Weight Loss Administration Instructions

by | Dec 3, 2023

How do I inject the medication?

See this link or video for tips on how to give yourself a weight loss subcutaneous (SQ) injection:

For Lipo injections, please review this video.  Lipo injections are given intramuscular which is different than Semaglutide or Tirzepatide subcutaneous (SQ) injections.

Video on how to get the last few drops out of the vial (useful for last shot of the month).

What will I get after I place an order?

A package mailed from the pharmacy or clinic with your medication, syringes to inject the medication, alcohol swabs to clean the medication top and your skin, and a sharps container. Please put the medication in the refrigerator once you receive it. 

The syringes typically come in bags. 

  • 1/3cc goes up to 30 units.
  • 1/2cc goes up to 50 units.
  • 1cc goes up to 100 units.

Why is there so little medicine in the vial?

The vials contain a very small amount of fluid – often, just 1 milliliter (ml). This is less than 1/4 teaspoon. 1 milliliter is equivalent to 100 units on the syringes you received. Please pay careful attention to the instructions on dosing. Please call, text, or email us if you have any questions.

Tirzepatide 1 ml (First Month)

Please keep in mind that you may not be able to see all the medication in the vial. Tirzepatide in particular is dosed to the exact amount. The pharmacies we use have careful quality control. Please have faith that you have sufficient medication. If you have increased your Semaglutide weekly dosing and are about to exceed the number of units provided to you, please contact us.

How often is Semaglutide/Tirzepatide administered?

Once a week, any time of day, with or without food. The injections should be given on the same day weekly.

Multi-Month Orders

Most orders will be shipped monthly.  You will receive a package approximately every 4 weeks.  If you received multiple vials, start with the lowest number vial first. See this video for more information. 

What should I expect after starting weight loss medication?

After eating, you will likely feel more full than usual. Eat to about 80% fullness to minimize side effects.  It often takes 2-3 days to feel the first dose.

How soon can I expect to lose weight?

This varies but to see the maximum benefit, the participants in research studies required slightly over a year before to reach the maximum potential for weight loss. Most people start noticing weight loss in the second or third month.

Will the injection hurt?

The injection is a tiny needle that goes underneath your skin (subcutaneous) in your belly or upper thigh. There is typically minimal to no discomfort. For diabetics, it is the same process as injecting insulin.

How do I dose the drug?

Follow the instructions on the label.  You will inject a certain number of units that are measure on the syringe.  Please note this do not correspond to the milligrams of drug injected.  This depends on the concentration of the medication.  Please contact your provider if you wish to know the milligram amount  you are taking. 

How do I store the vial?

The vial should be stored in a household refrigerator between 36 degrees F and 46 degrees F.  Tirzepatide from Strive Pharmacy must be frozen until it is opened for use (instructions will be on the package).  

How long does the vial last?

Compounded medical weight loss medication comes in a small vial that lasts 28 days once punctured (plastic lid taken off and needle inserted to withdraw medication). The vials have a longer shelf life, indicated by the Beyond Use Date (BUD) label on the vial itself.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of medication and the next scheduled dose is more than 2 days away (48 hours), take the missed dose as soon as possible.

If you miss a dose of medication and the next scheduled dose is less than 2 days away (48 hours), do not administer the dose. Take your next dose on the regularly scheduled day.

If you miss doses of medication for more than 2 weeks, take your next dose on the regularly scheduled day or email us to talk about how to restart your treatment.

Can I travel with Semaglutide/Tirzepatide?

Once the vial is used, it must be stored in a refrigerator. You can wrap the medication in ice packs and store in a small cooler for up to 24 hours.  More information at this link.

What if the drug is not refrigerated?

If a vial that has been used/punctured is left at room temperature for more than 4 hours it should be discarded. Do not expose the vial to direct sunlight. Unopened vials are stable at room temperature up to 3 days.  

What if I lose the vial, spill the medication, or it goes bad?

Contact us for a replacement vial. Because the medication is costly, there will be a fee for replacement.

What if I am pregnant or planning to become pregnant?

Pregnant patients should not take Semaglutide/Tirzepatide. It is advisable to not use weight loss medication if you’re trying to become pregnant. Stop immediately if you become pregnant. If you are on oral birth control, weight loss medication can decrease the effectiveness. You should use a barrier method of contraception for the first 4 weeks after starting the medication and 4 weeks after each dose increase.

What about potential side effects?

The most common side effect of medical weight loss is nausea.  This typically occurs when increasing the dose.  Along with other GI side effects, nausea can be minimized by eating up to 80% full.  You might also notice being more sensitive to certain types of food. For severe nausea, Zofran is a prescription nausea medicine that we can provide for you.  If you develop vomiting or are unable to drink fluids, please contact us or get checked at a medical clinic so you don’t get dehydrated.  There is a rare risk of kidney damage with medical weight loss, usually in the setting of severe dehydration.
Another common side effect is indigestion. This symptom can also be described as bloating or generalized upper abdominal discomfort.  Remember – food stays in your stomach longer when taking medical weight loss, so this can be a new sensation in your body.  To minimize indigestion, try not to eat right before bed and avoid overeating.  If you have persistent indigestion, over the counter Pepcid (Famotidine) is very effective.  This can be taken in the morning before breakfast and at nighttime before bed.  It usually needs to be taken every day to be most effective.
Constipation can also be seen with medical weight loss.  Your body is taking in fewer calories daily, so your bowel habits will likely be affected.  If you are straining for bowel movements or having difficulty with bowel movements, start a fiber supplement daily.  Over the counter fiber gummies are usually the most palatable. If still feeling constipated, start using an over-the-counter stool softener, such as a Psyllium capsule twice daily.
Rare side effects of medical weight loss are discussed in our FAQ.  If you develop any concerning reactions, please contact us.

What if I have more questions?

Please reach out to us! We are here to help you on your weight loss journey.

Learn more:

How To Administer a Subcutaneous (SQ) Injection

Weight Loss Medication Tip Sheet

Understanding Medication Dosage: Concentration, Quantity, and Units Injected

This blog post is intended for educational purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for professional medical advice.

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