Ozempic is the brand name for semaglutide, a drug that was originally developed to help with diabetes management. After studies confirmed that semaglutide could function as an appetite suppressant, it was repackaged under another brand name: Wegovy. As a weight-loss surgeon, I hear a lot of people talking about Ozempic and Wegovy nowadays. Some of the “facts” that people share are rooted in science, while many others are not. Read on as I help you sort through the claims and the reality.
Claim: Taking Ozempic improves your metabolism.
Reality: Ozempic does not affect your metabolism or make you burn more calories. Its power is in slowing the digestive process so that you feel full sooner and longer. This can help make your weight loss efforts easier, but it still requires you to adjust your own eating habits. If you continue eating unhealthy foods and excess calories while on Ozempic, you cannot expect a magical change.
Claim: Ozempic makes weight loss easy.
Reality: Again, Ozempic is not magic. Like so many medications, it is accompanied by side effects. Especially in the first few weeks, many people experience nausea and gastrointestinal problems, which may make the drug seem like more trouble than its worth.
Claim: The results from semaglutide are long-lasting.
Reality: Unfortunately, when many patients hit their goal weight and discontinue the use of the drug, they find that the weight comes back. A recent study with 2,000 participants found that people regained about two-thirds of the lost weight within a year. Staying on the drug indefinitely is not what many patients believe they are agreeing to, and unfortunately, many people who stay on the drug find it becomes less effective over time.
Claim: Insurance covers Ozempic.
Reality: While it is easier to have semaglutide covered for managing diabetes, most Americans’ health insurance plans do not cover weight-loss drugs. Like most new drugs, the costs for semaglutide are substantial (often over $1,000 per month), which can be prohibitive for patients looking to pay out-of-pocket. Even if your policy does permit coverage of drugs, approval can be challenging with the many administrative hurdles required to qualify.
Bariatric Surgery Remains a Reliable Weight-Loss Solution
Given what we know about semaglutide, it’s no surprise that doctors continue to recommend gastric sleeve surgery to their obese patients. Not only does it permanently change how full you feel after eating, but it has a successful track record for helping patients to keep the weight off for many years. To learn more about how gastric sleeve can help you reach your weight loss goals, please schedule a free consultation today.
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