Ozempic for Weight Loss: Results, Side Effects and More

Many people use Ozempic for weight loss, but what are the risks? Who should really take this drug?

Image Source:
Miriam Dole/iStock/GettyImages

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), many factors can affect a person's weight, including of course what you eat and how much exercise, but also factors beyond your control, such as your environment, genetics, and ethnicity. If life If a change in modality doesn't help you achieve your weight-loss goals, you might want to try another approach: drugs like the much-discussed Ozempic.

We talked to experts about what to expect if you take Ozempic for weight loss, such as early GI-related discomfort, who is best for this drug, and more.

Ozempic is a once-weekly injection and is a diabetes medicine. According to the Ozempic website, it helps improve blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes.

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM), Ozempic belongs to a class of drugs known as incretin mimetics that help the pancreas release the proper levels of insulin when blood sugar levels are high.

The drug can also cause weight loss — up to 14 pounds, according to the Ozempic website.

“Ozempic mimics a hormone produced in the body,” says Mir Ali, MD, bariatric surgeon and medical director of MemorialCare Surgical Weight Loss Center at Orange Coast Medical Center in Fountain Valley, California.

This hormone is called glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), and it can slow digestion and reduce the amount of nutrients absorbed by the GI tract. Ozempic contains semaglutide, which mimics this hormone.

Using Ozempic for weight loss is common but also considered “off-label” use, at least for now, because the drug is not FDA-approved for weight loss. “Ozempic is not a weight loss drug,” according to the drug's website.

That said, another drug, Wegovy, which contains more of the same active ingredient (semaglutide) and is made by the same company, was approved by the FDA for weight loss in June 2021.

Why Ozempic Causes Weight Loss

The active ingredient in Ozempic, semaglutide, is effective for people with type 2 diabetes as it helps lower blood sugar. But two additional effects of Ozempic explain why it can be helpful when it comes to weight loss:

  1. ‌‌‌Food stays in the stomach longer.Semaglutide causes the stomach to empty more slowly, Dr. Ali said.
  2. ‌‌‌It can also affect your brain.‌Ozone “plays a central role in the brain and can suppress appetite,” says Dr. Ali.

When you take Ozempic, you won't feel hungry because you won't get hunger signals from your brain – and you'll feel full for longer due to slower digestion.

“It's multifaceted,” says Mitchell Roslin, MD, chief of bariatric surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City—that is, Ozempic works in different ways on multiple parts of the body.

In terms of body weight, semaglutide made a difference. “It has been shown to be more effective than many other drugs available for weight loss,” Dr. Ali said.

One study looked at the effects of weekly semaglutide in overweight or obese adults. Study participants received injections of 1.7 or 2.4 mg; the maximum recommended dose of Ozempic, the low-dose semaglutide drug, is 2 mg per week, according to Novo Nordisk, which makes Wegovy and Ozempic. According to September 2022 in ‌JAMA Network Open‌.

In a double-blind trial of nearly 2,000 obese adults funded by Novo Nordisk, some participants received a placebo drug while others received 2.4 mg of semaglutide once a week for 68 weeks (nearly a year). and half). Both received lifestyle interventions, but according to the March 2021 results, those taking the drug lost 14.9 percent of their body weight, compared with just 2.4 percent for those taking the placeboNew England Journal of Medicine‌‌‌.‌‌‌

Benefits of Taking Ozempic for Weight Loss

  • Effective
  • The most common side effects are temporary for many people

Cons of Taking Ozempic for Weight Loss

  • expensive
  • not always covered by insurance
  • Your weight may come back once you stop taking the drug
  • Not FDA Approved

When people first start taking Ozempic, they often experience a series of unpleasant gastrointestinal symptoms. This includes nausea, vomiting, cramping, diarrhea, and sometimes constipation as a side effect, Dr. Ali said.

These symptoms tend to “resolve over time,” Dr. Ali said. Typically, to reduce symptoms, doctors start with a low dose, let them “acclimate to the symptoms,” he said, and then slowly increase the dose over several months.

It is important to note that almost any drug has the potential to have side effects. “It's only in science fiction that things work reasonably well and people don't feel [side effects]said Dr. Roslin. The question is often whether the consequences of taking the drug outweigh these adverse effects.

Which Foods Should I Avoid On The Ozone Diet?

Ozempic is a drug – not a diet. Therefore, it is not necessary to change your diet if you are taking this drug. “There's really no food that interferes,” Dr. Ali said. Also, you can take the medicine with or without food.

But on the other hand, if your goal is to lose weight, then what you eat matters. “The healthier you eat, the better the results,” says Dr. Ali.

For example, if you drink alcohol, it can affect your blood sugar, he points out—and the extra carbs and calories can also inhibit weight loss, he says.

in short? “You want to use a combination of tools [like Ozempic] With lifestyle changes,” Dr. Roslin said, because: “It's a tool — it's not going to make Doritos healthier. “

Risks of Ozone Weight Loss

Ozempic was first approved by the FDA as a diabetes drug in 2017, so it has been in use for several years.

