Is Compounded Semaglutide Safe? How to Know
Nov 8, 2023
Discover what Compounded Semaglutide is. Find the safest compounded medications for you.
Weight loss is not easy and, unfortunately, often unsuccessful. So, where should you turn when those pounds just won’t come off?
Medications like Semaglutide are making major waves in the weight loss world. Semaglutide is the active ingredient in Ozempic® and Wegovy® — these in-demand medications have become so popular they’re often hard to find. But even if you can find them, their high cost has kept them out of reach for many people.
But there’s good news for people who need effective weight loss treatments but can't find name-brand medications. Two words: Compounded Semaglutide.
Compounded Semaglutide and other medications are custom-formulated in FDA and state-licensed facilities to address individual patient needs, and they cost a fraction of the price of the big brand names.
This article will explore Compounded Semaglutide, including how it works and how to know the medication you receive is safe.
What Is Semaglutide?
Semaglutide is an injectable GLP-1 receptor agonist, which prompts the body to produce more insulin and lower blood sugar levels.
Semaglutide’s ability to interact with the parts of the brain that suppress appetite has made it a popular weight loss treatment. Semaglutide is administered by injection once a week.
Semaglutide is FDA-approved and marketed under the brand name Ozempic® for the treatment of Type 2 Diabetes and under the brand name Wegovy® for the treatment of obesity. Both are manufactured by the Danish pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk.
With the recent release of clinical research supporting the weight loss benefits of Semaglutide, demand has skyrocketed.
So, what if you’re thinking about trying Semaglutide? Are these the only two options available? Fortunately, the answer is no — there are alternatives.
Is Compounded Semaglutide Effective?
Yes. Compounded Semaglutide has helped thousands of people lose and maintain weight loss when combined with diet and exercise.
Research. One particular study found that overweight and obese individuals who combined Semaglutide with healthier lifestyle choices showed “sustained, clinically relevant reduction in body weight.”¹
Another study showed that participants taking Semaglutide to treat obesity lost an average of 9.6-17.4% of their initial body weight at week 68.”²
Further research also found that dosing amounts starting at .25 mg and increasing over three months to 1 mg showed Semaglutide was an effective weight loss treatment.³
Benefits of Compounded Semaglutide
Compounded Semaglutide offers multiple benefits for patients:
Available supply: First and foremost, there’s a larger supply of Compounded Semaglutide compared to brand-name medications. When brand-name medications run short, compounded varieties can save the day for many patients in need of medication.
Customized for the patient’s needs: Compounded Semaglutide can be customized to the unique needs of each patient. Formulations are created based on a medical professional’s prescription and provide a non-commercially available strength. For instance, Compounded Semaglutide can be specially formulated for a specific individual by:
removing known allergens
modifying dosage levels
adding ingredients to help minimize side effects
More affordable: A recent study found that the average cost of a 30-day supply of Semaglutide in the US was $804 in May 2023.⁴ Compounded Semaglutide can be purchased for a fraction of the cost of the brand-name medications. The dramatic difference in price is mainly due to the fact that patients are not paying for branding or a large manufacturing facility.
The Compounding Process
Since compounding medications are customized to each patient’s needs, they don’t go through the same FDA-approval process as big brand-name and generic mass-market medications.
Instead, the FDA and individual state boards of pharmacy allow licensed sterile compounding pharmacies and manufacturing facilities to create compounded medications to fill gaps in the commercially available market.
How Is Semaglutide Compounded?
When medications are unavailable on the commercial market, such as when there is an FDA-declared drug shortage, compounding pharmacies step in to play a critical role in the US pharmaceutical supply chain.
In order for compounding pharmacies to create compounded medications, the FDA must confirm the medication is not commercially available and that the compounded version is a viable alternative.
As of May 2023, both Wegovy and Ozempic were on the FDA’s Drug Shortages List.
In a warning issued by the FDA regarding Compounded Semaglutide, the agency advises people to only purchase compounds, as prescribed by a licensed healthcare provider, from state boards of pharmacy or FDA-licensed facilities.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to ensure the Compounded Semaglutide you receive is compounded in compliance with all state and federal laws.
Where Is Compounded Semaglutide Made?
Injectable drugs, such as Compounded Semaglutide, are required to be compounded in specialized facilities that operate USP 797-compliant clean rooms.
Compounded medications can either be made by:
a 503(a) compounding pharmacy, or
a 503(b) outsourcing facility.
A 503(a) compounding pharmacy is licensed by the Board of Pharmacy (BoP) in the states where they operate or dispense medications. These pharmacies typically create medication for individual patients based on a prescription from a licensed healthcare provider. They can compound a small advance supply to meet the expected needs of their patients but do not typically mass produce compounded medications.
A 503(b) outsourcing facility is directly licensed by the FDA. These facilities tend to mass-produce compounded medications to distribute to hospitals and other health systems, rather than creating them for individual patients.
