14 Staggering Statistics about Semaglutide

Semaglutide has been approved by the FDA as an anti-obesity medication. With high hopes of its effects, let's look at some stats to see wha's what.

Semaglutide Top 10 Stats

  1. The average “out-of-pocket cost” of semaglutide per day is $1.21
  2. In 2020, Semaglutide ranked as the 129th-ranked drug in the US.
  3. In 2018, Semaglutide was down at 396th on the most-prescribed drug list.
  4. In 2020, there were an estimated 4,827,483 prescriptions of semaglutide.
  5. The average total cost of semaglutide per prescription is $1486.35
  6. The average “out-of-pocket” cost per prescription for semaglutide is $50.00
  7. The medical cost of obesity in the US in 2019 was $173 billion
  8. Semaglutide is FDA-approved for Type 2 diabetes
  9. 50% of participants lost 15% body weight or more
  10. One-third of participants are losing 20% or more (1) (2) (3)

Chapter 1: Weight Loss from Semaglutide Stats

Adults who are overweight or have “obesity” is a real health condition that affects millions of people not only in the Us but around the world. Metrics like body mass index and diastolic blood pressure make chronic weight management much easier.

1. 50% of participants lost 15% body weight or more

According to Timothy Garvey, M.D., β€œsemaglutide is a game-changer,” Garvey went on to say, β€œwe have not seen this degree of weight loss with any previous medication. More than 50 percent of trial participants are losing 15 percent of their body weight.” (4)

2. One-third of participants have weight loss of 20% or more

Garvey also noted that “between a third and 40 percent of participants are losing 20 percent of their body weight. That is beginning to close the gap with bariatric surgery. I think this truly gives us a very powerful tool to treat obesity as a disease.” (5)

3. After 68 weeks, participants lost 17.3% of their body weight

One study showed that after 68 weeks of taking semaglutide 2.4 mg, participants lost, on average, 17.3% of their total body weight. This is compared to 2.0% for the placebo group.

4. After 12 months, most participants regained one-third of their body weight

Unfortunately, after successful stints on semaglutide 2.4 mg, participants regained most of their body weight within the first 12 months of withdrawal.

Chapter 2: Side Effects from Semaglutide 2.4 mg Stats

As with any drug, there is usually a laundry list of potentially serious and long-term adverse side effects associated with regular use. Semaglutide is no different; however, according to the experts, the side effects are relatively mild and can be easily controlled and managed.

1. 5.9% of participants stopped use due to side effects

In one study, 5.9% of trial participants in the semaglutide study had to discontinue use due to side effects. This was compared to 4.6% in the placebo group.

2. Nausea and diarrhea were the two most common side effects

According to this study, 82% of trial participants in the semaglutide study experienced gastrointestinal disorders, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, and nausea. However, most of the issues were relatively mild and did not cause discontinuation.

3. 7.9% reported serious side effects, with one death

12 of the 152 participants (7.9%) in one study reported serious adverse side effects compared to the placebo group, 18 of 152 participants (11.8%). Unfortunately, one death was reported, however, an independent panel ruled the death unrelated to semaglutide.

4. In another study, 85% of trial participants in the semaglutide study reported adverse effects

In a study titled, “Weight Loss Outcomes Associated With Semaglutide Treatment for Patients With Overweight or Obesity,” 85% of participants reported gastrointestinal issues, including vomiting and nausea.

5. Nausea and vomiting are the two most common side effects of semaglutide

In one study, 36% of participants experienced nausea and vomiting, 8.6% experienced diarrhea, and 6.3% experienced fatigue. Additionally, 2.9% of participants were forced to withdraw to serious side effects. Furthermore, another 8.&% were forced to reduce their dose of semaglutide 2.4 mg. (6) (7)

Chapter 3: Semaglutide Use & Study Statistics

1. In 2020, Semaglutide ranked as the 129th-ranked drug in the US.

Due to its proven weight management and weight loss results, semaglutide has seen increasing popularity among overweight and obese patients.

2. In 2018, Semaglutide was down at 396th on the most-prescribed drug list.

Heard of the old saying, “the numbers don’t lie.” As you can see from the first statistic, semaglutide has increased vastly in favor, jumping almost 200 spots to 129th in 2020.

3. In 2020, there were an estimated 4,827,483 prescriptions of semaglutide.

When you consider that in the same year, (2020), there were 1,126,514 patients in the United States, the number of prescriptions for semaglutide is massive.

4. The average total cost of semaglutide per prescription is $1486.35

Considering the benefits and the relatively short list of side effects, the total cost per prescription seems more than fair, and when you factor in insurance, it’s even cheaper.

5. The average out-of-pocket cost of semaglutide per day is $1.21

WOW, that’s low, to say the least. To put that into perspective, the average American spends $3. 50 per day on Starbucks coffee. (8) (9)

Frequently Asked Questions

How successful is semaglutide?

One study that looked at 1306 participants taking semaglutide 2.4 mg showed body weight loss of approximately 6% after 6 weeks. After week 28, the percentage had doubled to 12%. Overweight or obesity is a real problem among the general population, with many struggling with weight management and weight loss. (10)

What percentage of weight loss on Ozempic?

According to some reports, about one-third of patients achieved weight loss maintenance and lost about 10% of their body weight. Typically speaking, those who take Ozempic can expect to lose at least 5% of their total body weight.

What are the long-term effects of semaglutide?

Simply put, semaglutide is traditionally used to help people suffering from severe obesity, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. As with most drugs, there are some side effects, but with semaglutide, they seem to dissipate and improve as time goes on. Some of the adverse events are kidney damage, gallbladder disease, and pancreatitis.

How long do you have to stay on semaglutide?

Using semaglutide continually for more than 20 weeks has led to significant weight loss and has been shown to help with weight management. However, once patients stop taking semaglutide, many of them regain almost all of the body weight they initially lost.

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Bariatric Surgery Procedures

Garvey, W.T., Batterham, R.L., Bhatta, M. et al. Two-year effects of semaglutide in adults with overweight or obesity: the STEP 5 trial. Nat Med 28, 2083–2091 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41591-022-02026-4

Ghusn, W., De la Rosa, A., Sacoto, D., Cifuentes, L., Campos, A., Feris, F., Hurtado, M. D., & Acosta, A. (2022). Weight Loss Outcomes Associated With Semaglutide Treatment for Patients With Overweight or Obesity. JAMA network open, 5(9), e2231982. https://doi.org/10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.31982


The Average American Spends $1 100 On Starbucks Coffee Each Year

Ghusn W, De la Rosa A, Sacoto D, et al. Weight Loss Outcomes Associated With Semaglutide Treatment for Patients With Overweight or Obesity. JAMA Netw Open. 2022;5(9):e2231982. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.31982 https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2796491


Brenton Barker

Brenton Barker | Writer

Brenton is a highly qualified sports coach with over 20 years of experience working with professional athletes. With a degree in sports coaching and experience in prominent positions, including Head Advisor to the Japanese Government Sports Institute and Manager & Head Coach to Australia's Governing Sporting Body. Currently, he consults with several professional athletes and sporting organizations, sharing his expertise to help them reach their full potential.

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