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What Do Weight Loss Drugs Like Ozempic & Wegovy Do?

March 27, 2024 In Ozempic

In the pursuit of health, many people turn to weight loss drugs as a solution to their struggles with obesity and related health conditions. In recent years, Ozempic and Wegovy have emerged as notable names in this area and are used widely to help manage weight and treat chronic illnesses such as diabetes. These medications have shown promising results in clinical trials, leading to their growing popularity.

Unfortunately, Ozempic, Wegovy, and other semaglutide medications have been linked to painful side effects. Before choosing to use these drugs, patients need to be informed of these risks and understand their legal rights if they experience harm. An Ozempic injury attorney may be able to help if you or a loved one suffered harm as a result of this medication.

How Do These Medications Work?

Ozempic and Wegovy operate by imitating the function of the natural hormone glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) in our bodies. GLP-1 plays a crucial role in managing blood sugar levels and appetite, making it a prime target for therapeutic interventions.

These medications help stimulate insulin production in the pancreas after a patient eats a meal, which helps lower blood sugar spikes after eating. They also slow the release of sugar from the liver into the bloodstream, contributing to an overall reduction in blood sugar levels. Furthermore, Ozempic and Wegovy delay gastric emptying, which means that food stays in the stomach for longer. This leads to a slower, more gradual absorption of glucose, preventing sudden spikes in blood sugar levels.

For patients seeking weight loss, Ozempic and Wegovy help regulate appetite by influencing the brain’s appetite centers. This leads to a reduced feeling of hunger and, consequently, a lower caloric intake. This not only supports weight loss efforts but also aids in maintaining a healthier weight over time.

Who Is Using Ozempic and Wegovy?

Ozempic has been primarily prescribed to people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Its effectiveness in lowering blood sugar levels and providing cardiovascular benefits makes it a preferred choice for managing this chronic condition. However, many doctors prescribe Ozempic off-label for weight loss.

Wegovy, on the other hand, is designed for weight management. It is often prescribed to:

  • Adults who are obese with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or above
  • Adults who are overweight with a BMI of 27 or above and have at least one weight-related condition like high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, or high cholesterol
  • Children aged 12 and above who are struggling with obesity, marked by a BMI in the 95th percentile or higher for their age and sex

Are Ozempic and Wegovy Effective for Weight Loss?

Both Ozempic and Wegovy have demonstrated notable effectiveness when it comes to weight loss, especially when used in conjunction with diet and exercise. According to clinical studies, most Wegovy users lost at least 5% of their body weight over 68 weeks. Nearly half of the people treated with Wegovy achieved a weight loss of at least 15% of their body weight during this period.

Additionally, many people who used Ozempic to treat type 2 diabetes or reduce their risk of cardiovascular issues also lost weight. For those struggling with obesity or weight-related health issues, these results can appear very promising.

What Are the Potential Side Effects of Semaglutide Injections?

All medications come with the possibility of side effects, and manufacturers need to inform patients and healthcare providers about them to ensure informed decision-making. Ozempic and Wegovy are both known to cause a range of side effects that include common conditions such as nausea or vomiting to more serious, life-altering illnesses.

Ozempic Side Effects

Ozempic may cause mild side effects in some patients, which typically subside within a few days or weeks. These may include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and constipation. However, the medication may also cause more serious conditions, which may include:

  • Severe nausea
  • Pancreatitis
  • Diabetic retinopathy
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Allergic reaction
  • Hypoglycemia, or extremely low blood sugar

Ozempic also includes a boxed warning, which is one of the most serious warnings issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This warning states that Ozempic has been shown to cause thyroid cancer and thyroid tumors in animals, which may translate to an increased risk for humans. Doctors are cautioned from prescribing Ozempic to people with a family or personal history of medullary thyroid cancer or multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2.

Wegovy Side Effects

Wegovy shares a similar profile of potential side effects, ranging from mild discomforts like bloating, abdominal pain, burping, diarrhea, dizziness, gas, and headaches to more serious concerns. Serious side effects are less common but can still occur.

Wegovy’s listed serious side effects include:

  • Gallbladder problems
  • Increased heart rate
    Low blood sugar
  • Pancreatitis
  • Allergic reactions

Certain patients may also have a higher risk of thyroid cancer. Like Ozempic, Wegovy includes a boxed warning that advises doctors to be cautious when prescribing Wegovy to certain patients. These include people with a personal or family history of certain thyroid cancers or genetic disorders that predispose them to cancer.

Are Ozempic and Wegovy Safe to Use?

Most people use Ozempic and Wegovy without experiencing serious side effects. However, some people have experienced serious health problems as a result of these medications. Many former patients are filing lawsuits against Novo Nordisk, the pharmaceutical company behind Ozempic and Wegovy, alleging that they were not adequately warned of the potential risks associated with these medications.

Central to these allegations is gastroparesis, a condition that delays or stops the movement of food from the stomach to the small intestine. For example, in September 2023, a Pennsylvania lawsuit filed a lawsuit after she was hospitalized and diagnosed with gastroparesis after regular Wegovy injections. Similarly, in Louisiana, another lawsuit related to Ozempic was filed by a woman alleging that she suffered severe gastrointestinal problems after using the medication.

If you or someone you know has experienced adverse effects after using Ozempic or Wegovy, you may qualify for legal action. In these situations, a lawyer can help you determine whether you are eligible for a lawsuit and hold the pharmaceutical company accountable for the harm that you suffered. After your diagnosis, contact a Wegovy or Ozempic lawsuit attorney to discuss your case and begin your legal journey.