Using Semaglutide for Medical Weight Loss

What is Semaglutide?

Semaglutide is a newer medication that is generating buzz in the weight loss world. Originally approved for managing type 2 diabetes, semaglutide is now also FDA-approved for chronic weight management. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore how semaglutide works for weight loss, its pros and cons, proper usage, and what to expect.

How Does Semaglutide Work?

Semaglutide is a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist. It mimics the effects of the natural hormone GLP-1, which regulates blood sugar levels and appetite. By activating GLP-1 receptors, semaglutide:

  • Increases insulin production
  • Slows digestion
  • Reduces food cravings and appetite

Currently, semaglutide is prescribed under the brand names Ozempic and Rybelsus. Ozempic is an injectable formulation taken once weekly, while Rybelsus is an oral version taken daily.

How Semaglutide Promotes Weight Loss

There are a few ways semaglutide leads to weight loss:

Appetite Suppression By controlling hunger and reducing cravings, semaglutide makes it easier stick to a reduced calorie diet. People tend to eat less because they feel fuller sooner.

Slowed Digestion Semaglutide slows down the emptying of the stomach and digestion. This enhances feelings of fullness and delays the return of hunger.

Better Blood Sugar Control Semaglutide lowers blood glucose levels. This helps reduce fat storage that contributes to weight gain.

Increased Fat Burning Some research indicates semaglutide may slightly boost fat burning and energy expenditure. But more studies are needed.

Clinical Trial Results

Multiple clinical trials have demonstrated the efficacy of semaglutide for weight loss.

  • Average weight loss of 14-17% in semaglutide groups
  • 2-3 times more weight loss compared to placebo
  • Improved cardiometabolic risk factors
  • Weight loss plateaus around 6-12 months

While results are impressive, it’s important to have realistic expectations. Semaglutide promotes steady, gradual weight loss of about 1-2 pounds per week on average.

Pros of Semaglutide for Weight Loss

  • Highly effective for weight loss in obese populations
  • Can help those struggling to lose weight through diet/exercise alone
  • Improves markers of cardiovascular health
  • Generally well-tolerated with mild side effects
  • Weekly injections are convenient and easy to administer
  • Can be used long-term for weight loss maintenance

Cons of Semaglutide for Weight Loss

  • May cause temporary GI side effects like nausea or diarrhea
  • Small risk of gallbladder problems requiring imaging/monitoring
  • Requires commitment to weekly injections long-term
  • Not a quick fix – requires diet and exercise for best results
  • Unknown long-term risks with prolonged use
  • Expensive out-of-pocket cost if insurance doesn’t cover

The Takeaway

When combined with diet, exercise, and medical monitoring, semaglutide can be a game-changing medication for chronic weight management. However, it requires commitment to weekly injections, close provider supervision, and understanding it is not a quick fix. Talk to your doctor to see if semaglutide for weight loss may be right for your health goals.

Southwest Family Medical

Southwest Family Medical Doctors and Staff


(480) 404-1776


2919 S Ellsworth Rd #103-B
Mesa, AZ 85212

Let Us Know You're Interested in Our Semaglutide Program

Schedule An Appointment