Oct 06, 2022




What You Need to Know About Ozempic For Weight Loss

Ozempic For Weight Loss

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes in the United States, affecting more than 33 million people. While it's often developed in people over 45, as obesity numbers rise, an increase in children, teens, and young adults are also being diagnosed with type 2. 

Ozempic (semaglutide) is a weekly injection, combined with diet and exercise, to help control blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. Although not currently FDA-approved for weight loss, it may help those with type 2 lose weight. 

How does Ozempic work for weight loss? Will the FDA approve it for the use of losing weight? What are the side effects of Ozempic? Are there any FDA-approved alternatives to help those with type 2 diabetes manage their weight? We put together this guide to help navigate using Ozempic for weight loss. 

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What is ozempic?

In addition to helping improve blood sugar, Ozempic is also used to lower the risk of heart attack, stroke, and other major cardiovascular events in adults with type 2 and heart disease

Ozempic is available in the following doses:

  • 0.5 mg

  • 1 mg

  • 2 mg

Note that this injectable pen is not insulin nor acts as an insulin replacement. 

Side effects of ozempic

Common side effects reported from taking Ozempic include:

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting

  • Diarrhea

  • Stomach pain

  • Constipation

Serious side effects may occur and include:

  • Gallbladder problems

  • Low blood sugar

  • Inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis)

  • Kidney failure

  • Allergic reaction 

  • Changes in vision

If you experience any of these, you should seek medical attention immediately. 

Who can take ozempic?

People who may be able to take Ozempic are those with:

  • Type 2 diabetes

  • Uncontrolled A1C levels

  • Cardiovascular disease or are at a high risk of developing heart disease

  • Kidney disease or heart failure

Your healthcare provider can determine if you are a candidate for Ozempic. 

How does ozempic help with weight loss?

Ozempic mimics the glucagon-like peptide 1(GLP-1) hormone, which stimulates the body to make more insulin as blood sugar rises. 

This GLP-1 agonist slows down how fast the stomach empties food into the small intestine. As a result, you may feel fuller longer. In addition, research shows Ozempic can also help regulate your appetite

Studies on ozempic and weight loss

Clinical trials found that during the studies, people with type 2 diabetes who took Ozempic and adjusted their diet and exercise habits lost, on average, between 7-14 pounds. 

Other options for diabetic weight loss


In June 2021, the FDA approved another type of injection, wegovy (semaglutide), to assist in weight loss in obese or overweight adults with at least one chronic weight-related medical condition, like type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure.  

Other diabetic medications 

Like Ozempic, the following medicines are FDA-approved to help those with type 2 diabetes manage their blood sugar and are used as off-label prescriptions. This means that they are used to treat other conditions, like weight loss, even though they might not be approved to do so. 

Final thoughts

There is no specific diabetic diet for managing your weight with type 2 diabetes. Along with frequent exercise, a healthy, balanced diet naturally packed with nutrients, low in carbs, processed sugar, and saturated and trans fat, is a key component in diabetes management. 

If you have trouble with your weight even after changing your diet, exercise, and lifestyle, your doctor may prescribe a medication like Ozempic to help. 

For now, there is no timeline for when Ozempic might follow and also receive approval as a treatment for chronic weight management

This article should only be used as a guide; you should discuss with your physician if Ozempic is right for you. 

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