Weight loss medications, sometimes also called weight loss drugs or anti-obesity medications, are prescription drugs that reduce your appetite and food cravings. Over the last few years, the FDA has approved several anti-obesity medications that help control appetite and food cravings.
At Rebirth Health Center, we are currently considering offering semiglutide treatments for weight loss. Call us at (801) 272-3909 for information. Because weight loss drugs make you less hungry, they also reduce how many calories your body takes in each day. Over time, eating fewer calories will cause you to lose weight.
FDA-approved weight loss medications include the following:
- Lorcaserin (Belviq)
- Phentermine/topiramate ER (Qsymia)
- Naltrexone/buproprion HCL (Contrave)
- Liraglutide (Saxenda)
- Semiglutide (Wegovy)
Topiramate/Topamax is a pill that helps manage binge eating and encourages weight loss. Topiramate is an anticonvulsant drug, which means it belongs to a class of drugs that help treat seizures. Some people also use it to prevent migraines. Typically, a low dose is prescribed.
Contrave (also called naltrexone HCL or bupropion HCL) is made up of two medications: naltrexone HCL and bupropion HCL. Naltrexone HCL is used to treat opiate addiction, and bupropion HCL is used to treat depression. Together, they help lower your appetite and control some food cravings.
Newer diabetes medications can also help people with diabetes lose weight. These medications work by controlling blood sugar (glucose) levels inside the body, which, in turn, helps people feel less hungry and more full.
These medications are called GLP1-agonists.
- Liraglutide (Victoza, Saxenda)
- Dulaglutide (Trulicity)
- Semaglutide (Ozempic, Wegovy, compounded semaglutide)
- Tirzepatide (Mounjaro)
How does Semaglutide work?
It works by mimicking a hormone in the body that signals the body to stop eating by initiating more insulin production (glucagon-like peptide 1 GLP-1). Semaglutide is injected under the skin and can help reduce hunger and make you feel full. They must be prescribed under the supervision of a physician as part of a medical weight management program that also includes a diet and exercise plan for optimal results.
Semaglutide (Wegovy) is FDA-approved for patients over 18 with a BMI of 27+ with high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or type 2 diabetes, or a BMI over 30.
- MTC (Medullary thyroid carcinoma) or MEN2 (MEN syndrome type 2) or a severe allergic reaction to Semaglutide
- Gall bladder problems (including gallstones)
- Low blood sugar
- Acute kidney injury
- Diabetic retinopathy
- Increased heart rate
- Suicidal behavior or thinking
- Patients who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant
- Patients who are breastfeeding or planning to breastfeed
Semaglutide can stay in a patient’s system for up to 5 to 7 weeks after their last injection. The most frequently reported adverse events were nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, headache, constipation, and abdominal pain. Other side effects can include dyspepsia, dizziness, abdominal distension, eructation, hypoglycemia, flatulence, gastroenteritis, and gastroesophageal reflux.
Most patients should expect to take semaglutide for about a year. Studies have found that two-thirds of patients gained the weight back over time without proper support to continue a better diet and a more active lifestyle. The long-term risks and benefits are currently unknown.
There are positive health benefits to losing weight. Losing just 5-10 percent of your body weight will lower your blood pressure, lipid levels, and blood sugar. Losing just three to five percent of your body weight will lower your chances of getting heart disease. High blood pressure is twice as common for obese adults than adults who aren’t obese. For every two pounds you gain, your chances of developing arthritis go up by nine to 13 percent. For every two pounds you gain, this puts another four pounds of pressure on your knees. Being overweight increases your chances of having knee pain. Older people who are obese have lower muscle mass. This means they’re more likely to fall and fracture bones. People who are overweight have higher odds of dying or having serious complications during surgery.
Most people taking weight loss medications lose an average of one to two pounds per week.
For semiglutide weight loss treatments initially you will come in for a consultation to be approved as a candidate to receive semaglutide injections. The injections are administered subcutaneously to the back of your arm or in your belly once a week with a small needle. If you are not able to come in weekly, we will educate you on how to self-administer the injections at home. Every week you will be reassessed to adjust your dosing. Once you have achieved your goal weight (typically in about a year), we will slowly titrate your dosing down. Semaglutide injections are often given in combination with Vitamin B12, superMIC and nutraceuticals.Insurance typically does not cover semiglutide weightloss treatments.