A Look At The Long Term Effects of Ozempic and Wegovy
Medications like Ozempic and Wegovy have proven to be highly effective in promoting weight loss and treating diabetes. But what many Brooklyn, New York residents who visit Dr. Alexander Shapsis at Atlantic Gastroenterology may not realize is that the long-term effects of these medications rely on you staying on them.
Semaglutide is the active ingredient in both Ozempic and Wegovy. It is being hailed by many as a miracle drug in the battle against obesity. However, the long-term outlook entirely relies on how long you stay on the medication. As long as you are on it and are following your doctor’s instructions, you should continue to see results. However, things are far different when you stop taking the medication.
Patients who stop taking these weight loss medications tend to see any weight loss gains reversed as they rebound to their original weight. So, the question, then, becomes, “Are you willing to stay on this weight loss drug for the rest of your life?”. It has been found, via a large-scale study funded by Novo Nordisk and published last spring, that many who stopped using semaglutide as an aid for weight loss gained back, on average, nearly two-thirds of the weight.
Many doctors are very cautious, and some are outright concerned that the long-term effect of these drugs could be dangerous. These drugs have proven to be incredibly powerful and need to be treated as such. Compared to other weight loss aids of the past, the rebound effects doctors are seeing with patients who stop taking the medication is alarming. Not only are we seeing that this relapse or rebound weight is universal in people who are stopping the treatment, but it is also occurring much more rapidly.
What Happens When You Take A Weight Loss Medication Containing Semaglutide?
When you take a medication containing semaglutide, an alteration of your body’s hormones takes place. In particular, the level of GLP-1 in your body increases. GLP-1 is the hormone that stimulates the production and release of insulin. These medications are designed to lower your blood sugar and delay the emptying of your stomach. This results in the patient feeling fuller than they did previously. You can eat less food without your body going into starvation mode. Once you stop taking the medication, your body will begin to process these calorie deficits as malnourishment and seek to add the weight back on.
Are Ozempic and Wegovy A Sustainable Weight Loss Solution?
In studies done where people took semaglutide for 68 weeks before stopping, several concerning changes were observed. Over the year following their trial, those who took semaglutide experienced elevated blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels. It is important to understand that while drugs like Ozempic and Wegovy promote weight loss, they need to be coupled with lifestyle changes. Medications work best if you eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and refrain from unhealthy habits. Doing so will ensure you are not dealing with more severe long-term health issues. Semaglutide can be a great foundation on which to build, but healthy choices and habits are the path to long-term change.
If you have questions about weight loss treatment or medications, please call our office at 718 521-2840.
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