Slimming injections are used to make people feel less hungry, slow down the emptying of the stomach, and help people lose weight around the middle. The most popular injectable preparations are liraglutide (Saxenda), dulaglutide (Trulicity), and semaglutide (Ozempic).
One way that drugs can help fight obesity is through slimming injections that you can get with a doctor’s prescription. They have a broad spectrum of action, can help you lose weight, and can be purchased with a partial refund. However, they can also be used off-label, contrary to their official purpose.
Injections for weight loss—what are they?
Injectable drugs used for weight loss are GLP-1 analogs (glucagon-like peptide type 1 analogs) from the group of incretin drugs. They are primarily used in the treatment of type 2 diabetes, but some are also used as prescription drugs to support the treatment of certain cases of obesity. Injections for weight loss are given subcutaneously, usually in the abdomen, thigh, or upper arm, once a week or every day. There are many medical preparations with a similar effect and a similar active substance.
- liraglutide (preparations: Saxenda, a subcutaneous injection administered once a day, and Victoza),
- dulaglutide (Trulicity, once-weekly injection),
- semaglutide ( preparation: Ozempic; subcutaneous injection administered once a week in increasing doses from 0.25 mg)
There are also other, less popular substances and preparations used as slimming injections: exenatide (Bydureon and Byetta) and lixisenatide (Lyxumia).
Because it is the only treatment for obesity that has received government approval, liraglutide is the best way to lose weight. Other substances are used off-label, outside of official indications.
The action of injections for weight loss
The body naturally secretes the GLP-1 hormone. The physiological effects of this molecule’s counterparts, GLP-1 analogues (slimming injections), are also present. The effects of GLP-1 analogues in “weight loss injections” are comparable to those of the substances when they are produced naturally in the body.
Slimming injections work as follows:
- slow down gastric emptying and prolong digestion,
- affect the hunger and satiety centers,
- stimulate the secretion of insulin and inhibit the hormone glucagon (they act only in response to high glucose levels; they do not allow hypoglycemia),
- protect beta-pancreatic cells, as well as liver and kidney cells, from damage,
- reduce inflammation,
- have a cardioprotective effect , i.e., they partially protect against sudden cardiovascular events,
- They reduce insulin resistance.
Patients receiving injections for weight loss most often report that these substances cause them to eat less, feel full sooner, and stay full longer. Scientific research has actually proven the potency of these substances in this regard.
Who can benefit from slimming injections?
Common slimming injections are drugs with a wide range of effects and potential uses in medicine. The groups of people who will benefit most from the use of GLP-1 analogues in injections are:
- people with type 2 diabetes ,
- people with Alzheimer’s disease,
- women with PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) (drugs also lower testosterone),
- people at risk of cardiovascular events (drugs improve the lipid profile and the condition of blood vessels, which reduces the risk and degree of atherosclerosis),
- people with insulin resistance.
People who are most often recommended for slimming injections are obese and have made unsuccessful attempts to lose weight, but it is the doctor who decides the therapy, course, and doses.
Side effects of injections for weight loss
Like all medications, injections for weight loss can have negative effects. Make sure to read the medication’s leaflet, which will inform you about the risks of taking the medication, before you take it. The most typical negative effects of using “weight loss injections,” also known as GLP-1 analogues, are as follows:
- constipation and diarrhea,
- stomach pain.
When “slimming injections” are used, the stomach may not empty as quickly, which can cause diarrhea and/or constipation.
- itching or rash at the injection site.
This is not the end of the side effects and adverse effects of these drugs. They are all described in detail in the leaflet that comes with the medicine.
Injections for weight loss: reviews by experts and patients
The use of slimming injections raises a lot of controversy due to their potential to substitute for a healthy lifestyle, physical activity, and proper nutrition. However, they can be helpful for patients who have exhausted other methods of obesity treatment and can replace invasive bariatric surgery.
Injections for weight loss are not the first choice, and it is important to observe the cause of obesity and identify nutritional or behavioral errors. If you can’t manage on your own, seek advice from a nutritionist. If you don’t change your eating habits, you may get the yo-yo effect, which is the bane of all slim people. Even if the drugs work temporarily, you will gain weight after stopping them if you go back to your previous poor eating habits.