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Introducing Telemedicine! Get Your Medication Mailed Directly To You. Prefer In-Person? Start Virtually and Continue On-site.

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FAQ2024-01-31T05:46:36+00:00

Payment

  • Do you take insurance?

    We do not process any insurance. Unfortunately, most insurance companies refuse to cover medical weight loss, but we are happy to provide invoices for reimbursement if your insurance does. Some patients are able to get reimbursed for the visit.
  • Can I pay with FSA/ HSA?

    Yes! Medical weight loss treatments and medications can be paid for with your pre-tax flexible spending account (FSA) or health savings account (HSA)
  • What form of payment do you accept?

    We accept cash, credit cards, debit cards, flexible spending account (FSA) cards, health spending account (HSA) cards, and care credit in all of our offices. We do not accept checks. Payment is due in full at the time of the visit.
  • Are there any discounts?

    Patients can get $20 off when you refer a friend. Follow us on Facebook or Instagram to learn about any current promotions.

Medical Weight Loss

  • What is Medical Weight Loss?

    Medical Weight Loss is a comprehensive, evidence-based approach to weight management that combines three key components:
    Prescription Medications: These medications are designed to suppress appetite, increase metabolism, or inhibit the absorption of fat in the body. They are used under the close supervision of a healthcare professional and tailored to meet the specific needs of each individual.

    Expertise and Guidance of a Medical Professional: Medical weight loss programs are overseen by healthcare professionals who have a deep understanding of the complexities of weight management. They provide ongoing monitoring of your health and progress, adjusting your treatment plan as necessary. This professional guidance ensures safety and effectiveness throughout your weight loss journey.

    Lifestyle Changes: While medication and professional support are important, the cornerstone of medical weight loss is the adoption of healthier lifestyle habits. This includes changes in diet, physical activity, and behavior. The medication and support provided make it easier for individuals to make and maintain these necessary lifestyle changes.

    In summary, Medical Weight Loss is a personalized, medically-supervised approach to weight loss that integrates prescription medications, professional guidance, and lifestyle changes to help individuals achieve and maintain a healthier weight. It’s a holistic approach that recognizes the challenges of losing weight and provides the tools and support necessary to overcome them.

  • Why isn’t diet and exercise enough?

    People used to think that weight loss was just a matter of will power. Now we know that obesity is actually a chronic disease. No matter how hard you work to make good choices, your body chemistry changes to get you back to your highest weight. Prescription medication can be used as a long-term solution to treat obesity as a chronic disease and break this cycle.
  • Generally how do weight loss medications work?

    All our medications primarily work by reducing your appetite and food cravings so you stop thinking about food. This allows you to make healthier food choices. Some of our medications also increase your metabolism so you burn more calories.
  • How does Semaglutide and Tirzepatide work more specifically?

    GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide-1) medications are a type of drug often used in weight loss and diabetes management. Here’s a simple way to understand how they work:

    Our bodies naturally produce a hormone called GLP-1. This hormone has a few jobs, but two are particularly important for weight loss:

    Appetite Control: GLP-1 tells your brain that you’re full after eating, which helps control your appetite and stop you from overeating.

    Blood Sugar Regulation: GLP-1 also helps to lower your blood sugar levels by stimulating your pancreas to produce insulin, a hormone that helps your cells take in sugar and use it for energy.

    GLP-1 medications essentially act like a “supercharged” version of this natural hormone. They stay in your body longer and in higher amounts than the natural GLP-1 your body produces. This leads to you feeling fuller for longer and having lower blood sugar levels, both of which can help with weight loss.

    It’s important to remember that while GLP-1 medications can be very helpful, they work best as part of a broader weight loss plan that includes diet changes and regular physical activity.

  • Does it really work? What kind of results can I expect?

    Other weight loss places may make promises and guarantees, but instead of gimmicks we prefer to let the results speak for themselves. Results are dependent on individuals, so come and find out what you can achieve.

