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Ozempic: what you need to know

Ozempic has been a hot topic as of late. So naturally I wanted to explore what I could find regarding its history, usage and potential negative effects. Remember that I'm not a medical professional and all the data I obtained is sourced from published studies and/or research that has become accessible to the public and not based on anecdotal information. That being said, here is what I found.


Ozempic is a prescription medication used to treat type 2 diabetes. Its active ingredient, semaglutide, is a GLP-1 receptor agonist that works by mimicking the effects of the natural hormone GLP-1. Ozempic is designed to improve blood sugar control by increasing insulin secretion, suppressing glucagon release, and slowing gastric emptying.


Studies have shown that Ozempic can help lower blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of cardiovascular events in people with type 2 diabetes. However, as with any medication, there are potential health concerns associated with its use.



One concern with Ozempic is the potential for gastrointestinal side effects, such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. These side effects usually improve over time and can be managed with dose adjustments or other medications.


Another potential concern is the risk of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). This risk may be increased when Ozempic is used in combination with other medications that lower blood sugar, such as insulin or sulfonylureas.


In terms of weight loss, Ozempic has been shown to be effective in helping people with type 2 diabetes lose weight. However, there is a risk of weight gain if the medication is discontinued. Studies have shown that people who stop taking Ozempic may regain the weight they lost.


Ozempic has gained popularity due to its effectiveness in improving blood sugar control and promoting weight loss. It has also been shown to be well-tolerated and convenient to use, as it is administered once a week by subcutaneous injection.


However, it is important to note that Ozempic is not a substitute for a healthy diet and exercise. Lifestyle changes such as a healthy diet, regular exercise, and weight management should be incorporated into any diabetes treatment plan.


While it has been shown to be effective and well-tolerated, there are potential health concerns associated with its use, including gastrointestinal side effects and the risk of hypoglycemia. It is important to discuss the risks and benefits of Ozempic with your healthcare provider to determine if it is an appropriate treatment option for you.


References:

  1. Pratley RE, Amod A, Hoff ST, et al. Oral semaglutide versus subcutaneous liraglutide and placebo in type 2 diabetes (PIONEER 4): a randomised, double-blind, phase 3a trial. Lancet. 2019;394(10192):39-50. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(19)31135-0

  2. Davies MJ, D'Alessio DA, Fradkin J, et al. Management of hyperglycemia in type 2 diabetes, 2018. A consensus report by the American Diabetes Association (ADA) and the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD). Diabetes Care. 2018;41(12):2669-2701. doi:10.2337/dci18-0033

  3. Blonde L, Russell-Jones D. The safety and efficacy of once-weekly semaglutide versus exenatide ER in subjects with type 2 diabetes (SUSTAIN 3): a 56-week, open-label, randomized clinical trial. Diabetes Care. 2018;41(2):258-266. doi:10.2337/dc17-0417

  4. Aroda VR, Rosenstock J, Terauchi Y, et al. PIONEER 1: randomized clinical trial of the efficacy and safety of oral semaglutide versus placebo in patients with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care. 2019;42(11):1724-1732. doi:10.2337/dc19-0749

  5. Marso SP, Bain SC, Consoli A, et al. Semaglutide and cardiovascular outcomes in patients with type 2 diabetes. N Engl J Med. 2016;375(19):1834-1844. doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1607141

  6. News release: FDA approves new type 2 diabetes drug. U.S. Food and Drug Administration website. https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/fda-approves-new-type-2-diabetes-drug. Published December 5, 2017. Accessed March 4, 2023.

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