Semaglutide Natural Alternatives For Weight Loss Over The Counter (OTC).

Key Takeaway

Semaglutide is quite popular these days for weight loss. We have mentioned 3 Semaglutide Natural Alternatives and other non-natural alternatives. But always remember that Semaglutide known as Ozempic is not approved by FDA for weight loss, it is only approved for the treatment of type-2 Diabetes.

With the advancement in medical research and innovation, newer drug formulations are entering the market that is showing great potential to aid in weight loss. One such drug that is ruling the current-day pharmaceutical market is Semaglutide, popularly known by its brand name Ozempic.

Semaglutide is a popular anti-diabetic drug that is approved for the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus. Clinical trials have confirmed that one of the main side effects of using this drug is weight loss, which is why there is an increasing trend of people using it to help in losing weight. 

In 2021, the FDA approved Wegovy1Trusted Source✅ | FDA | Trusted Data From The U.S. Foods And Drugs Administration (Government Authority) Go To Source(a drug containing a higher dose of semaglutide than that in Ozempic) for weight loss, but the use of Semaglutide hadn’t come down.

Lately, many celebrities like Mindy Kaling, Erika Jayne, Gayle King, Jessica Simpson, and many more are suspected to have been using Ozempic as a part of their weight loss treatment. The reason for the growing popularity of these anti-diabetic drugs among the upper class is probably the ease of their accessibility and use. Although not as efficient as bariatric surgery in terms of causing weight loss, semaglutide is still preferred over various surgical treatment options. 

But how exactly does semaglutide help in weight loss? In this article, we’ll explore everything there is to know about this drug, its action on the body, its side effects, and its various other alternatives. 

How Does Semaglutide Help In Weight Loss?

Semaglutide is a GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide-1) receptor agonist, which mimics the action of GLP-1 in the body.2Trusted Source✅ | PubMed Central | Trusted Data From The National Library Of Medicine(Government Authority) Go To SourceGLP-1 is a naturally occurring hormone that prevents the production of glucose by the liver by stimulating the release of insulin from the pancreatic gland.

Insulin is an important hormone that regulates the blood sugar levels in the body.3Trusted Source✅ | PubMed Central | Trusted Data From The National Library Of Medicine(Government Authority) Go To SourceHowever, semaglutide does not have any insulin-like actions and cannot replace the hormone as in the case of other hormone replacement therapies. 

Semaglutide is also known to slow down the passage of food in the GI tract, leading to a decrease in appetite. It also plays a direct role in regulating certain hunger hormones and controls the part of the brain that controls the appetite. 

A fixed dose of semaglutide is administered through a pen injector every week. Unlike other medications, semaglutide is injected only once a week due to its longer duration of action. The oral tablet form of semaglutide is also available in the market but under a different brand name Rybelsus. Wegovy is another commonly used drug in the treatment of obesity. 

Side Effects Of Using Semaglutide

Every drug carries a certain risk of causing side effects, but oftentimes, the benefits offered by the drug far outweigh them. A variety of factors determine the extent of these side effects, such as the dose of the drug, the duration of drug use, any pre-existing medical conditions, etc. A few side effects reported due to the use of semaglutide are listed below: 

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting 
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • headache 

Most of the commonly associated side effects are GI-related, however, in certain susceptible individuals, it can cause serious complications such as pancreatitis, liver diseases, kidney problems, etc., or even precipitate any adverse reactions. There is also a risk of blood sugar increasing upon cessation of drug usage. Hence, it is always ideal to consult your physician before taking the medication.  

Semaglutide Natural Alternatives

While few prefer using pharmaceutical alternatives for weight loss of semaglutide, some are interested in trying natural alternatives. While there are no natural alternatives to this synthetic drug per se, certain natural products and compounds are known to mimic the action of semaglutide in controlling blood sugar. 

1)- Foods Rich In Magnesium 

Magnesium plays a key role in regulating glucose metabolism in the body. Apart from improving the sensitivity of insulin, it also has anti-inflammatory properties and helps in reducing oxidative stress in the body. Magnesium can be obtained through various natural sources such as leafy vegetables, legumes, nuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, etc. These can be a great source of nutrition and may also help in weight loss.  

2)- Aloe vera

Aloe vera is also a known natural source that helps in controlling blood sugar levels.4Trusted Source✅ | PubMed Central | Trusted Data From The National Library Of Medicine(Government Authority) Go To SourceIt facilitates its action by stimulating the release of insulin and thereby promotes glucose uptake by cells. This ultimately helps in preventing excess glucose in the blood. However, it cannot be a substitute for anti-diabetic medication.

3)- Berberine

Berberine was used in many ancient medicines to control blood sugar and help in weight loss. Its action on regulating glucose metabolism is similar to that of semaglutide, i.e. by increasing the sensitivity to insulin, decreasing glucose uptake, reducing glucose production by the liver, etc.

However, it cannot be used to replace semaglutide or other anti-diabetic medication as its course of action is not as efficient or vigorous as theirs. Berberine can be used as a supplement to maintain good health but it should not be relied upon exclusively to treat various diseases in the body. However, it can be a great addition to those looking for natural sources to help in their weight loss journey.

Other sources as natural alternatives to Semaglutide: Omega-3 fatty acids, curcumin, high-fiber foods, probiotics, etc. have similar functions. 

Other Alternatives To Semaglutide

Keeping the possible side effects in mind, many people believe opting for a semaglutide alternative might be a better option. A few of the alternatives are mentioned below: 

1)- Exenatide 

  • It is available under the brand name Byetta
  • It is usually administered through an injection once a week. 
  • It is routinely used for the treatment of diabetes to control the blood sugar levels in the body. 
  • It is safe to use with other anti-diabetic medications, however, it is not tested with insulin. 
  • Side effects: Nausea, Vomiting, Dizziness, Diarrhoea, Allergy, etc. 

