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Weight Loss Injections

Weight Loss Injections

What are Weight Loss Injections?

Weight loss injections are injectable medications that can help you lose weight when taken in combination with an exercise and diet plan. These injections typically contain substances that can boost metabolism, suppress appetite, or enhance fat burning, thereby promoting weight loss.

Indications for Weight Loss Injections

Weight loss injections are usually recommended for chronic weight management in individuals with obesity (body mass index of 30 kilograms per square meter (kg/m2) or greater) or overweight (body mass index of 27 kg/m2 or greater) with at least one weight-related condition (such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol) along with a reduced calorie diet and increased physical activity.

Types of Weight Loss Injections

Some of the common types of weight loss injections include:

  • Semaglutide (brand name Wegovy)
  • Tirzepatide (Mounjaro)
  • Liraglutide (Saxenda)
  • Dulaglutide (Trulicity)

Research has indicated that semaglutide 2.4 mg (Wegovy) can aid in weight loss of up to 20 percent after one year. However, the best weight-loss injection is most probably Mounjaro as it can aid in higher levels of weight loss, with research indicating up to 25 percent of weight loss after one year.

Other options such as liraglutide and dulaglutide have been less effective than semaglutide and tirzepatide with more adverse side effects noted.

How Do Weight Loss Injections Work?

In general, weight loss injections such as liraglutide, semaglutide, or tirzepatide are GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide-1) agonists and work by mimicking the action of the hormone GLP-1. GLP-1 is naturally released in response to food intake and helps regulate appetite, food intake, and blood sugar levels. By activating GLP-1 receptors in the brain, weight loss injections can reduce appetite and food cravings, leading to weight loss.

How are Weight Loss Injections Administered?

Weight loss injections are typically administered via intramuscular (IM) or subcutaneous (under the skin) injection. The specific administration method can vary depending on the type of injection and the healthcare provider's recommendations. In general, weight loss injections are commonly administered in the following way:

  • Intramuscular (IM) Injections: In this method, the injection is delivered directly into a muscle. Common injection sites for IM injections include the upper arm, the thigh, or the buttocks. The healthcare provider will clean the injection site, insert the needle into the muscle at the appropriate angle and depth, and then inject the medication. After injection, the needle is removed, and gentle pressure may be applied to the site to minimize bleeding.
  • Subcutaneous (SubQ) Injections: Subcutaneous injections are administered just under the skin, into the fatty tissue. Common injection sites for SubQ injections include the abdomen (around the belly button), the thighs, or the upper outer arm. Before administration, the healthcare provider will clean the injection site, pinch the skin to create a fold, insert the needle at a 45 to 90-degree angle, and then inject the medication. The needle is then removed, and pressure may be applied to the site if needed.
  • Autoinjectors: Some weight loss injections come in pre-filled autoinjectors, which are devices that automatically deliver the medication when activated. Autoinjectors can make the injection process easier and more convenient for individuals who are self-administering the injections at home. The healthcare provider will provide instructions on how to use the autoinjector safely and effectively.

The frequency of weight loss injections can vary depending on the specific medication and the healthcare provider's recommendations. Some injections may be administered daily, weekly, or at other intervals. It is important to follow the prescribed dosage and schedule provided by your healthcare provider to achieve optimal results.

Side Effects of Weight Loss Injections

Side effects can vary between weight loss injections and include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Low blood sugar
  • Dry mouth
  • Bloating
  • Indigestion or heartburn
  • Tiredness or weakness

The benefits of weight loss injections to accomplish a healthy weight often outweigh the mild to moderate side effects some individuals experience. You can manage side effects at home, which typically improve as you continue your treatment.


It is important to note that weight loss injections are typically prescribed for individuals who have not been successful with diet and exercise alone and have a BMI (Body Mass Index) above a certain threshold. These injections are usually used as part of a comprehensive weight loss program that includes lifestyle changes such as a healthy diet and regular physical activity. Additionally, they should always be used under the guidance and supervision of a healthcare professional to monitor for side effects and ensure safety.

  • Illinois
  • Depaul University
  • Midwestern University
  • Ascension