    On phentermine a lot of the weight loss happens toward the beginning of treatment. On Semaglutide or Tirzepatide, we generally expect 1-3 pounds lost a week. Many of our patients are losing 10 pounds a month. Once you reach the full dose at 9-16 weeks, it is typically a steady 1-3 pound of weight loss a week.

  • How fast can I expect to see results?

    With phentermine you can start to lose weight fast. It is common to lose 7-10 pound in the
    first two week. With semaglutide, although some people see results right away, you may not start losing weight
    until 6-8 weeks of treatment or at around the 1mg dose. This is because the dose of the medication needs to be
    slowly increased to the full dose over the first 9-16 weeks. Everyone is different in terms of how much and how
    fast they lose weight. There are too many factors that play a role in weight loss to list here. We encourage you
    to speak to one of our providers for more information.
  • How will being on medication reduce the quantity I am eating?

    Most definitely, when the right medication dose is achieved – you will probably only be
    eating 30% of what you are currently eating without the medication.
  • Will I still get hungry?

    Yes, you will still get hungry albeit much less often and most importantly you will get
    full astonishingly fast. You may only eat half a sandwich whereas normally you would have eaten 2.
  • Is it actually safe?

    Phentermine has been FDA approved and used safely since 1959. It is not addictive and does not have serious or long term side effects. Some people are scared of weight loss medications because of a different weight loss drug fenfluramine that was found to be dangerous and pulled off the market in 1997. That medication was commonly mixed with phentermine (Fen-Phen).

    Semaglutide is newly approved for weight loss, but it has been approved and used to treat diabetes since 2017. This class of medications (similar medications to semaglutide) has been approved since 2005 for the treatment of diabetes. This means that many people have been on a GLP-1 without any adverse events for the last 18 years! Semaglutide is also not addictive and has no known serious or long term side effects. Tirzepatide has a similar safety profile.

  • Why isn’t everyone doing this then?

    Don’t be so sure they aren’t. Weight loss can be a very private matter for many people. While the stigma of getting help has gotten better over the years – many still are reluctant to tell everyone they know that they are going to a weight loss clinic.

    We now have 10 offices and have 10,000 appointments per month throughout Maryland. Chances are we are treating someone you know such as your neighbor, co-worker, spouse, friend or parent.

  • How do you keep your prices so low for Semalgutide? How can you be 60% – 75% less than the name brand Ozempic or Wegovy at the pharmacy?

    Due to the drug shortage of branded Semalgutide namely Wegovy and Ozempic –the Drug Shortages Staff (DSS) which is a branch of the FDA allows compounding pharmacies to make a compounded version of the drug as long as they meet the requirements of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic (FD&C) Act. This is done in order to help meet the demand. We source our in-office Semaglutide directly from an FDA inspected facility.
  • What are compounding pharmacies? Is it safe to use compounding pharmacies?

    Compounding pharmacies play an essential role in healthcare and can be a safe and effective option for many patients when used appropriately. Compounding pharmacies are used by nearly every specialty in medicine. It’s important to note that these pharmacies are regulated and must meet specific safety and quality standards.

    In the United States, for example, compounding pharmacies are regulated by state boards of pharmacy and in some cases also by the FDA.

    Compounding pharmacies adhere to strict guidelines for the preparation of compounded medications. They follow special procedures to ensure that each compounded medication is prepared accurately, using the right ingredients and the correct process.

    Moreover, all ingredients used by these pharmacies are sourced from reputable suppliers and each ingredient is thoroughly tested for quality, purity, and sterility.

    In summary, while any medical treatment can have risks, using a reputable compounding pharmacy like ours at Rivas Medical Weight Loss that follows strict safety protocols and regulations can ensure you are getting safe and high-quality personalized medication.

    At Rivas Medical Weight Loss we source our in-office Semalgutide from an FDA inspected compounding pharmacy.

  • What is Rivas Medical Weight Loss’s response to the FDA’s concerns over compounded semaglutide?

    At Rivas Medical Weight Loss, we hold ourselves to the highest standards, adhering strictly to guidelines and regulations from the FDA and other governing bodies. We do not use brand name medications, including semaglutide products such as Ozempic, Wegovy, or Tirzepatide products like Mounjaro.

