Ozempic for Weight Loss

Dr. Spencer Nadolsky

Let’s learn more about the breakthrough diabetes medication Ozempic and see if it is a fit for your obesity treatment plan. In this article, we’ll cover:

●    What is Ozempic?

●    How does Ozempic help you lose weight?

●    How much weight do people lose with Ozempic?

●    What else does Ozempic help with?

●    What are the most common side effects of Ozempic?

●    How much does Ozempic cost?

●    How do I access the Ozempic savings card?

●    How can I use Ozempic?

●    How do I get a prescription for Ozempic with Sequence?


What is Ozempic?

Ozempic is a GLP-1 medication that is FDA-approved for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. It is a brand name version of semaglutide (also in Wegovy) and is sometimes prescribed off-label for weight loss.


How does Ozempic help you lose weight?

Ozempic (semaglutide) helps with weight loss by targeting areas of the brain that regulate appetite and food intake in addition to helping lower your blood sugar. In other words, you’ll feel less hungry, and feel full more quickly!

When used in conjunction with healthy habits and daily movement, Ozempic or other forms of semaglutide can be powerful tools to kickstart your weight loss journey.

How much weight do people lose with Ozempic?

The amount of weight you lose taking Ozempic can vary, depending on a variety of factors including your starting weight, sex, lifestyle changes, and more.

But the average results are promising.

In a 40-week study of 1201 adults with type 2 diabetes, patients with an average starting weight of 211 pounds lost an average of 12.9 pounds on the 1mg dose of Ozempic. Ozempic also helped improve their blood sugar and lower the risk of major cardiovascular events like stroke and heart attack.

While Ozempic only goes up to a 2mg dose of semaglutide, Wegovy, another form of semaglutide, goes up to 2.4mg. That higher dose of semaglutide similarly proved effective for weight loss.

In a 68-week, double-blind trial of just under 2000 adults with body-mass indexes (BMIs) of 30 or greater (or 27 or greater in those with a weight-related comorbidity) found that those taking 2.4mg of semaglutide lost 14.9% of their body weight vs. the 2.4% body weight loss seen in the placebo group.


What else does Ozempic help with?

Ozempic helps you lose weight, but it has other helpful benefits. Many of our members report improved sleep, energy, and blood sugar levels. By making your appetite and cravings more manageable physiologically, you’re also more empowered and in control of your choices and your life!

Ozempic is also prescribed to treat type 2 diabetes and can help lower A1C.

How much does Ozempic cost?

The out-of-pocket costs for Ozempic are typically expensive — around $800 per month. However, as a Sequence member, your Care Team will file the appropriate insurance documents to maximize your coverage.

As a result, you should only be responsible for a much smaller copay. To further lower your copay, the manufacturer, Novo Nordisk, offers a savings card of up to $150 per month. You can access the savings card here.


How do I access the Ozempic savings card?

The manufacturer of Ozempic, Novo Nordisk, offers a savings card for the medication. If you have commercial or private insurance, you may pay up to as little as $25 for a 1, 2, or, 3-month supply of Ozempic for up to 24 months.

In order to obtain the “PALA $25 per 3-month prescription” offer, the patient must have a prescription for a 3-month supply, and the patient’s commercial insurance plan must provide coverage for a 3-month fill.

At the time of this article writing, patients with government insurance do not qualify for the Ozempic savings card.

You can apply for an Ozempic savings card on their website.


What are the most common side effects of Ozempic?

The most common side effects are nausea and gastrointestinal symptoms. These typically fade as your body adjusts to the medication. To minimize side effects, your Clinician will generally start you off with a small dose and slowly increase it over the following months.

If you experience some nausea, we suggest the following:

●    Eat slowly and eat moderate portions with limited snacking, spacing out meal frequency

●    Drink clear or ice-cold beverages and foods that contain more water like soups

●    Avoid lying down after you eat and take a walk outside for some fresh air

●    Eat foods that are light and bland, like crackers or toast

●    Avoid fried, greasy, or very sugary foods

If your nausea or other side effects are bothering you, let your Care Team know with our handy side effect tracker.

Those assigned female at birth should stop taking semaglutide two months in advance of trying to conceive. If you do become pregnant while on GLP-1s, please stop the medication immediately and contact your clinician.

How can I use Ozempic?

Ozempic is delivered via an injectable pen, but don’t worry, it’s not as scary as it sounds. The needle is ultra-fine and small, so typically you won’t even feel it. You should read the instructions that come with your prescription, but here’s a brief summary:

  1. Pick an injection site: Either the front of the thighs or lower stomach at least 2 inches away from your  belly button and clean the area.
  2. Prepare your pen:  Check that the medicine in the pen is clear, and attach a new needle. Tear off the paper tab. Push and turn the needle on until it is tight. Pull off  both needle caps.
  3. Select your dose:  Turn the dose selector until the dose counter shows the dose you need to  inject (0.25 mg or 0.5 mg for the red‑label pen, 1 mg for the blue‑label  pen).
  4. Inject your medicine: Insert the  needle into your skin. Press and hold down the dose button until the dose  counter reaches 0, and then slowly count to 6. Slowly remove the needle  from your skin. 

You will attach a new needle each time you give yourself an injection. Remember to change your injection site each week, and try to take your injection on the same day each week. Avoid injecting into a muscle or vein.

Store your new, unused pen in the refrigerator; after the first use, you can store it at room temperature or in the refrigerator for 56 days. Do not freeze your pen. With each new pen, you should check the flow. Turn the dose selector until the dose counter shows the flow check symbol. Press and hold in the dose button until the dose counter shows 0. Make sure a drop appears at the needle tip.

You can find an instructional video and more detailed information on the Ozempic website.


How do I get a prescription for Ozempic with Sequence?


You can sign up for the Sequence program in just five minutes:

  1. Submit our short assessment to see if you qualify
  2. Fill out  your medical history questionnaire and book your virtual consultation
  3. Get a custom  plan from one of our board-certified clinicians

Your plan will include the best treatment for your body and lifestyle. Our providers often prescribe GLP-1s like Ozempic because of their demonstrated weight loss success.

With Sequence, you’ll have access to a variety of resources that can help you unlock more sustainable weight loss, including custom nutrition and fitness plans and our companion app. 

If you qualify, you get access to an expert Care Team, who will provide ongoing support. They’ll make sure Ozempic works for you, and if not, help tailor your plan to what will help you best achieve your weight loss goals.

See if you qualify for the Sequence Program.

Dr. Spencer Nadolsky

About the Author

Dr. Spencer Nadolsky is a lipid specialist certified with the American Board of Obesity Medicine. He is the Medical Director of joinsequence.com.

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