Ozempic is a once-a-week self-administered injection. It contains the active ingredient Semaglutide. It was first licenced as a treatment for people with type 2 diabetes, as it reduces appetite and increases insulin productivity. It is likely that is will soon be used as a treatment for weight loss for those who are overweight or obese, because of its appetite-reducing properties.
Semaglutide, is 94% identical to the naturally occurring hormone (GLP-1) which is produced in the gut after eating. This hormone regulates appetite and insulin secretion. It also slows down the emptying of the stomach so people who take it have a longer sensation of feeling full which, in turn, reduces the amount of food eaten. This is both good for type 2 diabetes and those seeking to lose weight.
Ozempic has been studied quite extensively in multiple clinical trials and evidence clearly shows that more than twice as many patients achieved 5% and 10% body weight loss compared to diet and exercise alone.
Although Ozempic is safe for many people to use, there are links with thyroid cancer that you should be aware of. The drug is approved for use, by both the NHS and FDA but it is not fully understood why some people have the potential to develop these types of cancers. During your consultation, we will need to discuss your medical history and family history to assess if Ozempic is the best treatment for you.
Ozempic is only to be used as weight-loss treatment by people who have previously tried and failed to lose weight through diet and exercise alone. There are also certain medical conditions, such as type 1 diabetes that will mean you aren’t a suitable candidate. Pregnant or breastfeeding women should not take the drug. Again, this will all be discussed on your initial consultation.
As with all drugs, Ozempic has the potential to cause side effects. When you first start the injections you may experience nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea. Therefore the dose is started low and increased gradually – this process helps avoid any of these unwanted effects.
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