Compounded Weight Loss Drugs Explained

Heard about compounded medication but not sure what exactly it is? We’ve asked our expert clinicians to explain everything you need to know about compounded weight loss drugs below. 

What is a compounded medication? 

When well-known, branded drugs are in short supply, it’s possible for state-licensed pharmacies like Levity to create similar medications with the same active ingredients. 

Compounding helps people looking for medications on the shortage list in two ways. 

First, it alleviates any supply and demand pressures – freeing up supply for people with serious health conditions. Secondly, it often makes treatments available at a much more affordable price. 

What is semaglutide?

Semaglutide is the main ingredient in the most popular weight loss injections. To combat recent shortages, our clinical team has created a generic version using a semaglutide base – Compounded Semaglutide/B12. Here’s how it works, and why it’s proven to be an effective weight loss treatment. 

Semaglutide is a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist. This means when injected, it binds to and activates GLP-1 receptors in the body. By mimicking this hormone, which the body naturally releases when we eat, semaglutide enhances insulin production and helps regulate blood sugar levels. [1]

Semaglutide affects the brain’s hunger signals too, which helps reduce appetite and increase feelings of satiety. It also slows stomach emptying, which further improves blood sugar control and feelings of fullness. [2]

What are the differences between branded and generic medications? 

Aside from the increased availability of compounded treatments, there are some differences between them and FDA-approved medications. 

Firstly, the formulas themselves will differ as they are made by different pharmacies. With branded weight loss medication the treatment is usually self-administered in pre-filled pens, whereas compounded semaglutide comes in vials and is self-administered using a syringe. With our own compounded semaglutide, we also add vitamin B12 to minimize nausea – a common side effect of GLP-1 weight loss treatments. 

There are regulatory differences too, as popular branded versions are FDA-approved products. At Levity our compounded semaglutide is made at licensed pharmacies that meet the rigorous FDA and state requirements for quality. More on this later.

For people embarking on a weight loss journey, the most notable difference is the price. Much more affordable than the branded alternatives, generic semaglutide from Levity costs just $295 every four weeks. 

Is compounding safe?

When done so in compliance with federal law, yes, compounding is a safe way to create generic medication. As mentioned earlier, compounded drugs must be prepared by state-licensed compounding pharmacies that meet FDA and state requirements. Even when formulated in compliance with federal law, these drugs are not subject to FDA approval, but Levity only works with compounding pharmacies that regularly undergo the highest quality standards inspections.

Some generic weight loss treatments have garnered a bad reputation because of their use of semaglutide salts. These salts have not been shown to be effective, so our compounded semaglutide contains a semaglutide base instead – the same active ingredient used in other popular weight loss injections.

What are the side effects?

When used for weight loss, the side effects of compounded semaglutide are typically mild and often improve within the first few weeks as your body gets used to the medication. 

As you’d expect, stomach problems are the most common side effect. This includes nausea, diarrhea, constipation and abdominal pain. Other common side effects are headaches, fatigue, dizziness and decreased appetite.[3] 

Make sure to let our clinical team know if you or anyone in your family has a history of a type of thyroid cancer called MTC or MEN. You may not be prescribed this treatment as one of its more serious adverse effects is possible thyroid tumors. 

How do I begin treatment? 

Ready to start your weight loss journey? Your Levity program includes exclusive access to health coaching, clinical support and check-ins, prescription and monthly shipping to your door. Discover if compounded semaglutide or any of our other proven treatments are right for you with a free online consultation here.


  1. PubChem. Semaglutide [Internet]. Available from:\
  2. Chao AM, Tronieri JS, Amaro A, Wadden TA. Clinical Insight on Semaglutide for Chronic Weight Management in Adults: Patient Selection and Special Considerations. Drug Design, Development and Therapy [Internet]. 2022 Dec;Volume 16:4449–61. Available from: 
  3. Ghusn W, De la Rosa A, Sacoto D, Cifuentes L, Campos A, Feris F, et al. Weight Loss Outcomes Associated With Semaglutide Treatment for Patients With Overweight or Obesity. JAMA Network Open [Internet]. 2022 Sep 19;5(9):e2231982. Available from: 

Continue reading