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Patient Guide: Switching to GLP-1 Drugs



This brief page is exclusively for Holland Clinic's current active patients who are enrolled in our 'Classic' (original) medical weight loss program. Many of you have expressed interest in GLP-1 therapy while at the same time being unsure about exactly how the GLP-1 program works. With this in mind, we have constructed this webpage to help you get a clear idea of your options regarding GLP-1 therapy. Let's start with a detailed list of your options:

  1. All patients on our Classic (original) program are eligible to switch to our new GLP-1 program at any time.

  2. GLP-1 drugs do work somewhat better than Classic drugs but the difference is not huge and not universal (5-10 pounds difference and some people still do better with Classic drugs).

  3. GLP-1 drugs are extremely expensive. Wegovy, for example, costs about $1400 every four weeks ($900 after a manufacturer discount is applied).

  4. Medical insurance rarely covers the cost of these drugs

  5. GLP-1 drugs cannot be combined with Classic drugs.

  6. GLP-1 drugs are injected once weekly.

  7. GLP-1 drugs have very unpleasant side effects including nausea, vomiting, constipation and rarely, more serious problems like pancreatitis.

  8. 10% of GLP-1 patients have to stop the drugs because of severe side effects

  9. GLP-1 drugs MUST be titrated up slowly over 5-6 months in order to avoid causing treatment-ending side effects. This often frustrates patients because it feels like a waste of money but it is mandatory.

  10. There is currently a severe shortage of GLP-1 drugs that has affected nearly all patients.

  11. GLP-1 drugs are intended for long-term use. There are a growing number of patient reports that abrupt cessation of these drugs leads to very rapid weight re-gain.


GLP-1 drugs have taken the nation by storm and inevitably piqued the curiosity of our patients. Despite working slightly better than Classic drugs, GLP-1 drugs are extremely expensive, rarely covered by insurance and can cause some pretty severe and unpleasant side effects. In the end, cost is the biggest reason why many of you will probably want to avoid these drugs.

If You Wish to Switch

If you are sure that you can afford these drugs, we will be delighted to bring you into our GLP-1 program. The best way to do this is to use a new online form (available July 1, 2023). We are of course happy to speak with you on the telephone as well.

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