Weight loss

Lose Weight with Regular Diabetes Injections

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Medically approved by Dr Earim Chaudry
Chief Medical Officer
iconLast updated 7th September 2023

Diabetes injections have been found to contribute to weight loss and help patients to feel fuller for longer. This makes it easier for people to limit snacking and reduce calorie intake, leading to a healthier lifestyle and a reduction in overweight and obesity.

Semaglutide and tirzepatide are two once-weekly injections for diabetes that can help with weight loss but their main use is to reduce blood sugar in type 2 diabetes.

Semaglutide is found under the brand name Ozempic and Wegovy, which are available as a prescription weight loss medication in 2023. Tirzepatide is prescribed under the brand name Mounjaro and is currently in research to become a weight loss drug.

Below we look at how you can lose weight with a weekly injection for diabetes and weight loss, even if you do not have diabetes.


What is Weekly Injection for Diabetes and Weight Loss?

There are currently two weekly injections for diabetes that have been found to contribute to weight loss. Through clinical research and trials, semaglutide and tirzepatide are now being offered to patients who are overweight or obese and want to lose weight.


Semaglutide is a medicine prescribed for people with type 2 diabetes alongside a healthy diet and exercise program to control high blood sugar levels. It has now been found that semaglutide is an effective medication for weight loss, even in patients who have not been diagnosed with diabetes.

Semaglutide is the active ingredient in two weekly injections, known as Ozempic and Wegovy. It acts the same way as another hormone that your body produces naturally. This is called glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1).

When you have eaten a meal, GLP-1 is released to regulate your blood sugar levels. For diabetics, this can regulate their blood glucose levels (blood sugar) when they struggle to do so through diet alone.

GLP-1 also affects parts of your brain that control your appetite and hunger. It is the hormone that makes you feel full and satisfied after eating. Taking semaglutide once weekly will have the same effect, making it easier to lower your calorie intake for weight loss.


Tirzepatide is also used to control blood sugar levels and for weight management in type 2 diabetes. It is a GLP-1 receptor agonist, which means it has the same effect as semaglutide.

It is also a GIP (glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide) receptor agonist, which makes the medication more effective than other weekly injectable diabetes drugs.

Benefits of Weekly Injection for Diabetes and Weight Loss

Weekly injections for diabetes and weight loss can help patients to lose weight and keep it off. A weekly injection is easy to take, meaning you are less likely to forget your once-weekly dose. For diabetic patients, weekly injections can reduce blood sugar levels and assist with weight loss.

Losing weight is important for people with diabetes who want to reduce diabetic symptoms and risks. Some patients with type 2 diabetes can even reverse their condition through weight loss and a controlled diet and exercise program.

Weight loss injections designed for diabetics can also be beneficial for patients who want to lose weight. Semaglutide has been approved as a weight loss medication and can be used in people who struggle to lose weight through diet and exercise alone and are overweight with a health-related medical condition or are obese.

You can check your BMI (body mass index) or speak to your doctor to see whether you fall into this category.

For people without diabetes, weekly weight loss injections are beneficial for improving weight loss results and maintaining a healthy weight. Weight loss injections can help patients lose more weight than through diet and exercise alone, making them the perfect treatment for anyone who wants to lose weight for their physical and mental health.

Losing weight can limit the risk of many medical conditions, including stroke, heart attack, diabetes, high blood pressure, and fertility problems.

Types of Weekly Injections for Diabetes and Weight Loss

There are currently two types of weekly injections for diabetes and weight loss. Semaglutide, known as Ozempic or Wegovy, has been approved and licenced as a weight loss medication and should be released in the UK and US in 2023. Due to an increase in demand, the manufacturer needed more time to make this medication available to patients.

Semaglutide comes in the form of an injectable pen, which is pre-filled with the correct dose. It should be taken at the same time every week to make it most effective and can be injected with or without food. To get your body used to the medication, your dose will be increased slowly over several weeks. This way, you can reduce the risk of common side effects like nausea.

