Many people are looking for a weight loss solution and end up disappointed in the options they find. This is because there is a lot of false information out there, and some products don’t work as advertised. It is hard to know what works and what doesn’t. 

So where does semaglutide fall in this regard? This guide will explore the details surrounding semaglutide. It will cover what this medication is, how it works, and what else you need to know about it. 


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What Is Semaglutide?

Semaglutide started out as a medication for people with Type 2 diabetes. At the time, it was known as Ozempic

Once this mediation became popular, people started to notice that, on top of helping with Type 2 diabetes, it had an additional effect. Specifically, it caused people to lose weight. 

With this in mind, the medication was retooled and reformatted for people without Type 2 diabetes. This resulted in the creation of semaglutide, which was then approved by the FDA for weight loss.

However, semaglutide doesn’t cause weight loss on its own. It leads to a decrease in appetite which makes it easier to lose weight. This is the driving factor behind the weight loss effect created by semaglutide. 


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How Does Semaglutide Work?

Semaglutide helps you lose weight by taking advantage of natural processes within your body. Your body has a process for determining when you should feel hungry and when you should feel full. When it determines that these conditions are met, it sends signals to your brain that actually make you hungry or that make you feel full. 

A lot of this is due to hormones called incretins. These are hormones your body usually releases after you are done eating a meal. They are responsible for sending the signals that indicate you should feel full. This happens by lowering your blood sugar and slowing down the speed food leaves your stomach. 

While your body naturally creates these hormones, they can also be created artificially. Medications can replicate the effect of incretins by jump-starting the same processes in your body. This makes them similar to other helpful supplements, like NAD

This is where semaglutide comes in. Semaglutide is a GLP-1 agonist, a medication that replicates the effects of incretin. It essentially tricks your body into storing food for longer periods of time and tricks your brain into not feeling hungry

This is how semaglutide causes weight loss. By making you feel less hungry, it encourages you to eat less. By eating less, you end up losing weight. 


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How to Use Semaglutide 

Person holding a syringe and vial

Semaglutide is injectable. It comes in the form of a single-use pen that you use to inject the medicine directly. 

It is administered in a regular and routine fashion. You take it once a week, with injections taking place exactly a week apart. However, unlike some other medications, there aren’t many other conditions regulating when you have to take semaglutide. You can take it at any point in the day, whether morning or evening, and you don’t have to take it with food, but you can if you want.

This makes semaglutide incredibly easy to use. You don’t have to worry about measuring dosages or eating before taking it. All you have to do is remember to take it on the same day each week. 

The injection itself is subcutaneous. It can be injected under the skin on your arm, thigh, or abdomen. 

However, the injection site should change from week to week. You don’t want to inject it into the exact same place each time. In addition, if you are using weight loss IV treatments, you should avoid injecting around the same area. You can still inject the same general area but should aim for a different spot in that area. For example, you can inject your abdomen each week but should pick a different spot on your abdomen each time. 

When you start with semaglutide, you will be put on a schedule that will vary in dosage according to what your healthcare provider has decided. You will likely start with a low dosage. You may continue to take this lower dosage for a few weeks before being moved up to a higher dosage. This will, again, happen for a few weeks before you are moved up again. You will move up in this fashion until you ultimately reach a dosage of 2.4 mg. 

This is done to prevent a sudden influx of semaglutide from disrupting your system. Your body needs to get used to this medication at lower amounts first to handle larger amounts. Otherwise, the side effects will be worse. 


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What Are the Side Effects of Semaglutide?

Like most medications, semaglutide is not without side effects. These include a few that are common and a few that are more rare. 

The common side effects come as a result of what semaglutide does to your body. This is changing the way your digestive system works by actively slowing it down. Your body won’t be used to this at first, and it may cause you to experience nausea, vomiting, or even diarrhea. This may continue to happen as the dosages are increased, and your body adjusts to the change. People already struggling with stomach issues, like acid reflux, should be aware of this before trying semaglutide. 

Other common side effects generally come from the same issue. These include bloating, burping, constipation, dizziness, fatigue, headache, indigestion, and stomach pain. 

However, it is possible to experience more serious side effects with semaglutide. These include a risk of thyroid C-cell tumors, which hasn’t been confirmed in humans but has been in animal studies. In addition, allergic reactions, certain eye problems, cholelithiasis, fast heart rate, kidney damage, low blood sugar, pancreatitis, and suicidal thoughts and behaviors are possible. 

Woman slicing a pear in the kitchen

What You Should Know about Semaglutide

Semaglutide is a potentially helpful medication for those struggling with weight loss. However, knowing how to take it and the potential risks involved is essential. Now that you understand these, you can determine if semaglutide is right for you. 


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