In addition to the basic physical requirements, Dr. Messer adds that patients should be screened for eating disorders, including binge eating and emotional eating. This type of additional screening is important to ensure patients are losing weight in a healthy and sustainable way – both physically and mentally. She adds that the only health conditions that would preclude using the shot are a history of gallstones, pancreatitis, or risk factors for medullary thyroid cancer.
Are there any side effects or risks of Semaglutide?
Most users experience reduced hunger in the few days following their injection and typically find that their hunger returns just in time for their next injection. Side effects can include nausea, constipation, diarrhea, belching, heartburn, and abdominal cramps. These effects are in part why doctors begin prescribing semaglutide with a low dosage and gradually increase dosages based on tolerability.
There are risks associated with semaglutide, including worsening reflux, pancreatitis (likely caused by gallstones that develop with rapid weight loss), and an increased risk of medullary thyroid cancer. dr Messer also warns patients who are currently prescribed other drugs in the same class (GLP-1 receptor agonists) or diabetes drugs (called DPP-IV inhibitors) against using semaglutide.
Both experts agreed that Semaglutide should be used as an aid alongside a calorie deficit and an active lifestyle to achieve weight loss. dr Messer also provides insight into their patients’ diet plan, which takes into account the side effects patients may experience: “[Since] Semaglutide can cause constipation, nausea, and reflux. I preemptively put my patients on high-fiber, low-fat, and restricted-calorie diets to minimize the risk of these side effects. I also ask my patients to eat dinner early and minimize alcohol consumption.”
Because rapid weight loss can negatively affect your metabolism and hormones, Dr. Frank that it’s important to make lifestyle changes alongside the medication. “As with all medications, lifestyle changes are essential to ensure safe and effective results,” he says. “While taking these drugs, one must be careful not to overeat as this can lead to gastrointestinal upset. Semaglutide is merely a medical device to be used in conjunction with good nutrition, diet and exercise.”
As for the celebrities who have reportedly used semaglutide but are not considered clinically obese, advises Dr. Frank from this type of use. “Using this drug to maintain a low physique weight is not its intended purpose and most likely a dangerous and unsustainable use of the drug,” he warns. In the end, using semaglutide solely for aesthetic purposes is considered off-label use and hijacks a drug that is helpful for the actual health conditions that the drug was designed to improve. (There’s even a shortage of semaglutide now.) This drug — like all prescription medications — should only be used when prescribed by a healthcare provider who believes it’s genuinely necessary to a patient’s health.