What is Semaglutide?

Semaglutide is an FDA-approved prescription medication to promote significant weight loss and treat type 2 diabetes. You may know it by its brand names Ozempic, Rybelsus, or Wegovy. Both Ozempic and Wegovy are weekly self-administered injections and Rybelsus is prescribed as a daily tablet

Weight management often requires more than just proper diet and exercise. Semaglutide works alongside your body’s natural processes to prevent hunger from occurring in the first place. Whether your goal is to lose weight or help maintain normal blood sugar levels, semaglutide is the medication to consider to completely transform your health and body. 

Peter Castillo, MD, FACOG, FPMRS, Remy Paille, RN-MSN, and their dedicated team stand behind women-focused treatments that target the root causes of weight gain. At Swan Medical in Los Gatos, we use our expertise to support women’s wellness as they go through different stages of life. By contacting us at (925) 905-9922 or by booking a virtual consultation, we can help you find out if semaglutide is right for you. 

Semaglutide for Weight Loss 

Semaglutide is a weight-loss medication taking Hollywood by storm. It is classified as a glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist (GLP-1RA). This is a type of medication that imitates GLP-1 hormones that are naturally released in the body. GLP-1 hormone functions to increase insulin secretion, reduce the secretion of sugar into the bloodstream, slow down digestion, and increase satiety. (1) Insulin is a critical hormone from the pancreas that helps signal hunger satiation to a part of the brain called the hypothalamus. So, if your brain is receiving signals that you’ve already eaten enough, you can lose extra pounds a lot easier.

Research has shown the effectiveness of semaglutide. In one study, patients were able to lose an average of 12% of their body weight after 28 weeks of taking semaglutide. (3) Refraining from unhealthy foods can be so much easier when you are able to silence your hunger cravings, which is why semaglutide’s popularity has increased considerably with celebrities and non-celebrities alike

How Does Semaglutide Treat Diabetes? 

Insulin allows sugar to be converted into usable energy for the body. Although its levels in the bloodstream rise after you eat and drop as you get hungry, they always fall within an acceptable range. However, in diabetics, the body cannot make or use insulin efficiently. As a result, the body struggles to maintain a balance, causing drastic changes in blood sugar levels. 

If diabetics do not monitor their insulin levels closely, high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) can eventually result in damage to the kidneys, eyes, nerves, and circulatory system. (4) On the other hand, low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) can cause dizziness, nervousness, a fast heartbeat, and in severe cases, seizures, and confusion. 

Semaglutide ensures that the pancreas can turn blood sugar into energy rather than cause the issues associated with hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia. This medication only works for type 2 diabetics who still have a somewhat functional pancreas and do not need to inject insulin from an outside source. Depending on the severity of their condition, semaglutide may not be the only medication required. (2)


Since gaining FDA approval in 2017, semaglutide has made waves for being a low-risk, high-reward medication for several reasons: 

  • You’ll achieve the weight loss results you’ve been looking for. 
  • You’ll shed that extra weight so that nothing will stop you from wearing the outfits or cute bathing suits that you like! 
  • You will have an increase in energy! At a healthier weight, there is less pressure placed on joints and overall oxygenation and circulation improves. (6)
  • You can give yourself weekly injections (Ozempic and Wegovy) or take daily tablets (Rybelsus) 
  • Injections and tablets are both effective. 
  • Your dosage will be increased gradually, so you can avoid side effects. 
  • There is no increased risk of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). (1)
  • Diabetics taking semaglutide were found to have lower rates of heart attack and stroke. (5)

Candidates for Semaglutide 

Here at Swan Medical, we want to provide the best care possible to all women who may benefit from semaglutide. If your BMI is 27 or over, or 25 with a weight-related condition, semaglutide may be the weight loss solution you’re looking for. We will consider your diet and exercise habits when evaluating your candidacy for this medication and may recommend an alternative treatment if semaglutide is not a good fit for your needs. 

