If you have been trying to lose weight and traditional methods have not been effective, you may wish to consider trying a medical weight loss program. When used correctly, medical weight loss programs have been proven to help patients lose more weight than by their efforts alone. Today we would like to talk about prescription medications for weight loss such as Wegovy® and Saxenda® and how they compare to each other and to alternatives.
What Is Medical Weight Loss?
Medical weight loss is a comprehensive weight loss program that is designed to address the underlying causes of obesity while under the supervision of a qualified doctor.
Medical weight loss programs include:
- One-on-one doctor supervision and support;
- Individualized diet and exercise program;
- Medication that works with the metabolism to boost weight loss;
- A large support system of professionals.
How Does Medication Help Patients Lose Weight?
Some of the most common reasons that hinder weight loss are:
- Feeling hungry all the time;
- Patients’ body metabolism working against their weight loss efforts;
- Failure to follow the approved diet and exercise plan.
Weight loss medications evolved from a class of medications that were originally approved for treating patients with type 2 diabetes. These medications mimic a natural hormone (GLP-1) found in our body that helps with insulin production and regulation. Insulin is responsible for the way our bodies break down, store, or utilize fat.
It was discovered that in addition to helping better regulate the patients’ blood sugar through the production of insulin, these medications also slowed down their digestive process so it took them considerably longer to feel hungry after eating. As a result, many patients that were using these medications to treat their type 2 diabetes lost weight as an added benefit.
The medications prescribed within a medical weight loss program are the same FDA-approved medications used for the treatment of type 2 diabetes but in higher doses. Patients normally begin the medication at a low dose and then the dose is gradually increased until reaching the maximum. Each dose level is used for a month before moving up to the next one.
Medications Used For Weight Loss
With different medications available for weight loss, some older and some newer, how do you choose? Is one better than another? Saxenda vs Wegovy: which is better? Contrave vs Saxenda or what about Saxenda vs Phentermine? Below are some weight loss medication comparison charts that may help you determine which medication will be best for you.
Weight-loss medications are available in pill form or as an injection. Contrave and Phentermine are ingested as a once or twice-daily pill and Saxenda, Wegovy, and SlimMed are administered via subcutaneous injection once daily or weekly. See the below weight loss medication comparison charts for more detail.
Wegovy vs Saxenda for Weight Loss Comparison Chart
to see the entire table
|Brand Name||Prescription Drug Name||FDA approved for weight loss||Schedule||Route Administered||Average Expected Weight Loss|
|Adipex-P/Qsymia or Lomaira||Phentermine||2012||Daily||Oral Pill||10-11%|
|Contrave||Naltrexone ER/Bupropion||2014||Twice Daily||Oral Pill||4-8%|
Weight Loss Medication Common Side Effects Chart
to see the entire table
|Brand Name||Common Side Effects|
|Saxenda||Nausea, diarrhea, constipation, vomiting, low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), decreased appetite, headache, dizziness, fatigue, abdominal pain, upset stomach, indigestion, bloating, urinary tract infection, dry mouth, changes in taste, GERD, belching, injection site reaction, fatigue, weakness, gastroenteritis, anxiety, or insomnia.|
|Wegovy||Nausea, stomach pain, stomach flu, diarrhea, headache, feeling bloated, heartburn, vomiting, dizziness, tiredness, belching, constipation, upset stomach, gas.|
|SlimMed||Nausea, upset stomach, diarrhea, headache, feeling bloated, heartburn, vomiting, dizziness, tiredness, belching, constipation, gas.|
Qsymia or Lomaira
|dry mouth, diarrhea, constipation, vomiting, increase in blood pressure, heart palpitations, dizziness, insomnia, shortness of breath, swelling in the legs and ankles.|
|Contrave||Nausea, headache, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, dizziness, trouble sleeping (insomnia), dry mouth, anxiety, hot flashes, fatigue, tremors, abdominal pain, flu symptoms, ringing in the ears, urinary tract infection, high blood pressure, increased sweating heart palpitations, concentration issues, fainting, lightheadedness.|
Wegovy vs Saxenda Pros & Cons Chart
to see the entire table
Qsymia or Lomaira
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Wegovy vs Saxenda For Weight Loss
Both Wegovy and Saxenda, when used with a healthy low calorie diet and regular exercise, have been found to be effective in regulating the natural hunger signals sent by the body and regulating patient metabolic functions.
Both Saxenda and Wegovy are composed of different active compounds but they work similarly because they mimic a natural hormone (GLP-1) in the body that is essential to the inner workings of the metabolism.
Saxenda® contains the prescription drug Liraglutide and Wegovy® contains the prescription drug Semaglutide. They are both administered through a subcutaneous injection with Saxenda done once a day and Wegovy done once a week. Patients begin a dosing schedule over a five-week time frame and gradually work up to the maximum dose in monthly increments.
When comparing historical weight loss results during a 68-week clinical trial of Wegovy vs Saxenda, patients who used Wegovy lost an average of 16% of their weight which proved significantly more than the 8% weight loss that patients who used Saxenda experienced.
Both medications are effective in helping curb hunger and when used with a comprehensive medical weight loss program can help patients lose weight. The medication that works best for each patient will be dependent on several factors such as the patient’s medical history, overall health, the preferred method of administration, and more.
Weight Loss Drugs vs Treatment For Type 2 Diabetes
The two most popular weight loss injections Saxenda and Wegovy were first approved for the treatment of type 2 diabetes in patients. Patients noticed the benefit of weight loss and subsequently the FDA approved both for use in the treatment of obesity.
Saxenda has been approved since 2014, while Wegovy just received FDA approval in June 2021 for weight loss use. Most patients prefer using Wegovy as a part of their medical weight loss plan as it only requires one injection per week and the weight loss yield is higher.
What is the Difference Between Wegovy and Ozempic?
Wegovy is the same prescription medication as Ozempic, however, Ozempic is not approved for weight loss and is used in lower doses to control type 2 diabetes in patients.
How Do Saxenda vs Victoza Compare for Weight Loss?
Both Saxenda and Victoza contain the same active prescription medication but Victoza is not FDA-approved to use for weight loss. Victoza is used in lower doses to treat patients with type 2 diabetes.
If you have tried to lose weight on your own and have been unsuccessful, contact IBI Healthcare Institute for a consultation today. Medical weight loss may be a great option for you!
Combining a low-calorie diet and a comprehensive exercise program with an FDA-approved prescription weight-loss medication under medical supervision has proven a significantly more effective way to lose weight and keep it off. The professionals at IBI Healthcare Institute are there to support you during the entirety of your weight loss journey. Contact us today!