Ozempic: How the Diabetes Medication Can Help You Lose Weight

In millions of people all around the world, obesity poses serious health risks. It’s been linked to an increased likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and stroke.

While diet and exercise are two of the most effective tools for managing obesity, there are cases where they alone aren’t enough. Medication aiding in weight loss has grown increasingly popular in recent years.

Ozempic is one such drug; it was initially approved to help persons with type 2 diabetes control their blood sugar levels. Yet, it also has weight loss benefits that have been demonstrated.

Clinical trials of Ozempic have shown that users can expect to shed between 12% and 14% of their starting weight.

This article compares Ozempic to other weight loss drugs and discusses the mechanisms behind its effectiveness. Clinical studies demonstrating its benefits are also discussed.

We’ll discuss how much Ozempic to take, how to take it, any potential risks, safety precautions, and any situations when you shouldn’t take it.

What is Ozempic?

What is Ozempic?
Photo: TODAY

Ozempic and How it Works

Ozempic treats type 2 diabetes. Semaglutide is a GLP-1 receptor agonist. Ozempic mimics GLP-1, a hormone produced by the body in response to food, and is injected weekly. GLP-1 from intestinal cells stimulates pancreatic insulin release after eating. Insulin lowers blood sugar by letting glucose into cells for energy. GLP-1 also reduces glucagon, which raises blood sugar by stimulating the liver to release glucose.

Ozempic activates pancreatic GLP-1 receptors to increase food-induced insulin secretion. It also reduces liver glucagon secretion, lowering blood sugar. Ozempic also slows stomach emptying, making you feel fuller and reducing appetite.

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How it Differs from Other Medications for Diabetes and Weight Loss

Ozempic is unique among diabetes and weight loss drugs. First, it is injected weekly, while many other medications are taken orally daily. This may be easier for those who don’t take medication daily.

Second, Ozempic effectively lowers blood sugar and promotes weight loss. Ozempic users lost 9-14 pounds (4-6 kg) over 26-52 weeks in clinical trials. This is much higher than weight-neutral or weight-gaining diabetes medications like metformin or sulfonylureas.

Ozempic improves cardiovascular health. In a clinical trial of over 3,000 people with type 2 diabetes and a history of cardiovascular disease, Ozempic reduced the risk of major adverse cardiovascular events like heart attack and stroke compared to a placebo.

Finally, obese non-diabetics can use Ozempic to lose weight. It helps diabetics and non-diabetics lose weight. Orlistat and liraglutide, weight-loss drugs, are not approved for diabetics.

Ozempic’s Role in Assisting in Weight Loss

Ozempic Role in Assisting in Weight Loss
Photo: NBC News

1. Ozempic’s Weight-Loss Mechanisms

There are multiple hypothesized methods by which Ozempic causes weight loss. Ozempic, a GLP-1 receptor agonist, first reduces hunger by delaying the pace at which food leaves the stomach. As a result, one’s caloric intake may decrease, leading to weight loss.

Second, Ozempic inhibits the production of glucagon, another hormone that causes the liver to release glucose from storage and thereby increases blood sugar levels. Ozempic works by suppressing glucagon secretion, which in turn lowers the body’s tendency to convert glucose into fat.

Finally, Ozempic may aid in weight loss by making cells more responsive to insulin. Glucose enters cells and is used for energy thanks to the hormone insulin, which aids in maintaining healthy blood sugar levels.

High blood sugar and weight gain can occur when cells grow resistant to insulin, as this results in a greater need for insulin to have the same impact. Ozempic can aid in the reduction of insulin resistance and the promotion of weight loss by enhancing insulin sensitivity.

2. Clinical Research Showing Ozempic’s Weight Loss Benefits

Ozempic has been demonstrated to be highly effective in clinical tests for aiding weight loss in both patients with and without diabetes. When compared to those who took a placebo, those who took Ozempic dropped an average of 9.6 pounds (4.3 kg) during the course of a 52-week clinical trial involving over 1,900 people with type 2 diabetes.

Ozempic caused more weight loss than a placebo in another 52-week trial involving over 1,200 adults with type 2 diabetes. Participants lost an average of 13.5 pounds (6.1 kg) during the course of the study.

Further, a clinical investigation including nearly 2,000 persons who were overweight but did not have diabetes indicated that those using Ozempic lost an average of 15.3 pounds (6.9 kg) over a period of 52 weeks, whereas those receiving a placebo lost an average of 2.6 pounds (1.25 kg).

