Sire’s Weight Management : Your Journey to a Healthier You

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In recent years, there has been growing interest in the potential weight loss effects of certain diabetic medications. These medications, originally developed to manage blood sugar level in type 2 diabetes, have shown promising weight loss results. But can they truly be used as effective tools for weight management beyond their intended purpose? In this article, we help you understand how Ozempic in Singapore and Saxenda are used to support your weight loss journey.

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Understanding Diabetes and Weight Management

Diabetes, a chronic condition characterised by high blood glucose level, requires careful management to prevent complications. One aspect of management involves weight control, as obesity is a significant risk factor for type 2 diabetes. Excess weight can lead to insulin resistance and impaired glucose metabolism, contributing to the progression of diabetes. 

Diabetes and obesity form a dangerous combination significantly increasing the risk of heart disease, stroke and other serious health complications. Unfortunately, the prevalence of type 2 diabetes or obesity is on an increasing trend in Singapore. About 1 in every 10 Singaporean is either diabetic or obese. 

Traditionally, medications for the treatment of diabetes may cause weight gain. This poses a great challenge to patients. There was no win-win medication that could keep both blood sugar and weight in control. 

The development of medications like Ozempic and Saxenda brings new hope in effectively managing both diabetes and weight for patients

The Dual Benefits of Ozempic and Saxenda in Singapore

Ozempic is not available in Singapore yet, but fear not, you can get Saxenda for weight loss here.
We always recommend speaking to a doctor before starting any medication. 

Both Ozempic and Saxenda are developed by Novo Nordisk, the drug company that introduced the world’s first insulin in 1923. Boasting a long history of innovation in the field of diabetes care, Novo Nordisk continues to revolutionise diabetes treatment.  

Both Ozempic and Saxenda belong to a class of medication called glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists. They work by mimicking the action of GLP-1, a naturally occurring hormone that regulates blood sugar level and appetite. By improving insulin sensitivity and reducing appetite, these medications address two critical components of diabetes and obesity management simultaneously.

Beyond blood sugar and weight control, GLP-1 medications are also found to confer cardioprotective and renoprotective effects in patients with type 2 diabetes. Unlike insulin, these medications do not cause weight gain or significant hypoglycemia. The American Diabetes Association now recommends GLP 1 medication as one of two first-line therapies for type 2 diabetes. 

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Key Differences Between Ozempic and Saxenda

Both Ozempic and Saxenda belong to the same class of GLP 1 medication. While they share similarities in the way they work, there are several key differences between them. 

Active Ingredients

The active ingredient in Ozempic is semaglutide while the active ingredient in Saxenda is liraglutide. Both semaglutide and liraglutide are GLP-1 receptor agonists.  

Approved Uses

Ozempic was approved by the US FDA in 2017 for the treatment of type 2 diabetes in adults. It is typically prescribed as an adjunct to diet and exercise to improve glycemic control. 

Saxenda is an older medication, being the first GLP-1 medication approved for the treatment of obesity. Saxenda was approved by the US FDA in 2014 for chronic weight management in adults with obesity or overweight conditions. It is typically prescribed as an adjunct to diet and exercise as well. 

Mode of Administration

Another notable distinction between Ozempic and Saxenda lies in their mode of administration. Ozempic is typically administered via subcutaneous injection once weekly, offering convenience and ease of use. Conversely, Saxenda necessitates daily weight loss injections, requiring a higher degree of patient compliance. 

Clinical Evidence: Are Ozempic and Saxenda Effective for Weight Loss?

Weight loss is common with GLP-1 medications. By slowing gastric emptying and regulating appetite, GLP-1 medications increase a sense of fullness. This can result in healthier eating habits and reduced caloric intake over time. 

While Ozempic is not a weight loss medication, patients with type 2 diabetes lost up to 6% of their initial body weight in clinical trials. This is groundbreaking in the field of diabetes treatment as current diabetes medications like insulin are known to promote weight gain.

It is important to remember that Ozempic is designed for use only in patients with type 2 diabetes to improve blood sugar. While many people in clinical trials lost weight, some did gain weight as well. 

On the other hand, Saxenda is designed for weight loss among obese or overweight individuals with or without diabetes. Studies have shown that Saxenda, when combined with lifestyle change such as a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity, achieves greater weight loss. This is compared to those using lifestyle modifications alone.

Specifically, clinical trials with Saxenda have demonstrated an average weight loss of 5-20% of initial body weight over a year. Remarkably, the weight loss achieved was sustainable over the long term, providing promising outcomes for people struggling with obesity. 

While Ozempic primarily targets diabetes management, it also offers the added benefit of weight loss. Saxenda, on the other hand, is specifically used for weight management in people with or without diabetes, in conjunction with lifestyle change. 

Can Diabetes Medications Be Used for Weight Loss?

Yes, if you have diabetes and are overweight, Ozempic and Saxenda could be a potential treatment option for you. Always discuss your treatment options with a healthcare professional who can assess if the medication is suitable for you.

However, if you do not have diabetes, diabetes medications should not be used for weight loss. Ozempic is not a weight loss medication. If you are struggling with obesity or overweight conditions, there are other weight loss treatment options available. Saxenda is a GLP-1 medication approved for use in people without diabetes. Another GLP-1 medication approved for weight management in people without diabetes is Wegovy. 

Read our comparison of all the weight loss medications available in Singapore here

Navigating Safety Concerns: Risks and Considerations

Like any medication, Ozempc and Saxenda are not without risks. Common side effects include nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea. They occur consistently in clinical trials in 10-50% of patients, particularly during the initial stages of treatment. These medications should be used under the close guidance of a healthcare professional. Low doses are typically prescribed with weekly dose increases to allow time for your body to adjust to the medication.  

Lifestyle Changes “Turbocharge” Efficacy of Ozempic and Saxenda

While Ozempic and Saxenda can help in blood sugar management and weight loss respectively, they should be used together with lifestyle changes. These medications are most effective when combined with a healthy diet and regular exercise.

At Sire, we are interested in fostering sustainable weight management strategies to improve your overall health and well-being. Incorporating healthy dietary practices, regular physical activity and behavioural counselling can “turbocharge” the effects of Ozempic and Saxenda. 

Embrace Innovations in Weight Loss Solutions with Sire

The development of weight loss medications originally intended for diabetic management, underscores the evolving landscape of weight loss interventions. By harnessing the mechanisms of GLP-1 receptor agonism, people struggling with obesity or overweight conditions can achieve sustainable weight loss goals. However it is important to approach their use under the guidance of a qualified healthcare professional, to optimise outcomes and minimse potential risks. At Sire, you can speak to a doctor online to help you find effective, evidence-based weight loss solutions that are healthy and sustainable. Start your weight loss journey with Sire today!

Start your weight loss journey here with Sire.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Can I use Ozempic or Saxenda for weight loss if I don’t have diabetes?

Saxenda is specifically approved for weight management in individuals without diabetes, while Ozempic is only approved for blood sugar control in adults with type 2 diabetes. Although Ozempic contains the same active ingredient, semaglutide, as another GLP-1 medication (Wegovy), Ozempic is not designed for weight loss. Always consult a healthcare professional to determine if Ozempic or Saxenda is suitable for you.

Q: Can anyone use Ozempic or Saxenda for weight loss?

Not everyone is a candidate for these medications. They are typically prescribed to individuals with a BMI above a certain threshold and require medical supervision. Always consult a healthcare professional before starting any weight loss treatment. 

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