Ozempic Weight Loss ReviewsSep 13, 2022
Ozempic For Weight Loss Reviews
It's no secret now, the diabetes medication, Ozempic, has been used quite effectively for weight loss. The molecule, semaglutide, and other similar molecules (liraglutide) are a class of medications that can cause significant weight loss. Ozempic may also be called Wegovy or Rybelsus depending on dose or formulation.
How Does Ozempic Work?
Ozempic is a once a week injection that can curb your appetite, slow down stomach emptying, and thereby help you lose weight. It was originally designed for diabetes. It's in a similar class of medications that have been shown to cause weight loss in the past like Victoza, Saxenda, Byetta, and others.
Mechanism of Action
A number of medications called GLP-1 receptor antagonists all have worked similarly. The first one to market was a medication called Byetta (exanatide). They work by slowing gastric emptying, curbing appetite, and helping lower blood glucose levels in diabetics.
Byetta was eventually taken off the market due to a link with pancreatic cancer. One of the main mechanisms that helped Byetta work was by slowing down gastric (stomach) emptying. When your stomach feels full for longer periods of time, you don't feel the urge to eat.
The sensation of feeling so full caused many people to feel nauseated from feeling so stuffed and full all the time. Some people believe this is why it worked.
There is also an effect on curbing cravings. People have reported they no longer crave sweets or certain foods. hence, it may have some effect on the reward centers in the brain. People may not feel "rewarded" when they eat their favorite foods. These are usually hyperpalatable, hyperdense, calorie rich, ultraprocessed foods which tend to cause easy weight gain.
Prescription Weight Loss Medications and Pills
Newer medications in this same class later came to market that don't have serious side effects. Two of these are Saxenda and Victoza, both of which are the same molecule, but different doses. We will be discussing each of these and how to use them properly. Please talk to your physician that knows you well about whether or not these medications will work for you.
Watch my video on weight loss medications to find out what other medications you can use for weight loss:
Saxenda and Victoza For Weight Loss
Liraglutide was the second molecule in this class and went by the brand names Saxenda and Victoza. Victoza was a lower dose and used mainly in diabetics. Saxenda was a higher dose and mainly used for weight loss.
These have been used successfully for a number of years, but were very expensive. Especially, Saxenda at the higher "weight loss" dose. Insurances did not want to cover it, and very few people actually took it for weight loss. However, they did cover the medication as "Victoza" for diabetes.
Other medications came out in the same class with similar, yet slightly modified molecules. The nice thing about semaglutide in the Rybelsus form, is that it is an oral medication and not an injection.
Weight Loss Pills
We live in an incredible time. After many years of research and investment, we finally have a true weight loss pill. For the first time, we have a GLP-1 receptor antagonist that is actually a pill. So we finally have a true "weight loss pill". Prior forms were only injectable.
Ozempic and Rybelsus For Weight Loss
The newest addition to the GLP-1 receptor antagonist arsenal is semaglutide. It is sold as an injectable called Ozempic, which is a 2mg once a week injection. It's also sold as a pill called Rybelsus which starts out as a lower dose (3mg), then escalates to 7mg daily.
Those are the versions and dosages of semaglutide that are indicated and used for diabetics. Sure, they still cause weight loss at these doses, but not as much as the higher "weight loss" dose.
Semaglutide also comes in a formulation specifically designed for weight loss.
Wegovy For Weight Loss
Semaglutide also comes in a dose and formulation specifically designed for weight loss. It is marketed under the brand name of Wegovy.
Semaglutide, under the brand name Wegovy, comes in 5 different dose strengths. Normally you start at a dose of 0.25 mg once a week and increase the dose every 4 weeks until you reach the full dose of 2.4 mg. The results are incredible.
How Effective is Ozempic For Weight Loss?
Semaglutide has had fantastic results in terms of weight loss. Take a look at the graph from this landmark study in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Participants were divided into two groups. One group participated in diet and exercise and received the placebo. Where as the second group also did diet and exercise, but also used semaglutide.
The results are unequivocal. The placebo group (diet and exercise) lost 2% of their body weight. While the semaglutide group lost 16% of their body weight. There was a minimal reduction in A1c levels with no episodes of hypoglycemia.
This is the first time that a "weight loss medication" has caused such extensive weight loss with seemingly low side effects.
Is Ozempic Semaglutide Safe?
After extensive research and utilization of the semaglutide molecule with hundreds of thousands of patients, it has been pretty safe. Obviously talk to your physician about this and see if it's right for you.
Ozempic Common Side Effects
There have been a few reported side effects with semaglutide, many of them are obvious based on how the medication works.
- low blood sugar (in people with type 2 diabetes)
- upset stomach, heartburn, burping, gas, bloating
- nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, loss of appetite
- diarrhea, constipation, dyspepsia
- stomach flu symptoms, upset stomach
- headache, dizziness, tiredness, fatigue
All of these are expected based on how the medication works. Non diabetics generally don't have to worry about low blood sugar reactions. The side effects of ozempic are considered generally mild and tolerable.
Should You Take Ozempic?
Please don't consider this medical advice, and please talk to your physician. While, I am a cardiologist that's been lecturing, researching, and teaching weight loss for over 20 years, I do not know you personally.
With that being said, semaglutide can be used quite safely for weight loss as well as to help with diabetes control. While you don't get a huge reduction in Hgb A1c (a measure of two week average blood sugar), you will still see better diabetes control.
Long term studies are still needed to see if semaglutide and the newer GLP-1 antagonist will have any effect on pancreatic cancer or increase the incidence. For now, this doesn't seem to be the case.
What About Mounjaro For Weight Loss?
Mounjaro or tirzepatide is the latest type 2 diabetes medication to also be approved for weight loss. This is a new class of medications that functions mainly as a GIP receptor antagonist as well as a GLP-1 receptor antagonist, like Ozempic. This dual mechanism of action is what makes it especially potent and useful. Further research will be needed, but it has been approved
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Once-Weekly Semaglutide in Adults with Overweight or Obesity
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