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Semaglutide Weight Loss Dosage Chart: A Comprehensive Guide

Published

Feb 6, 2024

This Semaglutide dosage chart can help figure out the right way to reach your weight loss goals.

Woman filling a syringe
Woman filling a syringe
Woman filling a syringe

In recent years, Semaglutide, a medication we once associated primarily with the treatment of Type 2 Diabetes, has been garnering attention for its weight loss potential. But what is this medication, and how exactly does it help you lose weight? We unpack all that, including a Semaglutide weight loss dosage chart in this article to help you navigate your journey with Semaglutide and Compounded Semaglutide.

Taking the right dose of Semaglutide or Compounded Semaglutide for weight loss can strike the balance between getting the desired results and making sure that the medication is taken safely. It’s more than just hoping for the best — the answers can often be the difference between success and setbacks, safety and risk.

A Doctor Discussing Semaglutide with a Patient

In this guide, we'll shed light on the critical role of dosage to understand not just the 'how' but also the 'how much' Compounded Semaglutide you need to take for optimal weight loss.

What Is Semaglutide and Compounded Semaglutide?

First, let’s take a closer look at the two types of Semaglutide available today.

Semaglutide is available on the market in two brands: Ozempic® and Wegovy®. While they're both injectable forms of Semaglutide, they come in different doses.

  • Ozempic® is an FDA-approved glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist used to treat Type 2 Diabetes (T2D).¹ It’s also used as an off-label treatment for obese or overweight adults with at least one weight-related comorbidity.²
     

  • Wegovy® is FDA-approved solely for the treatment of chronic weight management in adults with obesity or overweight and one comorbid condition, which may include Type 2 Diabetes or other conditions.³ Both are meant to be used in conjunction with a low-calorie diet and regular physical activity.

Semaglutide is the active ingredient in both these medications. For this article, we will be focusing on Ozempic® and its dosages.

Compounded Semaglutide is a form of Semaglutide produced by FDA-registered compounding pharmacies. Compounded Semaglutide provides the same results as branded Semaglutide but at a cheaper price. Compounded Semaglutide can also be adjusted to each patient it is prescribed to, offering better flexibility. 

How Semaglutide Causes Improved Blood Sugar and Weight Loss

Semaglutide was originally developed to improve glycemic control in adults with Type 2 Diabetes and later was approved for weight management because of its efficacy in this area. But how does it work?

When you have Type 2 Diabetes, your pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin,⁴ a hormone that regulates blood glucose levels. GLP-1 is another hormone that stimulates your pancreas to release insulin. Since all forms of Semaglutide and Compounded Semaglutide are GLP-1 receptor agonists, they act like GLP-1 by binding to your body's GLP-1 receptor, effectively increasing insulin production. This helps you to keep your blood sugar levels within a healthy range.⁵ 

Beyond its primary use, Semaglutide and Compounded Semaglutide have also been shown to:⁶

  • Reduce appetite and hunger

  • Increase feelings of fullness

  • Reduce food cravings and energy intake

  • Delay gastric emptying (when food leaves the stomach and goes into the intestines)

All these effects reduce calorie intake, leading to weight loss.⁶

Weight loss with Semaglutide

Potential Risks

While it has many benefits, there are some side effects associated with Semaglutide and Compounded Semaglutide, including:⁷

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting

  • Abdominal pain

  • Constipation

  • Severe gastrointestinal reactions

  • Hypoglycemia

  • Pancreatitis

  • Acute kidney injury

They may also cause injection site reactions or reduced absorption of other oral medications due to delayed gastric emptying.⁷ It’s important to note that balance is key when taking either type of Semaglutide. Its efficacy and the severity of adverse effects depend on the right dosage.⁸

How to Administer Injectable Semaglutide and Compounded Semaglutide

Semaglutide and Compounded Semaglutide are administered as a once-weekly subcutaneous injection in the abdomen, upper arm, or thigh at any time of the day. If you choose to inject it into the same area each week, you should use a different injection site.⁷

Semaglutide is delivered in a single-use pen with a 0.25 mg or 0.5 mg dose per injection or a single-use pen with a 1 mg dose per injection. You can take it with or without meals. 

