Semaglutide for Weight Loss: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Semaglutide is a medication that is used to treat type 2 diabetes and obesity. It belongs to a class of drugs called GLP-1 receptor agonists, which mimic the effects of a hormone called glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) in the body.
GLP-1 is a hormone that is naturally produced by the body in response to food intake. It helps regulate blood sugar levels by stimulating the pancreas to produce insulin, a hormone that helps transport glucose (sugar) from the blood into cells where it can be used for energy. GLP-1 also helps reduce appetite by slowing down the emptying of the stomach and increasing feelings of fullness.
When semaglutide is injected, it mimics the effects of GLP-1 in the body, which can help regulate blood sugar levels and reduce appetite. This can make it easier for people with type 2 diabetes to manage their blood sugar levels, and it can also help people who are overweight or obese to lose weight.
- How does semaglutide work for weight loss? Semaglutide is a GLP-1 receptor agonist that works by mimicking the effects of the naturally occurring hormone GLP-1. GLP-1 helps regulate blood sugar levels and appetite by stimulating insulin secretion and slowing gastric emptying. Semaglutide has been shown to reduce appetite and promote weight loss in clinical trials (1, 2).
- What are the side effects of semaglutide for weight loss? The most common side effects of semaglutide for weight loss are gastrointestinal and include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and constipation. However, these side effects are generally mild and transient, and most people are able to continue taking the medication (2).
- How much weight can you lose with semaglutide? In clinical trials, patients who took semaglutide for weight loss lost an average of 15% of their body weight over the course of a year. However, individual results may vary (2).
- How long does it take to see results with semaglutide? Most people start to see results within a few weeks of taking semaglutide, but it can take up to 16 weeks to see the full effect of the medication (2).
- Who is a good candidate for semaglutide for weight loss? Semaglutide is typically prescribed for people who are overweight or obese and have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher, or a BMI of 27 or higher with a weight-related health condition such as diabetes or high blood pressure (2).
- How much does semaglutide cost for weight loss? The cost of semaglutide for weight loss varies depending on the dosage and the length of treatment. It can range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars per month, and insurance coverage may also vary (3).
- What is the recommended dosage for semaglutide for weight loss? The recommended starting dosage of semaglutide for weight loss is 0.25 mg per week, which is gradually increased to 1 mg per week over four weeks (2).
- How long do you need to take semaglutide for weight loss? Semaglutide is typically taken for at least 16 weeks to see its full effect, but some people may need to take it for a longer period of time (2).
- Is semaglutide safe for weight loss? Semaglutide is generally considered safe for weight loss, but it may cause side effects in some people. It’s important to talk to your doctor about any potential risks and benefits of taking this medication. In clinical trials, the safety profile of semaglutide for weight loss was similar to that of other GLP-1 receptor agonists (1, 2).
- Can you take semaglutide with other weight loss medications or supplements? It’s generally not recommended to take semaglutide with other weight loss medications or supplements without consulting with a healthcare professional first, as it may increase the risk of side effects or interactions (2).
Is Semaglutide Right for Me?
Semaglutide is not right for everyone. It’s always best to start your weight loss journey with a proper understanding of what’s going on in your body and how you can best use food as medicine to reset your metabolism. To determine what strategy is best to help you meet your weight loss goals, schedule your free consultation today!
- Astrup A, et al. Semaglutide and weight loss in overweight or obese adults. N Engl J Med. 2021 Feb 10;384(6):989-1002.
- Semaglutide (Ozempic) prescribing information. Novo Nordisk. Accessed February 21, 2023. https://www.novo-pi.com/semaglutide.pdf
- Semaglutide (Rybelsus)