WHAT MEDICATION WE USE
As Utah County’s leading medical weight loss center, Luxx prides itself on using semaglutide and tirzepatide medications that are like no other. Dr. Sarah Smith, our head physician, worked with local pharmacies to compound these two medications specifically for her patients at Luxx. Semaglutide belongs to a class of drugs known as glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists. GLP-1 is a hormone that helps regulate blood sugar levels by stimulating insulin release and reducing the amount of glucose produced by the liver. Tirzepatide, like semaglutide, is a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist. Additionally, tirzepatide has properties of a dual agonist for both glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) and GLP-1 receptors. GIP is another hormone that plays a role in regulating blood sugar levels. We administer each of these medications through injections, but dosing differs between the two. Our healthcare professionals monitor patients’ progress and any adverse effects to determine which medication better suits their needs.
SEMAGLUTIDE AND TIRZEPATIDE WORK ON GLP-1 RECEPTORS IN THE SAME WAY. HERE'S HOW:
Insulin Release: The medications stimulate the release of insulin from the pancreas in a glucose-dependent manner. This means that they increase insulin secretion when blood sugar levels are elevated, helping to control postprandial (after-meal) glucose levels.
Glucagon Suppression: They suppress the secretion of glucagon, another hormone produced by the pancreas. Glucagon typically signals the liver to release glucose into the bloodstream. By reducing glucagon levels, they help to lower blood sugar levels.
Delayed Gastric Emptying: The medications slow down the emptying of the stomach, which can contribute to a feeling of fullness and reduced appetite.
Increased Glucose Uptake: They enhance glucose uptake by peripheral tissues, such as muscle and fat cells, further contributing to the lowering of blood sugar levels.
As mentioned before, tirzepatide also works on GIP receptors. Activating these receptors also leads to Insulin Release and Glucagon Suppression, thus giving tirzepatide the dual receptor title. Thus, it can have a stronger effect on post-prandial “after-meal” glucose control when compared to semaglutide.
THERE'S THE SCIENCE BEHIND HOW THEY WORK, NOW HERE'S WHY THEY LEAD TO WEIGHT LOSS:
By reducing “after-meal” glucose spikes, these medications help control hunger and promote a feeling of fullness. Delayed gastric emptying has the same effect, which reduces the likelihood of patients overeating meals or snacks. By improving insulin sensitivity and glucose utilization, semaglutide and tirzepatide can contribute to a more efficient-energy metabolism. This means that patients often find a better balance between energy intake and output, rather than their previous higher caloric intake and lower energy output. The overall result of both medications is improved blood sugar control, reduced postprandial glucose spikes, and weight loss!
A MWL APPOINTMENT AT LUXX
When you come to Luxx for medical weight loss injections, each appointment follows the same formula. First, our weightloss professionals ask for any questions or concerns you may have had since your last injection, or before your first dose. Next, they will log your weight and any fluctuations in your chart. If you prefer not to view your weight, you may step onto the scale backwards and the injector will not share your results with you. Then, they will assess your thyroid levels for any abnormalities to determine whether or not you can continue treatment. *So far, we have not encountered this issue. Lastly, the injector will adjust your dose according to your progress and results, and then administer the injection. You can then decide together when your next appointment should be (in most cases appointments are 7 days apart, but some maintenance patients come in bi-weekly, etc).
BONUS FACTS ABOUT GLP-1 MEDS
In addition to managing patients’ weight loss and type-2 diabetes, GLP-1 medications may have the potential to reduce addictive tendencies. Research has found that this may stem from multiple factors; reward pathway modulation, dopamine regulation, and behavioral changes. GLP-1 receptors are found in brain regions associated with reward and pleasure, so by modulating these pathways, semaglutide and tirzepatide may influence the rewarding aspects of food consumption. These medications also affect the release of neurotransmitters, including dopamine, which plays a role in the brain's reward system. By modulating dopamine levels, these medications could potentially impact the reinforcing effects of addictive behaviors. When discussing food-specific addictive tendencies, these medications’ effects of regulating appetite and reducing cravings gives patients much more control over their eating habits. This may lead behavioral changes like reduced impulsivity and improved self-control during and after treatment.
How is it different than Ozempic©️ or Mounjaro©️?
Ozempic©️ and Mounjaro©️ are the brand names for semaglutide and tirzepatide. So, the medications we use are the same, but in different packaging and with custom dosing.
Do you gain the weight back after you stop treatment?
Studies show that patients who make the correct (healthy) lifestyle changes to lose weight during treatment do not gain that weight back. Exercising and eating a balanced diet - with correct portion sizing and adequate protein - is the best way to keep the weight off.
What are the side effects?
The most common side effects are; nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, and constipation. Drinking lots of water and eating foods that are low-fat, low sugar, and avoiding greasy/fried food will significantly lower your chances of having these side effects. Less common side effects are; pancreatitis, low blood sugar, and kidney and gallbladder issues.
How does it affect A1C?
Studies have shown that those taking these medications have significantly lowered their A1C levels; the majority maintaining levels under 7%.
How does it affect cardiovascular health/events?
These medications are proven to significantly lower the risk of CV events, like stroke, heart attack, or death. GLP-1 receptors are present in the heart and blood cells, and activating these receptors has been associated with improved cardiac function, reduced inflammation, and decreased oxidative stress. There may also be favorable effects on blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and plaque buildup in arteries.
We will not prescribe these medications if anyone in your family has had MTC or an endocrine system condition called MEN 2.