Semaglutide is an FDA-approved weight loss drug that works by mimicking the hormone GLP-1. It has gained unusual press coverage since it was revealed that Khloe and Kim Kardashian and even Elon Musk was using it to help them lose weight. In 2022, the FDA added semaglutide to its drug shortage list, making it available for compounding, increasing access and affordability for patients. Semaglutide is marketed as Ozempic for patients being treated for diabetes type 2 and as Wegovy for patients who want to lose weight. They are the same molecule but the FDA has it approved with different names depending on the clinical indication. Let’s explain how this works.
Semaglutide are GLP 1 agonists which naturally mimic a hormone called glucagon-like peptide.
While some patients know Semaglutide to help lose weight, it helps patients with DM Type 2 lower their blood sugar and improve their Hb1Ac by:
- delaying gastric emptying which slows down the absorption of blood sugar through the intestine into the bloodstream
- inhibiting the production of glucagon from pancreatic alpha cells that lead to higher blood sugars due to the release of glycogen from the liver
- increases natural release of insulin from pancreatic cells
- promotes proliferation of pancreatic Beta cells that make insulin
- decreases pancreatic beta cell apoptosis (cell death) which maintains insulin
While this may sound like a lot of medical jargon, in short there are quite a few mechanisms that provide real help to patients’ goals of weight loss and better health. For weight loss, tt can normalize blood sugar which for many patients who have high blood sugar is a leading cause of weight gain. It also takes away the hunger and the cravings for carbs and sweets while giving more energy and even a better quality sleep.
- Decreased blood pressure
- Decreased total cholesterol levels
- Decreased risk of cardiovascular events
- Increased glucose uptake in muscles
- Decreased glucose production in the liver
- Increased satiety or sense of fullness
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) on Wegovy/Ozempic/Semaglutide
Q: What is Ozempic?
A: Ozempic is the brand name for Semaglutide that was FDA approved in 2017 for the treatment of Diabetes Type 2 and in 2020 to lower cardiovascular risk such as heart attacks and strokes for patients who have Diabetes Type 2 and known history to get heart attacks and strokes.
Q: What is Wegovy?
A: Wegovy is Semaglutide that was FDA approved in 2021 for weight loss. In a pivotal medical study that lasted 68 weeks 1961 patients who had obesity or excessive weight found that Wegovy provided an average of 15% weight loss (average weight per patient = 232 lbs) or 35 lbs vs the placebo group who lost an average of 6 lbs.
Q: What is the difference between Ozempic vs Wegovy vs Semaglutide?
A: They are all Semaglutide. Semaglutide is the molecule which provides all the benefits. Ozempic is marketed for Diabetes and Wegovy is marketed for weight loss. Wegovy does have a higher maximum dose and their dosing schedule may be a little different. There is one advantage in the compounded version which allows you to start at a lower dose which decreases the initial nausea and vomiting that some patients often report upon initiating therapy. Also, the compounded version allows more flexibility of dosing.
Q: How is Wegovy/Ozempic/Semaglutide taken?
A: The Wegovy/Ozempic/Semaglutide is given as an injection that is injected subcutaneously in the fat in abdomen, love handles, or inner thighs. It is self administered once a week. The Wegovy is given as prefilled syringes in a predetermined amount though the dose can vary depending on the prescription. Ozempic is supplied in a pre-filled multi-dose pen that can deliver doses of 0.25 mg or 0.5 mg including 6 NovoFine plus needles. The compounded Semaglutide comes in a vial and the amount that is injected is drawn out by the patient themselves before each injection.
Q: What is an “Ozempic Face?
