The Gut Health Blog

Injectables for Weight Loss

weight loss Aug 01, 2023

If you're struggling with weight loss, you're not alone. In fact, more than one-third of American adults are obese. While diet and exercise are the first-line treatment for weight loss, many people need additional help to achieve their goals. Enter injectables for weight loss. As an obesity medicine specialist and gastroenterologist, I want to share my perspective. 

What are injectables for weight loss?

Firstly, let's define what we mean by injectables for weight loss. These medications are injected into a muscle or subcutaneously (under the skin) to promote weight loss. One example of this medication type is liraglutide, marketed under the brand name Saxenda. Liraglutide is a GLP-1 receptor agonist that decreases appetite and increases feelings of fullness.

Do they work?

It's important to understand that injectables are not a magic solution. There's no easy fix. So yes, that means you will still have to practice eating healthy and exercising. Injectables are meant to be used alongside diet and exercise. It's also worth noting that these medications are only FDA-approved for some people, specifically:

  • If you have a BMI of 30 or higher
  • If you have a BMI of 27 or higher with weight-related comorbidities such as high blood pressure or type 2 diabetes

What are the side effects?

Liraglutide's most common side effects are nausea, diarrhea, constipation, and vomiting. Although these side effects are typically mild and go away independently, they can be unpleasant. It's important to be aware of these potential side effects and to talk with your doctor if you experience any concerning symptoms while taking these medications.

Are you a candidate?

Injectables for weight loss should only be prescribed by a qualified healthcare provider, such as an obesity medicine specialist or an endocrinologist. These medications should not be obtained or used without medical supervision. Talk with your doctor to see if an injectable for weight loss is right for you. Your doctor can work with you to develop a comprehensive weight-loss plan.

While injectables for weight loss can be a practical addition to a weight-loss program, they are not a standalone solution. They should only be used under the guidance of a qualified healthcare provider and in conjunction with healthy eating and exercise habits. If you're struggling with weight loss, talk with your healthcare provider about your options and work together to develop a plan that's right for you. Losing weight requires dedication! It's hard work, but achieving your weight loss goals with the proper support and resources is possible.


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