How to Take Semaglutide Injections

Semaglutide is offered as a weekly injection or daily pill. If taken as an injection, we will give you steps on how to do it safely at home. Each box of semaglutide is meant to last four doses (one month) and is available as a pen injection:

  1. You should wash your hands before handling the medication. Check the injection pen’s window to ensure that it is colorless. Cloudy medication could mean that the pen had faulty sealing. 
  2. Attach an unopened needle to the pen. You will have to screw it on, then remove the outer and inner caps. If your injection pen already has an attached needle, disregard this step and simply remove the caps. 
  3. Press and hold the dose button on the pen to ensure that the needle is able to dispense medication. A small drop of semaglutide will come out. This will only need to be done once per every pen. 
  4. You may have to twist the back of the pen until it displays your prescribed dosage. Some pens will administer the prescribed dosage automatically. 
  5. Decide on your injection site- this may be your upper thighs, abdomen, or upper arm. 
  6. After wiping your injection site with an alcohol wipe, wait for your skin to dry. 
  7. Pinch a small bit of skin and inject into this area. Hold down the pen’s button for 5-10 seconds while injecting. 
  8. After you’re done, screw on the needle cap to safely remove and place the needle into a sharps container.

Complementary Treatments

If you’re interested in semaglutide for weight loss purposes, look into some of the other treatments we offer that will help you achieve the body of your dreams:

  • CoolSculpting. This non-invasive treatment freezes fat cells. It is not intended for significant weight loss, but it can get rid of stubborn areas of fat that won’t go away with exercise or diet. 
  • SkinTyte. Infrared waves are used to stimulate the production of collagen- it can help treat loose skin from aging or weight loss. 
  • Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy. With individually customized hormone treatments, we can help treat the symptoms of menopause and andropause. 
  • Sermorelin with Glycine. This treatment is designed to stimulate the production of your body’s growth hormones to increase your energy, preserve muscle, improve your metabolism, and more. 

You can also glance through our blog to find out more about our rejuvenating treatments and look your most attractive after your weight loss. 

Personal Consultation

As the first doctor to establish an Intimate Wellness Center in the San Francisco Bay area, our experienced team members want to empower and support every patient who comes to Swan Medical in Los Gatos, California. By scheduling a free case review, or calling (925) 905-9922, he will be able to best serve your needs and help you reach your goals for diabetes management or weight loss. 

Cost of Semaglutide in Los Gatos, California 

After listening to your questions and concerns, we will be able to give you a price estimate for your semaglutide treatment. Every patient is unique and responds to the medication differently, so we will take that into careful consideration. 


Can I gain weight back while taking semaglutide?

It is absolutely possible to gain weight while taking semaglutide. This medication is only able to suppress appetite, so it is important to incorporate a healthy diet alongside this treatment. 

How do I know if semaglutide is working? 

Within the first 8 weeks, there should be signs of weight loss and/or improvement of blood sugar levels.  

Is semaglutide covered by insurance? 

Many insurance plans do not cover semaglutide treatments unless they are used specifically for treating diabetes. 

What is the dosage for semaglutide?

Semaglutide injections start at .25 mg every week for 4 weeks, then are increased to .5 mg. The dosage can be increased gradually every month, but the maximum dosage is 2mg. Pill forms of semaglutide are first prescribed at 3 mg daily and can be increased to 14 mg gradually. 

What happens if I miss a dose of semaglutide? 

If you miss a dose of semaglutide, take it as soon as you are able to. If you are close to your next injection or pill, do not double your doses. 


  1. Trujillo JM, Nuffer W, Ellis SL. GLP-1 receptor agonists: a review of head-to-head clinical studies. Therapeutic Advances in Endocrinology and Metabolism. 2015;6(1):19-28. doi:https://doi.org/10.1177/2042018814559725
  2. Meier JJ. Efficacy of Semaglutide in a Subcutaneous and an Oral Formulation. Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2021;12:645617. Published 2021 Jun 25. doi:10.3389/fendo.2021.645617
  3. Ghusn W, De la Rosa A, Sacoto D, et al. Weight Loss Outcomes Associated With Semaglutide Treatment for Patients With Overweight or Obesity. JAMA Network Open. 2022;5(9):e2231982. doi:https://doi.org/10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.31982 
  4. Mouri Mi, Badireddy M. Hyperglycemia. National Library of Medicine. Published 2019. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK430900/
  5. Marso SP, Bain SC, Consoli A, et al. Semaglutide and Cardiovascular Outcomes in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes. New England Journal of Medicine. 2016;375(19):1834-1844. doi:https://doi.org/10.1056/nejmoa1607141 
  6. Vaughan RW, Cork RC, Hollander D. The effect of massive weight loss on arterial oxygenation and pulmonary function tests. Anesthesiology. 1981;54(4):325-328. doi:10.1097/00000542-198104000-00013 
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