Semaglutide is licensed in the UK for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes in conjunction with diet and exercise. It is not licensed for weight loss. However, many practitioners do use it for weight loss with great success. This is deemed off-license use. However, as more and more evidence emerge about the effectiveness of the medication, and the latest trial work behind the FDA granting the license for Wegovy, I believe that it is a justified use of the medication.
Semaglutide Injectable Pens are sold under the brand name Ozempic. It comes in three strengths, 0.25mg, 0.5mg and 1mg.
Novo Nordisk also came out with the first tablet formulation of a GLP1 agonist, called Rybelsus.
Semaglutide works by stopping you feel hungry. It slows down stomach emptying and initiates a release of a small amount of insulin to help in digestion. It also inhibits the release of the hormone glucagon.
The natural hormone that it mimics is released in response to food. However, it only lasts for a few minutes. Semglutide in the injectable form, is modified to last for about a week. Hence once weekly injections. Which patients love as it really helps with compliance.
Rybelsus, the tablet formulation is a great alternative for people who have a phobia to needles. Unfortunately, it must be taken daily due to stomach acid breaking down the drug. There are a few other factors which I will explain in a Rybelsus specific blog.
If you are looking to add weight loss services to your clinic then our course will provide you with all the information that you need to safely prescribe a GLP1 agonist to a suitable patient.
The licensing of Wegovy in the USA is great news, and we look forward to it being made available in the UK.