Semaglutide | What Does It Do?

What is Semaglutide, how does it work, what is it used for, & are there any side effects? Our doctors can help you understand.

Semaglutide | What Does It Do?

Everything you need to know about Semaglutide

Many people take Semaglutide to lose weight, but that is only the most recent FDA-approved use-case for this medication. So, what is Semaglutide, what does it do, how does it work, and why do physicians prescribe it? 

Basic information about Semaglutide

Semaglutide was developed as a medication to treat type-2 diabetes. Here are some basic facts about this medication:

  • Developed by Novo Nordisk in 2012
  • Clinical trials started on 2015
  • These clinical trial concluded in 2016
  • In October of 2017 the FDA voted to approve the medication for blood sugar control
  • It is known as Ozempic and Rybelsus
  • Ozempic is the injectable version of this drug given once weekly
  • Rybelsus is the oral version of the medication given once daily  before breakfast 

Semaglutide vs Liraglutide

Semaglutide is a longer acting alternative to Liraglutide, although it has a similar mechanism. Both act to increase insulin secretion to lower glucose levels in the patient’s bloodstream. Other similarities between these two medications are that they are both injectable and both can be used for weight management or weight loss.

Unlike Liraglutide, Semaglutide does have an oral version for those who would prefer not to get an injection. 

Semaglutide Weight Loss

Semaglutide can also be a suitable replacement for Liraglutide when it comes to weight control. The FDA approved the use of this medication for weight loss or weight management in adults, in 2021.

Patients can get higher dose prescription Semaglutide injections for weight management, which are sold under the commercial name “Wegovy.” These injections are part of long-term weight management treatments.

How does Semaglutide work?

It is important to point out that Semaglutide should be used as a part of a comprehensive program to reduce blood glucose levels or manage weight. Its use should be complemented with a proper, balanced diet and exercise for people who suffer from type-2 diabetes or those who are overweight.   

Patients should also be aware that this medication, which is like glucagon-like-peptide-1 or GLP-1, induces the production of insulin when blood sugar is high.

Semaglutide side effects

There are some side effects that may show up shortly after taking this medicine. These include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting 
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Abdominal pain

More severe side effects, which are less common, include:

  • Retinopathy (eye-retina damage) in people who have retinopathy and/or a rapid decrease in Hemoglobin a1c
  • Allergic reactions
  • Pancreatitis
  • Kidney damage (usually from prolonged vomiting and dehydration)

Patients who have other endocrine issues (a rare genetic disorder called Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia type 2 [Men2]) and/or a family history of Medullary thyroid cancer, should not take Semaglutide or any glp-1 agonist. In any case, you should always inform your physician about your medical history, and make sure they consider it before you get a Semaglutide prescription. Your doctor should also help you put together a suitable exercise plan, as well as a healthy diet to go together with your prescription.

Alternatives to Semaglutide

Depending on the patient’s medical history and pre-conditions, physicians might decide not to prescribe Semaglutide. There are some alternatives to this medication that your doctor could consider, such as Liraglutide. Another alternative could be Dulaglutide, more commonly known by its brand name, Trulicity.

Dulaglutide, Liraglutide and Semaglutide all provide certain cardiovascular benefits in people with coronary artery disease or vascular disease. It is always important to consult with your doctor and make sure that you are aware of all the possible side effects of your prescription medication, as well as the alternatives.

Semaglutide near me

Your clinician here at Antidote Health can help you understand if this medication is right for you. Our team of healthcare professionals can also help you develop an appropriate diet and exercise regime to give you the kind of treatment you need to get your type-2 diabetes under control or help you with weight loss or weight management.

We can also give you a prescription so you can fill it at a pharmacy near you. Our telehealth platform will help you fill your prescription for Semaglutide near you.

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