Alternatives to Ozempic®and Wegovy®
Semaglutide for weight loss has exploded in popularity since a landmark weight-loss trial in March of 2021. This medication is dispensed under the brand names Wegovy®and Ozepmic®, at over $900 and as high as $2000. Compounded semaglutide offers the same medication at a fraction of the cost with multiple advantages for the patient and provider.
Starting on semaglutide can be difficult for patients and frustrating for providers. Semaglutide indications include obesity and semaglutide for diabetes. However many insurance companies have strict guidelines on who is eligible, including BMI. BMI started over 200 years ago and the original equation was based on averages of French and Scottish people in the late 1800s. The author of BMI related that the measurement should be used for the assessment of populations, not individual health. Unfortunately, BMI was adopted by the CDC and insurance companies, the latter of which use this to deny patients access to medications. So since you are not living in 1800’s Europe, maybe we should use a different measurement for semaglutide?
Body fat percentage scales work by using bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA). BIA is a method that uses tiny electrical impulses to estimate body composition. The device sends an electrical current from one foot, up one leg, across the stomach area and down the other leg into the second foot. The speed of the current is related to the amount of water in your body, and fat contains less water than muscle tissue. These scales were expensive in the past however now they can be easily found for under $100. Body fat percentage accounts for muscle mass and is a more accurate assessment of an individual’s health and response to semaglutide.
Prior to initiating semaglutide, it is important to review the patient’s current medications. The most common contraindications are:
- Thyroid Cancer
- Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia Syndrome Type II
- Allergy to GLP-1 Medications
If the patient has any of these contraindications, semaglutide should not be started and amlexanox or AOD9604 may be considered.
Compounding pharmacies make medications from scratch, so they can tailor the dosage to the individual patient. These pharmacies are safe and regulated by the state Board of Pharmacy, and have frequent inspections for sterile processing.
A unique advantage to compounding pharmacies is the ability to combine medications for increased efficacy and patient tolerance. Moblie Care Health offers semaglutide compounded with L-Carnitine and Vitamin B6. L-Carnitine is an amino acid that helps the body burn fat for energy and has been shown to increase semaglutide’s efficacy. Vitamin B6 decreases homocysteine an amino acid that can play a role in depression. Vitamin B6 also reduces nausea experienced with semaglutide as well. Compounded semaglutide is significantly less expensive with a 1-2 months supply starting at $400.
Manufactured semaglutide comes in a pen form with preset dosing amounts. The pen has a needle and a dial to turn for each dose. Many patients start at a 0.25mg dose using the pen and then increase it to 0.5mg. This means that the patient and the provider are stuck with the dosages the manufacturer has preset into the pen. Compounded semaglutide dosage can also be tailored to the patient. The recommended dose is 0.25mg/day, but some patients may do better on lower or higher doses depending on their individual response and tolerability. Pens force patients to double their dose, instead of a gradual increase. Compounded semaglutide in a vial offers the flexibility of gradually increasing a patient’s dose. This means we can work with patients to increase their dose in relation to side effects all while reaching their weight loss goal.
Getting started on semaglutide has never been easier with telehealth and virtual visits. Mobile Care Health offers semaglutide compounded with L-Carnitine and Vitamin B6. Patients have a consult with a provider familiar with semaglutide and various other weight loss medications as well as nutrition. Patients weigh themselves at least once a week and have monthly virtual visits. This allows us to keep patients on track with diet and exercise while optimizing weight loss with semaglutide.
If you have any questions or concerns about semaglutide, be sure to talk to your healthcare provider. They can help you weigh the risks and benefits of this medication and determine if it is right for you. And remember, always follow your healthcare provider’s instructions when taking semaglutide or any other medication.
If you are interested in learning more about semaglutide or other weight loss medications, contact Mobile Care Health today. We offer free consultations with our providers to discuss your options and help you find the best fit for your needs. Don’t wait any longer to start your weight loss. And with easy dosing options and virtual visits, getting started has never been easier. Contact us today to learn more! Have questions? Check out our semaglutide FAQs.