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Where (and how) you get your semaglutide matters – here’s why

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Where (and how) you get your semaglutide matters – here’s why

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Published by: Michael Bedecs

The news last week that some big box chain stores are jumping on the “weight loss bandwagon” and offering semaglutide is troubling. We’re fully in favor of making this life-changing medication accessible to those who medically qualify, including financially, which is why we’ve worked hard to get this drug for our patients, and at a low cost. But as medical professionals, we’re concerned about the widespread availability among untrained, non-medical entrepreneurs and even major corporations who have a responsibility to help keep consumers safe.

Why are we concerned? These medications, while safe when used effectively and with proper supervision, do come with risks and should only be pursued under the guidance of trained medical professionals. There shouldn’t be a world in which you get this medication from someone without medical training, sitting at their kitchen table, without ever examining you or ensuring it is safe for your body and your needs.

Understanding that while some retailers are working with third party online doctors, without in-person medical exams to check things like blood pressure, and without comprehensive lab tests to ensure there are no thyroid or pancreatic abnormalities (which are known contraindications to these meds), and without ongoing medical guidance to manage side effects and dosage adjustments, individuals are, unfortunately, at risk. Just like they would be if they took heart medication without the proper evaluations and ongoing care.

  • Understanding the Risks: Semaglutide and tirzepatide are not without side effects. Additionally, individuals with certain pre-existing conditions or on specific medications may face heightened risks. Trained medical providers can thoroughly assess a patient’s health profile and determine whether these medications are suitable and safe for them.
  • Personalized Guidance: Weight loss is not a one-size-fits-all journey. What works for one person may not be suitable for another. Trained medical providers can offer personalized guidance tailored to an individual’s unique health status, medical history, and weight loss goals. By completing lab tests like at the Age Management Center, we can be sure that no other factors may be impeding your weight loss success, and that other medical conditions don’t make these medications unsafe for your wellbeing. We can also evaluate factors such as co-existing conditions, medication interactions, and lifestyle considerations to recommend the most appropriate treatment approach.
  • Monitoring and Adjustments: Monitoring is crucial when initiating weight loss medications to ensure efficacy and safety. Trained medical providers can closely monitor patients’ progress, assess any side effects, and make necessary adjustments to the treatment plan as needed. Regular follow-up appointments allow for ongoing support and guidance, optimizing the likelihood of successful weight loss outcomes while minimizing risks.
  • Comprehensive Approach: These medications can be life-changing for those who struggle to lose weight on their own. However, effective weight management extends beyond the prescription of medications, and these meds alone may not provide the greatest weight loss results. With our comprehensive medical approach and evaluation, we frequently discover co-existing medical concerns that must also be addressed—like thyroid and hormonal imbalances. When corrected, these can markedly enhance the effectiveness people experience when using these weight loss medications. Trained medical providers can offer total support that includes nutritional guidance, lifestyle modifications, corrections of medical imbalances, use of peptides and more. By addressing the underlying factors contributing to weight gain and adopting sustainable habits, individuals can achieve long-term success in their weight loss journey.
  • Safety First: Above all, the priority in any weight loss endeavor should be safety. While medications like semaglutide and tirzepatide may offer great benefits, they should never be pursued without proper medical supervision. Trained healthcare providers have the expertise to ensure that patients receive the safest and most effective treatment options available.
  • The Value of the Price Tag: What’s more, the costs from these providers may be (or at least seem) lower than at a medical facility, though not always, especially when you compare what is actually included in the program. But even if it is lower, at what cost to your health? Getting cut rate medical care is like buying discount travel. You might eventually get to your destination, but your seat is uncomfortable, it takes longer to get where you’re going, there are no snacks, you have to pay extra for your bag, you can’t reach anyone on the phone, and if something goes wrong, you’re on your own.

If you’re considering a medical weight loss program, be sure that your team is experienced, trusted, and has the medical expertise to guide you safely and effectively to your goals. If you’d like to learn more about our program, we offer free, no commitment screenings and will explain how we approach your personal journey to effective, safe and economical weight loss.