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Semaglutide FAQs

Semaglutide FAQs

What is Semaglutide?
Semaglutide (the active ingredient in Novo Nordisk’s Ozempic® and Wegovy® drug products)is an injectable medication which, when used in combination with diet and exercise, helps with blood sugar control, appetite control, and potential weight loss. Semaglutide belongs to a class of medications called glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) agonists, which mimic the hormone GLP-1 in your body to lower blood sugar levels after you’ve eaten a meal. In a recent clinical trial of Novo Nordisk’s Wegovy® (semaglutide) drug product with nearly 2,000 participants, approximately 70% of participants achieved a weight loss of at least 10%, and approximately 50% achieved a weight loss of at least 15%. 

What is the hormone GLP-1?
Glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) is a hormone that causes huge effects on the regulation of blood sugar by stimulating glucose-dependent insulin secretion. Insulin is a hormone that promotes sugar uptake by the cells, stores sugar as glycogen, promotes the building of fat, and signals the body to build skeletal muscle. In addition, GLP-1 inhibits glucagon release (which slows down the release of sugar into the blood so that you burn more fat), slows down gastric emptying (makes you feel full), and lowers the desire for food intake (because you feel full).

Is semaglutide a stimulant?
No, semaglutide is not a stimulant. While other weight loss medications, like phentermine, have stimulating effects that curb your appetite, semaglutide works very differently (see above).

How does semaglutide work for weight loss?
GLP-1 agonists like semaglutide help to control your blood sugar, curb your appetite, and slow digestion. People taking them also tend to lose weight. GLP-1, the key hormone involved, slows the process of gastric emptying. In addition to causing your pancreas to release insulin, semaglutide also blocks a hormone that causes your liver to release sugar (glucagon). Together, these functions can help decrease your appetite, causing you to eat less food and lose more weight.

Does semaglutide curb your appetite?
Yes, it is believed that semaglutide can help curb your appetite. In addition to slowing gastric emptying to make you feel full for a longer period of time, GLP-1 also plays a direct role in appetite regulation.

How long does it take to lose weight on Wegovy® (semaglutide)?
With Wegovy® (semaglutide) drug product or compounded semaglutide, you will slowly work your way up to the target dose at which time you will see the most amount of weight loss. This was the case in the clinical trials of Novo Nordisk’s Wegovy® (semaglutide) drug product, where participants had their dose adjusted until they reached 2.4mg once weekly. During the phase 3 trial that measured outcomes at 20 weeks, most participants were able to reach the full dose and lost more weight as their dose was increased. They saw additional weight loss over the remaining 48 weeks at the full dose. It is important to keep in mind that patients will see the best results when medication is taken in combination with a healthy diet and exercise.

Is semaglutide safe?
Novo Nordisk’s Wegovy® (semaglutide) and Ozempic® (semaglutide) drug products are considered to be safe and effective when used as indicated by the FDA. Semaglutide, the active ingredient in Novo Nordisk’s Ozempic® and Wegovy® drug products, still may have possible side effects. Possible side effects include nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.  Semaglutide also may cause thyroid C-cell tumors in rodents (with unknown risk shown in humans). Thus, semaglutide shouldn’t be used if you or your family have a history of certain thyroid cancers. Semaglutide should not be used in people with type-1 diabetes or a history of pancreatitis. Semaglutide should be used cautiously for people on other blood sugar lowering medications.

Compounded semaglutide has not been FDA tested or approved for safety, efficacy or quality.

Is Novo Nordisk’s Wegovy® drug product or compounded semaglutide covered by my insurance?
Novo Nordisk’s Ozempic® (semaglutide) and Wegovy® (semaglutide) drug products may be covered by insurance for people who are diabetic type 2 or at a very high BMI. Coverage varies by insurer and coverage options can be discovered by completing Ivím’s patient intake form and submitting a prior-authorization request. Compounded semaglutide is not covered by insurance.

How much does the Ivím Program cost?
Ivim’s Program starts at $74.99 per month and does not include medications. Medication costs varies by medication type, and the patient’s insurance benefits. On average, patients stay on treatments for 6-12 months until desired weight loss is achieved.

Where will I receive my Wegovy® (semaglutide) drug product or compounded semaglutide?
Once enrolled in the program and evaluated by one of our providers, your prescription will be sent to the pharmacy of your choice or, for compounded semaglutide, will ship directly to your home.

What is the dose of Novo Nordisk’s Wegovy® (semaglutide) drug product or compounded semaglutide?
Dosing for Novo Nordisk’s Wegovy® (semaglutide) drug product starts at .5mg injected once weekly and goes up to 2.4mg injected once weekly. Dosing for compounded semaglutide starts a .5mg injected once weekly and goes up to 2.5mg injected once weekly.

Are there any foods or medications you should avoid while on  Wegovy® (semaglutide) drug product or compounded semaglutide?

Here are a few things to keep in mind if you are on Wegovy® (semaglutide) drug product or compounded semaglutide.

First, you’ll want to limit how much alcohol you’re drinking while taking Wegovy® (semaglutide) drug product or compounded semaglutide . Alcohol tends to have an effect on your blood sugar, and there is a risk that it may drop too low in combination with semaglutide, especially if you are drinking on an empty stomach.

You will want to make sure your provider is aware of any other medications you are taking before starting Wegovy® (semaglutide) drug product or compounded semaglutide.

What are the known side effects of semaglutide?
The most common side effects of semaglutide are:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach pain
  • Constipation

Disclaimer: Ozempic® and WeGovy® are registered trademarks of Novo Nordisk.  Ivim Health has no affiliation with Novo Nordisk.  The compoundedsemaglutide products available as part of Ivim Health’s Weight Loss Program are not made by Novo Nordisk or any company affiliated with Novo Nordisk.

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This post has 4 comments

  1. Where is the semaglutide compounded? S it in Canada? I spoke with my endocrinologist yesterday and he will agree to this as NN has not released to generic yet? If I can get more info maybe he will allow me this.

    1. Cynthia, it is compounded in the US at FDA regulated pharmacies. We have multiple compounding pharmacy partners across the US where we send prescriptions. Our providers do a virtual consult, send the prescription, and mail it directly to you. Compounding law allows compounding pharmacies to make modifications to patented medications if there is benefit to the patient and/or if there is a shortage, both of which are true in this case as we compound it with B12 to reduce the GI side effects and there is currently a shortage of the brand name offerings.

  2. I’m concerned. There are a lot of Doctors saying that compounded Semiglutide is not regulated and could be unsafe. How do I know that yours is completely safe ? I’m on yours and I’m very worried that this hasn’t been explained .
    Changing the formula without testing could be very dangerous.

    1. Amy, we have vetted the compounding pharmacy we work with thoroughly. We work directly with their head pharmacist and this is what compounding pharmacies are built and certified to do. We are extremely confident that these medications are completely safe due to the rigorous testing that is done for sterility, stability, and potency.

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