Weight loss injections have recently emerged as a straightforward and convenient way to help you reach your weight loss goals. Read on to learn more about how these injections work, what side effects you can expect, and more.
What are medical weight loss injections?
Medical weight loss injections are prescription drugs that are self-administered once a week with a prefilled pen injector. They can be shipped directly to your home and stored in the fridge, making them a convenient option for busy professionals and on-the-go parents.
There are many types of weight loss injections, but today, we’ll be taking a look at three.
Wegovy (semaglutide) is currently the only FDA approved injection for weight loss. This drug works by mimicking hormones that regulate your appetite. It also impacts feelings of ‘fullness,’ reducing how many calories you consume over the course of a day.
Ozempic (semaglutide) is FDA approved for diabetes but can be used off-label for weight loss if your doctor determines it is safe and appropriate for you. Much like Wegovy, Ozempic works to help people lose weight by reducing a person’s appetite.
Mounjaro (tirzepatide) is another drug that is FDA approved for diabetes but can be used off-label to help patients lose weight. This drug works by reducing appetite and slowing the digestive process.
Do you still need to exercise when using these medications?
It’s important to remember that there is no such thing as a ‘magic bullet’ to help you lose weight. These injections are intended to be used alongside lifestyle changes such as diet adjustments and exercise and are unlikely to provide the desired results on their own.
Developing healthy habits can help you not only lose weight but maintain it. Sticking with sustainable habits over time can help you avoid the hazards of weight cycling, also known as ‘yo-yo dieting,’ a process in which you lose and regain weight repeatedly.
What side effects can you expect?
Like all medications, Wegovy, Ozempic, and Mounjaro can cause side effects. Most side effects are mild and resolve on their own over time. The dosages of all these medications typically start low and increase over time to a final dose. This process helps your body become acclimated to the medication and can also help minimize the severity of side effects.
Side effects of these medications include:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Indigestion or heartburn
- Burping or gas
- Redness, tenderness, or swelling a the injection site
It’s important to stop using the medication and speak with your doctor right away if you experience any serious side effects, such as an allergic reaction or increased heart rate.
Other types of injections for weight loss
In addition to the prescription medications discussed above, there are several other types of weight loss injections that have recently become popular.
B12 shots are a fast and simple injection that contain a concentrated dose of Vitamin B12, but they are not clinically proven to help patients lose weight.
However, this type of shot may promote weight loss indirectly by supporting energy levels. For example, B12 shots can help correct pernicious anemia, a condition that can cause fatigue and weakness. By helping combat fatigue and low energy, B12 shots may help support metabolic function and help patients feel energized to exercise regularly.
Lipotropic injections are a blend of ingredients that may help support weight loss alongside diet changes and exercise. They often contain vitamins such as B12 or nutrients like choline that support a healthy metabolism.
There is little evidence that lipotropic injections work, with mixed results from current studies. It’s important to speak with your doctor about whether lipotropic injections can help you reach your weight loss goals safely.
Whether you opt for prescription medications or lipotropic injections, all of the options we have discussed are most effective alongside lifestyle changes like diet and exercise. Losing weight is a journey that cannot be achieved overnight. Finding a sustainable plan for your lifestyle remains the most effective way to lose and maintain a healthy weight over the long run.