Weight Loss

Karen E. Kennedy, MD

Gynecology & Aesthetics located in Gulf Breeze, FL

Weight Loss Q & A

How is this done?

The GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide) agonists are modified peptides that mimick the body’s natural peptides to decrease appetite, cause feelings of satiety, increase insulin, decreases blood glucose levels, and slow bowel motility.  By doing this, we feel less hungry, eat less, and lose weight. 

Who can benefit?

Anyone with diabetes and pre-diabetes will find this peptide very helpful in treating their condition.  Anyone who has extra body fat and wants to lose weight generally has excellent results with this treatment.

How is it administered?

The GLP-1 agonists are generally administered as a subcutaneous injection given by yourself or our providers.  They are once a week.  There are some oral preparations, but they may not work as effectively.

Is it a prescription?

Yes, they are available for weight loss when you don’t have diabetes through a compounding pharmacy or my office, even when someone doesn’t qualify for the insurance covering Ozempic or Wegovy.

How much does it cost?

I see people for an initial visit and monthly visits, so that is a copay monthly to the insurance if insurance covers weight gain problems.  The compounded medication generally costs $150 to 400 a month depending on the dose.  The brand names usually cost about $1100 to 1400 a month.

Is it painful?

No, whether a provider or you yourself administer the peptide, it is almost completely painless.

When will results be evident?

People will see weight loss within the first week or two, and it continues while on the medication.

What are the negative effects?

Side effects can include nausea, vomiting, constipation, and other gastrointestinal effects.  Thyroid cancer is a small but possible concern.

Are the injections the only thing I need to do?

It is imperative for sustained weight loss that diet modifications are made and the person exercises regularly.  Weight is 100% based on what we eat.  We lost weight on these peptides because ultimately we eat less.  Weight loss can be therefore achieved on your own by eating less and improving the quality of the foods you eat. 

In my program, I see people once a month to monitor the medication and progress with diet changes.  We go over the healthy foods to include and the unhealthy foods to eliminate. 

It has been shown in every study that once any medication is stopped, if the person does not change their food intake, they will regain the weight.  We prevent that with permanent lifestyle changes of healthy food intake.  You need to be willing to adjust the diet in a permanent fashion for sustained weight loss.