Losing weight isn’t something that most people find easy. However, the latest weight loss craze Ozempic seems to be the answer to people’s prayers. You may have seen celebrities thanking this “miracle” drug for helping them shift those last few pounds, or you might have read news articles about how there’s now a shortage.
Regardless of how you’ve heard of Ozempic, the question most people have is “How does it work?”. This blog post is going to look at what exactly Ozempic is, if it has side effects and how it works to help you lose weight.
What is Ozempic?
Ozempic is a liquid solution that is taken by using a pre-filled, disposable injectable pen. Semaglutide is the active ingredient in Ozempic and is only available under this one brand — there currently isn’t a generic form of it on the market.
Typically, Ozempic is used to help manage the symptoms of type 2 diabetes in adults. Although people are using it for weight loss, it’s not actually approved by the FDA for anything other than type 2 diabetes. However, it can be prescribed “off label”, which simply means that it’s approved for use other than what it was intended for.
Some people find that because of this, their insurance doesn’t cover it, so it’s always best to check with your provider beforehand.
What is Ozempic used for?
As mentioned above, Ozempic is primarily used to help manage type 2 diabetes as it regulates blood sugar levels and can lower the risk of heart attacks and stroke in people who have both heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Ozempic isn’t used for type 1 diabetes, nor can it be taken by people who have had pancreatitis.
When taking Ozempic, weight loss is one of the side effects — hence why people are now taking it to lose weight when they don’t have diabetes.
How does Ozempic work?
Ozempic works by increasing your insulin levels after you eat which stops your blood sugar levels from getting too high. It also slows down how quickly you digest food, leaving you fuller for longer. Ozempic can lower the amount of sugar that’s released into your bloodstream as well.
All of these things can help you to lose weight, as feeling fuller for longer and having a decreased appetite are key when trying to shift a few pounds. These things are also necessary when managing type 2 diabetes, so losing weight is simply a side effect of the medication.
Are there any side effects of Ozempic?
Like all medications, Ozempic does have some side effects (with weight loss being one of them).
Some of the most common mild side effects include:
- Stomach pain
These side effects tend to clear up within a few weeks of taking Ozempic.
There are more serious side effects when taking Ozempic, and these can include:
- Increased risk of thyroid cancer
- Diabetic retinopathy or damage to your eyes
- Gallbladder disease including gallstones
- Allergic reactions
While these side effects are less common, they can occur so it’s important that you monitor your health carefully when taking it.
Ozempic actually comes with a boxed warning, which comes from the FDA. Ozempic has been shown to cause thyroid tumors and cancer in animals. While it isn’t clear if it does the same to humans, people with a family or personal history of thyroid conditions or cancer are advised not to take it.
Ozempic foods to avoid
Ozempic can react badly to certain foods and cause side effects like nausea and vomiting. This tends to happen if you take it after eating high-fat or high-sugar foods such as ice cream, processed meats and fried foods.
By avoiding these foods, you’ll not only reduce the risk of experiencing these side effects, but you’ll also be enhancing your weight loss journey by eating healthier.
How to get Ozempic for weight loss
The best way to get Ozempic if you want to lose weight is from your doctor. They will be able to decide whether or not this medication is right for you. They’ll also be able to help advise you on how to inject yourself with it, as it’s something you’ll need to learn.
There are other licensed healthcare professionals and companies that offer Ozempic, but again, they will want to evaluate your health before prescribing it to you.
If you get an Ozempic prescription from anyone who isn’t your doctor, be sure to tell them anyway as they should know about all medications that you take.
Ozempic may seem like the solution to your weight loss problems, but there are lots of things you need to consider first. Make sure you speak with your doctor to make sure that it’s right for you, as you don’t want to compromise your health for the sake of a few pounds.
Although Ozempic can help people lose weight, it’s important to remember that it’s not suitable for everyone and it may not work for everyone either. But when it does work, it can provide results — but whether or not these are long-lasting or not, only time will tell.