Injections for slimming: a revolution in the treatment of obesity or a passing fad?
Slimming injections are a form of pharmacological support in the fight against obesity. They have a broad spectrum of action and can help you lose weight. Some are recognised and can even be purchased with a partial refund, while others are often used off-label. Here's everything you need to know before asking your doctor for them.
Injections for weight loss: what are they?
Injectable drugs used for weight loss are a group of GLP-1 analogues from the group of incretin drugs, primarily used in the treatment of type 2 diabetes and certain cases of obesity.
Subcutaneous injections for weight loss look like insulin pens, but they don't have insulin in them. People often confuse them with weight loss.
There are a lot of so-called "slimming injections" that have the same effect and use the same active ingredient. Injectable medications for obesity include:
- liraglutide (preparations: Saxenda, - subcutaneous injection administered once a day, and Victoza),
- dulaglutide (Trulicity, once-weekly injection),
- semaglutide ( preparation: Ozempic; subcutaneous injection administered once a week in increasing doses from 0.25 mg)
There are also other, less popular substances and preparations used as slimming injections: exenatide (Bydureon and Byetta) and lixisenatide (Lyxumia).
A diabetologist, obesitologist, and general practitioner can prescribe injections to treat diabetes and obesity, but only liraglutide is currently available.
Liraglutide is the best slimming injection, but other substances are used on an "off-label" basis around the world.
The action of injections for weight loss
The body naturally secretes GLP-1 hormone, but GLP-1 analogues (weight loss injections) have a physiological effect that is similar to that of its natural production.
Slimming injections work as follows:
- slow down gastric emptying and prolong digestion,
- affect the hunger and satiety centres,
- stimulate the secretion of insulin , and inhibit the hormone glucagon (they act only in response to high glucose levels, they do not allow hypoglycemia),
- protect beta-pancreatic cells, as well as liver and kidney cells, from damage,
- reduce inflammation,
- have a cardioprotective effect , i.e., they partially protect against sudden cardiovascular events,
- They reduce insulin resistance.
The effect that patients taking injections for weight loss count on the most is that these substances can make you eat less, and you will fill up faster and stay full. In fact, scientific research proves the effectiveness of these substances in this regard.
Who can benefit from slimming injections?
Drugs that are often used in injections to help people lose weight have a wide range of side effects and possible medical uses. GLP-1 analogue injections are most advantageous for the following populations:
- people with type 2 diabetes ,
- people with Alzheimer's disease,
- women with PCOS - polycystic ovary syndrome (drugs also lower testosterone),
- people at risk of cardiovascular events (drugs improve the lipid profile and the condition of blood vessels, which reduces the risk and degree of atherosclerosis),
- people with insulin resistance.
The most important idea is that injectable drugs for slimming are usually recommended for obese people with unsuccessful attempts to lose weight. The doctor decides the therapy, course, and doses.
Side effects of injections for weight loss
Like all medications, injections for weight loss can have negative effects. Make sure to read the medication's leaflet, which will inform you about the risks of taking the medication, before you take it.
The most common side effects of taking GLP-1 analogues, or "weight loss injections", include:
- constipation and diarrhoea,
- stomach pain.
The side effect of these drugs is delayed gastric emptying. Because the digestive process is prolonged, many people experience the symptoms listed above. In addition to the usual digestive system symptoms, the use of "slimming injections" can result in:
- itching or rash at the injection site.
This is not the end of the side effects and adverse effects of these drugs. They are all described in detail in the leaflet that comes with the medicine.
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