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What is semaglutide?

Semaglutide is an injectable prescription medication used to improve blood sugar levels in adults with type 2 diabetes. As a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist, semaglutide works by stimulating the release of insulin when blood sugar levels are high. In several large clinical trials, semaglutide has been shown to lower A1c (average blood sugar over 3 months) significantly more than other diabetes medications.

How does semaglutide help with weight loss?

In addition to lowering blood sugar, semaglutide has also demonstrated considerable weight loss benefits for many patients. In essence, it curbs appetite by slowing digestion and increasing feelings of fullness. According to two major clinical trials, people taking semaglutide lost on average 12-15% of their body weight over 68 weeks - significantly more than those who took placebo. This makes semaglutide an exciting option for weight management, especially for those struggling with obesity-related health issues.

What are the common side effects of semaglutide?

Like other GLP-1 drugs, the most common side effects of semaglutide are gastrointestinal in nature. These include temporary nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain, bloating, or indigestion. These tend to be mild-to-moderate and often improve with time. Other possible side effects include decreased appetite, headaches, fatigue, dizziness, and increased heart rate. It’s important to discuss any persistent or concerning side effects with your doctor.

How often do I need to take semaglutide injections?

Semaglutide is taken once weekly, on the same day each week, via subcutaneous injection just under the skin. Typically, your doctor will have you start with a low dose of 0.25 or 0.5 mg per week, gradually increasing the dosage up to a maximum of 1 or 2 mg per week based on your individualized treatment plan. The semaglutide pen makes injections simple to self-administer at home. Most find the weekly injections easy to fit into their routine.

Who should not take semaglutide?

Semaglutide should not be used by anyone with a personal or family history of medullary thyroid carcinoma or in patients with Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia syndrome type 2. It is also not approved for use in patients with severe gastrointestinal disease. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, planning pregnancy, or breastfeeding before starting this medication. Discuss your full medical history to determine if semaglutide is appropriate for you.

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