2)- Liraglutide 

  • It is available under the brand name Victoza. 
  • It can be administered through an injection once daily. 
  • It is a cheaper alternative to Ozempic. 
  • It is used in the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus and helps in reducing cardiovascular complications, blood pressure, etc. 
  • Certain subjects have observed weight loss while some others witnessed weight gain when they used this drug in the clinical trials. 
  • It can be used when the patient is on insulin therapy as well. 
  • Side effects: Nausea, vomiting, etc. 

3)- Tirzepatide 

  • It is available under the brand name Mounjaro
  • It is an injectable drug that can be administered once every week 
  • It differs from Semaglutide by acting on both GLP-1 and GIP receptors as an agonist, thereby facilitating the action of multiple hormones. 
  • It is commonly used in the treatment of Diabetes Mellitus type 2 to control blood glucose levels in the body. 
  • One of the side effects of this drug is weight loss, hence it is also used by many for obesity. 
  • Side effects: Nausea, vomiting, Diarrhoea, stomach pain, etc. 

4)- Albiglutide 

  • It is sold under the brand name Tanzeum
  • It can be administered once weekly through an injection 
  • It is a GLP-agonist like semaglutide and stimulates the release of insulin from the pancreas, hence is used for diabetes mellitus and obesity. 
  • It can be used singly or in combination with other antidiabetic drugs. 
  • Side effects: Diarrhoea, Nausea, Upper respiratory tract infections, etc.

5)- Dulaglutide

  • Dulaglutide is available as an injection under the brand name Trulicity. 
  • It is ideally administered once every week. 
  • Like Semaglutide, it is commonly used in the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus, however, it is not approved by the FDA for weight loss.
  • Great results are seen with Dulaglutide in the management of blood sugar in clinical trials. HbA1c values dropped below 7% in patients after the administration of 4 doses.
  • Commonly noted side effects are nausea, diarrhea, dizziness, abdominal discomfort, etc. 

6)- Metformin 

  • It is one of the most popularly used drugs by patients suffering from type 2 diabetes mellitus. 
  • It is widely available under the brand name Glucophage, Riomet, Fortamet, etc. 
  • It is a biguanide and acts by suppressing the production of glucose by the liver and also enhances the sensitivity of various body tissues to insulin hormone, thereby facilitating its uptake. 
  • It is known to reduce cholesterol and improve the cardiovascular health of the user. 
  • Common side effects associated with metformin include vomiting, nausea, abdominal discomfort, gas, etc. In severe cases, lactic acidosis may be precipitated. 

7)- Phentermine

  • It is available under the brand names Adipex-P, Lomaira, and Suprenza. 
  • It is a potent appetite suppressant and helps us keep a check on our calorie intake. Hence, it is widely used to aid in weight loss. 
  • It controls one’s appetite by modulating the levels of various neurotransmitters in the body such as dopamine, norepinephrine, etc. 

How To Make The Transition To Semaglutide Alternatives?

While making a transition to semaglutide alternatives, it is important to make sure that it is done gradually and over a period of time. Sudden cessation of usage of drugs is bound to significantly elevate blood glucose levels, which can lead to further complications.

Hence, one should always consult their physician before making any changes in their medication to avoid undesirable side effects and better understand what drug is most suitable for them. 

Who Should Avoid Semaglutide? 

Although semaglutide is extremely beneficial to some, it is not suitable for everyone. Certain individuals must avoid using semaglutide and look for other alternatives. A few contraindications of semaglutide are: 

  • Hypersensitivity: People who have previously used semaglutide and have observed any allergic reaction should avoid using this drug. 
  • Thyroid gland disorders: Semaglutide is known to increase the risk of medullary carcinoma of the thyroid, hence it must be avoided in susceptible individuals. 
  • Renal or Hepatic Disorders: It is ideal to avoid semaglutide in people suffering from any renal or liver diseases. 
  • GI disorders: Semaglutide is known to cause GI side effects, hence it is not advisable to use in patients suffering from chronic bowel diseases.

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Conclusion

Semaglutide is an efficient drug in controlling glucose levels in the blood and is widely used around the world. However, it has certain risks and side effects that might limit its suitability for everyone. Semaglutide is also contraindicated in certain individuals with pre-existing renal disease, thyroid cancer, etc.

Many semaglutide natural alternatives exist in the market, such as Exenatide, Metformin, Liraglutide, etc. Many natural sources that mimic the action of semaglutide can also be included in the diet to see better results. However, before making any transition, it is ideal to consult with your physician in order to avoid any complications.

Disclaimer: Hey, Dear Readers! Please understand that this article is for informational propose and must not be considered medical advice. Read the full disclaimer at the bottom.

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    Trusted Source✅ | FDA | Trusted Data From The U.S. Foods And Drugs Administration (Government Authority) Go To Source
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    Trusted Source✅ | PubMed Central | Trusted Data From The National Library Of Medicine(Government Authority) Go To Source
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    Trusted Source✅ | PubMed Central | Trusted Data From The National Library Of Medicine(Government Authority) Go To Source
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    Trusted Source✅ | PubMed Central | Trusted Data From The National Library Of Medicine(Government Authority) Go To Source

About The Author

Nithya is a medical student passionate about healthcare, finance, and technology. She's often found scrolling through the news or writing bits of her own views. She claims herself to be the jack of all trades but master of none, yet believes that it is often times better than a master of one.

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