Recipients of Compounded Semaglutide will receive the injectable medication as a vial and syringe. Because of this, you must pay close attention to filling the syringe with the correct dosing amount when administering it. 

If you also inject insulin, you can administer both in the same body region as long as you meet three criteria:⁷

  1. Don’t inject them side by side

  2. Never mix the two together 

  3. Don’t inject them at the same time

If you miss a dose, administer the shot as soon as you can, no later than five days after the missed day. If you exceed five days, skip the missed dose and administer it on your next scheduled day. Then, go back to your regular injection schedule.⁷

Semaglutide Weight Loss Dosage Chart Overview

Understanding the dosing progression of Semaglutide and Compounded Semaglutide is crucial to getting the most out of your treatment. By following a structured dosage chart, you can ensure you take the right dose for you and optimize its therapeutic benefits while minimizing potential adverse effects.⁸

Here at Henry Meds, we only offer Compounded Semaglutide and adhere to FDA-recommended dosage progressions, adjusting as needed for your personal health. 

Let’s look into the key points to consider when dosing Semaglutide or Compounded Semaglutide.

Semaglutide Dosage Chart for Henry Meds

Starting Dose

The recommended starting dosage of Semaglutide or Compounded Semaglutide is 0.25 mg weekly for the first month (5 units on the syringe).⁷ This amount is just meant to introduce the medication into your system so it can begin acclimation. It doesn’t start regulating your blood sugar levels at this point.⁷

Gradual Increments

After the first four weeks, your provider will advise when to increase the dosage to 0.5 mg once a week for the next month. At this point, the medication begins regulating blood sugar levels.⁷

After at least four weeks on a 0.5 mg dose, your provider may increase your weekly dose up to the maximum recommended dosage of 1.0 mg if you need additional glycemic control. This is the maximum recommended amount for maintenance treatment.7 

Maximum Dose

Roughly 20 to 30% of people on the maximum recommended dosage of 1.0 mg of Semaglutide or Compounded Semaglutide per week don’t reach optimal glycemic control.⁹ If you fall within this group, your healthcare provider may choose to increase your dose up to the maximum allowable dose of 2.0 mg once a week to help get your blood sugar levels under control and allow you to enjoy the benefits of the medication.⁹

The Importance of a Personalized Approach to Weight Loss Management

Every individual is unique, and so is their response to medication. Here's why a one-size-fits-all approach doesn't work.

Factors Influencing Dosage

Several factors influence your starting and maintenance dosage of Semaglutide or Compounded Semaglutide, including:¹⁰

  • Disease: Having certain diseases reduces the excretion and absorption of medications.

  • Genetics: Certain genetic factors such as body mass and build can affect medication distribution throughout the body.  

  • Age: Effects of aging, such as impaired kidney function, can reduce excretion and increase toxic response (when your body can’t get the medication out of the bloodstream).

  • Nutritional status: Previous and current food and drug experiences can affect how your body metabolizes Semaglutide.

  • Sex: Your biological sex affects your body’s metabolism of the medication.

  • Hormonal status (i.e., pregnancy): Maternal toxicity can negatively affect the fetus.

  • Circadian rhythm: Administering medications at the wrong time of day can cause the doses to elicit a toxic response.

All these factors influence how medications affect your system, how it processes them, and the severity of the side effects.10 That’s why there’s no blanket approach to starting dosages and progressions. Each dosing plan is unique to each person’s health situation and medical history.

Talk to your doctor about taking semaglutide safely

The Importance of Medical Supervision

Starting your journey with Semaglutide or Compounded Semaglutide for weight management is a step toward a healthier you. But you shouldn’t take this path alone. Regular check-ups and open communication with qualified healthcare professionals are crucial to meeting your weight loss goals. These healthcare professionals possess the experience and expertise to identify potential issues before they get too severe.

