What is Ozempic?

Ozempic is a weekly self-injectable medication listed on the PBS for the treatment of Type 2 Diabetes, but with significant benefits in weight loss.  The active ingredient in Ozempic is semaglutide, which is similar to liraglutide (Saxenda), another appetite suppressant medication available in Australia.  It is anticipated that this medication will be available sometime in 2022.  In the meantime, if medically appropriate, your Alevia doctor may prescribe this medication “off label” for the treatment of obesity. 

Ozempic comes in 2 different sized pens –  0.25/0.5mg pen and 1mg pen.  For diabetes, it is normally prescribed at doses of 0.25 mg weekly for 4 weeks, then increased to 0.5mg for 4 weeks, before reaching the final dose of 1 mg weekly.  If used for weight loss, the intervals would be different and advised by your Alevia doctor. 

How does Ozempic work for diabetes?

Ozempic used for patients with diabetes, as it provides the following benefits: 

  1. Lowers blood sugar levels
  2. Decreases appetite and therefore food intake
  3. Slows the passage of food through the gut
  4. Only required to inject once a week 

How effective is Semaglutide for weight loss?

Semaglutide acts on the brain to reduce cravings, reduce hunger and improve feelings of fullness after a meal.  Several promising studies have been published looking at the role of Semaglutide 2.4mg in weight loss, which have shown 12.4% weight loss above what was achieved with diet and exercise alone (1).  This is excellent news as it provides another treatment option for people who struggle with weight. 

Side Effects of Ozempic

Like all medications, you may experience initial side effects when taking Ozempic, including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, and constipation. Talk to your Alevia doctor if you are struggling with any of these side effects, as we  can assist you further. 

If you’re looking to lose weight and discuss the possibility of using appetite suppressant medication to help you achieve your goals, book an appointment with one of our doctors who can provide you with independent and trusted advice. 

References

Wilding JPH, Batterham RL, Calanna S, Davies M, Van Gaal LF, Lingvay I, McGowan BM, Rosenstock J, Tran MTD, Wadden TA, Wharton S, Yokote K, Zeuthen N, Kushner RF; STEP 1 Study Group. Once-Weekly Semaglutide in Adults with Overweight or Obesity. N Engl J Med. 2021 Mar 18;384(11):989. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa2032183. Epub 2021 Feb 10. PMID: 33567185.