Pharmacies are required to follow strict guidelines to ensure the safety of the medication they produce. They must undergo regular third-party audits to ensure compliance.
Tips for Finding Legal Compounded Semaglutide
Once your licensed healthcare provider decides that Compounded Semaglutide is right for you, you have some important choices to make.
To be sure the medication you take is legal, appropriately dosed, and contains the listed active ingredients, it's essential to pay attention to who is prescribing your Compounded Semaglutide and where it’s being made.
Choosing Your Provider
As legitimate compounded drugs like Compounded Semaglutide are prepared based on a patient-specific prescription, it's important to make sure the person treating you is a licensed healthcare professional.
It’s essential that the platform you choose for your medical care has an extensive vetting process for the providers that use their platform. This ensures the provider you work with is not only licensed but in good standing without any disciplinary action in their professional history.
Your provider is there to assist and support you on your weight loss journey, not to merely prescribe medication.
All medical weight management programs are most effective when combined with lifestyle changes. Compounded Semaglutide may be part of your medical weight loss program, but it should not be your entire treatment plan.
Choosing Your Pharmacy
The FDA also advises people to get their compounded medications from a state-licensed pharmacy or an outsourcing facility registered with the FDA. These credentials ensure the center adheres to the highest standards of safety and sterility when sterile compounding is necessary. Medications produced in a 503(a) pharmacy or a 503(b) outsourcing facility are considered safe and effective once they have undergone third-party testing and are released for dispensing.
Many people think of compounding medications as mixing different ingredients in a bowl, but the process is much more complex. This is particularly true when working with injectable medications that require the highest level of sterility and safety. A licensed pharmacy or registered outsourcing facility is the only way to be sure these standards are consistently met.
Getting a Prescription
Compounded Semaglutide should only be obtained by prescription from a licensed healthcare practitioner. When a healthcare provider writes a prescription for Compounded Semaglutide, it is only after consulting with the patient, either in person or through a telehealth appointment.
This way, the prescription can be customized to the precise needs of the patient, taking into account medical history, current health conditions, and other factors. With a customized prescription from a licensed provider, you can rest assured the Compounded Semaglutide you receive will be right for you.
Getting Ongoing Medical Support
The weight loss journey itself can also be fraught with questions and concerns. And like all medicines, Compounded Semaglutide can cause side effects in some patients.
When you start a Compounded Semaglutide program along with the necessary lifestyle changes, remember that your provider will be available to answer your questions and support you throughout the process.
Getting Semaglutide Through Henry Meds
Henry Meds offers Compounded Semaglutide to medically qualified patients -- at a price everyone can afford!
Patients begin their relationship with Henry Meds by completing a medical history form that a licensed provider on the Henry Meds platform will review.
Next, patients meet with their provider to go over their medical history, discuss any questions or concerns, and begin the treatment process.
If appropriate, your provider will prescribe medication like Compounded Semaglutide to support your treatment plan. You will receive your customized medication in the mail as ordered by your provider with free shipping directly to your door.
Your provider remains available to you anytime you have a question or concern.
Compounded Semaglutide You Can Trust
When brand-name medications are hard to find, or aren't the right option for you, compounded medications can be a good alternative.
The good news is when you work with Henry Meds, you know that the medication you receive is coming from a licensed pharmacy or FDA-registered outsourcing facility in the United States.
Henry Meds offers an easy-to-follow treatment process, and we keep the pricing simple, with no insurance required! Your $297 monthly membership fee covers everything, unless a higher dose of medication is required, then the price is $397 per month. Most clients do well with the standard dose and pricing.
You’ll get easy access to an experienced provider, medication management, and whatever it costs us to ship you your medication.
Ready to learn more?
Please Note: Henry Meds does not offer Ozempic® or Wegovy®, which are only available from the Novo Nordisk company. Compounded Semaglutide is a patient-specific medication created in a state Board of Pharmacy or FDA-licensed compounding facility per a prescription from a licensed healthcare professional. Compounded drugs are required to exclusively use ingredients from FDA-licensed facilities, and test sterile compounds for potency, sterility, and purity. While compounded drugs are legal they do not undergo pre-market approval from the FDA as they are not made in large batches for the public, compounds are made based on specific orders from a medical professional. Because of that the dose, route of administration, safety, and efficacy may differ from commercially available, brand-name, drugs. Henry Meds exclusively works with licensed sterile compounding pharmacies in the United States.
Wilding, J., et al. Once-Weekly Semaglutide in Adults with Overweight or Obesity. The New England Journal of Medicine. (March 2021).
Chao, A., et al. Clinical Insight on Semaglutide for Chronic Weight Management in Adults: Patient Selection and Special Considerations. Drug Design, Development and Therapy. (December 2022).
Anam, M., et al. Efficacy of Semaglutide in Treating Obesity: A Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs). Cureus. (December 2022).
Levi, J., et al. Estimated minimum prices and lowest available national prices for antiobesity medications: Improving affordability and access to treatment. Obesity, Silver Spring, MD. (May 2023).
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