Certain medications may also interact with Semaglutide treatment, necessitating a dose adjustment in either the other medication or in the amount of Semaglutide or Compounded Semaglutide.⁷ For example, administering injectable Semaglutide with insulin or an insulin secretagogue can cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Therefore, your clinician may need to lower the dose of the insulin medication to reduce the risk.⁷

Furthermore, while it’s tempting to take the reins and adjust your Semaglutide or Compounded Semaglutide dosage yourself — especially if you want quicker results— it’s extremely risky. You might inadvertently increase the risk of side effects or reduce the effectiveness of the treatment. Your healthcare professional’s expertise helps you avoid potential pitfalls and keep your weight loss journey both safe and effective.

The Impact of Other Health Conditions

When it comes to Semaglutide and Compounded Semaglutide, your existing health conditions play a significant role in your dosage. Each health condition you have — be it heart disease, kidney issues, or anything else — can influence how your body responds to this medication. Some can even disqualify you for treatment.⁷

For example, you may not be able to take Semaglutide or Compounded Semaglutide if you have:⁷

  • Hypersensitivity reactions to Semaglutide or any of its components

  • Thyroid cancer

  • Endocrine syndromes

Other conditions, such as diabetic retinopathy or kidney impairment, may not completely disqualify you for treatment. However, they may require your healthcare provider to monitor you strictly and adjust dosage as necessary to avoid exacerbating your condition.⁷

This is why a one-size-fits-all approach just doesn’t cut it for Semaglutide and Compounded Semaglutide treatment. Your healthcare provider considers the entire picture of your health so your dosage doesn’t harm you or cause existing conditions to worsen. It’s a personalized approach tailored just for you, ensuring your safety and the effectiveness of the treatment.

The Benefits of the Semaglutide Weight Loss Dosage Chart

Using a Compounded Semaglutide dosage chart offers several key benefits, especially if you’re looking to start weight management with this medication. 

Guided Dosage Increases

As seen above, Semaglutide or Compounded Semaglutide treatment typically starts with a lower dose that gradually increases over time. A dosage chart provides a clear, step-by-step guide on how to safely escalate the dosage, reducing the risk of adverse effects and helping the body adjust to the medication.

Enhanced Safety and Efficacy

By following a structured dosage plan, you and your healthcare provider can strike a balance between maximizing Compounded Semaglutide’s efficacy for weight loss and minimizing potential side effects. This careful approach makes for a safer and more effective weight management journey.

Easier Monitoring and Adjustments

A dosage chart also acts as a tool for monitoring progress and making necessary adjustments. When completed in conjunction with the dosage chart, regular follow-ups allow for fine-tuning the treatment based on individual responses and health changes.

Pharmacist preparing compounding medication

Getting Semaglutide Amidst a National Shortage

The FDA has currently declared a national shortage of Ozempic® due to extremely high demand.¹¹ Thankfully, there’s a solution: compounding pharmacies. 

These facilities follow clinician prescriptions to customize medications to meet unique patient needs in accordance with strict federal standards and regulations. They do so by:¹² 

  • Changing dosages

  • Combining medications

  • Removing ingredients

  • Changing the administration method

Licensed compounding pharmacies can step in to provide compounded forms of commercially produced prescription medications during a national shortage. That means you can legally get a prescription filled for Compounded Semaglutide from a compounding pharmacy.¹²

Get the Perfect Dosage of Compounded Semaglutide for You with Henry Meds 

Here at Henry Meds, we make getting Compounded Semaglutide easy and affordable. With our GLP-1 Weight Management program, you can speak to a healthcare provider and receive your medication for just $297 per month with no insurance needed. The steps are simple:

  1. Visit the Henry Meds website, choose a program, select your location, and choose an appointment time. 

  2. Create an account on the website and subscribe with your payment information. 

  3. Fill out some basic information about your health status and verify your email address to receive an email with telehealth appointment details.

