Ozempic is one of a newer class of medications that is designed to help combat diabetes and weight loss. Ozempic is approved for the treatment of Diabetes. Wegovy is approved for weight-loss. Ozempic is called a GLP-1 and goes by the generic name, Semaglutide. Brand-names for Semaglutide include: Ozempic, Rybelsus and Wegovy. Liraglutide is marketed as Victoza and Saxenda. Trulicity, Bydureon, and related Mounjaro are all similar medications in this class of GLP-1’s.
Ozempic and other GLP-1’s work by slowing down how quickly food leaves your stomach. This enables you to feel fuller longer and also to eat less, because you are not as hungry. We believe GLP-1’s can be one of many effective tools to treat obesity and we often prescribe Ozempic or Wegovy when appropriate. It is injected only once per week and allows you to individualize your dosage. However, if Ozempic is not a good fit for you, we will gladly work to find a solution that is right for you.
Ozempic is often not covered by insurance and can be quite expensive, costing between $325-$900 for one pen, which may last from 1-2 months, possibly longer, depending on the dosage used. If this seems too expensive for your budget, consult with us as there may be alternative, cheaper GLP-1 options that we can prescribe for you. Other considerations before starting Ozempic are availability, sustainability and side effects. Side effects may include nausea, reflux or heartburn, vomiting, stomachache, and/or constipation. Because Ozempic makes the food you eat physically stay in your stomach longer, these side effects generally occur if you aren’t slow and mindful when you eat, or you accidentally eat your normal portion size quickly.
It is important to remember to drink lots of water when using weight loss medications. Weight loss of more than approximately 2 pound per week may decrease your muscle mass and be less optimal. Muscle is vitally important for your health and burns calories faster over the long-term. If you lose weight too quickly and lose muscle, you are just setting yourself for potential challenges with re-gain. Muscle is easy to lose during weight-loss but very difficult to regain, even with exercise! Drinking lots of water as well as consuming adequate fiber, electrolytes and iron-rich foods is also critical for supporting weight loss. Our providers can help and direct you in this process.
Ozempic and other GLP-1s are very popular right now and we know they can be effective, we’ve prescribed them for years. However, please remember that they are not the only effective tools available. Come see one of our providers and we can help you find out which tools would be most effective to support you in your weight loss journey: there are many tools in the toolbox!