3. Comparison with Other Weight Loss Medications

While other diabetes drugs, such metformin and sulfonylureas, may have little effect on weight or induce weight gain, Ozempic is thought to be more effective at supporting weight loss.

Unlike other weight reduction drugs like orlistat and liraglutide, it has been approved for use in patients without diabetes who are obese and seeking to reduce weight.

The long-term safety and efficacy of Ozempic for weight loss are not yet known, but it should be noted that this medication is relatively new. Also, remember that the optimum results can only be achieved when weight loss medicine is used in conjunction with a well-balanced diet and regular physical activity.

How is Ozempic Used?

1. Dosage and Administration of Ozempic

Each weekly, patients receive a subcutaneous injection of the prescription drug Ozempic. Ozempic is taken at a starting dose of 0.25 mg and then raised to 0.5 mg four weeks later. After eight weeks of treatment, the patient is usually at the maintenance dose of 1 mg once day.

The injection can be given by a medical professional or the patient themself, after receiving the necessary training, in the abdominal area, the thigh, or the upper arm. Ozempic is not intended for intramuscular or intravenous use. Alternating where you give yourself injections can help reduce the chance of skin damage.

2. Possible Side Effects of Ozempic

Ozempic, like other drugs, may have unwanted side effects. Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, constipation, headaches, and exhaustion are among the most often reported adverse reactions. These unwanted effects typically aren’t very severe and go away in a few days to a week.

Acute pancreatitis, hypoglycemia, kidney difficulties, allergic responses, and thyroid cancer are rare but potentially fatal Ozempic adverse effects.

Severe abdominal pain, persistent vomiting, and signs of an allergic reaction including swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or neck are all reasons to seek medical assistance immediately.

3. Ozempic Cautionary Statements and Indications

Those having a personal or family history of medullary thyroid cancer or multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2 should not use Ozempic. Those with a history of severe gastrointestinal disorders, particularly gastroparesis, or pancreatitis should not use it.

Individuals with a history of Ozempic or component hypersensitivity should not take this drug. Patients should advise their healthcare practitioner of any medical concerns, particularly kidney or liver issues, and any medications they are taking before starting Ozempic, as it may interact with some medications.

Ozempic may cause hypoglycemia in persons with diabetic retinopathy or who take insulin or other blood sugar-lowering drugs. Ozempic patients should also check their blood sugar periodically.

Ozempic and Diabetes Management

Ozempic and Diabetes Management

1. How Ozempic Controls Blood Sugar in Type 2 Diabetics

If you have type 2 diabetes, your doctor may prescribe you Ozempic (semaglutide) to help you control your blood sugar levels. It controls blood sugar by acting similarly to a hormone naturally produced by the body called glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1).

The pancreas’ ability to secrete insulin is aided by GLP-1, which in turn reduces blood sugar levels. The amount of glucose produced by the liver is decreased, and glucose absorption from the digestive tract is slowed as well. Ozempic controls blood sugar in persons with type 2 diabetes by acting like the hormone GLP-1.

2. Comparison with Other Diabetes Medications

GLP-1 receptor agonists, of which Ozempic is a member, are used to treat diabetes and include Victoza, Bydureon, and Trulicity. These drugs imitate GLP-1’s effects in a manner analogous to that of Ozempic.

Ozempic’s efficacy in reducing blood sugar and protecting against cardiovascular events has been demonstrated to be superior to that of other diabetic treatments. Unlike other diabetes drugs, it has been demonstrated to help with weight loss as well.

3. Ozempic’s Diabetes-Related Adverse Effects

Ozempic’s potential negative effects for diabetes control are comparable to its potential side effects for weight loss. Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, constipation, headache, and exhaustion are among the most often reported adverse reactions.

Hypoglycemia, acute pancreatitis, kidney difficulties, allergic reactions, and thyroid cancer are some of the less common but more dangerous adverse effects of Ozempic when used to control diabetes.

Severe abdominal pain, persistent vomiting, and signs of an allergic reaction including swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or neck are all reasons to seek medical assistance immediately.

Ozempic should be used with caution in individuals with a history of diabetic retinopathy or in patients using insulin or other drugs that lower blood sugar, as it may increase the risk of hypoglycemia. If you are using Ozempic, it is important to keep track of your blood sugar levels periodically.

Patients should discuss all of their medical problems and medications with their doctor before beginning Ozempic due to the possibility of drug interactions.

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