What Do You Need to Know About Weight Loss Injections?
by Brenda Hoehn on Oct 12, 2023
What Do You Need to Know About Weight Loss Injections?
In March 2023, ProCare Health released a four-part blog series on anti-obesity medications (AOMs), specifically weight loss injections, as a comprehensive educational resource for our bariatric community members in light of continuously developing AOMs and their growing popularity.
Since then, new pharmaceutical developments and additional weight loss drug-use data have further developed discussions among medical personnel and the general public on Ozempic and similar medications.
Follow along as we expand our educational resources on weight loss injections.
What are weight loss injections?
To date, the most effective injectable weight loss drugs are semaglutide and tirzepatide. The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has approved semaglutide for type 2 diabetes, which is branded Ozempic, and for weight loss under the brand name Wegovy.
Like semaglutide, tirzepatide is available under two names for type 2 diabetes management and weight loss, respectively. The FDA approved the type 2 diabetes medication Mounjaro in May 2022 and for weight loss under the brand Zepbound on November 8, 2023.
- Semaglutide – Ozempic and Wegovy
- Tirzepatide – Mounjaro & Zepbound
These drugs are self-administered once-weekly injections in the upper arm, lower abdomen, or thigh. Patients may choose which injection site they prefer.
How does semaglutide and tirzepatide work?
Semaglutide and Tirzepatide mimic incretin hormones (GLP-1 and GIP), the hormones your gut secretes following a meal. They play a significant role in the body’s insulin response after you eat and impact various systems in the body. Ultimately, these hormones reduce your appetite, thus decreasing your food intake.
To achieve optimal weight loss results, tirzepatide or semaglutide manufacturers recommend that individuals combine the medication treatment with exercise and a healthy eating plan.
How does Wegovy work?
Wegovy (semaglutide) is a GLP-1 receptor agonist (GLP-1 RA) that mimics GLP-1—the fullness hormone—that causes you to start feeling full as you eat. Weekly semaglutide injections induce and prolong the effects of elevated GLP-1, such as:
- Reduced Insulin Resistance
- High Metabolism – the ability to burn calories
- Slower Gastric Emptying Process – food transport from the stomach to small intestines (prolongs the feeling of fullness)
- Increased Satiety – smaller portion sizes satisfy hunger
- Smaller Appetite – decreased desire to eat
How does Zepbound work?
Zepbound (tirzepatide) is a twincretin (i.e., GIP RA and GLP-1 RA). About 15-20 minutes after you finish eating, the levels of both hormones rise. The interaction between the two triggers a chain reaction that burns through carbohydrates (glucose, fructose, and galactose) and fat stores in the body.
The effects of tirzepatide on the body share many similarities with semaglutide. However, medical research data shows that the addition of GIP, a twincretin:
- Improves fat tissue function and metabolization.
- Significantly reduces circulating triglyceride levels (reducing the risk of a heart attack or stroke).
Why are weight loss drugs so popular?
According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), about 82.3% of the U.S. adult population meets the criteria to be clinically diagnosed as overweight, obese, or severely obese. Individuals who fall within one of those three weight classifications are at an increased risk of developing significant health problems, increasing their risk of developing:
However, losing as little as 5% to 10% of your body weight can be enough to lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Clinical Research Data: The Average Number of Pounds Dropped
In a notable number of medical case studies and reviews, the effectiveness of AOM has proven to rival bariatric surgery results.
A 2022 review of semaglutide as a treatment for overweight and obesity recorded an average reduction in body weight of 14.44% in STEP clinical trial participants after 68 weeks of 2.4mg weekly injections.
Additionally, the updated results (July 2023) of the tirzepatide SURMOUNT-1 trial recorded an average reduction in body weight of 22.5%.
The successful weight loss on these medications appeals to doctors because it offers potential non-surgical alternatives for patients who qualify for bariatric surgery. With more treatment options available and accessible to patients, the more hope the medical community has for reversing the climbing overweight and obesity rates in the United States.
However, success with semaglutide and tirzepatide shots is not universal.
Neil Floch, MD’s Perspective on Weight Loss Shots
Dr. Neil Floch, an internationally known and respected bariatric surgeon, has expressed his professional perspective on weight loss drugs across digital platforms, conveying that while these drugs may help some individuals, they are not a sufficient and reliable replacement for bariatric surgery.
He states, “There is no miracle treatment. All treatment types must be available to patients. It is not one or the other. It is about using all potential options to achieve weight loss and health goals.”
Are weight loss injections a good way to lose weight?
Successful weight loss with weekly semaglutide or tirzepatide shots depends on the individual taking one of those medications. Bariatric patients may benefit from AOM and surgical intervention while incorporating healthy lifestyle changes. Just as there are multiple treatment options for obesity, patients must apply every necessary tool and resource to fulfill the body’s healthcare needs to see a significant and lasting improvement in their overall health and wellness.
When you do not correctly supplement your nutrition, you adversely impact your body’s ability to digest food and process the energy from the nutrients, slowing your metabolism. An inefficient metabolism can easily reduce how quickly you lose weight.
Our professionals at ProCare Health highly recommend you speak with your healthcare team on whether semaglutide or tirzepatide is the best option for you by weighing the risks versus the benefits as you would with any medical treatment, medication, or new nutritional supplement.
Should you take Wegovy or Zepbound?
Medical supervision is vital to maintaining your health as you work to reach your health and wellness goals. The success of any obesity treatment plan depends on many factors specific to the individual patient, such as:
- Medical History,
- Lifestyle Habits,
- Genetics, and
- Much More.
It is also essential to remember that if your healthcare team and you choose to take an anti-obesity medication, you do not compare your results to other weight loss patients. Everyone responds differently to medication and surgery and decides to complete their health journey in a way that suits them best.
The results of these weight loss injections in bariatric patients are limited. To maximize their bariatric patients’ success, healthcare teams must prioritize the bariatric-specific health and wellness challenges and the potential adverse interactions with Wegovy or Zepbound.
ProCare Health Products for Weight Loss Shot Side Effects
Like any other medication, AOMs like Wegovy/Ozempic and Zepbound/Mounjaro come with a list of possible side effects. Even if these injections work for you, you may need to manage some side effects. ProCare Health has products that can help!
- FiberCel | Powdered Fiber | Packets – combating constipation and diarrhea
- ProCare Protein Supplements – reducing muscle loss (associated with faster significant weight loss)
Daily multivitamins are also necessary when administering anti-obesity injections, regardless of whether you have had bariatric surgery.
- ProCare Multivitamin Capsules – for bariatric surgery patients
- Bariatric Multivitamin | Soft Chew | Multi-Flavor – for individuals who have not had bariatric surgery
We also recommend our Multivitamin + Probiotics | 45mg Iron | Capsule for individuals looking to reduce their daily capsule count by combining their multivitamin and probiotic needs into a single solution.
Get Bari Connected™ for Weight Loss Resources & Support
At ProCare Health, we aim to help bariatric community members find the support and success they deserve. In addition to offering high-quality essential bariatric vitamins and nutritional supplements, we facilitate a safe and educational space for bariatric patients with the Bari Connected™ live weekly webinar and podcast, along with monthly support groups run by nurse, life coach, and vitamin specialist Brenda Hoehn, MSN, BSN, RN, CHTP.
To browse our products, please visit https://procarenow.com/collections/all.
You may also contact us with any questions regarding our products and services through our digital contact form or at (877) 822-5808.