Health News

Here’s What Actually Happens When You Stop Taking Ozempic

Doctors share the truth about life after this popular weight loss drug.

Ozempic has become well-known for its ability to promote weight loss, and a handful of celebrities are rumored to have tried it. Currently trending on social media, the hashtag “Ozempic” has been viewed 450 million times on TikTok.

Long story short: Ozempic is popular. But it’s important to note that Ozempic is primarily a diabetes drug, meant to control blood sugar levels in adults. However, lately, it’s been used to assist with weight loss, as many people who take Ozempic do lose weight on it.

“Ozempic and other GLP-1 medications have become so popular for weight loss because they are effective,” says Dr. Rekha Kumar, MD, endocrinologist and head of medical affairs at the weight care program, Found. “The average weight loss on GLP-1s is 15% to 22% of a person’s total body weight. Even a small amount of weight loss, such as 5-10% of your total body weight, can bring your blood pressure down, stabilize your blood sugar, improve your blood cholesterol and give you more energy.”

Ozempic (semaglutide) aids in weight loss by delaying stomach emptying, which results in staying full longer and feeling full faster. Semaglutide also signals the center of the brain that is responsible for sensing fullness. So when someone takes Ozempic, their stomach and brain feel more full which leads to decreased appetite, fewer cravings and an inability to eat large portions for most people, Dr. Kumar adds.

While semaglutide is an injectable medication that is FDA-approved for type 2 diabetes with the name brand Ozempic, it has also been FDA-approved for weight loss under the brand name Wegovy. And there is a pill version for diabetes called Rybelsus.

Side Effects of Ozempic

Any prescription medication can have side effects—and Ozempic’s no exception. Here’s what we know: Ozempic may cause GI upset such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and constipation, Dr. Kumar explains. The majority of these side effects subside within a few weeks of using the medication.

Related: Real Talk—Does the Diabetes Medication Metformin Cause Weight Loss?

More serious but rare possible adverse effects include a risk for new or worsening kidney failure, pancreatitis, hypoglycemia and possible thyroid tumors.

In one study of adults with overweight or obesity, those who took the medication and made lifestyle changes lost almost 15% of their body weight, on average, compared to 3% in the placebo group.

The key word here is excess, Dr. Kumar states. Semaglutide hasn’t been tested in those without obesity—meaning people who want to lose those extra “vanity pounds.” So there’s no way to know what sort of weight loss (if any) or side effects can happen with inappropriate use.

“GLP-1s are the safest, most effective medications for treating type 2 diabetes and obesity (both of which are chronic diseases) and work on the root cause of biology for weight and metabolic health,” says Dr. Kristin Baier, MD, Calibrate Clinical Director. “It’s important to note that these medications have only been studied and approved for these chronic diseases, and were specifically developed for people who meet the medication’s eligibility criteria. Side effects or long-term implications for people without diabetes and obesity are unknown.”

What Happens When You Stop Taking Ozempic?

If you’re hoping for sustained weight loss on Ozempic, we don’t have great news for you: Research shows that stopping Ozempic completely will likely lead to regaining most of the weight lost within several months.

“Clinical trials for Wegovy (the same molecule as Ozempic, semaglutide) show that patients will regain weight after stopping the medication,” says Dr. Baier. “Another trial signals that even with continued access to the medication, it may become less effective, leading to some weight regain.”

However, if you compare Ozempic to other weight loss methods that aren’t focused solely on calorie restriction or only eating certain foods—like bariatric surgery, for example—it makes sense that if you implement true behavior change, somewhat sustained weight loss is possible. Unfortunately, there just isn’t the science to back that idea up at this time. So as of now, if you’re considering Ozempic, you should expect that if you stop the medication, you will likely gain the lost weight back.

Next up: Research Says This is the Best Way to Time Your Eating for Ultimate Weight Loss


Source link

Related Articles

Back to top button