Ozempic For Weight Loss Ozempic For Weight Loss

Ozempic For Weight Loss: Facts, Side Effects, And How It Works


Ozempic helps adults with type 2 diabetes manage their blood sugar by injecting it once a week. While Ozempic is not officially a weight loss drug, research suggests that people taking it may lose modest weight. Ozempic's active ingredient, semaglutide, is approved for treating obesity and other weight-related conditions under Wegovy.


People without type 2 diabetes have started using Ozempic off-label due to a Wegovy shortage, and Ozempic's weight loss results have gone viral on social media.


This article discusses this growing weight loss trend. It offers insights from physicians on Ozempic's efficiency for weight loss, effectiveness, and what you should know before taking Ozempic for weight loss.

What Is Ozempic?

This drug is approved for treating adults with type 2 diabetes; Ozempic is only available on prescription. According to Ozempic's website, it lowers hemoglobin A1C, a measure of blood glucose over time, in adults with type 2 diabetes.


In addition, it lowers the risk of cardiovascular events such as strokes and heart attacks in patients with type 2 diabetes and known heart disease.


Ozempic contains semaglutide, an agonist of the glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor. A natural hormone called GLP-1 is enhanced by activating GLP-1 receptors throughout the body.


Ozempic is a once-weekly injection of semaglutide administered by self-injection. The dosages are 0.5 milligrams, 1 milligram, and 2 milligrams.


Is Ozempic The Same As Insulin?

Ozempic does not contain insulin. Ozempic makes your pancreas produces more insulin when your blood sugar is high when you take it.


Ozempic For Weight Loss: How Does It Function?

This drug was approved for semaglutide for weight loss under the brand name Wegovy in 2021. Wegovy contains a higher dose of semaglutide than Ozempic—2.4 milligrams compared to 0.5 milligrams, 1 milligram, or 2 milligrams of semaglutide in Ozempic.


A GLP-1 receptor agonist, semaglutide increases the effects of GLP-1 naturally occurring in the body. In addition to its impact on blood glucose and diabetes, GLP-1 also affects weight via two.


Key Mechanisms:

  • Reduces appetite, hunger, and cravings by affecting the brain's hunger centres (specifically, the hypothalamus)

  • After meals, prolongs fullness and satiety by slowing stomach emptying


The result is decreased hunger, prolonged fullness, and weight loss. In a large clinical trial sponsored by Novo Nordisk, 1,961 adults with excess obesity or overweight who did not have diabetes were given 2.4 milligrams of semaglutide once a week for 68 weeks, along with lifestyle interventions.


A semaglutide group lost 14.9% of their body weight, while a placebo group lost 2.4%[1]. This study used a higher dose of semaglutide than Ozempic provided. This approved weight loss drug Wegovy contains 2.4 milligrams of semaglutide.

While Ozempic and Wegovy are the same medicine (available in different doses), it should be mentioned that Ozempic is typically covered by insurance while Wegovy is not.


Is Ozempic Safe?

Ozempic is not safe for everyone, however. It is recommended that people with the following conditions don't use Ozempic:


  • Diabetic retinopathy

  • Problems with the pancreas or kidneys

  • Family history of medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC)

  • Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia syndrome types 2 (MEN 2), an endocrine system condition

  • Pancreatitis

  • Type 1 diabetes

  • Under 18 years of age

  • Pregnant or breastfeeding


When taking prescription medication, you should consult a doctor or other qualified healthcare provider to determine if this medication is safe for you and the appropriate dosage.

Common Side Effects Of Ozempic

As Ozempic slows gastric emptying, individuals may feel satiety [fullness] early- After starting Ozempic or changing the dose, these side effects generally subside within a few days to a few weeks.


The company warns that Ozempic may cause other side effects that are less common but more serious. The following are among them:


  • Allergic reactions

  • Gallbladder problems

  • Thyroid tumours or cancer

  • Pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas)

  • Vision changes

  • Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)

  • Kidney problems

Should I Use Ozempic To Lose Weight?

 It is also an excellent option for those who have struggled to lose weight through diet and exercise alone, have a BMI of 30 and above (or 27 and above with obesity-related comorbidity), and are willing to use a once-weekly injection for a long time, he says.


The GLP-1 medications are far more effective at treating obesity than prior anti-obesity medications and should be considered first-line pharmacotherapy. Ozempic is not recommended for short-term, cosmetic weight loss. Ozempic and related GLP-1 medications are not designed for use in this manner, can cause adverse events, and ultimately, weight loss will be regained.


The off-label use of Ozempic impacts the usability of the medication for those who require it most - individuals with type 2 diabetes (or, in the case of Wegovy, obese individuals)," he adds.


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