What Happens After You Stop Taking Ozempic?

Ozempic, an injectable type 2 diabetes drug, has been in short supply for months now as a growing number of people seek it out for one of its side effects: dramatic weight loss.

The drug and another medicine, Wegovy, has the same active ingredient: semaglutide, which regulates blood sugar. Semaglutide also makes people feel fuller and eat less, curbing appetite and slowing digestion in the stomach. In addition to weight loss, semaglutide can cause side effects such as nausea, diarrhea, constipation and headaches.

Both Ozempic and Wegovy have been on the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) drug shortage list for months. And while there are other type 2 diabetes drugs containing semaglutide that is effective at lowering blood sugar, these drugs don’t induce the same striking weight loss.

Whether it’s the shortage, side effects, lack of insurance, or high out-of-pocket costs that prompt patients to stop Ozempic, they all face the same issue: how to maintain the results they got from the drug after they stop taking it, says Robert Kushner, MD, a professor and the director of the Center for Lifestyle Medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago.

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