Ozempic for weight loss
The number of American adults reported to be obese is slightly above 42%. Obesity also affects around 14.7 million children aged 2 to 19 years. Such a trend is worrisome as more people risk suffering chronic diseases like stroke, heart disease, diabetes, and other forms of cancer.
As a result of the health risks of overweight and obesity, there has been a need to find weight loss strategies such as using Ozempic for weight loss. These strategies help people manage their weight and live healthy lives.
If overweight and obese individuals lose around 5% to 15% of their body weight, they’ll improve their body pressure. Simply put, they avert the risk of heart-related diseases, and Ozempic has the much-needed weight-loss effect we’re looking for.
This article will discuss what Ozempic for weight loss is, how it works, who should use it, what its side effects are, and how you should use it. Let’s dive right into it!
What is Ozempic?
Ozempic is an FDA-approved drug made for people with diabetes. It belongs to the GLP-1 agonists group of drugs, and its active ingredient is semaglutine. You can use these drugs to manage diabetes, weight loss, and heart disease under different doses.
For example, Ozempic helps type 2 diabetes patients, while Wegony-its sister drug- manage weight loss and obesity. These drugs contain the same active ingredient, but they’re used differently because of their dosage.
However, the high demand for weight loss products has led to a shortage of Wegony in the marketplace. This makes consumers go for alternatives such as Ozempic.
So, how does Ozempic for weight loss work?
How Ozempic for weight loss works
Ozempic is commonly sold off-label due to its weight loss side effects. The drug works by lowering your blood glucose levels after eating. It also interferes with the normal functioning of the hypothalamus, where we process most of our feelings.
By so doing, it suppresses your appetite, and you eat less food. Additionally, it slows down food movement from your stomach, resulting in a full stomach most of the time. When you couple this with a lifestyle change, you can lose weight in a few days or weeks.
Although Ozempic is primarily for type 2 diabetes patients, doses of 2.4 mg of semaglutine have positively reduced obesity. Obese individuals report losing as much as 15% of their body weight. This is good for their well-being.
To be considered overweight or obese, your weight and height are measured to get your body mass index (BMI). Overweight adults have a BMI of 25 to 29.9, while those above 30 are obese.
You can determine the BMI of your child here based on their age, height, and weight. The general rule of thumb is that kids and teens with a BMI above the 95th percentile are obese.
As much as high doses of semaglutine are effective in weight loss, Ozempic is sold and manufactured in dosages of 0.25-2 mg per injection. This brings the question of how you prescribe Ozempic for weight loss and who should take it. Let’s find out!
How to use Ozempic for weight loss
Ozempic is an injectable drug taken once a week. You can inject it in your thighs, arms, or belly. It may result in gastrointestinal pains when taken in high doses, thus, it’s administered in small increments doses every week.
You can start with a 0.25mg dose for the first four weeks to accustom your body to the drug. Then, increase it to 0.5mg per week and increase the dosage at four-week intervals until you max out the dose at 2.0mg per week.
Since it alters the normal functioning of your brain and body, the effects of Ozempic take time to subside, that’s why it’s administered once a week. Frequent doses of the drug may result in undesired side effects like pancreatitis.
Once you start using the medication, you should use it for a lifetime or risk gaining back your weight once the drug is clear from your system. It takes around 5 weeks for the effects of the drug to subside once you stop taking it.
If you’re considering taking Ozempic for weight loss alongside other
medications, like insulin, consult your doctor for guidance. Also, factor
in lifestyle changes for optimum results.
What are the side effects
of Ozempic for weight loss?
