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Off-Label Use of Ozempic for Weight Loss

Because Ozempic and Wegovy both contain the drug semaglutide, Ozempic may also help with weight loss, but this use would be considered off-label. Ozempic is primarily meant to treat high blood sugar levels associated with type 2 diabetes.1.

Off-label means a drug is prescribed for a purpose other than those it is approved to treat. Ozempic does not have U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for weight loss, but it may still contribute to weight loss for many people.1.

Ozempic would most likely be a preferred drug in people who have type 2 diabetes and are overweight but not yet obese, with a BMI between 25 and 29.9.

How Effective Is Semaglutide?

Average weight loss at 68 weeks after starting Wegovy was 15.8%. These results came not only from the administration of the medication but from adding exercise and diet improvements as well.

The results of this study align with the results of clinical trials that these drugs underwent before approval as well.

In the study, people with obesity or those who were overweight and also had at least one comorbidity (such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, or lipid disorders) took Wegovy for 68 weeks. Wegovy decreased weight in these individuals by an average of 14.9%.2.

What to Know About the Side Effects

Some mild and common side effects of semaglutide include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, or abdominal pain.2

Potential serious side effects include:2

Acute pancreatitis, or inflammation of the pancreas Gallbladder disease Hypoglycemia, or blood sugar levels that are too low Acute kidney injury.

Complications of diabetic retinopathy in people with type 2 diabetes Increased heart rate.

Thoughts of suicide Pancreatitis and gallbladder problems may feel similar to more common, less serious stomach-related side effects of these medications, such as the abdominal pain listed above. If your symptoms do not lessen or they seem severe, let your healthcare provider know right away.


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