It is really hard to lose weight, ask anyone who has tried! From those that have a significant amount of weight to lose to the individuals that have less than 30 pounds, it can be a real challenge. Our bodies, our age, genetics, and metabolism work against us, and the scale just won’t budge despite us only eating a single lettuce leaf for dinner… not really but it feels like it, right?!
For years, drug manufacturers have been attempting to produce a diet pill that was both safe and effective. One of the first diet pills to be developed was Obetrol which was popular in the U.S. in the 1950s and 1960s. The ingredients in the original formula included amphetamine mixed salts that included methamphetamine. What a disaster!
Since then, there have been several different weight loss drugs marketed, each with its own issues and each offering underwhelming results. Finally, In 2017, the first weight loss injection was approved for treating obesity. In June of 2021, another very promising weight loss shot was approved by the FDA, and there is another currently being “fast-tracked” for approval.
Today we are going to talk about these new weight loss shots and provide an overview of their history and some clinical trial weight loss results so you can determine if you would benefit from this type of weight loss assistance and which would be the best weight loss shot for you.
Where Did These Weight Loss Shots Come From?
These weight loss shots that are gaining in popularity all began as medications to help treat patients with type 2 diabetes. As patients were given these medications to help control their blood sugar, the beneficial side effect of weight loss became apparent. Losing weight for these patients offered relief and even remission from many obesity-related conditions.
The medications used to treat type 2 diabetes are part of a group of medications called glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists. This is a fancy way to say that they are similar to a hormone that is naturally produced by our digestive system called glucagon-like peptide 1. When introduced into our body, it mimics the actions of the natural hormone.
What Is Glucagon-like Peptide 1?
To better comprehend how these weight loss drugs work, we need to understand how the hormones in our bodies respond to food.
Glucagon-like peptide 1 is a hormone that belongs to a group of hormones in our body called incretins that are responsible for the secretion of insulin. This group of hormones originates from the same source and shares some common traits so they are called “glucagon-like” The lining of the small intestine contains a concentration of cells that are major producers of the hormone glucagon-like peptide 1 however, it is also released in smaller quantities by the central nervous system and the pancreas.
Glucagon-like peptide 1 interacts with the appetite center in the brain to cause a feeling of fullness between meals. It also slows the rate of digestion causing the stomach to stay full longer.
Glucagon is also responsible for:
- Prompting the liver to process and break down glycogen and release it into the bloodstream as glucose (sugar). Glycogen is a stored form of glucose so if you picture it packaged up until glucagon comes along and unpacks it and releases it into the bloodstream;
- Converting certain amino acids into glucose;
- Breaking down triglycerides (stored fats) into fatty acids for the cells to use as energy (burns fat).
Glucagon keeps the blood sugar levels in our body high enough for our bodies to function properly and it responds differently depending on what we eat. When we eat carbohydrates the levels of glucagon in our blood decrease so our blood sugar levels do not get too high and when we eat protein, they rise.
When we understand the function of glucagon, it makes sense that prescription drugs that stimulate this hormone would help with weight loss.
Which Shot For Weight Loss Came First?
Victoza And Saxenda (Liraglutide)
The first GLP-1 receptor agonist drug used to treat diabetes that was converted to a weight loss drug was the prescription drug Liraglutide marketed under the name Victoza (FDA-approved to treat diabetes in 2010). In 2017 this same prescription medication was marketed under the brand name Saxenda® to treat obesity.
Saxenda is administered via injection with a daily shot in the stomach for weight loss. The injection can be given in any “fatty” location but most patients find it easy to use their stomach.
Ozempic And Wegovy (Semaglutide)
The prescription drug Semaglutide marketed as Ozempic has been used since its FDA approval in 2017 to control type 2 diabetes in patients. In June of 2021, it gained FDA approval under the brand name Wegovy® for the treatment of obesity.
Patients administer the Wegovy® weight loss shot once a week using a preloaded one-time-use injection pen. Most patients prefer to administer their weight loss shots in the stomach area.
