What is Semaglutide?


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved in June 2021 the use of semaglutide for weight loss.

Semaglutide belongs to a class of drugs called glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) analogs and designed to mimic the natural hormone of GLP-1.  When injected, the body reacts to it as if it naturally produced the GLP-1

GLP-1 is a natural hormone produced by the gastrointestinal system to help with insulin production by stimulating the pancreas, but it can also help signal to the brain a feeling of fullness.

Before it was approved for use for long-term weight management, it was the active ingredient in medications used to treat Type 2 Diabetes. In 2017, Ozempic, an injectable medication with the main ingredient of semaglutide, was approved by the FDA for treatment of Type 2 Diabetes and was followed in 2019 by the approval of Rybelus, an oral pill with the main ingredient of semaglutide for Type 2 Diabetes.

People began to notice that while Ozempic and Rybelus increased insulin production by stimulating the pancreas, which helped to lower blood sugar levels, it had another unexpected side effect – weight loss.

After numerous clinical studies, the manufacturers of Ozempic and Rybelus, Novo Nordisk, created a new drug known as Wegovy which uses semaglutide for weight loss and in 2021, this revolutionary weight loss medication gained FDA approval and has since helped thousands of people lose weight.

Clinical studies showed that many people were able to lose 15% to 20% of their starting weight with the use of semaglutide.

How Does Semaglutide Work for Weight Loss?

Semaglutide slows the emptying of the stomach by binding to the receptors that are located in the lining of the stomach which then sends a signal of fullness to the brain. This helps reduce your food intake and decreases your appetite, two things necessary for weight loss, because you feel full and are less likely to want to eat.

Semaglutide also stimulates the pancreas thereby increasing insulin production, which encourages the body to break down foods and fats more efficiently.  This along with the feeling of fullness that comes from the slower emptying of the stomach, one can appreciate dramatic weight loss results with the use of semaglutide.

Side Effects from Using Semaglutide for Weight Loss?

Some of the most common side effects experienced by those who use semaglutide for weight loss include:

  • Nausea
  • Heartburn
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Stomach pain
  • Gas
  • Diarrhea

Even though there are some side effects with the use of semaglutide, it is still extremely safe to use for weight loss. In fact, it has fewer side effects than other weight loss medications available on the market.

While side effects from semaglutide are rare, they can still happen. Your comfort is important to us, which is why with WellingtonMD’s semaglutide program, our practitioner can prescribe oral Zofran (ondansetron) which can help with nausea.

Our weekly monitoring also helps control side effects. We start you out at a low dosage and slowly increase it over time. If you experience side effects, your practitioner at WellingtonMD can adjust the dosing as needed.

Am I a Candidate for Semaglutide for Weight Loss?

Semaglutide for weight loss is intended for use by individuals who are diagnosed as obese or overweight.

A diagnosis of obesity is usually made with a BMI of greater than 30 while an overweight diagnosis is made with a BMI of greater than 25.

In addition to a diagnosis of obesity or overweight, there also must be at least one weight-related medication condition present. Weight-related medical conditions include high blood pressure, high cholesterol or Type 2 Diabetes.

While semaglutide is safe to use, it is not intended for use if you have any of the following:

  • Personal or Family history of Medullary Thyroid Carcinoma (MTC) which is a rare form of thyroid cancer
  • Personal or Family history of Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia Syndrome Type 2
  • Personal history of Pancreatitis
  • Known allergy to semaglutide
  • Currently breastfeeding or have a plan to breastfeed
  • Currently pregnant

The best way to determine if you are a good candidate for the use of semaglutide for weight loss is to schedule a consultation at WellingtonMD.

With WellingtonMD’s semaglutide program, you will be closely monitored by our practitioner who can help you determine what dosage is right for you. Since you are being closely monitored on a weekly basis, our practitioner can make adjustments to your semaglutide dose on an as-needed basis. This helps you see optimum results as your program is tailored to meet your unique individual needs.

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