    We obtain our compounded medications from both state-licensed 503A pharmacies and Federally licensed 503B pharmacies. These compounded medications, including semaglutide in its base form, comply with the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic (FD&C) Act’s requirements.

    We assure our patients that we do not use the salt forms of semaglutide—such as semaglutide sodium and semaglutide acetate—which have been flagged as potential concerns by the FDA.

    At Rivas Medical Weight Loss, patient safety and high-quality care are paramount. All medications we use meet the stringent criteria set by regulatory authorities. We encourage patients to only use medications prescribed by a licensed healthcare provider and to understand the potential risks of obtaining medication from unregulated online sources.

    We are committed to educating our patients and healthcare professionals about the importance of obtaining medicines from state-licensed pharmacies or outsourcing facilities registered with the FDA, ensuring the highest standards of safety and efficacy in all treatments we provide.

    In summary, The FDA warns against using compounding pharmacies that are not licensed: In response to this, we strictly procure our compounded medications from a state-licensed and accredited compounding pharmacy, thereby ensuring safety and quality control.

    The FDA cautions about using forms of Semaglutide other than its Base form: We adhere to this warning. Our use of Semaglutide strictly involves the Base form, which complies with the FDA’s requirements and guidelines.

    We source our Semalgutide from an FDA inspected compounding pharmacy. It has the same active and inactive ingredients as Wegovy and Ozempic.

    The FDA advises seeking care from licensed health care providers: We proudly meet this standard as we are licensed healthcare providers specializing in weight loss.

    The FDA warns against purchasing medicine online from unregulated, unlicensed sources: We address this concern by operating 10 physical locations throughout Maryland. We offer telehealth services for initial visits and follow up visits. We ensure our telehealth patients receive high quality compounded Semaglutide from a reputable source.

  • How does telehealth work?

    We have telehealth available for patients who live in Maryland and are interested in treatment with semaglutide. You will have a monthly video appointment with a medical provider and the medication will be shipped to your house.

B12 Injections

  • Can I come in just to get a B12 Injection?

    Yes! You do not need to be part of our medical weight loss program to get our B12 Injections.

  • What does Lipotropic mean?

    Lipotropic is a medical term for a substance that affects fat burning in the body.

  • Why would I get an injection when I can just take a supplement?

    Vitamin injections bypass your gut completely and go directly into your muscle tissue. This ensures 100% absorption of the nutrients.

  • What is the Lipo Extreme shot?

    The Lipo-Extreme is a B12 injection with four lipotropic ingredients and four B Vitamins: Methionine, Inositol, Choline, Carnitine, Hydroxocobalamin (B12), Pyridoxine (B6), Riboavin (B2), and Thiamine (B1). Ingredients are NON-GMO and vegan.

  • Who benefits most from our B12 injections?

    Anyone 18 years of age or older is eligible for B12 Injections. While most of our patients who try the injections feel great benefits from them, the following people are particularly likely to feel the positive effects of B12: vegans, vegetarians, patients whose primary source of protein is chicken, patients who have undergone gastric sleeve or gastric bypass surgery, and patients taking diabetes medication, acid reflux medication, or antibiotics.

  • Are there any side effects?

    The most common side effect is a slightly sore arm. The needle is the same size as the ones used for the flu shot. Some people also taste vitamins within minutes of getting the shot.

Phentermine

  • Am I a good fit for this treatment?

    This treatment is a particularly good fit for you if you are budget sensitive, have never been on stimulant medication before (no ADHD medication etc.), and/or need super fast results.

    You can not be treated with phentermine if you:
    • Already on another stimulant medication (like ADHD medications)
    • History of stroke, heart attack, heart disease or uncontrolled high blood pressure (unless cleared by cardiologist)
    • Chronic kidney disease (unless cleared by nephrologist)
    • Nursing, Pregnant, or trying to get pregnant
    You can still use phentermine if you have any other medical conditions not listed above.

  • What are the common side effects?

