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What is semaglutide peptide?

Semaglutide is a newly FDA-approved weight loss medication delivered as a once-weekly injectable
medication. Semaglutide belongs to a class of medications called GLP-1, that were initially used to treat
diabetes, but had a favorable response for weight loss.

 

How does it work?

Semaglutide acts on the hypothalamus, a part of the brain that controls cravings. Semaglutide alters the
food-reward system and prolongs our sense of fullness and patients have an easier time opting for
lower fat and healthier options. Semaglutide also acts on the intestines to slow motility. A double-blind
control trial of 1,961 adults with a BMI over 30 lost on average around 15% of their body weight during
the 68-week trial of using the once-weekly injections. Other benefits include reductions in
cardiovascular risk factors such as blood pressure, HbA1c levels, blood sugar, lipid levels, and hsCRP-
a marker of inflammation.

 

Is it safe?

While no medication is without risks and side effects, semaglutide is relatively safe for most people.
Semaglutide can be used in people with most heart, kidney, liver, and endocrine conditions. Before
obtaining a prescription, your provider needs to have a thorough conversation about your medical
history to be confident that you are safe to begin taking semaglutide.

 

Are there side effects?

Common side effects as the body is adjusting to the medicine include nausea, heartburn, abdominal
discomfort, and constipation or diarrhea. These side effects usually are self-limiting and lessen as the
body adjusts to the medicine. Serious side effects could occur in people who have hypoglycemia or
history of pancreatitis. If someone has a history of multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2 or
medullary thyroid cancer they should not use semaglutide.
How fast can you increase the dose?
If you were to start Semaglutide therapy you would receive one month’s worth of injections at a time
and increase no faster than one month at a time. In other words, you would receive one month (4
injections) of 0.125 mg, one month ( 4 injections) increasing to a possible maximum dose of 2.4mg
assuming your side effects are minimal. Each person will respond individually, and therefore, no two
patients have the same rate of increase. The individualized approach allows us to maximize the
benefits of the medication while keeping side effects to a minimum.

 

How long do I need to take semaglutide to see results?

Suppose you adopt the healthy lifestyle changes we recommend at your consultation. In that case, you
could see results as early as the first week. Healthy sustainable weight loss is 0.5 – 2.0 pounds a week.
We have patients who routinely surpass this rate of weight loss. While the medication certainly plays a
role, we cannot ignore other factors. These factors may include high BMI at the start of the therapy,
adherence to nutritional guidelines, presence or absence of exercise and the type of exercise used, and
more.

 

How much weight can I lose with semaglutide?

The average weight loss achieved in the STEP 1 study of semaglutide for weight loss was 14.9% of the
initial body weight over 68 weeks. Individual loss varies and depends on how seriously a person
commits other lifestyle changes that support healthy weight such as activity and clean eating.