A slim and slender figure is the goal of many women, so any new method to achieve this will attract attention. Semaglutide is one of the most talked about and sought-after weight loss solutions that have hit the market in recent years. It was first used under the brand name Ozempic® to treat diabetes, but doctors and patients began to notice that weight loss was a beneficial side effect. Because the demand for semaglutide as a weight loss aid has skyrocketed, it is now offered under the brand name Wegovy® for that express purpose. Mounjaro® and Zepbound® are similar drugs that can also be used for medical weight loss and contain the generic medication Tirzepatide.

As part of his commitment to helping his patients achieve the body they’ve dreamed about, Dr. Agullo is now offering semaglutide injections at Southwest Plastic Surgery. If weight loss results have eluded you in the past, you might finally be able to enjoy success.

What Is Semaglutide?

Semaglutide is a medicine designed to mimic a natural hormone in your body known as GLP-1. The job of GLP-1 is to help regulate your blood sugar levels (which typically rise after a meal) by telling your pancreas to release insulin after you eat. GLP-1 also helps your body use and store glucose the correct way.

Another way GLP-1 regulates blood sugar is by suppressing the release of another hormone called glucagon, which is created and stored by your pancreas. Glucagon increases blood sugar levels by telling the liver to send glucose into your bloodstream.

The last way GLP-1 helps keep your blood sugar in check is by regulating the speed at which your stomach contents are emptied into your small intestine. The slower your stomach empties after a meal, the slower nutrients like glucose are absorbed, and the less likely you are to experience blood sugar spikes after eating.

How Does Semaglutide Help With Weight Loss?

Because blood sugar levels have much to do with your appetite and cravings, semaglutide’s regulation of those processes helps keep you from overeating. By keeping your insulin levels steady, semaglutide helps keep you from drops in blood sugar, which causes cravings for high-sugar or high-calorie foods. When you eat those high-calorie or high-sugar foods to satisfy your cravings, they spike your blood sugar. A blood sugar spike leads to a blood sugar crash, which triggers cravings—and the vicious cycle continues. Semaglutide breaks the cycle, helping you lose weight.

Semaglutide also works in two ways to control your appetite: slowing down how fast your stomach empties after you eat and binding to GLP-1 receptors in your brain that let your stomach know it’s full. This way, you eat less not only because you feel full longer but also because your brain is tricked into thinking you’ve eaten more than you have.

What Are the Benefits of Semaglutide?

Besides the primary benefits of helping you lose weight, semaglutide can positively impact existing or potential health issues. One advantage of using semaglutide to shed excess weight is that it can help reduce your risk for heart disease. Overweight or obese individuals often have high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure, both of which contribute to your risk of heart attack and stroke. Losing weight usually lowers cholesterol and blood pressure and, in turn, reduces your risk for cardiovascular disease. If you are at risk for developing Type 2 diabetes, semaglutide can help there as well. Its blood sugar control mechanisms, along with its weight loss benefits, make semaglutide an excellent choice for preventing Type 2 diabetes.

Aesthetically, losing weight with semaglutide allows you to regain your self-confidence and feel better in your skin. Eating less while using semaglutide can help you develop better eating habits. Eliminating excess pounds also makes it easier to stick with an active lifestyle.

Am I a Candidate for Semaglutide Injections?

Ideal candidates for semaglutide injections are patients who have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher, as this is considered obese. However, patients who fall in the overweight category (BMI of 25-30) and who also have at least one health condition related to being overweight (such as diabetes or pre-diabetes, high cholesterol, or high blood pressure) are also candidates for semaglutide injections.

Additional criteria that make you a good candidate for semaglutide injections include anyone who has been unsuccessful in losing weight using other programs or methods, those who wish to avoid invasive bariatric surgery, and those who are ready to commit to following a medically supervised weight loss program. You must also understand that losing weight and maintaining that loss will require a lifelong commitment to developing and following healthy eating and exercise habits.

What Is Discussed During My Weight Loss Consultation?

When you come in for your “skinny shot” consultation, you will sit down with Dr. Agullo or one of his nurse practitioners. They will discuss your weight loss goals with you and answer any questions you may have about the medication or the program. They will also go over your medical history to ensure that semaglutide is a safe option for you. Labs will be taken to get a picture of your overall health as well as to serve as a baseline for seeing improvements as you progress. Labs can be billed to your insurance. The cost is $375 if you choose to self-pay.

After it is determined that semaglutide injections are a good option for you, you will begin by taking the lowest dose of the medication and gradually titrating up monthly. Dr. Agullo’s semaglutide program typically lasts three to six months, though he has treated patients for as long as ten months. The duration of your program will depend on your individual needs and Dr. Agullo’s custom-tailored program.

You will visit the office once a month for follow-ups, gauge your progress and tolerance of the medication, and review any questions or concerns you may have about side effects.

How Do I Administer Semaglutide Injections?

Your semaglutide injections are administered once a week, and you will receive four injections to take home each month. Each dose is injected into the subcutaneous layer of your skin, which is the fatty tissue just below the surface. While you will be self-administering the injections using a pre-filled injector pen, your first dose will be given to you at our office to demonstrate the proper way to do it and the ideal injection locations. Semaglutide should only be injected into your abdomen, upper arm, or the front of your upper thigh so that you avoid muscles or veins.

How Much Does My Semaglutide Weight Loss Program Cost?

The initial consultation for your semaglutide weight loss program costs $150, which is a non-refundable fee. Any lab work performed over the course of your treatment is typically covered by insurance but will cost an additional $350 if you self-pay. The semaglutide injections themselves are $300 each month, which is much less than out-of-pocket costs.

What If I Don’t Respond to Semaglutide Injections?

While semaglutide is effective for many, it may not work for everyone. If you don’t see the desired results, there are alternative options available. One such alternative is Mounjaro (Tirzepatide), a medication that combines GLP-1 and GIP (glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide) receptor agonists. Tirzepatide has shown promising results in clinical trials for weight loss and blood sugar control.

Dr. Agullo will evaluate your response to semaglutide and discuss the possibility of switching to Tirzepatide if needed. This alternative can offer a new approach to achieving your weight loss goals.

What Are Some Frequently Asked Questions About Semaglutide?

How much weight is it possible to lose with semaglutide?

As with any type of weight loss program, results vary and depend on various factors. Clinical studies have demonstrated that patients who use semaglutide lose an average of 15% of their starting body weight compared to those on a placebo who lost only three percent of their weight.

Are semaglutide injections painful?

Because semaglutide injections use small, thin needles, they are virtually painless. At most, you may feel a slight pinch as you administer your injections.

What are the risks associated with semaglutide?

As is expected with any medication, there are potential side effects associated with the use of semaglutide. Common side effects include:

  • Nausea
  • Heartburn
  • Vomiting
  • Gastrointestinal upset (gas, diarrhea, constipation)

Semaglutide also carries a risk of rare side effects, including pancreatitis and issues with the kidneys, gallbladder, and thyroid. When you come in for your consultation, it is essential that you are honest about your health history and that you alert our staff of any issues you may have during treatment to ensure that semaglutide is safe for you.

Learn More About Semaglutide and Tirzepatide Injections in El Paso

Whether helping his patients lose weight safely and effectively or improving their confidence through cosmetic procedures, Dr. Frank Agullo offers superior care to everyone who walks through his door. To learn more about semaglutide and tirzepatide for weight loss, schedule a consultation today by calling (915) 590-7900 or completing the online contact form.