Family Physicians of Cedar Rapids

Weight Loss Injections

Being overweight or obese increases your risk for many medical conditions. The more you weigh, the more likely you are at risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, gallbladder disease, sleep apnea, arthritis pain, and certain cancers. On the other hand, a healthy weight has many benefits: It helps you to lower your risk for developing these problems, helps you to feel good about yourself, and gives you more energy to enjoy life.

We offer weekly weight loss injections that target the area of the brain that influences your appetite. These weight loss injections are given by you at home, and along with a healthy lifestyle have proven to be effective in weight loss. We use compounded Semaglutide and Tirzepatide as they are a fraction of the cost of the brand name versions, are just as effective, and unlike the brand name medication is not facing a significant supply chain shortage.

Semaglutide - the generic name for Ozempic and Wegovy, was FDA approved in 2017 to help patients manage their type 2 diabetes. We have extensive experience using it successfully for our diabetic patients with minimal side effects. In 2021 the medication received FDA approval for weight loss. Semaglutide targets one receptor that controls reduction in appetite.

Tirzepatide - the generic name for Mounjaro and Zepbound, was FDA approved in 2022 to help patients manage their type 2 diabetes. Tirzepatide was FDA approved in 2023 for weight loss and targets 2 receptors that control reduction in appetite.

These medications work on the parts of your brain that control appetite. When these areas are quieted down, you have reduced cravings and feel full sooner. When used in conjunction with a balanced diet and an active lifestyle, it can cause remarkable weight loss in people that are overweight or obese.

Is this right for you? We require a thorough consultation before being able to proceed with treatment. If you’re in good health overall, then most likely the answer is yes! These medications are safely used in diabetes, and many of these individuals have multiple chronic illnesses. Our providers supervise this weight loss program and personally answer patient questions. Not our patient, not a problem. You may keep your primary care provider and see us only in consultation for the weight loss medication.

While the medication is extremely safe and effective, there are also some side effects some people may experience, such as nausea and constipation when they begin, or as they increase their dose. The nausea can be described as the over-full feeling following Thanksgiving dinner rather than that caused by a virus or morning sickness. We will recommend steps to reduce your side effects should they occur. The primary goal we are hoping to achieve with the medication is a reduction in portions and unnecessary snacking.

This also isn’t a forever medication for most individuals, although some may find continuation at a lower dose indefinitely a good option. Ideally, you’ll be on it long enough to achieve your weight loss goals, maintain for a bit, and then stop. You can resume the medication in the future if needed.

What factors should individuals consider prior to choosing which clinic to use for these medications? Here is a summary of screening questions for you to consider:

  1. Insist upon the medication being personally managed by a physician or nurse practitioner.
    • These compounded versions cost less than the brand name but are still expensive. Insist on a physician or nurse practitioner’s advice to get the best results and manage any side effects.
  2. You should always be prescribed your own medication in an unopened vial with the compounding pharmacy’s name clearly printed on it.
    • Some weight loss clinics prefill syringes and hand these to patients. Standard medical practice is to discard any medication in syringes within 24 hours if not used due to loss of sterility and remember that you are injecting this into your body!
  3. If the clinic you choose insists that you come to the clinic for your injections, then you should have your own vial and not be given medication from a container used for any other patient.
    • Think of this as a pharmacy dispensing you a medication that they expect you to share with your neighbors.
    • When you purchase from us, we order the medication in your name as a legitimate prescription to the compounding pharmacy. The medication is yours even before we receive the shipment, and you may call them to verify the authenticity of the medication.
  4. Ask about other costs such as visit and membership fees and if the medication increases in cost as you go up in dose.
    • Our clinic charges for visits as the dose is increased to monitor for side effects and advise patients on optimizing the appetite suppression for weight loss. After the maximal dose has been achieved, we offer reduced visit frequency for monitoring. All these visits are primarily with our providers.
    • Our clinic charges may be paid by insurance or HSA/FSA as we are a credentialed medical clinic.
    • The Semaglutide is one price for all doses. There is a slight increase in price of the Tirzepatide as the dose escalates.
  5. Fake medications exist and occur more than they should!
    • We have patients who purchased medication from other clinics that were fakes and have no idea what they were injecting into their bodies.
    • We have been approached by compounding pharmacies that have fantastic websites, but not all their medications are authentic. You can be confident that we verify that the medications we provide are legitimate.
    • Be sure the clinic you choose to provide you with weight loss medications has an excellent reputation and a background in providing quality medication management using these injections.

If you would like to learn more contact us to schedule an appointment for a consultation, even if you are not our patient.

Family Physicians of Cedar Rapids

Main Phone: (319) 365-7581
1515 42nd Street
Cedar Rapids, IA 52402
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Office Hours

Monday: 8:00am - 5:30pm
Tuesday: 8:00am - 4:00pm
Wednesday: 8:00am - 4:00pm
Thursday: 8:00am - 5:30pm
Friday: 8:00am - 12:00pm

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