The simple answer is yes. Ozempic, whose generic name is semaglutide, is primarily used to manage type 2 diabetes. But it can also be used for the treatment of obesity. In fact, clinical trials show that Ozempic can be effective in helping the obese lose weight. And it does this by reducing appetite, increasing feelings of fullness, and slowing down the emptying of the stomach. As a result, Ozempic can cause a decrease in food intake, which, in turn, can result in weight loss. Incidentally, Ozempic has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of obesity.
Ozempic is typically prescribed as part of a comprehensive weight management plan, which includes a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity. In fact, Ozempic does not work on its own to help you lose weight. Furthermore, there may be potential side effects. So, it is crucial to consult with a healthcare professional to determine if Ozempic will work for you. These professionals will consider various factors, including your overall health, medical history, and individual needs.
Ozempic has been approved for adults 18 years of age and older.
Who can take Ozempic
Adults with type 2 diabetes:
Ozempic is primarily intended for use in adults with type 2 diabetes to help control blood sugar levels.
· Those who have not achieved adequate blood sugar control:
Ozempic may be prescribed to individuals who have not achieved adequate blood sugar control with diet and exercise alone or with other diabetes medications.
· People looking for additional treatment options:
If individuals are already taking other diabetes medications but require additional treatment to manage their blood sugar, Ozempic may be considered as an option.
· Individuals with cardiovascular disease:
Ozempic has shown cardiovascular benefits in clinical trials, reducing the risk of major adverse cardiovascular events. Therefore, it may be recommended for individuals with existing cardiovascular disease or those at a high risk of developing it.
· People with weight management goals:
Ozempic can lead to weight loss in addition to improving blood sugar control. It may be considered for individuals who have a desire to manage their weight alongside their diabetes treatment.
Who Shouldn’t take Ozempic
· Type 1 diabetes:
Ozempic is specifically approved for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes and should not be used in individuals with Type 1 diabetes.
If someone has a known allergy or hypersensitivity to semaglutide or any of the components in Ozempic, they should avoid taking it.
· Anyone with a personal or family history of medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC):
Ozempic can increase the risk of MTC, a type of thyroid cancer. Individuals with a personal or family history of MTC or multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN 2) should avoid using Ozempic.
· Multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN 2):
MEN 2 is a genetic condition that increases the risk of developing medullary thyroid carcinoma. Individuals with MEN 2 should not use Ozempic.
· Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA):
Ozempic is not suitable for use in individuals with DKA, a serious complication of diabetes.
· Pregnancy and breastfeeding:
The safety of Ozempic during pregnancy or breastfeeding has not been established. Therefore, it is generally recommended to avoid using Ozempic during these periods.
- Side effects of Ozempic include:
- Nausea, a side-effect when starting Ozempic, improves as the body adjusts to the medication.
- Some may experience vomiting.
- Others may experience mild and transient diarrhea.
- Some may experience constipation.
- Others may experience abdominal discomfort or pain.
- Meanwhile, some may experience reduced appetite, which can contribute to weight loss. However, this may be bothersome for some people.
- Since Ozempic is given by injections, some may experience reactions like redness, itching, or swelling at the injection site.
- Also, some may experience hypoglycemia or low blood sugar when Ozempic is used in combination with some diabetes medication such as insulin or Sulfonylureas.
- Finally, it’s important to discuss side effects and get guidance from your healthcare provider.
There are no specific diet restrictions. However, the recommendation is you follow a healthy, balanced diet when you use this medication. This diet includes the following:
- A balance of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Choose whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats.
- Eat moderate portion sizes. Remember to monitor calories ingested to support your weight loss goals.
- Ingest a variety of fruits and vegetables in your diet. They are essential for ingesting vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
- Limit sugary foods and beverages as they can negatively affect your blood sugar levels and weight management.
- Drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated.
It’s important to work with a healthcare professional such as a registered dietitian or nutritionist to create an individualized meal plan that matches your specific needs, health goals, any underlying medical conditions.