We are providing you with this article because your child's doctor has suggested starting a medication called Semaglutide to assist in managing their weight. This article aims to explain what Semaglutide is and the potential benefits and risks associated with taking it. We hope it will address many of the questions you may have. If you still have any concerns or additional inquiries, please don't hesitate to contact our expert weight loss doctors.
Semaglutide, also known by the brand names Ozempic and Wegovy, is a medication used for weight management in children and adults. It is also prescribed for the management of type 2 diabetes in adults.
After your teen eats, their body naturally produces a hormone called glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1), which sends signals to their brain and stomach, making them feel full.
Semaglutide is a peptide that imitates the action of GLP-1 but in a more potent manner.
It works gradually throughout the day to decrease your child's hunger.
Taking Semaglutide consistently over time can change your child's appetite, causing them to feel full more quickly after meals or snacks, leading to weight loss.
Additionally, Semaglutide prompts your child's body to produce extra insulin during mealtime. This helps lower the high blood sugar levels that can occur after eating, reducing their risk of developing diabetes in the future.
Semaglutide is generally well tolerated by most children and minors.
However, like any medication, there are potential side effects to be aware of. These may include:
It is common for children to experience these side effects when they initially begin taking Semaglutide. However, they typically diminish after a few weeks. To alleviate these side effects, we suggest that your child follows the advice below during the initial weeks:
In rare cases, there are a few additional side effects associated with Semaglutide, which include:
These rare side effects are primarily observed in adults with underlying health conditions. Before your child starts taking the medication, their doctor will evaluate their individual risks. This assessment may involve conducting an ultrasound scan using high-frequency sound waves to create images of the internal body parts.
Semaglutide is available in pre-filled injection pens. It's important to note that there are different brands of Semaglutide, such as Ozempic and Wegovy, each with its own pen device and doses. To ensure your child receives the correct medication, always verify that the brand you receive from the pharmacy matches your expectations.
Our team will provide detailed instructions on how to use the injection pens. If your child is prescribed Ozempic, you can click on the following link to watch a video demonstrating how to use the injection pen: www.ozempic.co.uk/patient/how-to-use-ozempic.html
Your child will receive one weekly injection of Semaglutide. Initially, they will start with a dose of 0.25mg per week. Over four weeks, the doctor will gradually increase the dose until reaching the maximum prescribed dose. Your child's doctor will provide more detailed information about the dosing plan.
It's important to note that each pen has a pre-set dose that cannot be adjusted. Therefore, ensure the correct dose is indicated on the pen before administering the injection.
Semaglutide does not require administration with meals.
We recommend selecting a specific day and time that is easy to remember and then giving your child their injection at this consistent weekly schedule.
Semaglutide should be injected into the subcutaneous (fatty) layer of your child's skin. The recommended injection sites are:
Remember to choose a different injection site each time, avoiding injecting into the same spot consecutively. This practice, known as "injection site rotation," helps maintain the health of your child's skin after each injection.
If your child misses a dose, it is important not to administer a double dose the following week. If you remember the missed dose within five days of the regularly scheduled day, you can still give your child the injection. In this case, continue with the regular schedule and administer the next dose on the scheduled day as usual. However, if more than five days have passed since the missed dose, it should be skipped, and your child should receive their next dose on the scheduled day.
Store unopened pens in a refrigerator. Once opened, you can keep the pen in the refrigerator or at room temperature for up to six weeks (for Ozempic) or up to three weeks (for Wegovy). It can be helpful to place the pen in a location that serves as a reminder to administer your child's weekly injection, such as by your bedside or another prominent spot.
If your child is already taking metformin, a medication used in weight management, they should continue taking it alongside Semaglutide. The combination of these two medications has a more substantial effect when used together compared to each medication alone.
While semaglutide helps reduce your child's body fat, they must maintain a healthy and balanced diet and exercise regularly to promote muscle development and sustain their body weight. It is also essential for your child to stay hydrated by consuming adequate fluids. This not only helps to curb feelings of hunger but also replenishes any fluids lost due to early side effects of semaglutide, such as diarrhoea.
Your child must take semaglutide until they reach their target weight, which will be determined in consultation with their doctor. The duration of treatment can vary for each child.
In some cases, children who successfully lose a substantial amount of weight may be able to discontinue semaglutide without experiencing weight regain as their metabolism undergoes a permanent change. However, there are instances where children may regain some weight after stopping semaglutide following weight loss. Your child's doctor will have a detailed discussion with you to create an individualised plan for your child based on their specific circumstances.
Mobi Doctor can assist teens over the age of 12 regarding medical weight loss.