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  • Writer's pictureMary Corso, RDN, CDN

What’s the deal with Ozempic?

I’m sure that many of you have heard of the medication Ozempic recently. It has been all the rage in the media and even celebrities appear to be utilizing it. Ozempic has gained attention for its potential to aid in weight loss. Is Ozempic safe and is it the miracle weight loss drug many are claiming it to be? Let’s explore some more about this new and intriguing medication.


What is Ozempic?

Ozempic is a prescription medication used to treat type 2 diabetes and is the brand name for semaglutide, a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist. It is administered via injection once a week and is used to treat type 2 diabetes by helping to lower blood sugar levels. However, it has also been found to have weight loss benefits in some people. It is important to note that Ozempic is not considered or labeled as a weight loss drug. Doctors may prescribe Ozempic to aid in weight loss, this is considered “off-label” use. If you are taking Ozempic for “off-label” use (i.e. weight loss) it may make it difficult to get your insurance to cover the cost of this medication (which can be quite expensive!).



How does Ozempic work?

Ozempic works by mimicking the effects of GLP-1, a hormone that is naturally produced in the gut after eating. GLP-1 helps to regulate blood sugar levels slows down the rate at which food leaves the stomach, and makes a person feel full. By mimicking the effects of GLP-1, Ozempic helps to reduce hunger and increase feelings of fullness, which can lead to a reduction in food intake and weight loss.


Short-term use of Ozempic for weight loss.

Studies have shown that Ozempic can lead to significant weight loss in the short term. In a clinical trial, participants who took Ozempic lost an average of 15-20 pounds in 26-30 weeks, while those who took a placebo lost an average of 2-5 pounds. The weight loss was seen regardless of whether the participant had type 2 diabetes or not.




Long-term use of Ozempic for weight loss

There is limited data on the long-term use of Ozempic for weight loss, as the medication is relatively new. However, a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine followed participants for 68 weeks and found that those who continued taking Ozempic maintained their weight loss, while those who stopped taking the medication regained some weight.


Rebound weight gain with Ozempic

While Ozempic can be effective in promoting weight loss, it is important to note that rebound weight gain can and often does occur when a person stops taking the medication. It is recommended that individuals who take Ozempic for weight loss follow a healthy diet and exercise regimen to prevent weight gain during and after they are being treated with the medication. It is noted that Ozempic is prescribed for different reasons and lengths of time. If taken to aid in weight loss it is often that Ozempic will not be taken indefinitely. It will be critical for these patients to follow a healthy diet and exercise regimen or weight gain is sure to follow once they stop taking Ozempic



Possible side effects of Ozempic

Like all medications, Ozempic can have side effects. Some of the common side effects include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and constipation. These side effects are usually mild and go away on their own. Rare but serious side effects can include pancreatitis and kidney problems, so it is important to talk to your doctor before starting Ozempic.



Ozempic is a prescription medication that can be used to treat type 2 diabetes and aid in weight loss. It works by mimicking the effects of GLP-1, a hormone that regulates blood sugar levels and appetite. While Ozempic can be effective in promoting weight loss, it is important to maintain healthy lifestyle habits to prevent rebound weight gain. Also as we know nutrition is not just about weight. The benefits of eating a healthy diet are numerous for our health with prevention of disease being at the top. As with all medications, it is important to talk to your doctor before starting Ozempic to determine if it is right for you.


Until next time,

Mary Corso RDN,CDN





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