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Semaglutide for Weight Loss in Non Diabetics Dosage

Nov 21, 2023
Semaglutide for Weight Loss in Non Diabetics Dosage

Semaglutide was initially developed and FDA-approved to treat type 2 diabetes. Novo Nordisk produced Ozempic as a longer-acting alternative to liraglutide. In 2019, Rybelsus, an oral form of semaglutide to treat type 2 diabetes, was FDA-approved in the U.S.

Since weight loss was a noted side effect of Ozempic and Rybelsus, researchers began testing a high-dose form of semaglutide to treat obesity. In June 2021, Wegovy, a higher-dose injectable form of semaglutide, was FDA-approved to treat obesity. The semaglutide for weight loss in non diabetics dosage is typically higher than the one used to treat type 2 diabetes.

Semaglutide is a glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist (GLP-1 agonist) that mimics the action of naturally produced GLP-1. This hormone lowers blood sugar levels and suppresses appetite. Semaglutide is a very effective weight-loss medication. In clinical trials, participants taking semaglutide had an impressive weight loss of 15% of their body weight.

Obesity is a chronic disease that has reached epidemic levels, affecting 650 million adults worldwide (1). Obesity is linked to over 200 other diseases and medical conditions. Having obesity increases your risk for type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obstructive sleep apnea, and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. It decreases your life expectancy (2).

Weight loss of 10% to 15% of body weight can significantly reduce your risk of developing these other chronic diseases (1). When researchers saw a 15% weight loss with semaglutide, they recognized this as a medically significant discovery that was likely to save many lives. Additional clinical trials showed that semaglutide very effectively promoted weight loss among non-diabetics as well (2).

Ozempic was FDA-approved to treat type 2 diabetes in 2017. Wegovy was not FDA-approved until 2021. This gap and a production shortage of Wegovy have contributed to the off-label use of Ozempic to treat obesity and a subsequent shortage of the medication to treat type 2 diabetes.  

In 2022, Ozempic sales are forecasted to grow by 23% to $12.5 billion. The high demand for semaglutide and its lack of generic options has pushed prices higher than most can afford.

Semaglutide brand-name prices are:

These prices have led many people who need these medications to buy them in Canada instead.  

weight loss medications

What Does Semaglutide Do to Your Body?

Semaglutide is a GLP-1 receptor agonist. It acts in the same way as the GLP-1 hormone produced in your body. However, semaglutide is at a higher dose than you naturally make, and it sticks around longer.

Semaglutide binds to GLP-1 receptors to regulate your appetite and blood sugar. Semaglutide causes weight loss by slowing stomach emptying, suppressing your appetite, and stimulating insulin release.

Semaglutide treats type 2 diabetes by increasing insulin secretion from the pancreas after you eat. It also decreases glucose production in the liver.

In addition to weight loss and anti-diabetes effects, semaglutide decreases your risk of cardiovascular disease. It protects your blood vessels from the effects of abnormally high blood sugar.

Like all medications, semaglutide has short and long-term side effects. Most commonly, these side effects are gastrointestinal and include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and constipation. These side effects are typically mild-to-moderate in intensity and transient. Before starting semaglutide, it is important to understand the expected duration of semaglutide side effects.

One of the most important side effects of all three semaglutide medications is its ability to induce weight loss. It is easy to see how well this class of medications works by looking at the before and after results of semaglutide.

How Effective Is Semaglutide for Weight Loss?

Wegovy, the FDA-approved form of semaglutide for weight loss, has undergone eight clinical trials, the STEP trials. Here are the weight loss results from these studies:

  • STEP 1: Participants with obesity or overweight and a medically related condition (but not diabetes) who took semaglutide lost an impressive 15% of their body weight. The placebo group only lost 2.4% (2).
  • STEP 2: Participants with obesity/overweight and diabetes who took semaglutide lost an average of 9.6% of their body weight vs.3.4% weight loss in the placebo groups. In most clinical trials, participants with diabetes lost less than those who did not have diabetes (3).
  • STEP 3: Participants with obesity/overweight but not diabetes took semaglutide or a placebo along with an intensive behavioral therapy program. Participants taking semaglutide lost an average of 16% body weight, compared to 5.7% for the placebo group (4).
  • STEP 4: Participants with overweight/obesity but not diabetes took semaglutide for 20 weeks. Then, they were randomly assigned to receive semaglutide or placebo for 48 weeks. The semaglutide group lost a total of 18.5% of their body weight. The placebo group initially lost 10.6% of their body weight while taking semaglutide but regained 6.9% when they switched to the placebo (5).
  • STEP 5: Participants with overweight/obesity but not diabetes took semaglutide for two years. The semaglutide group lost an average of 15% body weight, and the placebo group lost 2.6% (6).
  • STEP 6: This trial was conducted in East Asia. Participants taking semaglutide lost an average of 13.2% of their body weight, while the placebo group lost 2.1% (7).
  • STEP 7: This clinical trial was conducted in China. The results are pending.
  • STEP 8: This clinical trial compared the safety and effectiveness of semaglutide and liraglutide. Participants taking 2.4 mg of semaglutide lost 15.8% of their body weight. Participants taking 3.0 mg of liraglutide lost 6.4% of their body weight (8).

