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What is Semaglutide?
Semaglutide belongs to a class of medications known as glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists, or GLP-1 RAs. It mimics the GLP-1 hormone, released in the gut in response to eating.
One role of GLP-1 is to prompt the body to produce more insulin, which reduces blood sugar (glucose). For that reason, health care providers have used Semaglutide for more than 15 years to treat Type 2 diabetes.
But GLP-1 in higher amounts also interacts with the parts of the brain that suppress your appetite and signal you to feel full. When used in conjunction with diet and exercise, it can cause significant weight loss — and a reduced risk of cancer, diabetes and heart disease — in people who are obese or overweight.
Semaglutide and the Body
- Brain – Reduce cravings, appetite control, and general hunger
- Liver – Glucose production reducer
- Pancreas – Increases insulin production
- Stomach – Promotes feeling full by slowing stomach emptying
Semaglutide works by mimicking certain peptides in the brain that regulate your food intake tolerance and appetite.
How effective is semaglutide for weight loss in non-diabetics?
There have been several anti-obesity medications that help suppress appetite and achieve weight loss. But semaglutide performs on a new level.
An early study of 2,000 obese adults compared people using semaglutide plus a diet and exercise program with people who made the same lifestyle changes without semaglutide. After 68 weeks, half of the participants using semaglutide lost 15% of their body weight, and nearly a third lost 20%. Participants who incorporated only lifestyle changes lost about 2.4% of their weight.
Since then, additional studies have shown similar results. But they’ve also revealed that participants tend to regain the weight lost when they stop taking semaglutide.
What are the side effects of semaglutide injections?
The side effects of semaglutide are typically mild — especially when compared to the complications associated with overweight and obesity.
People taking semaglutide for weight loss may experience:
- Gastrointestinal issues – such as diarrhea, constipation and gassiness
- Stomach issues – including nausea, vomiting, pain or distension (bloat)
Gastrointestinal issues are the most common complaint among people just starting semaglutide. But you may be able to reduce the side effects by beginning on a lower dose and then slowly increasing the amount you take.
Weight Loss with Semaglutide
Obesity is a chronic health issue that requires long-term management and is associated with severe health complications, including heart disease, diabetes, sleep apnea, asthma, hormonal concerns for women such as PCOS, arthritis, and certain types of cancer. Losing five to ten percent of body weight can bring impactful health benefits, such as:
- Reduced risk of cardiovascular disease
- Improved energy
- Improved blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels
On June 4, 2021, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Semaglutide for adults who suffer from obesity or are overweight. This is the first drug for chronic weight management that has been approved since 2014.
In combination with a reduced calorie meal plan and increased physical activity, Semaglutide can be extremely effective in helping patients lose weight.
What is this medication?
SEMAGLUTIDE (SEM-a-GLOO-tide) promotes weight loss. It may also be used to maintain weight loss. It works by decreasing appetite. Changes to diet and exercise are often combined with this medication.
This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.
Patients who cannot take Semaglutide
- History of pancreatitis
- History of gallbladder disease
- History of thyroid cancer
- History of multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN2)
- Pregnancy or trying to get pregnant
- Allergy to Semaglutide or Pyridoxine
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