“It's relatively new in weight loss, but it's been around for years in diabetes,” Dr. Alis said, noting that it doesn't seem to drop blood sugar levels too low. He said he was not aware of any serious complications from the drug. “Of course, everyone responds to medication differently,” he points out.

According to Novo Nordisk, certain people should avoid taking the drug — this includes anyone with:

  • family history of medullary thyroid cancer
  • Multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN 2)
  • Pancreatitis or a history of it

The drug should not be used during pregnancy or in the first few months of pregnancy.

You're also likely to lose muscle instead of fat, which is why it's important to work with a professional to make sure you lose weight in a healthy way.

According to Novo Nordisk, there may be other, less common risks, such as complications of diabetic retinopathy. Additionally, Ozempic caused thyroid tumors (including cancerous tumors) in animal studies. While this cannot be extended to humans, other research—published in February 2023 in ‌diabetes care‌ — Similar drugs (liraglutide, exenatide, and dulaglutide) were found to increase people's risk of thyroid cancer. Semaglutide (Ozempic) was not included in the study.

How about “Ozempic Face”?

As the buzz around Ozempic grew, the media began reporting anecdotal side effects of the drug, dubbed “Ozempic face.”according toNew York Times‌, which refers to the haggard, tired look people may have after losing weight quickly because they've lost facial fat.

This “facial aging” isn't a drug label side effect, but you'll find plenty of footage of it on TikTok.

Who should take Ozempic for weight loss?

As a reminder, Ozempic is currently only FDA-approved for the treatment of diabetes. It's not approved as a weight loss treatment — but Wegovy is a drug that contains a higher dose of semaglutide.

In the weight loss community, the drug semaglutide is considered for people with a body mass index (BMI) above 30, which is considered obese, Dr. Ali said, or a BMI above 27 with at least one weight-related medical condition (such as diabetes or obesity). blood pressure). “I do have patients who come in with a lower BMI and I have to tell them that's considered off-label use of the drug,” he said.

Wegovy is also approved for use in people who are overweight and have weight-related health conditions (think: high cholesterol or high blood pressure), according to the FDA.

What happens when you stop taking Ozempic?

If you are taking the drug semaglutide for weight loss, keep in mind that you may find yourself gaining weight again once you stop taking the drug. “If you stop using these drugs, you're going to see recidivism,” Dr. Roslin said.

One study looked at what happened after people stopped taking 2.4 mg of semaglutide per week for 68 weeks and canceled a structured lifestyle intervention. A year later, according to an August 2022 publication on ‌Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism‌.

This seems frustrating. But consider this: While they did regain the weight, it was less than those who initially took the placebo. People who took part in the placebo study — who received a placebo drug treatment and a structured lifestyle intervention — largely regained their original weight after a year without the placebo or lifestyle intervention. But those who took the drug ended up weighing 5.6 percent less than their starting weight.

What is the price of Ozempic?

Insurance companies will not cover the cost of off-label use of Ozempic, which means you may have to pay out of pocket to use the drug to lose weight.

A 90-day supply of Ozempic (without insurance) averaged $2,663 per GoodRx, which compared prescription drug costs across pharmacies.

Active ingredients

how it works

FDA Approved for Weight Loss?

weight loss estimate

‌‌‌ozone layer‌‌‌


This diabetes drug helps lower blood sugar and also causes the stomach to empty more slowly. This, combined with sending signals to the brain, can help people feel less hungry and feel full longer.


Up to 14.9% of body weight



Wegovy works the same as Ozempic, but at a higher dose.


About 15% of your body weight according to the Wegovy website



This prescription medication helps regulate blood sugar and slows stomach emptying. According to the Saxenda website, it can be used by overweight or obese adults, as well as obese children.


5% or more by weight



Trulicy is a type 2 diabetes medicine that can help lower blood sugar. When you take it, food leaves the stomach more slowly, it limits the flow of sugar from the liver into the blood, and it also helps the pancreas release insulin. Like Victoza and Ozempic, it is not a weight loss treatment, but some people may lose weight.


Weight changes ranging from less than a pound to 10 pounds



This drug is a type 2 diabetes medicine that lowers the AIC and blood sugar. Like Saxenda, it works by slowing down the rate at which food leaves the stomach after eating, helping the pancreas to produce more insulin and stopping the liver from producing too much sugar. Some people lose weight while taking this drug.


People who take the drug may lose 5% or more of their body weight

Studies indicate that semaglutide is effective for weight loss. But drugs have their limits. “It will obviously help you eat less food [but] It doesn’t tell you what to eat,” Dr. Ali noted. “Our goal is to put these patients on the path to health, and the medicine is helping them on that path.

In other words, if you want to avoid regaining the weight you lost while taking your medication, you also need to make lifestyle changes.

Source link

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button

Let's Start your Keto Weight Loss journey today NOW! >>>