The weight loss drug, Semaglutide, is the generic and compounded form of Wegovy, Ozempic and Rybelsus. All of these are medications for adults with weight-related conditions like high blood pressure and type II diabetes. This medication is taken alongside healthy diet and exercise routine for best results. The dosage of Semaglutide is increased gradually over time until you reach a suitable maintained dose, and is injected weekly in the upper arm, thigh or abdomen in rotation by site.

What is the Science Behind Semaglutide?

Semaglutide belongs to a class of medications known as GLP-1 receptor agonist, it mimics the natural 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. For that reason, physicians use Semaglutide to treat Diabetes. 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 possibly reduce risk of cancer, diabetes and heart disease in people who are overweight.

Recommended Semaglutide Dosing

The dose begins low and is gradually increased starting after 4 weeks. Additional changes at 4-week intervals are dependent on the patient response to the medication. This may go until the “maintenance dose” of 2.4 mg/week is reached.

  • Month 1 0.25 mg/week
  • Month 2 0.50 mg/week
  • Month 3 1.00 mg/week
  • Month 4 1.70 mg/week
  • Month5 and beyond 2.40 mg/week (maintenance)

Benefits of Semaglutide

The weekly injection is easy to administer and monitor, with patient ease and compliance. By releasing more insulin and less glucagon in the body, your appetite is suppressed and you will not feel as hungry as often. You may feel fuller after smaller food portions and less urge to snack. A 2021 study in published in NEJM of obese adults that used once-weekly injections found weight loss by 10% or more. Semaglutide use in diabetic patients also may decrease future complications of nerve damage, eye problems, gum disease, enhanced mobility, less joint pain, higher self-esteem, better sleep, possible prevention of fatal cardiovascular disease and stroke. Improvement goals include: weight level, waist circumference, drop in BMI, blood pressure improvement, stable blood sugar levels, improved energy.

Contraindications of Semaglutide

  • Kidney Disease
  • Gallbladder/Pancreas Disease
  • Thyroid Cancer
  • Pregnancy

Side Effects of Semaglutide

Most common side effects include nausea, diarrhea, initial bloating, vomiting or constipation. Rare, will someone have an allergy to Semaglutide, and display hives, difficulty breathing, infection, vision changes, confusion or decrease in urine output and leg swelling. Any of these rare symptoms should prompt cessation of the Semaglutide injection, check of the blood sugar (finger monitor), and doctor visit.

Proper Use

Start of Semaglutide therapy should include checking blood sugar frequently and especially before/after meals and bedtime to lower the chance of having low blood sugar. If glucose levels checked are below 75, discontinue Semaglutide therapy.

Your injections will be once a week and on the same day of the week. A SYMMETRY provider may check in with you weekly for the first 4 weeks to manage dosing and side effects. After that, your provider will check in with you at month 2 and 3 and should include an in-office appointment for progress body measurements.

Dietary Consultation:

A healthy eating plan of protein, vegetables and fruits is recommended. It is also suggested to avoid processed carbohydrates. The preliminary post-study data on Semaglutide weight loss therapy suggests patients may lose facial and body lean muscle. Please discuss with a nutritionist, the dietary needs specific to your weight loss goal, while maintaining balance. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends that the average adult consume 0.8 grams of protein per Kg of body weight daily to maintain muscle. Those in pursuit of muscle building will require more, sometimes as high as 1.6 to 2 grams per Kg of body weight.

How to Obtain Best Results from Semaglutide:

  • Eat smaller portions more often
  • Avoid foods that are processed, with added sugars and fatty foods
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Keep alcohol to a minimum
  • Aim to lose three pounds MAX each week
  • Move! Exercise daily or aim to get 10,000 steps in, muscle strength is important! Rotate where you inject the Semaglutide each week