What is Ozempic?
Ozempic is a simple, weekly injection that contains the weight loss drug semaglutide, which can help you lose weight. It’s a pharmaceutical drug initially developed to help people with diabetes control and lower blood sugar levels.
However, clinical trials have shown that Ozempic is also a safe and effective treatment for obese patients to aid in weight loss.
How Does Ozempic Work in Your Body?
Ozempic mimics a natural hormone in your body called GLP-1. Your digestive system produces this hormone in response to eating food, acting on both the brain and the digestive system to regulate how full you feel after a meal.
It also slows down the emptying of your stomach into the rest of your digestive system.
GLP-1 regulates insulin secretion in response to eating meals so that your blood sugar is better controlled — even lowering blood sugar levels and reducing your appetite by signaling your brain that you’ve eaten a meal.
The injectable medication acts like this natural hormone to make you feel fuller for longer and reduce your cravings for more food. Enhancing the way your body regulates blood sugar levels and the storage of fat can help patients lose weight.
How Much Weight Will I Lose with Ozempic?
About a third of people who take Ozempic for weight loss will lose 10% or more of their body weight. Most people should expect to lose at least 5% of their starting body weight when using Ozempic for weight loss. In the long term (i.e., 12 months), you can expect at least 18% weight loss or up to 12kg.
How Long Does It Take to Lose Weight?
Once you begin using Ozempic, some people can find it takes several weeks to see any weight loss, yet others may see some weight loss within a week or 2. On average, you will see a weight reduction in week 3.
Ozempic is a Diabetes Drug. Can it be Used for Weight Loss?
Yes, Ozempic can help people lose weight, even though it was initially designed to treat diabetes.
The results from recent research trials have been fascinating. Ozempic was tested in 6 pivotal trials (SUSTAIN 1) involving 7,215 patients. 4,107 patients were treated with Ozempic, and the others were in a placebo group with no active drug — or sometimes taking another diabetes treatment.
Treatment with Ozempic demonstrated meaningful weight loss for up to 2 years compared to a placebo or other diabetes treatments. Results were similar across different ages, genders, races, and ethnicities.
In these trials, up to 63% of patients lost 5% or more of their body weight after one year of treatment, and up to 27% of patients lost 10% or more.
In one trial, conducted over two years, 1mg of Ozempic with lifestyle interventions — such as diet changes and exercise — was compared with patients who only had lifestyle interventions. Patients lost an average of 4.9kg with Ozempic compared to losing only 0.5kg without the drug.
The STEP-1 drug trial looked at higher doses of semaglutide (up to 2.4mg — Ozempic currently contains up to 1mg in the UK).
More than 85% of participants taking semaglutide lost 5% of their body weight, nearly 70% achieved a 10% weight loss, 50% achieved a 15% weight loss, and just under a third achieved a 20% weight loss.
Who shouldn’t use Ozempic for Weight Loss?
Most people can take Ozempic for weight loss safely, but there are some medicines and medical conditions that might make it unsuitable for you due to increased safety risks:
- An allergy to any of the ingredients;
- Diabetes and taking insulin or certain other medicines;
- Kidney problems;
- Specific digestive system problems;
- History of an eating disorder;
- Pregnancy, breastfeeding, or trying to have a baby.
Can I Combine Ozempic with Exercise to Aid in Weight Loss?
Yes, adding regular exercise to your regimen while taking Ozempic can significantly aid weight loss. Exercise burns calories and helps build muscle, which in turn helps boost metabolism.
Can I take Ozempic with Weight Loss Supplements?
Combining Ozempic with weight loss supplements is not recommended without consulting with your healthcare provider first. Some supplements may interact with Ozempic and cause adverse effects.