Is Semaglutide Really a Miracle Weight Loss Drug?


Obesity is a serious problem in the world today. As of 2016, 39% of adults worldwide were overweight, and 13% were obese. In the U.S., 41.9% of adults over 20 were obese as of 2020. Being overweight and obese is a major risk factor for developing life-threatening diseases, like diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer. With this in mind, the FDA’s approval of semaglutide in 2021 as an aid for chronic weight management was an exciting development. This lose weight drug could potentially save lives – so what exactly is it? How does it work? Are the side effects worth it? Let’s discuss.

What is Semaglutide?

Semaglutide is an injectable drug. It was originally approved by the FDA as a treatment for Type 2 diabetes. In these patients, the drug was dosed at 1 milligram weekly and provided moderate weight loss. With this information, doctors and scientists got to work on clinical trials with a higher dose of 2.4 milligrams. The results were so impressive that the weight loss drugs went on to go through more clinical trials before being approved by the FDA as a treatment for chronic weight loss under the brand name Wegovy.

In a double-blind trial, doctors administered a once-weekly subcutaneous injection of semaglutide (or a placebo) to 1,961 adult participants who were overweight or obese over the course of 68 weeks. All participants also took part in healthy lifestyle interventions.

At the end of the study, people given the semaglutide injections lost an average of 14.9% of their body weight, while those in the placebo group lost just 2.4%. Those who received semaglutide also had a greater improvement in their cardiometabolic risk factors. They also reported better physical functioning from their original baseline compared to those who got the placebo.

How Does Semaglutide Work?


Semaglutide is a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist. In other words, it increases the secretion of insulin, which is what makes it an effective treatment for Type 2 diabetes. At the higher doses used for weight loss, it actually acts in the brain. It affects the areas of the brain that deal with appetite, making a person feel less hungry. As a result, they consume fewer calories, leading to weight loss.

Semaglutide is not a miracle drug. It can’t do all the work on its own. It must be used in combination with lifestyle intervention. What it really does is help people stick to a lower-calorie diet. Where a person may feel ravenous due to a reduction in calories, semaglutide can help suppress their appetite so they feel less tempted to cheat on the diet.

Semaglutide has also been shown to be cardioprotective. It may help prevent heart attacks and even help protect kidney function.

Side Effects of Semaglutide

Like virtually all medications, semaglutide has side effects. In the clinical trials, patients reported that the side effects were mild and eventually decreased as their bodies adjusted to the weight loss medications.

The most common side effects include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Abdominal pain
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Indigestion
  • Dizziness
  • Low blood sugar in patients with Type 2 diabetes
  • Flatulence and belching
  • Gastroenteritis
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease

In the study referenced above, 59 (4.5%) of those receiving semaglutide and 5 (0.8%) of those receiving the placebo chose to discontinue treatment due to gastrointestinal effects. It’s also important to note that the prescribing information for Wegovy contains a boxed warning, noting that this diabetes medication may increase the risk of developing tumors of the thyroid gland. These tumors may be cancerous. This is because laboratory animals given the medication developed tumors, but it isn’t yet known if it causes tumors in humans.

Is Semaglutide Worth It?

Is Semaglutide Really a Miracle Weight Loss Drug? 5

For most people, the side effects of semaglutide are mild and become even more benign as time goes on and the body adjusts to the medication. However, some people in the trial experienced such severe gastrointestinal events that they chose to discontinue use. Additionally, there is some concern over the increased risk of thyroid tumors. Although this condition was only noted in laboratory animals, the possibility should be considered before taking this medication. It’s best to speak with your doctor before making a decision.

It’s also important to consider the lifestyle changes necessary for Semaglutide to be successful. You must be willing to adopt a lower-calorie and low-fat diet. Exercise is also part of a healthy lifestyle, which can help you lose weight and then maintain a healthy weight.

Be sure to work with your primary care physician before using this medication or schedule a consultation with one of our health consultants.

KIYA Longevity provides innovative best-in-class peptide products that meet the highest standards for safety and purity at a fraction of the cost.

FAQs: Semaglutide for Weight Loss – Your Questions Answered

Is semaglutide a good option for me?

Discuss this with your healthcare provider. It may be considered if your body mass index (BMI) is over 30, or over 27 with a weight-related condition like high blood pressure. Also, review your personal or family history of conditions like thyroid c-cell tumors.

Can semaglutide cure obesity?

Semaglutide is a powerful weight-loss tool, but not a standalone cure. Think of it as facilitating change when combined with healthy lifestyle adjustments. Long-term chronic weight management is the goal.

What are the benefits of semaglutide beyond weight loss?

Research suggests semaglutide can improve heart disease risk factors, manage blood sugar (even without a diabetes diagnosis), and in some cases, may contribute to diabetes remission.

Should I use semaglutide instead of other weight management options?

It depends on your individual needs. Semaglutide might be considered if other strategies like diet, exercise, and anti-obesity medications haven’t worked well. In severe obesity, it might even be discussed as a potential alternative to bariatric surgery.

Are there potential side effects with semaglutide?

Common ones include nausea, diarrhea, or constipation. There’s a rare risk of pancreatitis or gallbladder problems. A very small risk of medullary thyroid cancer exists, so discuss this with your doctor.

Is there an FDA-approved semaglutide specifically for weight loss?

Yes! The injectable Wegovy offers a higher dose than semaglutide used for diabetes treatment (like Ozempic) and is FDA-approved specifically for chronic weight management.

How effective is semaglutide for weight loss?

Clinical trials show significant weight loss results. Average weight loss with Wegovy is around 15% of body weight over time. Individual results can vary, and it depends on combining the medication with healthy lifestyle changes.

Can semaglutide help with other health issues?

Besides weight loss and blood sugar control, semaglutide may have benefits for cardiovascular health. Studies show it can reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes in those with cardiovascular disease. It could even modestly lower blood pressure. More research is ongoing

Is semaglutide safe for people with diabetes or kidney disease?

While semaglutide’s original form (like Ozempic) is used to treat diabetes, discuss its use for weight loss with your doctor if you have diabetes or kidney disease. Dose adjustments and monitoring might be needed.






Questions about other peptides? Check out Kiya Longevity’s Peptide Guide.