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Is Ozempic Safe for Weight Loss?

1 min Read

Is Ozempic safe for weight loss? Learn about the common side effects, explore potential long-term risks, and discover how Noom can enhance your treatment.

Ozempic has been making waves in the health world due to its ability to enhance weight loss. While Ozempic is FDA-approved for managing type 2 diabetes, people who’ve been prescribed it off-label have reported significant weight loss. A clinical trial on the active ingredient in Ozempic, semaglutide, supports this, showing an average weight loss of 7-17% of body weight after 68 weeks. However, uncomfortable or concerning side effects can accompany Ozempic use and you might wonder whether the benefits outweigh the risks. While only you and your doctor can decide what’s right for you, here’s what the research says so far. 

Ozempic safety: Facts and findings

Ozempic, a once-weekly injectable medication, can come with several manageable side effects and other potential long-term risks. Talking to your doctor and exploring what’s been found in clinical trials can provide insights into what you can expect. 

First, it helps to understand how Ozempic works and how it helps with weight management. 

What is a GLP-1 receptor agonist, and how does it aid in weight management?

Ozempic and medications like it, called GLP-1 receptor agonists, represent a significant breakthrough for people who have had trouble losing weight in the past. They work by mimicking a hormone in the body that regulates blood sugar and curbs appetite. This causes you to feel fuller longer and helps you make healthy eating choices that can lead to weight loss. People on Ozempic report reduced “food noise” and say they are able to choose healthier foods, especially in coordination with a program like Noom

How does the government assess the safety of drugs like Ozempic?

Regulatory agencies like the FDA and the European Medicines Agency (in the UK) have reviewed Ozempic extensively. They’ve looked at studies that assess benefits and risks to ensure it’s generally safe and works as indicated. This gives both patients and doctors confidence that Ozempic is a safe and effective medication whether prescribed to manage type 2 diabetes or off-label for weight loss.

Navigating Ozempic side effects

Like all medications, however, Ozempic comes with both mild and potentially serious side effects that can vary depending on your personal health history. It’s important to consider how it can affect you so you can make an informed decision.

What are the most common side effects experienced by Ozempic users?

The most common Ozempic side effects are generally mild and include: 

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Fatigue

These issues often pop up when you first start taking Ozempic but usually get better as your body gets used to it. Other less common side effects include dizziness, gas and burping, and abdominal pain. Maintaining regular movement, eating a balanced, and prioritizing sleep can help you manage all of these typically minor issues. 

Are there any serious side effects? 

Yes, there are some serious Ozempic side effects to watch out for. Consult your doctor right away if you suspect or experience any of the following:

  • Pancreatitis (an inflamed pancreas): Symptoms include severe abdominal pain that radiates to your back, with or without vomiting. 
  • Vision changes: Inform your doctor if you notice any changes in your vision while taking Ozempic.
  • Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia): Symptoms include dizziness, shakiness, blurred vision, anxiety, irritability, sleepiness, sweating, slurred speech, confusion, weakness, headache, fast heartbeat, and feeling jittery.
  • Kidney problems: Symptoms include diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting, which can cause dehydration and worsening kidney issues. 
  • Gallbladder problems: Symptoms include upper abdominal pain, fever, jaundice, or clay-colored stools. Contact your doctor if you experience any of these.
  • Allergic reaction: If you think you’re having an allergic reaction to Ozempic, seek immediate medical attention. Symptoms include swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat; difficulty breathing or swallowing; severe rash or itching; fainting or dizziness; or a very rapid heartbeat.

Are there any female-specific side effects associated with Ozempic?

There aren’t any sex-specific side effects that have been noted in clinical trials. However, there have been reports of increased fertility and concerns that the effectiveness of birth control can potentially be reduced. Everyone’s body is different and you should discuss these issues thoroughly with your healthcare provider before starting Ozempic. 

Long-term effects of using Ozempic

It’s important to note that Ozempic is not a quick-fix solution to weight management. Most people take Ozempic long-term to maintain lower blood sugar levels and support weight loss. Coordinate with your doctor about your individual needs and goals. 

How long can a patient safely use Ozempic?

You can safely use Ozempic as long as it remains effective and you don’t experience serious side effects. Consistent check-ups with your healthcare provider are necessary to keep everything on track.

What are the known long-term effects of using Ozempic?

Ozempic has shown promise for long-term use and appears to be safe overall. However, it does have potentially serious risks, such as thyroid tumors and pancreatitis, that are still being researched. It’s important to have regular health evaluations to catch any issues and manage them promptly.

Other considerations for people considering an Ozempic prescription

Ozempic can be a good option for those looking to manage their blood sugar or lose weight, but it isn’t for everyone. Certain pre-existing conditions and other factors could make Ozempic an option you shouldn’t consider.

What pre-existing conditions might make it unsafe for someone to take Ozempic?

Make sure to discuss your entire medical history with your doctor before starting it. If you have a history of thyroid cancer, a condition called multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN 2), or pancreatitis, you shouldn’t take Ozempic. You should also tell your doctor if you have issues with your pancreas or kidneys, a history of diabetic retinopathy, are or are planning to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

Are there any medications that should not be taken with Ozempic?

Be sure to discuss all of your medications with your doctor before you start taking Ozempic. Some might not mix well with Ozempic, like other diabetes drugs, oral medications, or medicines that slow down your stomach. The list includes insulin, antimalarial drugs, amoxicillin, and others. 

Can Ozempic be used in combination with other weight loss medications?

You should only combine it with other weight loss meds under your doctor’s guidance. 

What lifestyle changes are recommended when starting Ozempic?

Starting Ozempic is a good opportunity to make healthy changes. Focus on eating a balanced diet, staying active, and drinking plenty of water. These habits can make Ozempic work even better and help you feel your best. Eating adequate protein, limiting sugar intake, and eating healthy fats can also help reduce some of Ozempic’s uncomfortable side effects

If you already have a prescription for Ozempic, Noom’s GLP-1 Companion program can help you with diet and lifestyle changes that can help you feel your best and minimize side effects. If you want Noom to help coordinate medication access as well as provide comprehensive support, Noom Med is another great option. Find out if you qualify now.

Balancing Ozempic benefits and safety considerations with Noom

Ozempic can help you manage weight, but it’s important to consider the potential side effects and other risks. Knowing how Ozempic works, its safety, and whether it’s right for you can help you make smart decisions about your health. Regular check-ins with your doctor are key to making sure everything is going smoothly.

Noom can make a big difference for Ozempic users. Noom offers personalized support and guidance on healthy lifestyle changes that go hand-in-hand with your medication. With Noom, you get help making better choices, managing your weight, and feeling better overall. It focuses on creating habits that stick, which can boost your treatment results and keep you motivated.

Take charge of your health today and see how Noom can support your goals. Visit Noom to start your personalized program and join a community that’s here to help you achieve lasting wellness.