Tirzepatide is another diabetic medication that has now been highlighted as a treatment for overweight and obesity in adults. It was granted a fast track for an investigation into the safety and efficacy in October 2022, but it can take a couple of years or more for medications to be approved and licenced for sale.

You may be able to find tirzepatide prescribed as an ‘off label’ weight loss medication in the future. This means that a doctor can prescribe the medication for something it was not initially designed for, as long as they deem it safe and suitable. It is not known what the dosage schedule will look like for tirzepatide currently, but it will be a once-weekly injection.

Side Effects of Weekly Injections for Diabetes and Weight Loss

Weekly weight loss medications can cause side effects, just like any other medication. The side effects are mostly the same whether you have been diagnosed with diabetes or are just using the treatment for weight loss.

The very common side effects of weekly diabetic and weight loss injections include:

● nausea

● diarrhoea

Common side effects include:

● vomiting

If you have diabetes, common side effects can also include:

● low blood sugar levels

● complications of diabetic eye disease (eye retinopathy), which can cause a change in your vision

You should seek medical attention if you have diabetes and notice these side effects when using a weekly injection.

Uncommon side effects include:

● fast pulse

● change in taste

● allergic reaction, such as a rash or itching

● problems at the site of injection, such as rash, burning, irritation, bruising, or pain

There are also some serious side effects of weekly injections for diabetes and weight loss that you should be aware of. If you notice any of these symptoms, call emergency services straight away or seek immediate medical attention.

Serious side effects include:

● a severe allergic reaction, known as anaphylaxis, which causes swelling, dizziness, and breathing difficulties

● an inflamed pancreas, which causes intense and long-lasting pains in your stomach or back

How to Prepare for a Weekly Injection for Diabetes and Weight Loss

To prepare for a weekly injection for diabetes and weight loss, you should speak to your doctor. They can let you know whether this weight loss treatment will be a safe and suitable option, based on your current body weight and BMI, medical history, family history, and current medications.

For instance, these treatments should not be used if you have type 1 diabetes. You may also need a lower dose if you have problems with your kidney. It may be more suitable for you to use a different weight loss medication. There are several treatment options available if you cannot use semaglutide or it is not yet available in your country. This includes other injectable weight loss medications that are injected daily or weight loss tablets.

When taking weight loss medication, you should be following a diet and exercise plan. This involves exercising regularly and reducing your calorie intake by 600 kcals a day. Any weight loss medication is not meant to replace a healthy diet and exercise regime and your doctor will not recommend using a weight loss medication without following one.

You may also need to learn how to use a weekly injectable medication if you have not used one before. The injection should be used in a different part of the body or different area of skin every week, to reduce the risk of problems at the injection site like soreness.

The best places to inject these treatments are the stomach, upper arms, and upper leg. If you choose the stomach as an injection site, always leave a 5cm gap from your belly button.

These treatments can cause some side effects, so it is important to be aware of them and what to do if you get side effects that do not go away or bother you. Most side effects are mild and can be treated at home, just the same as you would usually treat them. For instance, nausea can be treated by eating small, plain meals, getting enough fresh air, and keeping hydrated.

For serious side effects or ones that bother you a lot, speak to the doctor who prescribed the treatment. You may need to stay at a lower dose until your side effects get better. Do your research before getting a weekly weight loss and diabetic medication, as this should be prescribed by a doctor who has checked your medical history and suitability.

Diabetic injections have been found to contribute to weight loss and are an effective and safe treatment, even for patients who do not have diabetes. Weekly weight loss injections can be used to treat overweight and obesity, by acting on the parts of your brain that control appetite and hunger levels. Alongside healthy lifestyle changes, you can achieve your dream body goals.

While we've ensured that everything you read on the Health Centre is medically reviewed and approved, information presented here is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It should never be relied upon for specific medical advice. If you have any questions or concerns, please talk to your doctor.

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