The side effects of Ozempic for weight loss vary depending on your health condition. When used appropriately- for diabetes, heart disease, and stroke- some of its side effects include the following;
The list doesn’t end there; Ozempic may also result in the following mild side effects;
Serious side effects of Ozempic for weight loss
Some of the severe side effects of Ozempic and their possible solutions are below;
Pancreatitis is the swelling of your pancreas that if left unchecked can severely damage your pancreas. The pancreas produces insulin, which is essential for the digestion of food. Some of the common symptoms of pancreatitis include the following;
• Nausea or vomiting
• An enlargement at your back with belly pains
This disease is likely to reappear if you’ve dealt with it previously. You must notify your doctor of your previous health problems to avoid pancreatitis. If you experience the above symptoms, tell your health professional so that they change your medication.
You must notify your doctor if you have kidney complications so that they advise you on the best medication for diabetes or weight loss. You can also avoid kidney complications by frequently rehydrating your body, especially if you vomit a lot.
Diabetic retinopathy is a condition whereby the blood vessels in your eye are damaged. If you have this condition, Ozempic isn’t your best fit to control blood glucose levels and manage your weight as it increases the risk of retinopathy.
Since Ozempic increases the chances of diabetic retinopathy, you must keep all your eye appointments to avoid the disease when using the drug.
You can end up experiencing an episode of hypoglycemia when your blood sugar is low. The factors that may lead to this are gaining or losing too much weight, intense physical workouts, fasting and a change in diet. Some common symptoms of hypoglycemia include the following;
• Blurred vision
• Shaking, chills, or sweating
• Severe hunger
• A pale skin
As always, notify your doctor for a curated treatment plan, especially if you’re on an insulin regimen. You should also stick to your meal plan, avoid intense exercises, and have quick access to foods that may increase your blood sugar levels quickly, like chewable glucose tablets, to mitigate hypoglycemia.
Perhaps out of all the side effects of Ozempic, this is the deadliest of all. Regardless of your medical condition, you must not use Ozempic if you have experienced the following conditions;
• Your family has a history of medullary thyroid cancer
• You’re suffering from multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2
Other serious side effects of Ozempic include the following;
• Swelling of your gall bladder accompanied by pain
• Allergic reactions
Due to the significant side effects of Ozempic, it’s not for use by everybody. You must understand that this drug is for people with type 2 diabetes and who have a high risk of contracting cardiovascular diseases.
What’s the cost of Ozempic?
The cost of Ozempic is high, especially if you lack a substantial income. It can cost an average of $15,000 a year, which affects its availability to low-income people who have type 2 diabetes.
The high demand for the drug worsens this situation since it’s sold off-label. Off-labelling is the selling of drugs meant to treat other diseases. This creates a shortage for the most vulnerable in society.
Does insurance cover Ozempic for weight loss?
Most insurance coverage doesn’t cover Ozempic for weight loss because of off-labelling. Individuals, who purchase Ozempic for its weight loss benefits, have good incomes to afford the drug.
However, you might qualify for financial assistance to purchase Ozempic if you’re using it for its prescribed use through the following websites;
• Medicine Assistance Tool
What are the alternative GLP-1
drugs to Ozempic?
Other GLP-1 drugs with the active ingredient of semaglutide and their dosages include the following;
• Wegovy, which is injectable at doses of 0.25-2.4 mg per injection
• Rybelsus, which is taken orally at doses of 3, 7, and 14 mg tablets
As much as Ozempic, Rybelsus, and Wegony belong to the same class of drugs, their uses vary significantly. For instance, Ozempic has lower doses of semaglutine than Weegony. Its use is to help people suffering from type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and heart attack.
On the other hand, Wegony is for people with obesity or who are likely to have overweight-related complications.
Ozempic is a diabetic-related drug commonly sold off-label because of its weight loss properties. It also functions well for people with cardiovascular disorders.
The drug has several side effects that can be severe if you have a poor medical history or a pre-existing medical condition. Therefore, you must notify your doctor of your health status before you commit to using the drug.
You must also conduct regular health check-ups, including eye appointments, because of the potential health risks of Ozempic. Also, consider the affordability of the drug and its long-term use when you want to use Ozempic for weight loss bearing in mind once you stop using the drug you risk gaining weight again.