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GLP-1 Agonists - What is it?

There's a class of type 2 diabetes drugs that not only improves blood sugar control but may also lead to weight loss. This class of drugs is commonly called glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) agonists. Another class of medications associated with weight loss and improved blood sugar control is the sodium glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT-2) inhibitors. These include canagliflozin (Invokana), dapagliflozin (Farxiga) and empagliflozin (Jardiance).


Weight loss can vary depending on which GLP-1 medication you use and your dose. But weight loss may average about 3 to 5.5 pounds (1.5 to 2.5 kilograms, or kg) when using these drugs. If you're actively trying to lose weight through lifestyle changes and add the use of one of these medications, research has shown that the drugs may lead to around 6 to 9 pounds (2.8 to 4.2 kg) of additional weight loss.

Research has showed remarkable results for weight loss and other metabolic parameters using a once-weekly injection of the GLP-1 agonist drug semaglutide, also known as Ozempic, in overweight and obese patients.


Diabetes drugs in the GLP-1 agonists class include:

  • Dulaglutide (Trulicity), taken by injection weekly

  • Exenatide extended release (Bydureon), taken by injection weekly

  • Exenatide (Byetta), taken by injection twice daily

  • Semaglutide (Ozempic), taken by injection weekly

  • Semaglutide (Rybelsus), taken by mouth once daily

  • Liraglutide (Victoza), taken by injection daily

  • Lixisenatide (Adlyxin), taken by injection daily

These medications mimic the action of a hormone called glucagon-like peptide 1. When blood sugar levels start to rise after someone eats, these drugs stimulate the body to secrete more insulin. The extra insulin helps lower blood sugar levels.


Lower blood sugar levels are helpful for controlling type 2 diabetes, but it's not exactly clear how the GLP-1 drugs lead to weight loss. Doctors do know that GLP-1s appear to help suppress appetite. These drugs also slow the movement of food from the stomach into the small intestine. As a result, you may feel full faster and longer, so you eat less.


Does Sydenham use GLP-1 Agonists?


Yes, we give our members Semaglutide (Ozempic), which is taken by injection weekly. This has helped our members significantly throughout their weight loss and health journeys.


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