Semaglutide is a medication that was initially developed to treat type 2 diabetes. However, it has also shown promise as a treatment for obesity and weight management. In fact, a higher-dose formulation of semaglutide (2.4 mg once weekly) has been approved for chronic weight management in adults with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 kg/m² or greater, or in those with a BMI of 27 kg/m² or greater who have at least one weight-related comorbidity (such as hypertension, type 2 diabetes, or high cholesterol).
What is semaglutide for weight loss?
1. Mechanism of Action: Semaglutide belongs to a class of medications called GLP-1 receptor agonists. It works by mimicking the effects of a hormone called glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), which helps regulate blood sugar levels, appetite, and food intake.
2. Clinical Trials: Clinical trials have shown that people who take semaglutide in conjunction with a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity experience significant weight loss compared to those on a placebo. On average, participants in these trials lost a substantial amount of weight.
3. Dosage: The approved dosage for weight loss is 2.4 mg once weekly. It is administered via subcutaneous injection (under the skin).
4. Side Effects: Common side effects of semaglutide for weight loss may include nausea, diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain, and headache. These side effects tend to decrease over time.
5. Benefits: In addition to weight loss, semaglutide may also lead to improvements in blood sugar levels, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels.
6. Not Suitable for Everyone: Semaglutide may not be suitable for everyone. It is important to consult a healthcare provider to discuss any pre-existing medical conditions, ongoing medications, and other factors that might affect its suitability for an individual.
7. Lifestyle Changes: Semaglutide is typically prescribed in combination with lifestyle modifications, including a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity.
8. Long-Term Use: The safety and efficacy of semaglutide for weight loss over extended periods of time are still being studied.
9. Cost and Accessibility: The cost of semaglutide and its availability may vary by region and healthcare system.