Written on April 14, 2023 by Gillian (Gigi) Singer, MPH. To give you technically accurate, evidence-based information, content published on the Everlywell blog is reviewed by credentialed professionals with expertise in medical and bioscience fields.
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While lifestyle changes such as exercise and nutrition are essential for weight loss, they are often not enough for many people. For those who struggle with weight loss, there are several prescription medications available, including Ozempic®. This article will discuss Ozempic® and how to get Ozempic® for weight loss.
All about Ozempic®
Ozempic® is a once-weekly injection medication that was originally developed to help manage type 2 diabetes. However, it has been found to be effective in promoting weight loss in individuals who are classified as “overweight” or “obese.”
How Ozempic® works
- It stimulates the production of insulin. The primary role of insulin is “to regulate the body’s energy supply by balancing micronutrient levels during the fed state. Insulin is critical for transporting intracellular glucose to insulin-dependent cells/tissues, such as liver, muscle, and adipose tissue” . In layperson’s terms, insulin delivers sugar from what we eat and drink to the parts of our body that rely on sugar to function.
- It reduces the amount of glucose produced by the liver. Insulin tells your liver to store extra glucose as a type of sugar called glycogen. When there is too much insulin in your body, it can cause your liver to make too much glycogen, which can lead to high levels of sugar in your blood .
- It slows down the emptying of the stomach. This leads to feeling full for longer and decreases appetite overall .
Considerations before starting Ozempic®
If you are considering Ozempic® as a weight loss option, there are a few things you should know before getting started :
- Consult with your healthcare provider (HCP): Before starting any weight loss medication, it is essential to speak with your HCP. They will be able to evaluate your current health status and determine if Ozempic® is a suitable option for you. They may also recommend lifestyle changes, such as diet and exercise, to help support your weight loss goals .
- Check your insurance coverage: Ozempic® is a prescription medication, and the cost can vary depending on your insurance coverage .
- Follow the dosage instructions: Ozempic® is a once-weekly injectable medication. It is imperative to follow the dosage instructions provided by your HCP or pharmacist .
- Monitor your blood sugar levels: While Ozempic® is primarily used for weight loss, it is important to monitor your blood sugar levels if you have type 2 diabetes. Your HCP may need to adjust your dosage or other medications to maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
- Be aware of potential side effects: Like all medications, Ozempic® can cause side effects. Common side effects include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and constipation . More severe side effects may include pancreatitis or kidney problems.
Weight management through virtual care
The process involves regular consultations with a healthcare professional. Initially, your medical history is reviewed, and relevant lab tests may be ordered to determine the appropriateness of weight loss medication. During the next visit, the test results are evaluated, and personalized care is planned based on your health and weight goals. The plan includes lifestyle recommendations and may also consist of prescription weight loss medication. Once you start taking the medication, regular check-ins with your healthcare provider are scheduled to assess your progress and medication tolerance, and adjust the care plan as necessary, which may involve additional lab tests or prescription refills.
If you and your HCP have decided that Ozempic® is the right option for you, there are several ways to obtain the medication:
- Get a prescription from your HCP: The first step is to get a prescription from your HCP. They will provide you with a prescription that you can take to your local pharmacy.
- Purchase from a local pharmacy: Once you have your prescription, you can purchase Ozempic® from your local pharmacy. The cost may vary depending on your insurance coverage.
- Order online: Many online pharmacies offer Ozempic®. However, it is important to ensure that you are ordering from a reputable source. Look for online pharmacies that are licensed and have a physical address listed.
- Apply for patient assistance programs: Some drug manufacturers offer patient assistance programs that can help cover the cost of medication for eligible individuals. Check with the manufacturer of Ozempic® to determine if they offer any assistance programs.
In conclusion, Ozempic® can be an effective weight loss option for individuals who struggle with obesity. However, it is essential to speak with your HCP and follow the dosage instructions carefully. Additionally, it is important to monitor your blood sugar levels if you have type 2 diabetes and be aware of potential side effects.
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- Rahman MS, Hossain KS, Das S, et al. Role of Insulin in Health and Disease: An Update. Int J Mol Sci. 2021;22(12):6403. Published 2021 Jun 15. doi:10.3390/ijms22126403. URL.
- Serrano J. LiverTox: An online information resource and a site for case report submission on drug-induced liver injury. Clinical Liver Disease. 2018;4(1):22-25. doi:10.1002/cld.388. URL.
- Indication and important safety information. Ozempic® (semaglutide) Injection 0.5 mg or 1 mg for Type 2 Diabetes. URL. Accessed April 12, 2023.