Skinspirations is thrilled to offer a semaglutide (better known by the brand names of Ozempic and Wegovy) weight loss program to help people shed excess pounds and avoid the medical problems caused by obesity. Every recent generation has been more overweight than the one preceding it and it’s estimated that by 2030, half of all Americans will be obese. While the increase in consumption of processed foods and less exercise has certainly contributed to the increase in obesity, research is showing that the causes for being overweight are more complicated than “calories out vs. calories in”. Medications that can help people reach and maintain a healthy weight can have a dramatic impact not only on their appearance but also on their health.
Unless you’ve been on a desert island, you’ve no doubt heard about the weight loss seen with the medication semaglutide, better known by the brand names Ozempic and Wegovy. For more than 15 years, it’s been used to treat Type 2 diabetes but the results it has with weight loss have made it a household name. In studies on semaglutide and weight loss, patients lost an average of 6% of their body weight in the first 12 weeks of treatment.
What is semaglutide?
Semaglutide is a member of the class of medications known as GLP-RAs and it works like the GLP-1 hormone that’s released in the intestines in response to food. The medication increases insulin secretion, lowers blood sugar levels, slows down stomach emptying, and decreases appetite.
Most of the research on semaglutide-associated weight loss was with the medication injected once a week, just below the surface of the skin. At Skinspirations, patients have the choice of either coming into the office once a week for their injections or coming in once a month to get the medication for home injections.
What is the Skinspirations Semaglutide Weight Loss Program?
The program starts with prospective patients filling out an online questionnaire about any medical conditions they have and their current height and weight. Once that’s submitted, they make an appointment for a short consultation in the office to make sure that semaglutide is a good treatment option for them. If it’s determined that semaglutide treatments are a good choice for their weight loss goals, they can elect to either do home self-injections or come in weekly and we’ll administer the injections. If they choose self-injections, they’re given 4 syringes of medication to take home.
Semaglutide is injected just below the skin’s surface on the arm, abdomen, or thigh and is very simple to do. If self-injections are chosen, we’ll show you how to do your own injections during your first visit and you’ll go home with all the supplies you need to do the next 3 weeks of injections.
Because the appetite-suppressing effects of semaglutide are greatest in the first few days after each injection, people who tend to eat the most on weekends are encouraged to have or do their treatments on Wednesday or Thursday.
A low dose is initially used and then slowly increased every month depending on the results and any side effects that are experienced. Treatments may be continued for as many months as desired.
What are the possible side effects of treatment with semaglutide?
Common side effects of semaglutide include nausea, constipation, diarrhea, vomiting, indigestion, and bloating. The risk of these side effects is reduced by starting at a low dose, increasing the dose as needed, and following the tips listed below. Pausing or decreasing the dose of semaglutide will usually make any persistent side effects resolve.
As with any type of weight loss of more than 10 pounds a month, there is an increased risk of developing gallstones or temporary hair loss. Symptoms of gallstones may include:
- Sudden upper abdominal pain that lasts up to several hours and occurs most often after eating fatty foods or at night.
- Nausea and possibly vomiting.
- Fever and chills.
- Yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes.
Call your primary doctor if you develop a fever, chills or yellowing of the skin or eyes.
Pancreatitis is also being studied as a possible rare side effect of this class of drugs so if you develop sharp upper abdominal pain, stop the treatment and contact your primary physician.
Tips to minimize the potential side effects of a semaglutide weight loss program:
- Try to get about 60 grams of protein a day. If you don’t feel like eating, drink a high protein, low calorie shake.
- Make sure you eat a lot of vegetables for fiber every day. Beans, lentils, edamame, and chickpeas are all excellent high-fiber choices that also have a lot of protein. If you start to feel constipated and bloated, start taking Miralax or Phillips’ Laxative caplets.
- Stay hydrated by drinking eight cups of fluids such as water or calorie-free electrolyte beverages per day because high-fiber diets can make you may feel bloated if you’re not well hydrated.
- Drink ginger or peppermint tea, or ginger chews or capsules if you feel any nausea. If you’re feeling severe nausea or vomiting, call us and we’ll call in a prescription to your preferred pharmacy for nausea medication.
- Take Tums or other chewable antacid tablets if you experience heartburn.
- Eat smaller, more frequent meals, and stop eating before you feel full.
- Avoid fried or greasy food.
- Don’t eat too quickly and only drink a small amount of liquid with meals.
- Don’t lie down soon after eating or eat just before bedtime.
- If you feel hungry between meals, drink a low-calorie protein shake.
The Skinspirations semaglutide weight loss program fee is based on the amount of semaglutide used and whether you do your injections yourself or come in weekly for your treatments. The fee for a package of 4 self-injected semaglutide treatments starts at $250 and 4 in-office treatments start at $280.
If you’re interested in starting our semaglutide weight loss program, you can make an appointment for a complimentary consultation by calling us or filling out an online appointment request here.