams injected under the skin. An increase in your dose usually occurs once every four weeks until you hit the 2.4 milligram mark. A lot of people experience weight loss at the initial dose, and an increase isn’t needed. You should never double up on a dose if you miss one. Skip the dose if you’re close to your next injection and pick back up from there.

Claimed Benefits

benefits of semaglutide

Semaglutide was a medication developed as an antidiabetic treatment for Type 2 Diabetes as well as long-term weight loss supplement. Semaglutide mimics the performance of human-created peptide-1 to increase the amount of insulin that is being produced by the body. This in turn will increase your body’s ability to metabolize sugar. It’s a drug that functions best over the course of about 7 days, so you only need to have an injection performed once every week for optimal results.

Is It Safe?

When used alone, semaglutide has shown very safe and promising results. There have been a number of clinical studies completed that show its safety and effectiveness. However, it functions as an inhibitor for gastric emptying. The absorption of other medications, supplements and drugs may be blocked. It’s a good idea to speak with a medical professional before starting semaglutide to ensure that there are no concerns with any other medical issues that you’re dealing with.

What Are the Side Effects?

There are some commonly reported side effects that can present themselves when you start taking semaglutide. That’s why it’s common to start out with a low dose, working your way up from there as needed if no side effects are an issue. Some of the most common side effects of semaglutide include:

  • Nausea
  • Bowel issues like diarrhea or constipation
  • Headache / migraine
  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Pain in the stomach or painful when touched
  • Vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Vertigo

How Much Weight Can You Lose?

amount of weight you can lose semaglutide

In the largest clinical trial performed using semaglutide, patients were able to lose anywhere from 15 percent to 20 percent of their body weight in about 68 weeks. The patients that used a placebo only lost 2.4 percent of their body weight. Success rate also has a lot to do with the diet and exercise plan being used in conjunction with semaglutide.

How Fast Can You Lose Weight Taking Semaglutide?

fast weight loss semaglutide

Semaglutide is useful as a long-term weight loss solution. It’s not designed to help you lose a substantial amount of weight in the first few weeks of use. You may not see any results until semaglutide starts to build up in the body and cause changes. The most substantial amount of weight loss in clinical trials occurs by the 20-week point. More weight was lost to the end of the trial, which occurred at 48 weeks.

While a lot of diets will claim they help you lose a lot of weight right away, this weight is usually very difficult to keep off. The best weight loss medications and plans will provide long lasting results. It’s also important that you’re monitored for side effects.

Do You Gain Weight After You Stop Taking It?

Finding a long-term weight solution is key to experiencing substantial weight loss that you can keep off. Semaglutide is an extremely effective method of losing weight, but it can also cause you to put some weight back on after you’ve stopped the medication. Because of this, it’s imperative that you master your diet and exercise routine before stopping the medication (with the supervision of a doctor). Keep your weight loss goals realistic. Going up or down a few pounds here and there is perfectly normal for your average human.

Who Should Consider Using It?

who should take semaglutide

The optimal candidate for weight loss with the use of semaglutide will be someone that has a BMI within the semaglutide range. Working with a dietician and trainer can help cover some of the other aspects of weight loss, making semaglutide more effective in the long run. If you’ve been having trouble losing weight without the use of medications or supplements and have talked to your doctor, you can consider starting injections of semaglutide.

Medical Weight Loss Programs That Provide Semaglutide

There are some brand name products that utilize semaglutide as their primary ingredient for weight loss. Let’s take a closer look at some of them.

My Diet Doc

My Diet Doc is a weight loss program that provides access to many different weight loss medications and supplements. You can choose between a 30-day or 60-day program. Both include a consultation with a medical professional along with ongoing coaching. Products containing semaglutide are included in their medication options.

mydietdoc get semaglutide medication online

Found

Found RX provides you with a medical professional that can assess your current state of health and talk to you about your weight loss journey and goals. A personal coach will help you make changes to your diet. Medication is also used to complement your weight loss program, and you can obtain semaglutide through Found.

Calibrate

Calibrate is a virtual weight loss program that is designed to provide you with effective weight loss that you can sustain over time. It’s geared towards people who have tried different diets and exercise routines but need a more medical approach to weight loss.

Form Health

Form Health weight loss program is designed to help people dealing with obesity. It’s an online provider that views obesity as a treatable medical condition by way of various medications and supplements. Your weight loss plan will be tailored to your challenges and what goals you want to achieve. Semaglutide is a medication option you can use through Form Health.

Is Semaglutide Effective for Losing Weight?

semaglutide effective for weight loss

In a study published by Physician’s Weekly in March of 2021, Semaglutide was found to be an effective weight loss solution compared to a placebo for patients dealing with obesity as well as Type 2 Diabetes. This medication is a much safer option than something like surgery or crash diets that put your body into an unhealthy state.

Semaglutide can regulate your appetite, making you feel full for a longer period of time. GLP-1 is a key hormone that slows down your body’s ability to empty your stomach. This affects how hungry you feel. Semaglutide can effectively function as an agonist against GLP-1, resulting in a decrease in hunger when taking the medication.

Our Top Recommendation's on Where to Get Semaglutide

  1. Found
  2. My Diet Doc
  3. Calibrate
  4. Form Health

Tips for Success from the RD

It’s a big decision to take medication for weight loss. While this decision doesn’t come easy for most people, there are some tips you can use to make this a safe process that benefits you in the long run.

  • Always work with a healthcare professional, whether it be your own trusted doctor or a medical professional through the online program that you’re using to source your medications.
  • Your medications should always come from a reliable source, such as a pharmacy or online distributor.
  • Use weight loss medication as a compliment to exercise and diet.
  • Understand the benefits of the medication you’re choosing, along with the potential side effects. You should know what to watch out for if you’re have a negative reaction to a product.
  • Give yourself approximately 12 weeks before deciding if a medication is truly working for you. It takes many of these medications multiple doses before your body starts to respond. There may be some adjustments that can occur before you deem a product a failure.
  • Disclose any other medications that you’re currently taking prior to taking semaglutide or another weight loss medication. These products can sometimes block the absorption of medication, which can put your health at risk.
  • If you experience any side effects, report them to the medical professional that you’re working with. They can let you know if what you’re experiencing is normal, or if you should discontinue use of it.
  • Pregnant and nursing women should never use weight loss medication.
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Courtney D'Angelo

Courtney D'Angelo, MS, RD, earned her masters degree in Nutrition and Foods from the University of Georgia. She's a Registered Dietitian at Morrison Healthcare and has a strong passion in helping people improve their wellness!

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