How to inject semaglutide for weight loss

There's a healthier way to lose weight with weight-loss medication. Discover the Mayo Clinic Diet for Weight-Loss Medications.

Semaglutide, a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist, has garnered attention for its dual benefits of blood sugar control and weight loss.  

This injectable drug works by mimicking the effects of the GLP-1 gastrointestinal hormone, which regulates appetite and promotes a feeling of fullness. If you are considering semaglutide as part of your weight-management strategy, mastering the proper injection technique is paramount. 

Semaglutide is administered as a subcutaneous injection, which involves injecting the medication into a layer of fat beneath the skin. This method is preferred over intramuscular injections due to its ease of administration and reduced risk of impacting blood vessels or nerves. Your doctor will teach you how to properly inject yourself with semaglutide. 

Inject semaglutide on the same day each week, at any time of the day, with or without meals. 

Choosing the optimal injection site

The efficacy of semaglutide injections hinges on the careful selection of the injection site. Preferred locations for subcutaneous injections include the stomach, thigh, or the back of the upper arm. Each of these regions provides an ideal subcutaneous fat layer, facilitating optimal absorption of the medication.  

Stomach: The stomach is a commonly recommended injection site due to its large surface area and relatively easy accessibility. The subcutaneous fat layer in this region allows for efficient absorption of semaglutide. When injecting a semaglutide in the stomach pick a spot approximately two inches from the belly button. 

Thigh: The thigh is another popular choice as it also has a sufficient fat layer, making it suitable for subcutaneous injections. Choose an area on the front of the thigh and avoid the inner thigh. 

Upper arm: The back of the upper arm is another option, particularly for individuals who prefer injecting in a less visible area. For upper arm injections, choose an injection site between the shoulder and elbow. 

Proper semaglutide injection technique

  1. Prepare the injection – gather the necessary supplies, wash hands, check the medication for any abnormalities. The liquid in the pen should be clear and colorless. Do not use it if it is cloudy, discolored, or has particles in it. 
  2. Select the injection site in either the stomach, thigh, or upper arm. 
  3. Clean the area – use an alcohol swap to clean the chosen injection site. 
  4. Injecting the medication – hold the syringe at a 90-degree angle to the skin, insert a new needle swiftly and steadily, inject the medication and hold for a few seconds before you remove the needle. 
  5. Dispose of supplies – safely dispose of the used needle and any other materials. Throw away used needles in a hard, closed container that the needles cannot poke through. Keep this container away from children and pets. 

How often should you rotate injection sites?

The frequency of rotating injection sites for semaglutide can depend on the recommendations provided by your healthcare professional or prescribing information for the medication. However, as a general guideline, it is advised to use a different body area each time you give yourself a shot. 

For example, if you are administering semaglutide once a week, you might rotate between the stomach, thigh, and upper arm. This rotation helps prevent irritation, discomfort, or changes in the skin at the injection site. 

Keep track of where you give each injection to make sure you rotate body areas. 

Listen to your doctor

Incorporating semaglutide injections into your weight-loss strategy requires meticulous attention to injection sites and technique. Always adhere to the guidance provided by your healthcare professional. If you have any concerns or questions regarding semaglutide or its administration seek professional advice. 

Semaglutide injections aid in weight management. You should use them alongside a nutrition and lifestyle program such as the Mayo Clinic Diet for Weight-Loss Medication program. The program is designed for individuals who are taking weight-loss medications and would like support in developing sustainable healthy habits for long-term weight management. 

Need a prescription for GLP-1s? The Mayo Clinic Diet platform now offers access to clinical care for members seeking a prescription to weight-loss medication such as GLP-1s. Check if you're eligible for weight-loss medication.

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