Semaglutide, the active ingredient in Ozempic, can be a powerful tool for treating diabetes and promoting weight loss. However, it only works for as long as it is in use. Once you stop taking your regular dose of semaglutide, your weight will likely return. This article covers how your body gets affected when you stop taking this medication.
How Does Your Body Get Affected When You Stop Taking Ozempic?
Semaglutide boosts your body’s hormone glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) level. This hormone stimulates the release of insulin. GLP-1 drugs help to delay stomach emptying and lower blood sugar. This helps you feel full longer.
When you take semaglutide, you can eat less food without your body feeling starved. Once you stop taking the drug, your body processes the calorie deficit as a sign of malnourishment. As such, it will try to put the weight back on.
Angela Fitch, MD, FACP, FOMA, president of the Obesity Medicine Association, said the lack of semaglutide could make your previous appetite return. She also said it could cause your metabolism to reduce again.
What Should You Do If You Want to Stop Taking the Drug?
If you stop taking semaglutide, it doesn’t mean you should gradually reduce your dosage. Dr. Fitch said your body would naturally cycle through the remaining drug once you stop. She also said your post-semaglutide health would depend on how much weight was lost and how quickly you lost it. It will also depend on your exercise frequency and other lifestyle precautions.
If you are interested in weight loss treatment, Fitch said you could check in with a trusted provider to adjust your lifestyle and care. She also said it is important to continue eating enough protein and exercising. If not, you could lose muscle instead of shedding pounds of fat.
Is Ozempic a Sustainable Weight Loss Solution?
Losing weight, even temporarily, can have health benefits. A Novo Nordisk study followed people who took semaglutide for 68 weeks before stopping. The following year, cardiometabolic risk factors rose in participants who stopped taking semaglutide. These included high blood pressure, increased blood sugar, and cholesterol levels.
Semaglutide and other drugs for weight loss should be combined with lifestyle changes like regular exercise and a healthy diet. That way, you won’t suffer severe health issues if you choose to stop taking the drug.