In the clinical trial for Semaglutide’s use for weight loss (STEP program), participants were given a once-weekly subcutaneous injection of Semaglutide or a placebo for a total of 68 weeks. The dosage of Semaglutide started at 0.25 mg once a week for the first four weeks and was then increased to 0.5 mg once a week for the next four weeks. After that, participants received either a maintenance dosage of 1.0 mg once a week or an escalated dosage of 2.4 mg once a week.
The dose escalation from 0.25 mg to 0.5 mg after the first four weeks was intended to help reduce the risk of gastrointestinal side effects that are commonly associated with GLP-1 receptor agonists like Semaglutide. The higher dosage of 2.4 mg once a week was used in a subset of the study to evaluate the safety and efficacy of an even higher dosage than the currently approved dosage of 1.0 mg once a week.
It’s important to note that the dosages used in the clinical trial were higher than the dosages typically used for Semaglutide’s approved use in treating type 2 diabetes. For diabetes treatment, the usual starting dose is 0.25 mg once a week, with a maintenance dose of 0.5 to 1.0 mg once a week. However, the dosages used in the STEP program were deemed safe and effective for weight loss in obese individuals.
It’s also important to note that the use of Semaglutide for weight loss is still under investigation, and it has not yet been approved by the FDA for this purpose. It is currently only approved for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Therefore, it’s important to consult a healthcare professional before using Semaglutide or any other medication or supplement for weight loss purposes. The healthcare professional can determine whether the medication is appropriate and safe for the individual’s specific needs and medical history.