This shot for weight loss is IBI Healthcare Institute’s proprietary blend of the prescription medication Semaglutide which has been used for over a decade to treat type II diabetes and Levocarnitine which aids in fat metabolism.
SlimMed is administered through pre-filled syringes and subcutaneously injected once weekly.
This new medication was approved in May 2022 by the FDA for the treatment of diabetes. Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) are natural hormones found in our bodies that are responsible for controlling blood sugar levels. Mounjaro® is the first medication that mimics and activates both these natural receptors and therefore has improved control over blood sugar regulation. The clinical trials showed Mounjaro was more effective in controlling blood sugar levels than other diabetes medications.
Mounjaro is not yet officially approved by the FDA for use in the treatment of obesity but it is said to be on the “fast-track” for approval.
Similar to Ozempic, Mounjaro is a weekly injection given under the skin.
All of these weight loss shots are administered using an escalating dosing schedule. Patients begin their treatment with the lowest dose where they remain for 4 weeks before moving up to the next dose. They gradually increase in strength until reaching the highest dose where they will remain for as long as necessary.
How to Choose a Weight Loss Shot
See the comparison chart below to help decide the best weight loss shot for you.
the entire table
|Brand Name||Prescription Drug Name||FDA-Approved for Weight Loss||Schedule||Escalating Dosing Schedule||Average Total Body Weight Loss|
|Saxenda||Liraglutide||2017||Daily||0.6 – 1.2 – 1.8 – 2.4 – 3 mg||5-8%|
|Wegovy||Semaglutide||2021||Weekly||0.25 – 0.5 – 1 – 1.7 – 2.4 mg||10-16%|
|SlimMed||Semaglutide||2021||Weekly||0.25 – 0.5 – 1 – 1.7 – 2.4 mg||10-16%|
|Mounjaro||Tirzepatide||Pending||Weekly||2.5 – 5 – 7.5 – 10 – 12.5 – 15 mg||14-21%|
Which Was The Best Weight Loss Shot In The Clinical Trials?
Semiglutide was the winner over Liraglutide for weight loss when comparing the results realized in clinical trials however, this new weight loss shot Mounjaro is fast-breaking Semaglutide records.
Semiglutide showed an average weight loss of 15.8% during the 68-week clinical trial which far exceeded the 6.4% average weight loss for patients using liraglutide.
Mounjaro is currently in phase 3 of clinical trials with a patient base of 900 people. During their first clinical trial of 2,539 participants, the patients on the 15mg dose experienced an average weight loss of 22.5% surpassing Semiglutide’s results by approximately 12 pounds. Stay tuned, experts are expecting this new weight loss drug to surpass the others in weight loss results.
Are There Downsides To These New Weight Loss Shots?
The emergence of these weight loss shots seems like an amazing tool to combat the obesity epidemic in the United States.
One downside, like any other prescription medication, is that there are side effects associated with all of these weight loss injections. The most common are nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, constipation, and stomach upset. All of these medications are used with a gradual dosing schedule to help alleviate the intensity of the side effects.
Other more serious side effects may occur and these injections caused a type of thyroid cancer in laboratory rats. Since these medications are fairly new, the long-term side effects are unknown.
Another downside is that patients may rely on these injections to keep their weight down instead of learning portion control and changing behavioral habits that promote obesity. Weight loss injections should be used as a tool to help patients reach a healthy weight but should not be relied upon forever.
It is important that patients learn healthy lifestyle habits including eating a healthy diet, getting an adequate amount of sleep, and getting daily exercise.
Weight loss injections can help patients who have tried traditional methods for losing weight and have been unsuccessful. When used in conjunction with a healthy diet and adequate exercise these injections can promote significant weight loss and improve your health. Weight-loss medications can also be used in conjunction with non-surgical weight-loss procedures to provide optimal results.
If you are interested in learning more about how weight loss shots can help you get control over your weight and maintain that weight loss, contact IBI Healthcare Institute today and set up a consultation.
We are here to help you with your weight loss journey every step of the way. Contact us today!