Semaglutide for Weight Loss - Does it Work?

There are no shortcuts on the weight loss journey. Maintaining a healthy weight for life comes down to good nutrition choices, lifestyle, exercise, balanced hormones, and a winning mindset. However, obesity is a serious medical condition, and there is an important supporting role for medication along the way.

One medication that has recently been receiving a lot of attention is Semaglutide. Since the FDA approved the drug for weight loss in 2021, it has seen a surge in interest and popularity.

After taking time to learn about Semaglutide, study the FDA data, and observe the results myself, I’m now beginning to offer Semaglutide as an option for select patients in my 12-week Awakening program.

What is Semaglutide?

Semaglutide was initially developed to help patients with type 2 diabetes manage their blood sugar levels. It is a human-based glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist.

Does Semaglutide for Weight Loss Work?

Semaglutide slows down the emptying of the stomach by binding to the receptors in the stomach lining. The slower emptying sends a signal of fullness to the brain, helping to reduce food intake and decrease appetite. When testing was conducted while developing this diabetes medication, many patients noticed they were losing weight as well as treating their condition. As of June 2021, the FDA approved Semaglutide for long-term weight management.

As of June 2021, the FDA approved Semaglutide for long-term weight management.

The FDA approval was granted after four 68-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials. More than 2,600 patients received Semaglutide for up to 68 weeks in these four studies, and more than 1,500 patients received a placebo. In the largest study, individuals who received Semaglutide lost an average of 12.4% of their initial body weight compared to individuals who received a placebo. In another study of adults with type 2 diabetes, individuals who received Semaglutide lost 6.2% of their initial body weight compared to those who received a placebo.1

Semaglutide Warnings & Side Effects

Semaglutide is not recommended for people with a personal or family history of thyroid cancer, those who are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while taking the medication, or those who are prescribed insulin because the combination may increase the risk of hypoglycemia.

  • Common side effects include: constipation, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, gallstones, and pancreatitis.
  • Possible side effects include: abdominal pain, fatigue, dyspepsia, gas, stomach inflammation, acid reflux, and dizziness.

As when starting any new medication or health program, it’s essential to speak with your healthcare provider before taking Semaglutide. And, it’s important to take Semaglutide under the supervision of a medical weight loss doctor. Your doctor will monitor your labs, make dosage adjustments if needed, and provide guidance and support throughout the process.

It’s important to take Semaglutide under the supervision of a medical weight loss doctor.

How Does Semaglutide Fit Into Your Medical Weight Loss Program?

We are now prescribing Semaglutide to some patients in our 12-week weight loss program as an appetite suppression alternative to Phentermine or Cellpress. As always, our healthcare practitioners work with patients to review available medications and prescribe the best medication(s) to fit each patient’s needs, preferences, and individual health profile.

How is Semaglutide Similar to Phentermine?

  • Semaglutide is similar to the popular prescription weight loss drug Phentermine in that both are effective appetite suppressants.

How is Semaglutide Different from Phentermine?

  • Unlike Phentermine, Semaglutide does not have a stimulant effect.
  • Some patients enjoy the convenience of a small injection once a week instead of taking pills daily.
  • Semaglutide is more expensive than Phentermine. Phentermine is included in the base cost of our 12-week weight loss program, while Semaglutide is available for an additional cost.

Weight loss medications are not a substitute for proper nutrition, daily exercise, healthy lifestyle choices, and a positive mindset. These are the things that lead to healthy, sustainable weight loss for life. Medication has its place though, and Semaglutide offers a new option that may work best for some patients on their weight loss journeys.

Weight loss medications are not a substitute for proper nutrition, daily exercise, healthy lifestyle choices, and a positive mindset.

If you’re in the Tampa Bay area, I invite you to schedule a consultation at my weight loss clinic in St. Pete or Palm Harbor today.

 

Sources:

  1. FDA Approves New Drug Treatment for Chronic Weight Management, First Since 2014