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Home » What Exactly Is Ozempic And Should I Use It?

What Exactly Is Ozempic And Should I Use It?

“Oh Oh, Ozempic,” croon the voices in an often-broadcast commercial for Ozempic, the Type 2 diabetes drug Ozempic from Novo Nordisk. The jingle is to the tune from “Magic” from the band Pilot in the 1970s. This is fitting: With its reported capacity to induce rapid weight loss as a side effect of controlling blood sugar levels Ozempic is touted as a”miracle” treatment by those in the know. “Patients are convinced that it is a miraculous drug,” says New York dermatologic surgeon Paul Jarrod Frank, MD, who, like many doctors, gets constantly asked about the drug with a dizzying frequency. “Other than Viagra and Botox I’ve yet to see other drug that has so swiftly become part of contemporary culture’s social vernacular.”

That’s no exaggeration. The phrase “post-Ozempic bodies” is popular and frequently discussed in social media and IRL as speculations swirl around after any highly publicized and visible weight loss. Last month Elon Musk claimed Wegovy which is a similar drug which is one of the causes behind his more svelte appearance (fasting was the other); Andy Cohen tweeted about #Ozempic in September, an hashtag that has earned more than 274 million visits on TikTok; and it’s been widely believed there’s a possibility Kim Kardashian relied on the drug for dramatic weight loss to fit into Marilyn Monroe’s famous dance-wearing dress for last year’s Met Gala. It doesn’t matter if celebrities have admitted to using it (or not), Google searches for Ozempic are also growing, signalling the insatiable need to learn more about its sudden slimming effects.

The current dominance of thinness in the fashion scene again (some claim that it has never truly gone away) It’s an indication of how easily weight can be influenced by the trend cycle. However, the fact that a lot of individuals are willing to put their bodies to regular injections and possible uncomfortable adverse effects as a result of fitting into a specific body type is alarming, to say the least. “I worry about the body distortion, dysmorphia, and the precedent we’re setting for girls who are so vulnerable to the untruthfully filtered representations that are portrayed as beautiful,” is LA’s cosmetic dermatologist Ava Shamban, MD. Nancy Rahnama, MD, a board-certified internist and obesity-medicine specialist working in Private practice located within Beverly Hills, agrees: Celebrities using, or rather making use of these weight-loss medications–not just for health reasons, but to look their best–is deeply problematic in its amplification of the culture of weight loss, according to the Dr. Rahnama. As diminutive waistlines become conflated as health-related, so what exactlyis this perpetually name-checked class of drugs and who should, and maybe more importantly, should not be taking them?

What is the Ozempic?

Semaglutide, the active ingredient in Ozempic is part of the class of drugs known as GLP-1 antagonists. They replicate the hormone we all produce in our intestines , which is released once we begin eating. “Semaglutide increases insulin release in response to glucose intake and results in a slight delay in the process of emptying gastric juices,” says Ariana Chao, MD, an assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing and medical director of the center’s Center for Weight and Eating Disorders. “It also affects the areas of the brain responsible for managing appetite and food intake. The medication also makes your body more sensitive to the insulin produces on your own as per Holly Lofton, MD, Clinical associate professor in the departments of medicine and surgery as well as head of the Medical Weight Management Program at NYU Langone Health. “By doing this,” explains Dr. Lofton, “it helps your body’s fat cells reduce over time.” Novo Nordisk produces semaglutide Ozempic as well as Wegovy, which, while being approved for two distinct purposes but are in reality similar. “Semaglutide 1 mg (Ozempic) is a once-weekly injection FDA approved to treat diabetes from 2017. A higher 2 mg dose was approved in the beginning of 2022,” says W. Scott Butsch, MD, MSc Director of the obesity department in the Bariatric and Metabolic Institute at Cleveland Clinic. “Wegovy is higher dose of semaglutide taken weekly (2.4 mg) that was approved for the treatment of obesity in the month of July 2021.”

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Is Ozempic recognized by FDA to help you lose weight?

The exact wording is not. Wegovy is approved for weight loss in people of 18 and older who have a body mass index (BMI) which is at least 30 and more or a BMI greater than 27 with a comorbidity like high cholesterol or high blood pressure. (A recent study demonstrates its efficacy and safety in adolescents as well.) “Wegovy was the first of an entirely new class of anti-obesity medication that was highly efficient,” says Dr. Butsch. “Its 12.4 percent body weight loss over its 68-week controlled randomized trial that included more than 1,900 individuals having an average BMI 37 was higher than any of the current anti-obesity medications. Additionally, more than half of the participants (55 percent) have lost more than 15% body weight and 35 percent of them lost more than 20 percent.” However, because Ozempic is typically easier to access than Wegovy so many people are using this specific semaglutide for the weight gain “leading to off-label use,” says the doctor. Rahnama. Its ability to be administered at home by injections once a week in the thigh, abdomen, or upper arm, has aided the spread of this drug, especially during the pandemic.

Howexactly does Ozempic work?

In simplest terms, it curbs the appetite and tricked the body to feel full. “When naturally produced this hormone (which Ozempic is akin to] keeps us full for a couple of hours, while in the form of medication, the feeling of fullness can be enjoyed for up to 24 hours,” says Dr. Rahnama. Each time you consume it, you will feel that feeling of fullness for a period of six to seven days. It can increase with time. “I have patients who say they can eat less than a third of the food they typically eat and still feel satiated, go longer without eating, and not eat as much,” says Dr. Lofton. Studies on Wegovy have proved to be a reliable method to manage weight even for adolescents as per a study released in The New England Journal of Medicine just a few weeks ago. When semaglutides have been used correctly in accordance with the doctor. Rahnama, appetite is never fully suppressed but better controlled. However, when they are used improperly it can cause an appetite to be completely suppressed. This could lead to or worsen eating disorders.

