Mastering Semaglutide: A Step-by-Step Guide to Reconstitution
Semaglutide is a glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist that is used to treat type 2 diabetes and obesity. As an incretin mimetic, semaglutide is a very effective weight-loss medication. In clinical trials, participants taking Wegovy (a brand name for semaglutide) had an average weight loss of 10% to 16% of their starting body weight. Those who received Wegovy lost an average of 34 pounds. The placebo group participants lost about 2.5% of their body weight, about six pounds.
The U.S. Food & Drug Administration allows manufacturers to compound semaglutide if there is a drug shortage. Compounded medications must meet certain Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic (FD&C) Act requirements. As of May 2023, Wegovy is listed on FDA’s Drug Shortages list.
With the compounded form of semaglutide, patients may need to reconstitute the medication before injecting it. This straightforward procedure involves adding a diluent and mixing the solution.
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Does semaglutide need to be reconstituted?
This depends on whether you are using the brand name Wegovy or compounded semaglutide. If your doctor has prescribed the brand name Wegovy, you will receive a pen injector that is prefilled with the appropriate medication dose.
If your doctor prescribes compounded semaglutide, you will probably need to reconstitute it and inject it with a small insulin syringe, though some pharmacies ship semaglutide already reconstituted.
How do you reconstitute a medication?
If your medication comes in a powdered form, it will need to be reconstituted or put in a liquid before it can be injected.
Here are the steps to follow to reconstitute a medication such as semaglutide:
- Gather your supplies: the medication vial, the diluent, a syringe and needle, two alcohol prep pads, and the instructions from your pharmacy.
- Determine the amount of diluent to add: the medication instructions should indicate how much diluent should be added to the vial. If they do not, contact your pharmacist. If you do not add the correct amount of diluent, then your dosage will not be correct.
- Draw up the diluent: remove the cap from the diluent vial and clean the rubber membrane using an alcohol prep pad. Uncap the needle and pull back on the plunger to fill the syringe with air. Add air to just pass the amount of diluent you need to add to your medication. Insert the needle into the diluent bottle, inject the air into the vial, and fill the syringe with the correct amount of diluent.
- Add diluent to the medication: Clean your medication vial with the second alcohol prep pad. Insert the syringe containing the diluent into the medication vial and inject the diluent into the vial.
- Mix the medication vial: Gently roll the medication vial to completely mix the powdered medication with the diluent.
- Store your medication: Follow the medication instructions for storage. Some medications require refrigeration after reconstitution, and some are kept at room temperature.
How is semaglutide dosed?
Semaglutide is dosed using a gradually increasing dose. This is designed to minimize the gastrointestinal side effects associated with GLP-1 receptor agonists.
Semaglutide has a maximum dose of 2.4 mg per week.
Following your healthcare provider’s instructions, semaglutide is typically dosed according to the following schedule:
Before injecting semaglutide, verify that the medication is clear and colorless. Check the expiration date. Verify your prescribed dose. Consider adding doses to a calendar to keep track while increasing your dose to the full 2.4 mg dose.
Who can take semaglutide?
With every medication, you must weigh the potential risks and benefits associated with taking the medication. Carrying excess weight increases your risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and many other health issues.
Semaglutide is prescribed for people with a body mass index (BMI) of 30kg/m2 or higher. It can also be prescribed for people with a BMI of 27kg/m2 or higher if they have at least one comorbid condition that is associated with being overweight.
Who should not take semaglutide?
Contraindications To Using Wegovy (Semaglutide)
Wegovy (semaglutide) should not be taken by people with:
- A personal or family history of medullary thyroid carcinoma
- Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia syndrome type 2
- Known hypersensitivity to semaglutide or any of the medication components
Wegovy (Semaglutide) Warnings
Wegovy (semaglutide) can cause serious health problems, particularly in people who are predisposed to these conditions.
- Thyroid C-cell tumors: animal studies showed that an increased dose of semaglutide or a longer treatment period increased the risk of thyroid cancer in rats. It is unclear whether people would have a similar risk. Tell your doctor if you notice a lump in your neck, hoarseness, difficulty swallowing, or shortness of breath.
- Pancreatitis: discontinue Wegovy and call your doctor if you develop stomach pain that radiates to your back and may be accompanied by fever, nausea, or vomiting.
- Gallbladder disease: gallstones and gallbladder disease can cause upper abdominal pain and yellowing of the skin or eyes.
- Hypoglycemia: low blood sugar can cause irritability, confusion, dizziness, fatigue, sweating, hunger, headache, or loss of consciousness.
- Kidney injury: trouble passing urine or a change in the amount of urine you pass may be signs of kidney injury.
- Diabetic retinopathy in people with type 2 diabetes: contact your doctor if you notice any changes in your vision.
People who are pregnant or plan to become pregnant in the next two months should not take Wegovy (semaglutide).
If you are interested in losing excess weight and meet the criteria for semaglutide, contact the healthcare professionals at Invigor Medical to learn more about your treatment options using semaglutide or another prescription medication for weight management.
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.