Blog/10 Most Commonly Asked GLP-1 Questions Answered
Jennie Sanford, MD | 5/23/2024 | 3 min read

10 Most Commonly Asked GLP-1 Questions Answered

Your most searched questions about GLP-1 weight loss treatment answered

the 10 most common glp-1 questions

Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists are a class of medications with increasing popularity due to their effectiveness in the treatment of diabetes and success with weight loss. This increasing popularity can bring up a lot of questions. How does it work? What even is a GLP-1 receptor agonist?. We’ll explore 10 of the most commonly asked questions about GLP-1 receptor agonists to help you make informed decisions about your health and weight loss journey. 

What is a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1)?

GLP-1 is a neuroendocrine hormone produced in the intestines in response to food intake. GLP-1 is anorexigenic, meaning it promotes the weight loss pathway in the brain by appetite suppression and mechanisms.

How does GLP-1 cause weight loss?

GLP-1 slows gastric emptying, promoting fullness, so it reduces appetite, which leads to less overall calorie intake and weight loss.

How do GLP-1 receptor agonists work?

GLP-1 receptor agonists are medications that increase the effects of GLP-1, a naturally occurring hormone. By binding to GLP-1 receptors, GLP-1 receptor agonists increase the effects of GLP-1, helping to control glucose and promoting weight loss.

What is compounded semaglutide?

Compounded semaglutide is made by pharmacies to increase medication supply and to meet specific dosage needs. While compounded semaglutide is not FDA-approved, some compounded semaglutide forms are made in FDA-guided laboratories. 

There are risks associated with compounded semaglutide, including counterfeit drugs, unsafe ingredients and incorrect dosages. Agile Telehealth only uses FDA-guided laboratories to offer our patients the safest, most affordable and effective semaglutide weight loss treatment. 

What is the cost of semaglutide for weight loss?

The cost of semaglutide varies widely depending if it’s branded, compounded or covered by insurance. Cash prices (without insurance) are often expensive, but discounted prices may be available from organizations.

How does GLP-1 receptor agonist dosing work?

Dosage of GLP-1 receptor agonists varies by the specific medication. For example, Ozempic dosage ranges from 0.25 mg up to 2 mg once weekly. Wegovy is dosed from 0.25 mg to 2.4 mg once weekly. GLP-1 receptor agonists should be titrated up slowly to minimize side effects and promote tolerance, so be sure to take the medication as prescribed from your healthcare professional.

What’s the difference between semaglutide and tirzepatide?


Semaglutide is a GLP-1 receptor agonist used to treat type 2 diabetes mellitus and obesity. It is available in two injectable formulations: Ozempic (approved to treat diabetes mellitus) and higher-dose Wegovy (approved to treat obesity). Semaglutide is given as a once-weekly injection.

Semaglutide for weight loss demonstrates impressive results in both clinical trials and real-world experiences. Many studies estimate semaglutide at a dose of 2.4 mg weekly to produce about a 15% weight loss.


Tirzepatide is a dual agonist of both GLP-1 and gastric insulinotropic peptide (GIP) receptors. Like semaglutide, it is also approved for the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus and obesity. It is available in two injectable formulations: Mounjaro (approved to treat diabetes mellitus) and higher-dose Zepbound (approved to treat obesity). Tirzepatide is given as a once-weekly injection as well.

Because of its mechanism as a dual agonist, it provides better blood sugar control and weight loss success than the single GLP-1 receptor agonists. In a randomized controlled trial of tirzepatide 15 mg, patients experienced a 20.9% weight loss. However, it is usually more expensive and often causes more severe side effects than semaglutide.

What are the side effects of GLP-1 medications?

Common side effects of GLP-1 receptor agonists are nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, with nausea occurring in up to 50% of those who take semaglutide. These are most common when starting the medication or when increasing the dose and usually improve over time. In some patients, nausea and vomiting is severe enough to discontinue the medication.

Are GLP-1s safe to use long-term?

Long-term use of GLP-1 receptor agonists is generally considered to be safe, as long as you have regular assessments by your healthcare provider to monitor lab results, weight and any potential side effects.

Are GLP-1s safe to use for weight loss?

GLP-1 receptor agonists are generally safe for many people. However, there are several contraindications to their use, including personal or family history of medullary thyroid carcinoma, history of pancreatitis and certain gastrointestinal conditions. They should be used with caution in patients with severe gastroparesis or those taking medications that induce hypoglycemia.

Ready to start your weight loss journey?

Have more burning questions? Understanding where to begin with GLP-1 medication treatment for weight loss can be overwhelming. At Agile, we offer a free initial consultation to review your unique health needs, answer any questions and provide a personalized treatment plan that aligns with your weight loss goals.

At just $349/month, your monthly subscription covers any visits, labs and medications. Ready to start seeing results? See if you qualify here!