Common questions and answers about compounded semaglutide

Common questions and answers about compounded semaglutide:
Q: What is compounded semaglutide?
A: Compounded semaglutide is a version of the medication semaglutide that is custom-prepared by a compounding pharmacy. Semaglutide is a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist. GLP-1 agonists have been used in several FDA-approved medications for managing type 2 diabetes and weight management.
 Q: How does semaglutide work?
A: Semaglutide mimics the effects of the GLP-1 hormone, which increases insulin secretion, decreases glucagon release, slows gastric emptying, and reduces appetite. These actions help to lower blood glucose levels and support weight loss.
Q: Why might someone use compounded semaglutide?
A: Compounded semaglutide is often used when commercially available versions are not suitable for a patient due to dosage requirements, allergies to certain ingredients, need for a different form of administration, or drug shortage. Recently, drug shortages have significantly affected patients’ ability to obtain commercially available weight loss medications and compounded semaglutide is more widely available.
Q: How is compounded semaglutide administered?
A: Like the commercially available versions, compounded semaglutide is typically administered via subcutaneous injection. The specific dosage and administration schedule should be determined by a healthcare provider.
Q: Who is an appropriate candidate for compounded semaglutide?
A: Patients who have a BMI greater than 30 or patients who have a BMI between 27 and 30, who also have weight-related medical conditions such as hypertention, hyperlipidemia, PCOS, etc.
Q: What are the common side effects of semaglutide?
A: Common side effects include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and constipation. These side effects are often temporary and may decrease over time as the body adjusts to the medication.
Q: Who is not a candidate for semaglutide?
A: While generally safe, semaglutide  can increase the risk of pancreatitis, so patients with a history of pancreatitis should not use this medication. It may also increase the risk of medullary thyroid carcinoma in rodents, though this risk has not been confirmed in humans. Patients who have a personal or family history of medullary thyroid carcinoma should not use this mediation. This medication may also cause worsening of symptoms in patients who have gastroparesis and should not be used in patients who are pregnant or breast feeding, have type 1 diabetes, or have Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia Syndrome (MEN1).
Q: Is compounded semaglutide covered by insurance?
A: Compounded medications are typically not covered by insurance because they are not FDA approved. Because each compounding pharmacy has their own formulation, the FDA cannot perform their standardized tests to approve a compound. At Vitality Anti-Aging Center, we use Olympia Compounding Pharmacy, which is a 503B pharmacy, meeting the highest standards and requirements from the FDA to compound medication.
Q: What should patients expect at their consultation for compounded semaglutide?
A: At Vitality Anti-Aging Center, a medical provider will perform an extensive past medical history and a physical exam. We also obtain a series of blood work to ensure that you are an appropriate candidate for compounded semaglutide and that there are no other underlying health issues contributing to the weight gain.
Q: How is the weight loss program at Vitality different than others:
A: At Vitality, we want to develop a relationship with our patients to ensure that they have a successful weight loss journey and are able to maintain these results after they finish the program. We do require weekly follow-up appointments for a minimum of 4 months to ensure that the patient is supported and to monitor the effects of the medication.
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