When You Stop Taking Ozempic, Here's What Happens To Your Body

Although Ozempic was originally approved as a medication to help those with diabetes, one of the effects of Ozempic is weight loss. The makers of Ozempic, Novo Nordisk, then put out Wegovy, which has more of Ozempic's active ingredient, semaglutide.

Semaglutide acts like the hormone in your body that tells you that you've had enough food. It also slows the emptying of the stomach, so you feel full more quickly, which allows you to push away your dinner plate sooner.

Unlike Wegovy, Ozempic isn't considered a weight loss medication, nor is it FDA-approved for this purpose. However, some people have taken the drug "off-label," which means taking a drug for reasons it wasn't intended to treat.

People who take Ozempic may experience side effects such as nausea or diarrhea. These side effects can be so severe that people might decide to stop taking the drug. Because the Food and Drug Administration had only approved Ozempic for diabetes, and Wegovy for certain cases of overweight or obesity, some health insurers have denied coverage of the drug for weight loss.

If you decide to go off Ozempic, any harmful side effects will probably go away, but other things can happen to your body.

You may gain the weight back

People may enjoy the quick drop in weight after taking Ozempic, but the opposite can occur if you go off the drug. Yes, you'll probably gain a lot of the weight back. One woman told NBC News that she not only gained back the 15 pounds she originally lost, but she added an additional 10. She's not alone.

A 2022 study in Diabetes, Obesity, and Metabolism found that people taking semaglutide lost 17% of their body weight in 17 months, but they gained two-thirds of that weight back within a year of weaning off the medication. The health benefits from Ozempic's weight loss, such as lower blood pressure, also decreased after going off the drug.

Health professionals who study obesity consider obesity to be a chronic illness, so treatment for that chronic illness must be for the long term. Therefore, people who take Ozempic or Wegovy for obesity may need to do so for the rest of their lives if they want to maintain its results. Of course, this is a topic to discuss with one's doctor.

Your cravings could return

Because Ozempic and Wegovy signal to your body that you've had enough to eat, you may be hungry more often and need more food to feel full if you stop taking Ozempic. Content creator Remi Bader said in a "Not Skinny But Not Fat" podcast that she took Ozempic because she was pre-diabetic and insulin resistant.

Although she had lost some weight, she stopped taking Ozempic because she didn't want to be on the medication for the long term. Her struggle with binge eating got worse after she stopped taking Ozempic. She also said she gained twice the weight back. Bader said Ozempic is probably best for people with diabetes, as it was originally intended.

If you take Ozempic for diabetes, your blood sugar could begin to rise about a week or so after you stop taking the drug. You might also have symptoms that might have led you to your diabetes diagnosis, such as fatigue, blurry vision, or excessive thirst. Some people have also wound up in the emergency room due to blood sugar spikes.