What is Ozempic? 

Ozempic is a GLP-1 medication that is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of diabetes in adults who have a body mass index (BMI) of over 27, with comorbidities such as hypertension or dyslipidemia, or individuals who have obesity (BMI of over 30). It is a potent selective GLP-1 receptor agonist that has been shown to reduce blood glucose levels as well as the feeling of hunger and increase the feeling of fullness in subjects with high BMI. Ozempic is one of the weight loss medications that may be prescribed by an Alfie healthcare provider for weight loss or a weight-related medical condition. It is produced by Novo Nordisk.

Ozempic should not be taken by individuals with a personal or family history of MTC or in patients with Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN 2), in patients with a prior serious hypersensitivity reaction to semaglutide or to any of the ingredients in Ozempic, or in patients with a history of pancreatitis.

Generic Name and Class

The active ingredient in Ozempic is semaglutide. Semaglutide is a synthetic peptide that acts like a naturally occurring hormone in the body called GLP-1. Semaglutide works by slowing the stomach from emptying, which helps you feel full after eating. It also slows down the rate at which sugar is absorbed into the bloodstream, which helps keep blood sugar levels under control.

How it works

GLP-1 is a natural hormone in your body that acts on your brain to regulate your appetite and food intake. By acting like GLP-1, Ozempic lowers your appetite and how much food you eat to help you lose weight.

GLP-1s lead the pancreas to produce insulin after meals to bring down blood sugar. They also bind to receptors in the brain to suppress appetite. These receptors release chemicals that help diminish the desire to eat, reducing your hunger. GLP-1s are natural chemicals, but don't last long within the human body. That's why taking GLP-1s can help reduce your weight even though your body already produces its own.

Is this prescription effective for weight loss? 

Semaglutide, the active ingredient in Ozempic, is one of fastest, most reliable method to help you lose weight quickly and safely, and has been shown in clinical trials to help individuals lose an average of 15% of their initial body weight, when combined with a reduced calorie diet and increased physical activity, compared to participants who took a placebo.

Studies have shown that without lifestyle changes including exercise or diet, participants taking semaglutide have lost an average of 10% of their body weight.

What Are the Benefits of Ozempic?

There are many benefits of Ozempic including weight loss and improved control of diabetes symptoms. In clinical trials, weight loss has been shown to be around 5% or more after a year of treatment with Ozempic, while diabetes symptoms can also be effectively controlled (see the findings of the SUSTAIN FORTE trial here).

Increased Glycemic Control for Adults

Novo Nordisk's Ozempic is indicated as an adjunct to diet and exercise to improve glycemic control in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus. In clinical studies, once-weekly Ozempic helped people achieve HbA1c (a measure of long-term blood sugar control) reductions from baseline of up to 1.5%.

In the clinical trials, patients with an elevated mean baseline A1C of 8.9%, treatment with semaglutide 2 mg resulted in a statistically significant and superior 2.1% reduction in A1C at week 40.

Ozempic is also effective at reducing blood sugar levels. In clinical studies, people using the drug saw an average blood sugar reduction of 0.8% from baseline after 22 weeks compared to a reduction of just 0.2% in those on placebo.

Medical Weight Loss

Ozempic has been shown to be an effective weight loss medication, with patients typically losing 5% or more of their body weight after one year of treatment. This new 2mg dose is expected to be even more effective, making it a promising option for those looking for safe and effective weight management solutions.

How much does Ozempic Cost?

Ozempic may be an expensive medication, with an out of pocket cost above $1,000. Alfie works with the vast majority of commercial and employer insurance plans in order to get coverage for your doctor-prescribed medication.

Ozempic is not covered by Medicare or Medicaid.

Can I get a Coupon for Ozempic?

Coupons for Ozempic are available thought Novo Nordisk's website.

How do injection pens work?

Ozempic is injected under the skin via a simple pen injector syringe. Ozempic can be injected from the comfort of your own home without a healthcare provider or clinician present, and are simple to use. Shots of Ozempic are injected into the fatty tissue just beneath the skin's surface and should be injected once weekly at the same time of day. You should store Ozempic in a refrigerator between 36°F to 46°F.

If your doctor prescribes Ozempic, he or she will walk you through the process of injecting it into your belly or upper thigh. Someone else can inject the medicine into your upper arm if you are unable to do it yourself.

If you are prescribed Ozempic, you can visit their webpage here for instructions on how to administer the medication, or visit the quick start guide here.

Ozempic should be injected per the instructions given by your provider in one of the locations shown below.

Understanding your dosage

GLP-1 injectable medications are offered via a step-up approach, meaning your Alfie healthcare professionals (either an MD or NP) will prescribe a higher dose as your progress through the program until you are at the full dose. This helps minimize the risk of any side effects of taking the medication.

Ozempic comes in 3 different dose strengths. You start Ozempic at a dose of 0.25 mg once a week and increase the dose every 4 weeks until you reach the full dose of 1 mg. It’ s important to follow the dosing schedule as recommended by your health care provider.

Potential Side Effects

Side effects of Ozempic are extremely rare and over 95% of individuals who take these medications do not experience side effects. In those that do, nausea or indigestion is often the most common and typically resolves within the first month of being on the medication.

Other common side effects of Ozempic mediations include nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, constipation, abdominal pain, headache, fatigue, dyspepsia, dizziness, abdominal distention, eructation, hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) in patients with type 2 diabetes, flatulence, gastroenteritis, and gastroesophageal reflux disease. Taking GLP-1 medications may also put you at serious risk of hypoglycemia or acute kidney injury if you are taking another similar medication at the same time.

The GLP-1 class of drugs isn't recommended if you have a personal or family history of medullary thyroid carcinoma or multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN2). They're also not recommended if you've had pancreatitis. If you have any concerns about your family history and ability to take a GLP-1 receptor agonist medication, talk to your primary care provider.

Ozempic Reviews

  • Verified Ozempic user: "So far I have lost 22kgs, I have no sugar cravings and my appetite is right down, making sure I eat healthy meals is the only challenge as I do not feel like eating. But I could not recommend this enough to any who really struggles with food and weight loss." 
  • Verified Ozempic user: "Taking .25 a week and on day 13 I have lost 14.5 lbs and no side effects. Went from 253 to 238.5 and did not change my diet. I was already watching what I ate but not losing any weight."
  • Verified Ozempic user: "I am not diabetic but I started using Ozempic for weight loss. I took my first injection 5 days ago and I feel like a different person. I have been energized, great mood, no cravings for sweets and I get full very quickly when I finally do want to eat."

Alternative Medications

Ozempic is one of the multiple weight-loss drugs which fit into the GLP-1 category. Other GLP-1 medications include: