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Does Ozempic help with weight loss or diabetes?

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Ozempic (generic name: semaglutide) is an injectable diabetes medication designed for the care of people with type 2 diabetes mellitus by managing blood sugar levels. It also reduces the risk of major adverse cardiovascular events and kidney disease, which are risk factors in adults with type 2 diabetes. 
Ozempic is an injectable medication designed to treat people with type 2 diabetes and it also has the effect of reducing appetite.
Ozempic semaglutide also has the effect of reducing appetite and blocking the production of glucagon. This hormone instructs the liver to release stored glucose. Along with a good diet and exercise program, it can help overweight and obese people lose weight quickly and sustain the reductions.

What causes diabetes?

In people living with type 2 diabetes, the pancreas does not produce enough insulin (or doesn’t produce it quickly enough), or the body cannot effectively use the insulin it has to break complex sugars down to simple glucose, which can then be taken up by cells as the fundamental source of energy for all biological work. This condition is called hyperglycaemia, and without proper diabetes care over extended periods it can lead to severe health problems in many parts of the body (limbs, organs, nerves and blood vessels).

What benefits are provided by Ozempic for people with type 2 diabetes?

Ozempic works in managing diabetes by acting to raise the levels of insulin in the blood in people with people with type 2 diabetes. In the normal body, insulin is released immediately as blood sugar levels rise after eating or drinking any substances containing starch, fats, protein, or any form of sugars (such as glucose, fructose, or alcohol) broken down in the liver into simple sugars). Ozempic fights diabetes by both boosting the levels of insulin and by controlling the release of additional glucose from the liver. One primary measure of the effectiveness of Ozempic has been how it reduces the hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) levels of patients. The HbA1c test measures average blood sugar levels over a period of 3 months. It is an effective test for diagnosing prediabetes and tracking the development of diabetes. In a study of over 1200 adults treated with once-weekly Ozempic, patients who started with an average A1c of 8.1 reached an A1c less than 7 (the upper target for healthy blood sugar level) after twelve months. Ozempic also lowers the risk of major events such as heart attack, stroke, or death in people with pre-existing cardiovascular disease.

What benefits are provided by Ozempic for people wishing to lose weight?

Ozempic works to reduce appetite and feelings of hunger, which can, along with good diet and exercise programs, help losing weight in people who are overweight or obese.  GLP-1, the key hormone in Ozempic, acts by reducing gastric emptying (the speed at which the stomach empties of food). It also blocks the production of glucagon, the hormone that instructs the liver to release stored glucose. Both of these will cause a reduction in the need for additional food intake. Ozempic can also reduce a preference for high-fat foods. Such foods carry a double penalty of being high in “bad” cholesterol (which creates increased dangers of cardiovascular disease) as well as carrying more calories than their equivalent weight in low-fat foods.

Summary

The benefits from the usage of Ozempic as a diabetes medication and weight loss medication are:
  • Improved glycemic control in adults with type 2 diabetes
  • Reduced risk of adverse cardiovascular events in adults with type 2 diabetes who have established cardiovascular disease
  • Weight reduction.
Ozempic does not prevent type 2 diabetes, and for weight loss, needs to  accompanied with moderate physical activity and diet.

FAQ

How much weight can people without diabetes lose?

Ozempic is now approved for weight loss and is widely prescribed as a weight loss medication that, used alongside a proper exercise and dietary control program, can produce rapid weight reduction with sustainable long-term results. In one study, it has been reported that obese patients have lost up to an average of 7.5 kilograms of their initial body mass in the course of treatment with Ozempic (compared to a gain of 5.7 kilos in the placebo group). As well, a loss of 6.9 centimeters in waistline (compared to an increase of 3.2 centimeters in the placebo group) is reported. However, these trials were conducted with higher dose levels (reaching 2.4mg over 65 weeks), and this dosage is not yet available to the general public.

What is the main action of Ozempic?

Ozempic is a member of the class of drugs called GLP-1 receptor agonists. It prompts the release of insulin as well as a reduction in appetite.  GLP-1 is a naturally occurring hormone produced in the gut. GLP-1 is released in response to food. There it interacts because blood glucose is high, inhibiting glucagon secretion and stimulating insulin secretion.  Semaglutide contained in Ozempic mimics the actions of GLP-1 to regulate glucose levels in the blood. By binding to and activating the GLP-1 receptor, the semaglutide  stimulates insulin secretion. It lowers glucagon secretion when blood glucose levels are high. It also causes a slowing down in gastric emptying (the speed at which the stomach empties.)

What are the recommended doses of Ozempic?

To achieve the most effective weight loss on Ozempic, it is necessary to gradually increase the dosage up to the maximum approved. This is currently only 1.0 mg each week. However, the Food and Drug Administration has recently increased the maximum for diabetic patients to 2.0 mg, and this could follow shortly for obese candidates as well.  Dose increments in steps of 0.25 mg from a start of 0.25 mg are usually made every four weeks, up to the maximum. Even from the initial dose, patients have reported weight loss with further reductions over the 48 weeks course of the trial.

How should Ozempic be administered?

Ozempic is administered by subcutaneous injection from the pre-filled pen and needles containing one month’s supply (four doses). Before you first take the first dose,  your doctor or nurse should show you how to self-administer. It is advisable to take the first dose under supervision, since there have been reports of a very small number of people suffering anaphylactic shock with the first administration of Ozempic.  Ozempic should be injected just under the skin into the abdomen, upper thigh, or upper arm. Rotate injection sites on a four-week cycle so that you are not injecting into the same area each week. Check to see if the Ozempic contains particles or discoloration. If so, immediately discontinue that batch and request a replacement.

What are the main side effects of Ozempic?

The general side effects associated with all GLP-1 treatments are nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain or constipation. Generally, these are mild and should clear within a few weeks of the commencement of treatment. However, if they persist, or worsen, consult with the prescribing physician immediately. Although it is not established that Ozempic can cause thyroid tumors, you should consult with your doctor if you experience any difficulty swallowing, feelings of hoarseness, shortness of breath, or notice swelling in your neck. These could be symptoms of thyroid cancer. 
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