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FDA Approves Semaglutide to Reduce Cardiovascular Events

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On March 8, the FDA approved a new Semaglutide indication to reduce the risk of cardiovascular death, heart attack, and stroke.

This applies to adults with cardiovascular disease who are obese or overweight, and the approval is under the brand name Wegovy.

The FDA’s approval came after a new study demonstrated Semaglutide’s effects on cardiovascular disease.

The study featured adults who had heart disease and were overweight or obese but did not have diabetes.  Half of participants received a weekly dose of Semaglutide, while the other half received a placebo.

Those who took Semaglutide experienced a lower risk of death from cardiovascular events, heart attack, or stroke compared to those who took the placebo. Semaglutide should be used along with a healthy diet and exercise plan for best results.

A woman smiles at her phone as she reads that the FDA approved semaglutide to reduce the possibility of cardiac events.

What is Semaglutide?

Semaglutide is a weekly injection prescribed for weight loss and blood sugar management.

It functions by mimicking a natural body signal known as glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1). GLP-1 is instrumental in regulating blood sugar by prompting the body to produce more insulin.

Semaglutide’s impact on insulin also typically leads to feelings of fullness, potentially helping with weight loss efforts.

Semaglutide is administered through a subcutaneous injection, meaning it’s injected into the fatty layer of the skin. The specific injection site can vary; common sites are the upper arm, thigh, or abdomen.

Due to its strong effects, Semaglutide is titrated, or started as a lower dose and gradually increased. A finishing dose for many Semaglutide patients is 2mg, although some patients find success at lower doses.

What Else is Semaglutide Approved For?

Along with its new indication for cardiovascular health, Semaglutide is FDA-approved under various brand names for:

  • Type 2 Diabetes Management – For adults with type 2 diabetes, Semaglutide can stimulate insulin production and slow sugar absorption to avoid blood sugar spikes.
  • Chronic Weight Management – Semaglutide is also approved for chronic weight management in adults who are obese or chronically overweight, especially if they have conditions like high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and high cholesterol.

Are There Other Medications Like Semaglutide?

There are other GLP-1 agonists that function similarly to Semaglutide. They have not been studied yet for their effects on cardiovascular health, but they have demonstrated success in encouraging weight loss and maintaining blood sugar.


Tirzepatide aids in both weight management and blood sugar control. It achieves this by mimicking the effects of two key natural hormones:

  • Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) – This hormone tells the body to produce more insulin, keeping blood sugar levels in check.
  • Glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) – This hormone also promotes insulin production.

Some patients find that Tirzepatide works better for them than similar medications like Semaglutide because of its dual action on GLP-1 and GIP.

A recent study investigated Tirzepatide’s effectiveness in weight management. Overweight individuals who weren’t diabetic received either weekly Tirzepatide injections or a placebo for six months. Participants taking Tirzepatide were given varying doses of 5mg, 10mg, or 15mg.

On average, individuals taking Tirzepatide lost 15% to 21% of their body weight, compared to just 3% in the placebo group.

Learn More About Tirzepatide



Liraglutide is another medication that mimics the effects of GLP-1.

Similar to its counterparts, Liraglutide works alongside diet and exercise to achieve two goals: managing blood sugar and aiding in weight loss.

Unlike Semaglutide and Tirzepatide, Liraglutide is injected daily. This may be an issue for patients who want to avoid daily injections, but Liraglutide does allow for quicker protocol adjustment since it absorbs faster.

Research supports Liraglutide’s use for weight loss. A 2015 study involving adults with obesity (BMI over 30) or overweight with additional risk factors (BMI over 27 with high blood pressure or high cholesterol) demonstrated Liraglutide’s effectiveness.

Participants received either a daily injection of 3mg Liraglutide or a placebo for 56 weeks. Those taking Liraglutide lost considerably more weight compared to the placebo group.

Learn More About Liraglutide

Defy Medical Offers Tailored Weight Loss Plans

Defy Medical offers a comprehensive approach to weight loss. We focus on understanding your unique situation and addressing any underlying issues that might be hindering your progress.

We’ll take the time to listen to your challenges and explore potential roadblocks to weight loss. Through affordable lab tests, we can rule out medical conditions like thyroid disease that might be impacting your weight management efforts.

Based on your individual needs and goals, we’ll create a customized plan to help you overcome obstacles and achieve lasting weight loss success. These plans include Semaglutide, Tirzepatide, or Liraglutide as appropriate, along with other support medications and supplements.

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