Ozempic is a prescription medication used for blood sugar control. Recently the medication has been prescribed for weight loss, which is considered “off-label” or using medication for something it was not designed for. Keep reading to learn if ozempic is effective for weight loss and what the potential side effects are.
What is Ozempic?
Ozempic is an injectable medication that helps your body clear blood sugars out of the bloodstream. It is primarily used for diabetes management to promote healthy blood sugar levels.
The mechanisms of action for this medication include: helping your pancreas to release more insulin when blood sugar levels are high, slowing down how quickly food is digested, and preventing your liver from making too much sugar to release into the bloodstream.
On top of better blood sugar numbers, Ozempic can lead to weight loss because it suppresses appetite. People who use this medication eat less food which can help them lose weight.
Ozempic’s official statement
The creators of Ozempic do not condone using the medication as a weight loss drug. Their website clearly states they only approve of using their product for diabetes management. If you want to try using Ozempic for weight loss, you must have a discussion with your family doctor.
Ozempic medication is liquid and comes in pre-filled needles, so you don’t have to prepare them yourselves. The needles are very fine and small, nothing compared to what you have seen in a lab. Most people will inject the needle into their thighs, abdomen, or upper arms. You should rotate the injection site to decrease any chances of bruising, soreness, and possible infections.
Maintaining Weight Loss After Ozempic
If you stop taking the medication, your appetite levels can return, and you may gain some weight. This is normal. However, if you feel like you can’t control your eating or are still hungry after eating, you should see a physician or dietitian for support. There may be hormonal influences that are affecting your appetite levels.
It is unknown how much weight will come back after stopping Ozempic because everybody will have a unique rebound after the drug. A good way to maintain your weight is to practice healthy eating habits that you can continue after stopping the medication. This includes regularly eating throughout the day, having plenty of vegetables and lean protein sources, and avoiding food restrictions.
Research has shown that denying yourself food can increase cravings, which can increase the chances of overeating later.
Potential side effects of ozempic include:
- Inflammation of your pancreas (pancreatitis)
- Changes in vision
- Blood sugar levels that are too low (hypoglycemia).
- Kidney problems (renal failure)
- Severe allergic reactions
- Gallbladder problems
- Nausea and vomiting
Some people should not take Ozempic. This includes anyone with a history of thyroid cancer and multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome.
Is Ozempic worth it?
Only you and your doctor can decide if using Ozempic will be beneficial. All medications can result in possible side effects, and the pros and negatives should be reviewed thoroughly. Most insurance companies will cover the cost of this drug, but not always, which may leave you paying out of pocket (anywhere from 700-900 USD).
Is Ozempic approved for weight loss?
No, it is not currently approved for weight loss. Physicians are prescribing the medication “off-label” for patients they believe are eligible.
Why am I gaining weight on Ozempic?
Improper use of the medication may result in some weight gain. It could be helpful to meet with your pharmacist to ensure you are taking the right dosage and following the correct schedule.
What does Ozempic do to your body?
Ozempic stimulates your pancreas to release more insulin to lower high blood sugar levels. It also suppresses your appetite and slows down how quickly you digest food, which may lead to weight loss in some people.