How Long Do You Stay On Semaglutide for Weight Loss

If you are considering taking semaglutide for weight loss, you might be wondering how long do you stay on semaglutide for weight loss to see its outcome. Unfortunately, there is no straight answer to your query. 

Generally, it takes around 8 to 12 weeks for semaglutide to start working. However, the final results may vary depending on users' lifestyles and habits. In a few cases, you may have to take the drug for several months (around 68 weeks) or longer to see its full effects. 

So, if you also want to jump on the semaglutide bandwagon, keep reading till the end to know its impact and expected duration of use.

What Is Semaglutide? 

Semaglutide is an FDA-approved drug for weight management. It mimics the GLP-1 hormone and belongs to the glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1 RAs) class of medicines. 

Semaglutide is an anti-obesity medication used for weight loss and management. Since its approval in 2021, the injectable drug has become quite popular as the first approved drug for adult weight management.

Obesity is a serious issue because it usually leads to other worse health problems, such as strokes and diabetes. It is also linked with a high risk of cancer. According to a report, more than half of the entire world will be obese by 2035

Therefore, it makes sense to control your weight gain before it leads to death. However, not everyone can shed calories through simple diet control or exercise. That’s when semaglutide lends a helping hand. 

Semaglutide’s Success As a Weight Loss Drug

Semaglutide has a long history. It was developed by Novo Nordisk and was first approved by the FDA in 2017 as a part of the medicine, Ozempic. This drug was used to treat type 2 diabetes in adults. 

In 2019, the FDA approved Rybelsus, a new form of semaglutide. This drug was the first of its kind to be introduced in the American market to treat type 2 diabetes. 

Then, in 2021, the FDA approved a much more potent form of this substance. This time, semaglutide was approved under the name Wegovy

The last two categories could help people lose weight, but they were not approved by the FDA. However, Wegovy is a drug specifically designed for people suffering from obesity and its related health problems. 

Semaglutide for weight loss interacts with the brain to reduce appetite and make you feel full. When consumed with proper diet and exercise, semaglutide can significantly reduce weight. 

According to a study, semaglutide for weight loss has proven quite effective in recent times. Half of the people who took it for 68 weeks lost 15% of their weight. Nearly a third of these participants saw a 20% reduction in their weight. 

Since then, many consumers have shown similar results. As per an analysis report, around 1.7% of Americans have been prescribed semaglutide in 2023 alone. This was almost a 40 times increase in the last five years.

How Long Do You Stay on Semaglutide for Weight Loss?

It is tough to give a specific timeline as each user’s situation is different. Typically, most people are given the semaglutide for 68 weeks as long as they don't experience any side effects. 

But again, it is not possible in every case. You may not see results even after this tenure, while your friends might start losing weight in week one. 

Factors such as your lifestyle, eating habits and commitment to the whole process play a significant role in determining the duration that you might have to stay on the prescribed semaglutide dosage for weight loss.

The treatment starts with a small dose, which increases gradually. This is done to reduce the risk of any stomach problems such as nausea. In a typical situation, it takes around 17 weeks to reach the final maintenance dose of the drug. 

Most patients are advised to consider this component as a long-term option, provided that they don't suffer from any side effects. Some are also prescribed semaglutide for a lifetime if they have a health condition that doesn't let them manage their weight through diet and exercise only. 

If you want the medicine to work smoothly and quickly, you should strictly follow the dosage prescribed by your doctor. Additionally, you must follow a healthy diet and elevate your workout routine. 

It is wrong to consider semaglutide as the sole treatment for obesity. In fact, it is best considered as a supporting component to help you achieve a desirable weight.

How Does Semaglutide Work for Weight Loss? 

People on semaglutide dosing for weight loss tend to feel fuller despite eating less. The synthetic compound does this by mimicking GLP-1, impacting the calorie intake and blood sugar metabolism in multiple ways.  

After eating your meal, your intestines produce a hormone, GLP-1, which signals the pancreas to release insulin. Insulin ensures that your blood sugar levels are kept as low as possible, especially after you have consumed your food. 

Additionally, the hormone impacts the rate at which your stomach completely empties. It helps manage the speed at which the food you have just consumed moves from your stomach to your intestines. This handles your food intake and, eventually, the calories you have every day. 

When you take semaglutide, the drug interacts with GLP-1 receptors in your brain. The component successfully binds with the receptors to signal your brain to curb your cravings and decrease your appetite. 

So even if you choose to have small meals with semaglutide, you will feel fuller and more satisfied. 

Here is a summary of what this drug achieves: 

  • Semaglutide for weight loss targets the central parts of your brain to regulate your appetite. It allows you to eat less and feel fuller easily. 

  • It also slows down your digestion, increasing the time it takes for your stomach to get empty. As a result, you don't feel the need to eat often.

What Is the Correct Semaglutide Dosage for Weight Loss? 

The typical dose is 2.4 mg and should be administered weekly as under-the-skin self-injections. 

However, this drug should be initiated at 0.25 mg once every week. If everything goes alright, dose escalation should occur after four weeks to 0.5 mg, 1 mg, 1.7 mg, and finally, the maintenance dosage, 2.4mg. 

For best results, take this medicine on the same day of every week. You can consume it at any time of the day, with or without a meal.

Who Is Semaglutide Drug for? 

Semaglutide for weight loss isn't for everyone. You will have to fall under one of the falling criteria to be considered eligible for taking the drug. 

  • You have a body mass index of 27 Kg/m2 or more with at least one health condition, such as high cholesterol or blood pressure. 

  • You have a BMI of 30 kg/m2 or greater.

Wegovy is also safe for children above 12 years with a BMI in the 95th percentile for their age.

Who Shouldn’t Use Semaglutide? 

Anyone with a BMI lesser than the amounts mentioned above shouldn't take semaglutide. In fact, even if you want to shed a few pounds but aren't obese, this medicine isn't for you. 

Additionally, semaglutide should be avoided if you suffer from or have a history of: 

  • Medullary thyroid cancer

  • Gallbladder disease

  • Pancreatitis

  • Multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN2)

Semaglutide is also not safe for pregnant and breastfeeding women. Doctors won't prescribe you the drug if you are trying to conceive. Also, if you are afraid of needles, you may want to look for alternative options. 

If you plan to take this medicine, don't start consuming it on your own. Talk to your primary consultant, as they might already have an idea of your medical history and can guide you in a better way.

Does Semaglutide Have Any Side Effects? 

The common complications related to obesity are higher than the side effects of semaglutide. 

For instance, you may feel

  • Dizzy

  • Fatigue

  • Headache

  • Nausea

  • Constipation 

  • Diarrhea 

Most people usually complain of gastrointestinal problems right after taking the first dose. 

However, this issue can be easily managed by taking the medicine in a low amount first before gradually increasing its dosage. 

In extreme cases, most patients may suffer from acute kidney infections or allergic reactions. It is best to consult a doctor right away to control the situation.


Now that you know how long do you stay on Semaglutide for weight loss, will you use it? Semaglutide is a revolutionary drug to help you achieve better weight management that your diet and workout routine alone can't support. 

Before adding semaglutide for weight loss to your daily routine, go for a thorough checkup with your consultant. 

Be honest about your past health issues and other possible plans for the future. This is important so you get prescribed the right dose of the drug and the duration you can stay on it for a desirable outcome.

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