What is Ozempic?

Ozempic (semaglutide) is a treatment for type-2 diabetes from Novo Nordisk. Ozempic contains the active ingredient semaglutide, which is also the active ingredient for Wegovy – Novo Nordisk’s latest weight loss medication. Indeed, Wegovy came about when Novo Nordisk’s trials showed that patients using Ozempic often lost weight. By reformulating the treatment to give a higher dose, they created Wegovy. Please note, Ozempic is designed and licensed as a diabetes medication for people with type 2 diabetes, rather than as a weight loss drug. If you are looking to lose weight using an injectable weight loss medication, Saxenda or Wegovy may be suitable. Wegovy will shortly be available in the UK. Wegovy uses the same active ingredient (semaglutide), but at higher doses to give a better weight management effect. Some doctors may prescribe Ozempic for weight loss as an off-label application.

 

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How Does Ozempic Work?

Ozempic is a GLP-1 agonist, meaning it mimics the actions of certain hormones your body produces. Your body produces many hormones that have numerous functions. Some hormones are produced when you eat. Ozempic mimics a hormone called incretin. Incretin helps to regulate the amount of insulin released by your body. This helps to control your blood sugar, so can be very beneficial in diabetes. Incretin also helps to slow the rate at which food leaves your stomach. This helps you to feel full and therefore reduces your appetite. In this way, Ozempic can help you to lose weight, and keep control of your blood sugar. Each Ozempic pen comes pre-loaded, and is injected subcutaneously (under the first layer of the skin).

How Long Does Ozempic Take to Work?

Ozempic is given as a weekly injection. The medication is long-lasting, meaning that after a week, roughly half the medication will still be active in your system. Patients have reported seeing effects on their appetite shortly after starting the treatment, and in most cases, you will note a lowering of your blood sugar levels after the first week. However, in many cases it can take 4 to 5 weeks before results become clear.

Does Ozempic Work For Everyone?

Like all medications, Ozempic is not a “silver bullet” – while it may work for most people, some may find it is not as effective. In other cases, patients may find it is effective at controlling their appetite and blood sugar levels, but find that the common side effects of Ozempic may cause some distress, or that it may stop being as effective for long-term use. Unfortunately, these are all individual issues – your best course of action would be to speak to your doctor about any concerns you have when using Ozempic. In particular, people who take Ozempic should be warned if they currently suffer from type 2 diabetes that, in rare cases, Ozempic may lead to or worsen existing diabetic retinopathy. If you notice any changes in your eyesight while using Ozempic, stop taking the treatment and speak to your doctor.

Will Ozempic Work For Me?

Ozempic is designed for those with type 2 diabetes. It does also have some contraindications (reasons you may not be prescribed the medications). These can include; Serious allergic or hypersensitivity reactions to any of the listed ingredients Family or personal history of medullary thyroid cancer Personal history with multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome (MENS) Due to the side effects, some people with kidney issues will need to be careful when using Ozepmic. For more information about side effects and possible contraindications, please read the Patient Information Leaflet before using Ozempic. Aside from these, every person can have different experiences when using some medications. For most people who use Ozempic and follow the guidelines laid out for taking it, they should find that it helps them better control their blood sugar and appetite, and may even result in some weight loss. However, some patients may find the effects aren’t as strong as they would like, or have issues using Ozempic. Speak to your doctor or specialist if you feel Ozempic isn’t working for you; they may be able to suggest an alternative.

How Can I Make Ozempic Work Best For Me?

Ozempic’s main goal is to help you control your appetite, and thus control your blood sugar. The following tips should also help, reducing the risk of diabetic complications, and lead a longer and happier life.

  • Diet and exercise – your blood sugar is partly determined by how much energy you are taking in, and how much you are using. By maintaining a good diet and exercising, you can ensure that your body is using this energy correctly.
  • Create a meal plan – by sticking to certain foods at certain times, you can help maintain your blood sugar levels across the day, preventing spikes and drops. This doesn’t need to mean going on a diet! By simply ensuring that you eat at roughly the same time each day, with few to no changes or extra little snacks, you can help maintain your blood sugar levels going forward.
  • Choose healthier carbohydrates – may food contain carbohydrates, which your body breaks down into various sugars. Highly processed foods, such as white bread, often contain simple sugars which do not give your body much benefit. Wholemeal grains, vegetables which are high in fibre, and pulses such as chickpeas and beans all contain complex carbohydrates, which provide longer-lasting energy and are good for your digestive health.
  • Choose healthier snacks – while you can still have the occasional snack, it should be properly incorporated with your meal plan. Nuts, seeds, fruit and veg are all better choices than sweets and crisps.
  • Get active – increasing your physical activity doesn’t just mean going to the gym! Going for walks rather than driving short distances, using public transport, a spot of gardening or even just getting up and moving around during your work day can all contribute towards your overall health.