  4. Attend your telehealth appointment with a provider on the Henry Meds platform who will issue a prescription if deemed medically appropriate.

  5. Medically-approved patients will receive their medications by mail straight from the pharmacy based on their dosing schedule.

Get started today to enjoy judgment-free weight management care at an affordable price.

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. 

To help you trust the information we provide, every article written by Henry relies on peer-reviewed studies and medically-reviewed facts. We ensure that data, ideas, and figures cited are reliable, current, and accurate. Our team of medical reviewers aims to help you cut through the noise with clear and authoritative primary and secondary sources.

Nothing in this article is intended to be prescriptive or medical advice. Talk to your doctor before starting a new diet and exercise plan. The information presented is about our medically supervised weight management programs and is not an advertisement for a specific drug.

Sources

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  2. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (2021, June 4). FDA Approves New Drug Treatment for Chronic Weight Management, First Since 2014. FDA. https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/fda-approves-new-drug-treatment-chronic-weight-management-first-2014 

  3. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (n.d.-c). HIGHLIGHTS OF PRESCRIBING INFORMATION: WEGOVY (semaglutide) injection, for subcutaneous use. In FDA. FDA. https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2022/215256s005lbl.pdf 

  4. Collins, L., & Costello, R. A. (2020). Glucagon-like Peptide-1 Receptor Agonists. PubMed; StatPearls Publishing. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK551568/ 

  5. Chao, A. M., Tronieri, J. S., Amaro, A., & Wadden, T. A. (2021). Semaglutide for the treatment of obesity. Trends in Cardiovascular Medicine, 33(3). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tcm.2021.12.008 

  6. Friedrichsen, M., Breitschaft, A., Tadayon, S., Wizert, A., & Skovgaard, D. (2021). The effect of semaglutide 2.4 mg once weekly on energy intake, appetite, control of eating, and gastric emptying in adults with obesity. Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism, 23(3), 754–762. https://doi.org/10.1111/dom.14280 

  7. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (n.d.-b). HIGHLIGHTS OF PRESCRIBING INFORMATION: OZEMPIC (semaglutide) injection, for subcutaneous use. In FDA. FDA. https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2017/209637lbl.pdf 

  8. Pavlovic, N., Tcheugui, J. E., & Ndumele, C. E. (2021, July 21). High Dose Semaglutide for Weight Loss and Cardiometabolic Risk Reduction in Overweight/Obesity. American College of Cardiology; ACC. https://www.acc.org/latest-in-cardiology/articles/2021/07/21/14/06/high-dose-semaglutide-for-weight-loss-and-cardiometabolic-risk-reduction 

  9. Frías, J. P., Auerbach, P., Bajaj, H. S., Fukushima, Y., Lingvay, I., Macura, S., Søndergaard, A. L., Tankova, T. I., Tentolouris, N., & Buse, J. B. (2021). Efficacy and safety of once-weekly semaglutide 2·0 mg versus 1·0 mg in patients with type 2 diabetes (SUSTAIN FORTE): a double-blind, randomised, phase 3B trial. The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, 9(9), 563–574. https://doi.org/10.1016/s2213-8587(21)00174-1 

  10. Bailey, K. (1983). Physiological factors affecting drug toxicity. Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology, 3(4), 389–398. https://doi.org/10.1016/0273-2300(83)90009-0 

  11. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (n.d.-a). FDA Drug Shortages. Www.accessdata.fda.gov; FDA. Retrieved November 29, 2023, from https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/drugshortages/dsp_ActiveIngredientDetails.cfm?AI=Semaglutide%20Injection&st=c 

  12. Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. (2018). Compounding and the FDA: Questions and Answers. FDA. https://www.fda.gov/drugs/human-drug-compounding/compounding-and-fda-questions-and-answers

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