Semaglutide (Ozempic), approved by the FDA in 2017 to help people with type 2 diabetes
manage their blood sugar, has become a go-to tool for weight loss.
Shedding those extra pounds can be challenging and often requires more than merely diet and exercise. Semaglutide, administered via an under-the-skin injection, supports individuals striving to achieve their target weight.
Semaglutide is part of a class of drugs called glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1 RAs). GLP-1 is a hormone naturally produced in the gut, which triggers the pancreas to release sufficient insulin for maintaining normal blood sugar levels. Semaglutide, with its active ingredient, functions similarly to this hormone by stimulating insulin production.
This medication is highly effective in regulating blood glucose levels among individuals with type 2 diabetes. However, GLP-1 serves multiple purposes, including weight management.
Besides increasing insulin levels, the GLP-1-mimicking hormone in semaglutide aids in weight management by controlling appetite and slowing digestion. This dual action facilitates weight loss.
The hormone in semaglutide signals the brain's appetite and thirst control center, diminishing the desire to eat. This reduced appetite makes adhering to a balanced diet easier, promoting weight loss.
Semaglutide signals the stomach to decelerate digestion, resulting in a prolonged feeling of fullness. This effect helps individuals feel satisfied with smaller portions and prevents overeating.
Semaglutide is FDA-approved for treating adults struggling with obesity or overweight individuals looking for long-term weight management. FDA guidelines state that individuals with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher qualify as obese, while those with a BMI between 25-30 fall into the overweight category (semaglutide is recommended for individuals with a BMI of 27 or higher).
Semaglutide should be combined with a well-balanced diet and regular physical activity to achieve optimal results.
This medication is administered via a weekly injection. The dosage begins at a low level and gradually increases over 16-20 weeks until reaching the target dose of 2.4 milligrams. This gradual dose escalation minimizes gastrointestinal side effects.
If you are struggling to achieve your weight goals and fall within the overweight or obese category, semaglutide may be a viable option for you.