The growing demand for effective solutions to reduce body fat and achieve a leaner body composition has led to the emergence of various diet plans, supplements, products, and weight loss medications. One popular category of medications is GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide) receptor agonists, known to promote weight reduction through different mechanisms. Semaglutide, a modified peptide manufactured by Novo-Nordisk and marketed as Wegovy®, is currently the only FDA-approved medication for weight loss in this category. Novo-Nordisk also offers other versions of semaglutide, known as Ozempic® (injectable) and Rybelsus® (oral), which are indicated for blood glucose control in type 2 diabetics.
Due to their novelty, complexity of production, and potential for reducing hunger and gastrointestinal effects leading to weight loss, the supply of FDA-approved Wegovy, Ozempic, and Rybelsus is limited. This scarcity has allowed compounding pharmacies to create non-FDA approved versions of semaglutide, often mixing it with other medications like vitamin B-6, vitamin B-12, or other bioactives.
Furthermore, newer and potentially more potent weight control drugs, such as tirzepatide marketed as Mounjaro® by Eli Lilly, Inc., are in development and gaining approval for type 2 diabetes treatment. However, before these medications become widely available and affordable, it is essential to understand their side effects and effectiveness better. Currently, the cash price per month for Novo-Nordisk medications ranges from $500 to $1500, making them costly for many individuals. Additionally, not all patients achieve successful weight loss with semaglutide, and some may regain weight after discontinuing its use.
In light of these factors, caution and careful consideration are advised when purchasing and using FDA-approved or compounded GLP-1 receptor agonists like semaglutide and tirzepatide. As more research is conducted and the market expands, a better understanding of their safety, efficacy, and affordability will be crucial to making informed decisions about these weight loss medications.