A: The word Ozempic face is a “buzz term” being discussed on different social media platforms that typically refers to someone losing a lot of weight rapidly which then starts to reflect in a noticeable amount of volume loss and skin laxity of the face and neck. However, these changes are not unique to Ozempic or semaglutide medications, as they can occur with any rapid weight loss, whether from bariatric surgery, semaglutide or lifestyle changes. In general when patients are over 40-50 years old, most patients who are 50 lbs overweight or obese look younger than someone who is thin and training for a half marathon. This is because the heavy patient has more facial fat due to their weight. However, when they lose a considerable amount some of this fat is lost in their face so their real age starts to appear. Hence, the buzz word “Ozempic Face.” As a cosmetic surgeon, it is not uncommon to see the effects of weight loss on our patient’s face and body. Many patients can have loose skin in their face, neck and body after a significant amount of weight loss. We have seen this for years after bariatric surgery or when patients made significant lifestyle changes and were able to lose a high volume of weight. I truly believe the health benefits of being at an ideal weight greatly outweigh the resulting skin laxity or volume loss in the face. How we treat volume loss and skin laxity depends on the degree of these issues. Fortunately, most patients can be treated with a combination of non-invasive and minimally invasive treatments such as facial dermal fillers for volume loss such as Sculptra, Radiesse, Juvederm, and Restylane Lyft, and skin tightening devices such as Ulthera, Fractora, and CO2 laser resurfacing, or a device such as EMFace which helps to lift the cheeks and tightens the skin.
Q: How long does Wegovy/Ozempic/Semaglutide take before I start seeing the results?
A: The results of Wegovy/Ozempic/Semaglutide will vary from patient to patient but some results can be seen in the first month. Patients can lose up to 15% of their body weight over time.
Q: Where can I find the best Ozempic/Wegovy/Semaglutide near me?
A: At Rejuvé. We take a personalized approach to your health. Our team, led by Dr. Tang, will evaluate you to see if you are a good candidate for Semaglutide treatment. Whether you have diabetes type 2, pre-diabetes, or are looking to lose weight, we can help. Our clinic offers the commercially available Ozempic for patients who have been diagnosed with Diabetes or patients who have insulin resistance or Wegovy who are interested in losing weight. For some patients, the compounded form of Semaglutide that is mixed with B12 is another option which is not only effective but also more affordable. The added benefit of vitamin B12 makes the treatment even better. This combination can have a positive impact on various organs including your thyroid, adrenals, liver, and brain. Expect improved energy, better liver function, better stress management, and enhanced cognitive abilities. We are proud to offer Semaglutide near me to patients in the San Jose Bay Area, and the nearby cities of San Francisco, Oakland, Santa Cruz, and Palo Alto, and the local communities of Saratoga, Los Gatos, Campbell, Cupertino, Los Altos, and Morgan Hill. Please book an appointment today or call 408-740-5320 to find out how we can help you.
Q: Why pick Rejuvé to start my Ozempic/Wegovy/Semaglutide over other clinics or online?
A: At Rejuvé, we take a personalized approach to your health. Our team, led by Dr. Tang, takes a very serious approach to this and does a thorough history and evaluation into your personal struggles with weight, Diabetes, etc. Dr. Tang believes this medicine can be helpful to a lot of patients but it is not a fit for all patients. He also understands that this medication is just one tool to help patients achieve a positive outcome but there are many other factors such other metabolic issues, hormonal imbalances, nutritional issues, gut related problems, environmental toxins and heavy metals, stress, silent inflammation, auto-immune disorders, sleep disorders, etc that can contribute to the overall problems and these issues can be helped through his guidance. Dr. Tang will look at the big picture for you while considering all of the available tools and options. At other places, they will only give you the medicine without considering all of these other issues.
Q: How do I get started with Ozempic/Wegovy/Semaglutide near me?
A: We recommend an one on one consultation with Dr. Tang to go over your health issues, concerns, goals, and expectations. For patients, living out of the area or who have other health or travel restrictions, Dr. Tang can also do a virtual appointment. After a thorough breakdown of all of the medical issues, Dr. Tang will advise on what type of tests are needed to best determine the underlying issues. He can also analyze any previous tests that have been done at this appointment. This medical evaluation appointment does incur a fee. Unfortunately, we do accept insurance. Please contact us here or call us at 408-740-5320 to set up the appointment.