Are there any adverse effects or dangers associated with Ozempic?

Yes. The most frequently reported negative effects of Ozempic described in the ads’ fine print that of gastrointestinal. Constipation and nausea and loose stools have been often reported, and for some, lead to the cessation of the drug. “Rare but serious side effects that have been reported for semaglutide include Pancreas inflammation and pancreas, diabetes retinopathy, kidney disorders, gallbladder problems, and the occurrence of allergic reactions” according to the doctor Dr. Chao. Some people, Ozempic is not recommended. not advised for anyone pregnant or breastfeeding or with the family or personal background of medullary thyroid cancer or multiple tumors of the endocrine system.

How long are you meant to remain on Ozempic?

Since Ozempic is a medicine used to treat an illness that is chronic and is not designed to be put off. “Ozempic helps patients suffering from diabetes, therefore it is intended to be used for a long time,” says Dr. Rahnama. “If the medication ceases and patients return to their normal eating routines because of an increase in appetite, they will regain any weight loss and go back to their original blood-sugar levels.” Medicines that treat obesity are no different from those for treating high blood pressure or high cholesterol according to Dr. Butsch: Long-term control of the disease is dependent on the treatment. “A short-term strategy is the consequence of the misperception about the existence of an obesity condition and that’s why medication is only needed to treat a short-term problem,” Dr. Butsch clarifies. Obesity, according to doctor. Butsch, is often considered to be a lifestyle choice , and medications are so-called management tools. “This is a false notion however. We have enough knowledge about control of the energy levels and body weight as well as the heritability of obesity to know that it’s not that simple,” continues Dr. Butsch. “While I do have concerns that this medication (as in Wegovy and Mounjaro) will be used for people who don’t have a medical condition, I think the approval of these medications and similar drugs in the coming years will increase awareness of the complexity of weight control and obesity and help to dispel old-fashioned beliefs that developed this diet culture.”

What happens if you get off Ozempic?

Research is abounding on the effectiveness of Ozempic however since it’s a fairly new drug there’s no research yet conducted on the long-term impact of taking it. If you have stopped taking it you’ll likely be able to return to your normal weight and blood sugar levels. Nutritionists, like Charles Passler, DC, underscore the simultaneous importance of lifestyle choices and nutrition while on the drug. It is Dr. Passler, who approaches weight loss holistically and holistically, can help his Ozempic patients alter the way they eat so they can maximize the fat loss this injection provides while maintaining their muscle. He also stresses breathing exercises biofeedback, stress reduction and rest, all of that he believes can be beneficial in sustaining and bolstering a healthy diet. The close supervision of all patients who are taking Ozempic is essential for Dr. Lofton, which is why using the medication of a friend or picking it up at the medi-spa is a concern. The use of inexperienced prescribers is a major concern Dr. Lofton says. “It should be used under the supervision of a medical professional because there’s a chance of adverse side effects that could put you in the hospital,” insists Dr. Lofton noting that reports appearing in the news about people who have experienced intense vomiting could be an indication of its gross misuse. “It is not necessary to make you feel like that,” adds Dr. Lofton saying that anyone who is in that circumstance should have stopped taking it or had their dosage dramatically lowered, and/or had an evaluation sonogram. “Doctors who understand the mechanisms of the drug and have the time and energy to check in with patients frequently and appropriately should be the only ones who prescribe this medication,” says Dr. Rahmana.

Who should be using Ozempic (and who shouldn’t)?

Although the FDA guidelines about Ozempic’s use to treat Type 2 diabetes are there, many doctors prescribe Ozempic off-label. This clearly is very typical in the field of medicine. However, it is still a source of concern for the Dr. Chao: “I do have concerns with prescribing semaglutide off-label as the medication hasn’t been thoroughly studied with people who are not suffering from Type 2 diabetes or in overweight people.” A number of medical professionals are dually concerned about the possibility that it’s prescribing too much or in the wrong way. “If one wants to lose a few pounds or lose a few pounds, then it’s true that this medication isn’t the right thing to do for the person,” says Dr. Passler. The use of BMI as a factor to determine who is eligible has the same issues. “BMI is not the perfect measure, and it does not directly correlate to morbidity and mortality,” says Dr. Lofton, who often relies on other health indications like waist circumference to determine if someone is overweight or at a high risk of getting heart disease.

Can Ozempic’s prescription overprescribing cause a shortage for those who need it most?

Yes. In the initial six-month period of Wegovy being approved as an obesity treatment in July 2021 There were shortages of supplies caused by both demand and manufacturing capacity, says doctor. Butsch, which led many to use Ozempic in its place. “Many new doctors were employing lower doses semaglutide to treat obesity, and this inevitably resulted in an increase in supply for those who were taking Ozempic to treat diabetes even though the FDA approved the 2 mg dose in the early part of 2022,” Dr. Butsch continues. “There is now a problem for those who have been taking the drug for a number of years for blood sugar control, but aren’t able to get the medication because of its improper use,” adds Dr. Rahmana. At this moment, there’s a shortage of both Ozempic as well as Wegovy for those with diabetes who rely on them to keep their blood-sugar levels manageable–and for those hoping to get an off-label medication.