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What is semaglutide

Semaglutide is an injectable glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) agonist that’s administered once weekly. It was originally approved in 2017 to help control blood sugar in Type 2 diabetes. People taking Semaglutide for blood sugar control also tend to lose weight as an additional benefit.

Because of this, the medication was studied in people without Type 2 diabetes, but at a higher dose. It can be used by adults with a body mass index (BMI) greater than or equal to 30 mg/kg² alone or 27 mg/kg² with at least one weight-related condition (e.g., high blood pressure, high cholesterol, Type 2 diabetes).

Semaglutide should be used in combination with lifestyle changes, including a healthy diet and exercise.

How Does Semaglutide Work for Weight Loss

GLP-1 is an incretin hormone that plays a role in your appetite and digestion. Incretins — hormones released by your digestive tract — are sent out by your body after you’ve eaten a meal. They help lower your blood sugar by triggering insulin release and blocking sugar production. They also slow down how quickly food leaves your stomach (called gastric emptying).

The result of these actions causes you to feel full — lowering your appetite and causing you to lose weight. Medications like GLP-1 agonists are referred to as incretin mimetics since they “mimic” these effects.

You’ll give yourself the injection once a week, on the same day each week. It can be given at any time of day, and you can take it with or without food.

Semaglutide is typically injected just under the skin (subcutaneously) in your abdomen, upper arm, or thigh. Avoid injecting the medication into the same spot every time — change your injection site with each dose. But injecting in the same body area (e.g., thigh) is OK as long as you’re rotating sites within the area each time.

Since semaglutide slows down how quickly food leaves your stomach, you may experience side effects like nausea and vomiting. Once you get started on the medication, your healthcare provider will slowly increase your dosage every 4 weeks. This can help make these effects more manageable.

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Weekly Injection

How to Inject Semaglutide

To use semaglutide, patients give themselves a weekly shot in the abdomen, upper arm, or thigh.

If you don’t like needles and this sounds a little scary to you, know you’re not alone! 

Many patients get nervous about that first shot, but find it to be an easier experience than they expected.

In this video, our pharmacist Cliff Holt breaks down the process of preparing and taking a shot of semaglutide.

You may be surprised by how simple and stress free it can be!


Frequently Asked Questions About Semaglutide In Southern Utah

Can semaglutide cause weight loss?

Yes, semaglutide has been approved for weight loss in clinical trials. In addition to its blood sugar-lowering effects, semaglutide can promote weight loss by reducing appetite and increasing feelings of fullness. However, individual responses to the medication may vary, and weight loss results are not guaranteed for everyone.

Are there any dietary or lifestyle considerations while taking semaglutide?

While taking semaglutide, it is generally recommended to follow a healthy diet and engage in regular physical activity as part of an overall diabetes management plan. This may include consuming a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins, and limiting the intake of sugary and processed foods. It is important to consult with a healthcare provider or a registered dietitian for personalized dietary and lifestyle recommendations.

How is semaglutide administered?

Semaglutide is available in injectable form. It is typically administered once a week. The medication is injected under the skin (subcutaneously) in the abdomen, thigh, or upper arm using a small insulin syringe provided by a pharmacy.

How effective is semaglutide in lowering blood sugar levels?

Semaglutide has been shown to effectively lower blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. Clinical studies have demonstrated that semaglutide, when used as an adjunct to diet and exercise, can significantly reduce HbA1c (a measure of long-term blood sugar control) and fasting plasma glucose levels. It has also shown benefits in weight loss and cardiovascular risk reduction.

How long does it take for semaglutide to start working?

Semaglutide begins to work shortly after administration, but the full effect on blood sugar control may take several weeks to be seen. The medication’s effectiveness may vary between individuals, and it is important to follow the prescribed treatment plan by your medical provider.

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