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Semaglutide is a medication that has been recently approved for weight loss by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States. It is available in the form of a once-weekly injection, as well as a pill that is taken orally. The pill is called Wegovy and is designed to help adults with obesity or overweight achieve and maintain a healthier weight. In this article, we will take a closer look at semaglutide pills for weight loss, including how they work, their effectiveness, and potential side effects.
How Does Semaglutide Work?
Semaglutide belongs to a class of drugs called glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists. It works by mimicking the action of a naturally occurring hormone called GLP-1, which is released by the gut after eating. GLP-1 helps to regulate blood sugar levels by stimulating insulin release and suppressing glucagon secretion, a hormone that raises blood sugar. It also slows down stomach emptying, which leads to increased feelings of fullness and reduced food intake.
When semaglutide is taken as a pill, it stimulates the GLP-1 receptors in the body, leading to the same effects as GLP-1. This helps to reduce appetite, increase feelings of fullness, and decrease calorie intake. As a result, people taking semaglutide pills for weight loss may be able to achieve and maintain a healthier weight.
Effectiveness of Semaglutide for Weight Loss
Clinical trials have shown that semaglutide pills can lead to significant weight loss in people with obesity or overweight. In a 68-week study involving more than 1,900 participants, those who took semaglutide lost an average of 15% of their initial body weight, compared to 2.4% in the placebo group. Another 52-week study found that semaglutide led to an average weight loss of 17.4 pounds, compared to 4.4 pounds in the placebo group.
Side Effects of Semaglutide
Like any medication, semaglutide pills can cause side effects. Some of the most common side effects reported in clinical trials include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and constipation. These side effects are usually mild and tend to improve over time. However, some people may experience more serious side effects, such as pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) or gallbladder disease.
Who can take semaglutide pills for weight loss?
Semaglutide pills are approved for use in adults with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or greater, or in those with a BMI of 27 or greater who also have at least one weight-related health condition, such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, or high cholesterol.
How long do I need to take semaglutide pills for weight loss?
Semaglutide pills are typically taken once a week and may be prescribed for several months or longer, depending on individual weight loss goals and overall health.
Is semaglutide safe?
Semaglutide has been shown to be generally safe and well-tolerated in clinical trials. However, it can cause side effects, and people with certain medical conditions (such as pancreatitis or thyroid disease) may not be able to take it.
Semaglutide pills are a promising new option for people struggling with obesity or overweight. They work by mimicking the action of a naturally occurring hormone, which helps to regulate blood sugar levels and decrease appetite. Clinical trials have shown that semaglutide pills can lead to significant weight loss, making them a valuable tool for those looking to achieve and maintain a healthier weight.
However, like any medication, semaglutide can cause side effects, and it may not be suitable for everyone. If you are considering semaglutide pills for weight loss, it is important to talk to your doctor about whether it is the right option for you. With proper use and monitoring, semaglutide can be an effective tool for achieving weight loss and improving overall health.
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