If you have side effects or do not get the expected results when taking semaglutide, try another weight loss medication brand.

Administration Methods

Semaglutide is currently available in the following forms. An oral form of semaglutide with an FDA-approved indication for obesity is on the horizon.

Semaglutide (Wegovy) is taken as a once-weekly injection when treating obesity. The dose is gradually increased over several weeks until you reach a maintenance dose.

Semaglutide (Ozempic) is taken as a once-weekly injection to treat type-2 diabetes. The dose is gradually increased to control blood sugar, up to a maximum dose of 2 mg.

Semaglutide (Rybelsus) tablets are taken once daily in the morning on an empty stomach. After taking Rybelsus, it is important to wait 30 minutes before eating or drinking anything.

Semaglutide for Weight Loss in Non Diabetics Dosage

The initial semaglutide for weight loss in non diabetics dosage is 0.25 mg, administered just under the skin in the abdomen, thigh, or upper arm once weekly for four weeks. Increase the dose in 4-week intervals (over a total of 16 weeks) until you reach the maintenance dose of 2.4 mg per week (1).

Semaglutide dosing instructions

WeekDosage
Weeks 1-40.25 mgIf the 2.4 mg dose is not tolerated, stay at the 1.7 mg dose for another four weeks and then increase the dose to 2.4 mg.
Weeks 5-80.5 mg
Weeks 9-121.0 mg
Weeks 13-161.7 mg
Weeks 17 and after2.4 mg 

If you miss a dose and the next scheduled dose is more than two days away, take the missed dose as soon as possible. If more than five days have passed since you missed the dose, skip the dose. Resume semaglutide on the regularly scheduled dosage day (9).

Your semaglutide for weight loss in non diabetics dosage may be different, especially if you experience side effects when taking semaglutide. Follow your prescribed dosing instructions to minimize adverse effects.

Liraglutide vs. Semaglutide

Liraglutide, like semaglutide, is a GLP-1 receptor agonist. The two medications have very similar effects on the body. Liraglutide was tested in the SCALE series of clinical trials. The average weight loss when taking liraglutide was about 7.4% of body weight (10). Semaglutide led to an average weight loss of 15% of body weight.

Side effects for liraglutide and semaglutide are similar. The most common side effects when taking either medication are gastrointestinal side effects such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and constipation. Typically, these side effects are mild-to-moderate in intensity and are most severe when first starting these medications and when increasing your dose.

Liraglutide and semaglutide for weight loss in non diabetics dosage also vary. Liraglutide is administered as a once-daily injection, and semaglutide is administered once weekly.

Peopl ask about the semaglutide for weight loss in non diabetics dosage

Who Is a Good Candidate for Taking a Semaglutide for Weight Loss in Non Diabetics Dosage?

To qualify for semaglutide for weight loss, you must fall into one of these two categories.

  • Have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher.
  • Have a BMI of 27 or higher along with a weight-related medical condition such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, or high cholesterol.

Who Should Not Take a Semaglutide for Weight Loss in Non Diabetics Dosage?

Contraindications for taking a semaglutide for weight loss in non diabetics dosage include the following:  

  • Women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant
  • People with a personal or family history of medullary thyroid cancer or multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2.
  • People with a history of pancreatitis.
  • Anyone who has a known sensitivity or allergy to semaglutide or any of its components.

If you are interested in learning more about semaglutide for weight loss in non diabetics, contact an Invigor Medical treatment specialist.

Semaglutide for Weight Loss in Non Diabetics Dosage
Disclaimer
While we strive to always provide accurate, current, and safe advice in all of our articles and guides, it’s important to stress that they are no substitute for medical advice from a doctor or healthcare provider. You should always consult a practicing professional who can diagnose your specific case. The content we’ve included in this guide is merely meant to be informational and does not constitute medical advice.

Semaglutide for Weight Loss in Non Diabetics Dosage

Leann Poston, M.D.

Dr. Leann Poston is a licensed physician in the state of Ohio who holds an M.B.A. and an M. Ed. She is a full-time medical communications writer and educator who writes and researches for Invigor Medical. Dr. Poston lives in the Midwest with her family. She enjoys traveling and hiking. She is an avid technology aficionado and loves trying new things.

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