For years, the drug ozempic recepta has helped people with Type 2 diabetes manage their blood sugar and lose weight. But the appetite suppressant’s unexpected side effect of rapid weight loss has made it a celebrity drug—and also a controversial one. The FDA has issued a boxed warning on the medication, and doctors who prescribe it say it should be used alongside diet and exercise to help people reach their goals.
The shortage of the drug has led to wild demand, with some patients paying exorbitant prices and traveling across borders to get it. Some doctors have even started prescribing the drug for off-label use, as a tool for weight loss, though it is not approved for that purpose. A new Novo Nordisk drug, Wegovy, has the same active ingredient as Ozempic and is FDA-approved for weight loss, but it’s less likely to be covered by insurance than Ozempic.
Managing Diabetes with Ozempic: What You Need to Know
Ozempic works by mimicking a protein in your body called glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) and activating the receptors on cells that increase insulin to manage blood sugar levels, explains Dr. Jamie Alan, associate professor of pharmacology at Michigan State University. It also helps reduce your appetite by acting on the areas of your brain that regulate food intake, per Medline Plus.
Talk to your doctor about how much you might pay for Ozempic, and bring someone with you to the appointment if that makes you feel more comfortable. Also let your doctor know if you are using any other medications or supplements, especially if you are on insulin or other drugs that raise your body’s levels of glucose. These can put you at risk of hypoglycemia, which may cause drowsiness, headache, weakness, or hunger.