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Why doesn’t Ozempic work for me?

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Why doesn’t Ozempic work for me?

The recent approval of semaglutide for weight loss has influenced many people to search for ways to be prescribed this wonderful weight loss drug. Many people can get Ozempic approved by their insurance but once they start taking it may not see the weight loss they were expecting.

If you’ve been taking Ozempic and haven’t lost weight you’re probably wondering “Why doesn’t Ozempic work for me?”

What is Ozempic?

Ozempic is the branded version of semaglutide that has been used to treat type II diabetes for many years. It belongs to a class of medications called “GLP-1” that includes other branded medications including Wegovy (also semaglutide), Saxenda, Victoza, Trulicity, and the newest branded medication for weight loss – Mounjaro.

Who is Ozempic for?

Ozempic is most often prescribed to patients with type II diabetes who have not responded well to metformin or who need additional medication to lower their blood sugar to a safe level.

Recently, due to the FDA approval of Wegovy (semaglutide) for weight loss, people are seeking Ozempic as a more affordable alternative to Wegovy, which is rarely approved by insurance and when it is approved still may cost over $1,000 a month.

Many people who have pre-diabetes coupled with obesity, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, or other weight-related conditions have had success with insurance approval of Ozempic to prevent diabetes and promote weight loss.

Can Ozempic be prescribed for weight loss?

Ozempic is not FDA approved for weight loss and therefore providers are limited to prescribing this drug to those who meet the qualifications listed above.

Can Ozempic be prescribed for weight loss?

Ozempic is not FDA approved for weight loss and therefore providers are limited to prescribing this drug to those who meet the qualifications listed above.

I’ve been taking Ozempic but haven’t lost any weight – why?

If you have been prescribed Ozempic but haven’t lost any weight you may be confused or frustrated. There are several possible reasons that you haven’t experienced much weight loss.

The initial dose of Semaglutide is 0.25 milligrams (mg). This is a very low dose and alone is not therapeutic for weight loss in most people that we treat here at Rivas Medical Weight Loss. When the Ozempic brand is prescribed, recipients may be restricted to this dose at the discretion of their prescriber for several months.
The reason for this may be that the prescriber’s priority is to lower the blood sugar rather than to achieve weight loss. If the blood sugar is responsive to such a low dose, there may be no need to increase any further in the mind of your prescriber, and therefore weight loss may or may not occur.

If the introductory dose does not lower the blood sugar satisfactorily, the patient may be increased to the next dose, 0.5 mg. Though we do have patients at Rivas Medical Weight Loss who are successfully losing weight on the 0.5 mg dose, it is not high enough to achieve therapeutic weight loss in many cases.

If the prescriber is willing to increase a patient to a higher dose (1.0 mg or 2.0 mg) of Ozempic, this dose may still not be high enough to result in consistent weight loss for some people.

At Rivas Medical Weight Loss, 1.0 mg of semaglutide is therapeutic for many people but most will eventually increase to the next approved doses for weight loss, 1.7 mg or 2.4 mg.

Unfortunately, due to FDA approved usage strictly for diabetes, Ozempic does not continue beyond the 2.0 mg dosage and therefore patients prescribed Ozempic are limited.

Medically supervised weight loss yields better results.

Another important factor that may be inhibiting your weight loss is the lack of medical supervision and guidance specifically related to weight loss. In a standard clinic, the prescriber often is not able to spend the time necessary to provide adequate supervision and education on lifestyle modifications that promote healthy weight loss.

Often, the prescription provides 4 weeks of auto-injector pens which may include refills and the prescriber may not be seen for 3 months or more until the blood sugar is checked again.

At Rivas Medical Weight Loss, we provide thorough counseling at your first visit and then weekly follow up visits with your prescriber. This individual attention and counseling is key to successfully navigating weight loss with semaglutide. We see it over and over again.

What can be done?

If you have been prescribed Ozempic but are not yet having weight loss results do not despair.

If you have a good relationship with your prescriber and have not yet communicated your weight loss priorities to them, this would be a important discussion to have at your next appointment. Perhaps they will be willing to increase your dose to potentially reach a therapeutic level for not just blood sugar control but weight loss as well.

If you find your prescriber is reluctant to increase your dose or if you have maxed out the dosage of Ozempic without results, you can call Rivas Medical Weight Loss and schedule a consultation to continue therapy with us. If you live outside the state of Maryland and are unable to travel to us, call weight loss clinics in your area to see if compounded semaglutide is available.

How is compounded Semaglutide different than Ozempic?

One important distinction between compounded semaglutide, like we prescribe at Rivas Medical Weight Loss, and Ozempic is the flexibility we have to individually design weight loss therapy to your body and your goals.

Compounded semaglutide is not as costly as branded Wegovy and at Rivas Medical Weight Loss we pass the cost-savings along to our patients. We even have patients successfully receive partial coverage from their insurance by submitting a receipt. Though not every insurance covers part of the cost, some do and we encourage our patients to utilize any cost savings possible.

Ready to get started?

If you have been taking Ozempic and are not seeing the results you desire, call us to schedule a consultation. Our providers will tailor your semaglutide therapy to meet your personal goals while providing support and nutritional counseling. Call your nearest Rivas Medical Weight Loss office for the next available appointment.

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Kristi Perry


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