It is a new year, and welcome to 2024! For many, weight loss and fitness goals are typical New Year’s resolutions. Here at VIVIFY Plastic Surgery and Med Spa, we offer semaglutide for appropriate candidates to aid in weight loss. There are many questions regarding this recently approved medication for weight loss. Some of those questions include the following:
- Will this work for me?
- Do I have to give myself an injection?
- Will I gain weight back if I stop using it?
- Am I a good candidate for this?
Here, we’ll take a closer look at this popular weight loss medication and answer these important questions.
What Is Semaglutide?
Semaglutide is an active ingredient in brand-name medications such as Wegovy and Ozempic. These medications are GLP-1 agonists. The medication activates the GLP-1 receptors on the pancreas, and by doing this, it causes an increase in insulin release and slower gastric emptying, which leads to a reduced appetite. By slowing gastric emptying, this is telling the brain that it is still satisfied and decreases appetite. These medications were first approved for type 2 diabetes mellitus around 2017.
Are There Any Side Effects?
Although it is generally a safe medication, in some patients, semaglutide can cause certain side effects. The most common side effects of these medications include:
- Other GI side effects
These side effects often are tolerated and easily managed in most patients.
Is Semaglutide the Right Choice for You?
People who are not good candidates for semaglutide medications are patients who are diabetic and receiving treatment for diabetes as well as patients who have been diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Patients who have a family history of thyroid cancer should use the medication with caution.
Additionally, patients are typically not candidates if they are within normal BMI limits or if considered “overweight.” Typically, patients are only candidates if they have other comorbidities such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and other cardiovascular issues. We require lab work before prescribing the medication, based on past and current medical history.
What to Expect With Semaglutide Treatment
Semaglutide is given via a subcutaneous injection weekly, and this is typically done at home after education is provided on how to perform the injection.
Patients often wonder if they will gain weight after stopping the medication, and this is very possible. We prescribe the medication as a tool to aid in weight loss. To have long-term weight loss success, this requires lifestyle changes in addition to taking semaglutide. The medication is used to help adjust to these new lifestyle changes by controlling the appetite while one is acclimating to dietary and exercise changes. If patients do not change their lifestyle habits, then they will most likely regain the lost weight after stopping the medication. Again, this is a tool to aid in weight loss but works best when combined with a healthy diet and exercise program.
What Is the Takeaway?
Weight loss can be a challenging and rewarding journey. At VIVIFY Plastic Surgery and Med Spa, we are here to help our patients make the best decisions for themselves to create a healthy and safe environment to reach their goals. If you have any questions or would like to schedule a consultation, don’t hesitate to contact our office today.