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Semaglutide, Legit?

Updated: Nov 30, 2023

In short, yes.

I remember when this class of medication (glucagon like peptide - 1 agonists) came out on the market for diabetes. It worked so incredibly well I lamented the fact that very few people could access it or afford it. Once more insurance companies picked them up, I watched my diabetics improve almost immediately. They also started to lose weight. This all seemed too good to be true, a phrase that inspires great amounts of skepticism in someone as cynical as me.

Then I saw the data. Without fail, every medication in this class promoted weight loss. As my patients reported side effects it became very apparent why semaglutide and its like are so effective.

The greatest reported side effect of GLP-1 medication like semaglutide is nausea. GLP-1s make the stomach empty slower. A slower emptying stomach means you get fuller faster and stay that way longer. Eating is not just an impulse, however, it has become a habit. We eat for many reasons, oftentimes absent true hunger signals. I eat because it's supposed to be time for my 3rd large meal of the day. I eat because I'm bored or I always eat when I watch my favorite show (until recently, that was The Witcher by the way). Eating while I'm already beyond full and stomach isn't making more room anytime soon will always make me sick. My diabetic patients coming to me, sometimes in a panic, to report rapid weight loss. When I told them it was a feature of the medication and not something to be alarmed by, it clicked, and they happily continued to move toward a weight that improved their blood pressures, back pains, and even their overall diabetes.

Semaglutide's brand name Ozempic was later released as Wegovy, which is the label and dosing for weight loss in people without diabetes. The cost is pretty insane and has not got any better (about $1300/month cash price, rarely covered by insurance). Pharmacies will now compound a pharmaceutical grade version due to shortages of branded Wegovy. Theoretically because it's not branded as Ozempic or Wegovy, it's not studied and deemed experimental/necessity based on shortage. Chemically speaking, however, it is almost exactly the same, except sometimes injected with B12 or saline by the compound pharmacy. Similar efficacy, side effects, and benefits are seen with compounded semaglutide, though this evidence is primarily anecdotal or extrapolated based on the compound still being essentially the same. We use only reputable long-standing pharmacies for compounding while still available. We can also try sending the brand name Wegovy to your pharmacy so you can see if insurance will cover it under the right indications.

Talk to our medical team to find out if semaglutide may be right for you. Start your free trial today!

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