A Comprehensive Guide to Semaglutide: What You Should Know

What is Semaglutide?

If you’ve been trying to lose weight and are considering taking prescription medication for weight loss, you may have come across Ozempic. This is one of the most popular FDA (food and drug administration) weight loss drugs in the market. Ozempic is actually a semaglutide product. These are a class of drugs known as glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists. These drugs mimic GLP-1 hormone. This hormone is released into the digestive tract in response to eating. It is responsible for making the body produce more insulin. Insulin in turn reduces the level of glucose in the blood. Higher levels of GLP-1 interact with the brain to signal fullness and reduce appetite.

FDA Approved Products

  • Ozempic – Ozempic injections are taken to lower blood glucose levels in adults that have type 2 diabetes mellitus. Ozempic was also approved for reducing the risk of stroke, heart attack or the risk of death in adults with a known heart condition and type 2 diabetes mellitus.
  • Rybelsus tablets – like Ozempic, these were approved for lowering blood sugar levels in adults that have type 2 diabetes.
  • Wegovy – These injections were approved for aiding weight loss in adults and children over 12 years of age with obesity. They can also be prescribed to adults with excess weight who also suffer from weight loss related health problems. These drugs can be used to keep the weight off in addition to exercise and diet.

These medications are prescription medications and there are no approved generic versions.

Compounded Semaglutide

Many wonder whether these products can be compounded. According to the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic (FD&C) Act, drugs included in the FDA’s Drug Shortages list can be compounded. Wegovy and Ozempic were included in this list as ofMay 2023. This means compounded versions of the drugs may be prepared.

Concerns about Compounded Versions

There have been several reports to the FDA about adverse events suffered by patients that have used compounded products. It is important for both healthcare professionals and patients to understand that these versions of the weight loss drug are not reviewed by the agency for quality, safety and effectiveness.

The FDA has received reports of semaglutide tablets that are made using salt forms of the compound including semaglutide acetate and semaglutide sodium. It should be noted that these salt forms are not the same active ingredient as that which is used in the approved drugs. The side effects of these salt forms are not known. Therefore products that may be marketed as semaglutide weight loss drugs may not contain the same active ingredient as the products that were approved by the FDA. They may therefore not be safe for use.

Patients are advised to obtain prescriptions from licensed healthcare providers and to only use drugs that are FDA approved from state-licensed pharmacies or from FDA registered outsourcing facilities.

Counterfeit Ozempic

With the popularity of weight loss drugs, especially Ozempic, the FDA has found counterfeit and unapproved products being marketed illegally in the US. While the FDA has issued warnings to stop the distribution of these unapproved and illegal products, their distribution continues. It is important for patients to remain vigilant and avoid these products. Patients, healthcare providers and other parties are encouraged to report adverse events, quality issues and illegal or counterfeit medications to the FDA’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program.

Bottom Line

If you’re on a quest to lose weight and improve your health, you can avoid all the risks associated with weight loss medication by using a holistic approach to weight loss. We at Integra Health and Wellness provide weight loss services Spokane Valley residents trust for sustainable results.