    • Lots of energy
    • Dry mouth
    • Insomnia
    • Constipation
    • Moments of feeling hot and sweaty
    • Irritability

  • What do you recommend if I have taken phentermine before?

    If you have been on phentermine (or any stimulant medication like for ADHD) you may have built up a tolerance to the effects of the medication. We recommend you consider trying semaglutide.

Semaglutide

  • Am I a good fit for this treatment?

    This treatment is a particularly good fit for you if you are looking for a long term solution, you have taken phentermine or another stimulant medication (like ADHD meds) before, and/or you need to lose more than 10-15 lbs.
    You can not be treated with semaglutide if you have:
    • Medullary Thyroid cancer
    • Multiple endocrine neoplasia
    • Type 1 Diabetics
    • Type 2 diabetics already taking a GLP-1 medication
    • History of pancreatitis
    • Chronic kidney disease (unless cleared by nephrologist)
    • Nursing, Pregnant, or trying to get pregnant
    You can still use phentermine if you have any other medical conditions not listed above.
  • What are the common side effects?

    Short moments of nausea,
    Constipation or diarrhea
    Fatigue
    Takes away desire for alcohol
  • Is the injection really painless?

    Yes, unlike vaccines or many other shots you may think of, this injection is done with a tiny needle that only goes under the skin, not into muscle. Patients often don’t realize we already gave the shot.

Tirzepatide

  • Am I a good fit for this treatment?

    This treatment is a particularly good fit for you if you are looking for a long term solution, you have taken phentermine or another stimulant medication (like ADHD meds) before, and/or you need to lose more than 10-15 lbs.
    You can not be treated with tirzepitide if you have:
    • Medullary Thyroid cancer
    • Multiple endocrine neoplasia
    • Type 1 Diabetics
    • Type 2 diabetics already taking a GLP-1 medication
    • History of pancreatitis
    • Chronic kidney disease (unless cleared by nephrologist)
    • Nursing, Pregnant, or trying to get pregnant
    You can still use phentermine if you have any other medical conditions not listed above.
  • What are the common side effects?

    Short moments of nausea,
    Constipation or diarrhea
    Fatigue
    Takes away desire for alcohol
  • Is the injection really painless?

    Yes, unlike vaccines or many other shots you may think of, this injection is done with a tiny needle that only goes under the skin, not into muscle. Patients often don’t realize we already gave the shot.

Lose weight – Feel Great – No Contract

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Crystal Wright
Crystal Wright
1708374440
Awesome !!!!! Highly recommend
Aimee Tegges
Aimee Tegges
1707920313
Very helpful and accommodating staff. Never a long wait. Helpful tips and coaching advice when needed
Chris Loso
Chris Loso
1707500800
Great staff! Friendly, knowledgeable, and courteous. Great job!
Cassye Culver
Cassye Culver
1707486678
Julianne Leitch
Julianne Leitch
1707414675
Crystal Reed
Crystal Reed
1707351485
Nicole Lechner
Nicole Lechner
1707345432
Excellent customer service.
Cristena Bach Yeutter
Cristena Bach Yeutter
1707331245
Excellent weight loss program. The staff is professional, knowledgeable and efficient.
John Ruckman
John Ruckman
1707318995
excellent experience and very professional
Audrey Afari
Audrey Afari
1707316865
Tia Lyles
Tia Lyles
1707254959
Everyone at Rivas Medical Weight Loss in Towson Md is very courteous and professional. They offer a variety of medical weight loss options to meet anyone's needs.
michele brammer
michele brammer
1707247598
The care and customer service is exceptional
Kelly Edmunds
Kelly Edmunds
1707239549
Always in and out quickly, the staff is great!!
Michelle Pugh
Michelle Pugh
1707233019
I was a patient at the Frederick office and then my doctors left so I moved to the Hagerstown office. These group of wonderful people have great customer service skills and are a pleasure to speak to as well. I would recommend anyone who is looking to lose weight to go to them.
Rebecca Brady
Rebecca Brady
1707142533
Bannon MacDougal
Bannon MacDougal
1706823403
My experience has been great. I have no regrets, and am continuing to use their services!