Navigating Weight Loss Medications: Ozempic (Semaglutide)

Mar 8, 2024

 by Lauren Cubellis

Weight loss journeys can not only be long and overwhelming, but their frustrations can also lead some to explore options that may aid in their journey, like medications such as Ozempic. Ozempic is a FDA-approved medication generically known as semaglutide that is intended to help improve blood sugar levels in individuals with type 2 diabetes. Although it is not labeled specifically for weight loss, those using the medication may experience a modest reduction in weight while on the medication. The medication's dual mechanism of appetite suppression and delayed stomach emptying contributes to its effectiveness in promoting weight loss when used as part of a comprehensive lifestyle management program.

When exploring weight loss medications, it is important to critically evaluate each intervention to thoroughly understand the pros and cons to each so that you can make informed decisions about your health journey. Here are some pros and cons to semaglutide:


  1. Effective Weight Loss: Semaglutide has demonstrated significant efficacy in aiding weight loss. Clinical trials have shown that it can lead to substantial reductions in body weight when combined with effective and sustainable lifestyle modifications like diet and exercise.

  2. Appetite Suppression: One of the mechanisms of semaglutide is its ability to reduce appetite, which can be particularly beneficial for individuals struggling with overeating or managing relentless cravings for highly palatable and calorie-dense foods.

  3. Improved Glycemic Control: Semaglutide is originally a FDA-approved medication for managing blood sugar levels in individuals with type 2 diabetes. Alongside weight loss, it can help regulate blood sugar levels, offering additional health benefits for those with diabetes or prediabetes.

  4. Cardiovascular Health: Some studies suggest that semaglutide may have positive effects on cardiovascular health markers, such as reducing blood pressure and improving lipid profiles, which are crucial for overall health and well-being.


  1. Side Effects: Like any medication, semaglutide comes with potential side effects. These can include gastrointestinal issues such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and constipation. These side effects may subside over time but can be bothersome for some individuals, sometimes contributing to a reduced quality of life.

  2. Cost: Cost can be a significant barrier for many individuals considering semaglutide for weight loss. It may not be covered by insurance for this purpose, making it financially burdensome for some.

  3. Long-Term Safety: While short-term studies have shown promising results, the long-term safety of semaglutide for weight loss is still being researched. Concerns about potential adverse effects, particularly in the context of prolonged use, warrant careful consideration.

  4. Dependency: There is a risk of dependency on medication for weight management. Semaglutide should ideally be used as part of a comprehensive approach to weight loss, including dietary changes, physical activity, and behavioral management strategies. Relying solely on medication may not address underlying lifestyle factors that primarily contributing to weight gain.

Semaglutide presents a compelling option for individuals struggling with their weight loss journeys, offering what appears to be significant benefits alongside potential improvements in glycemic control and cardiovascular health. However, it's essential to weigh these potential benefits against the possible drawbacks, including side effects, cost, and long-term safety considerations.

As Registered Dietitian Nutritionists, it is highly recommended to follow a holistic approach to weight management, emphasizing sustainable lifestyle changes that promote long-term health and well-being. While semaglutide may have a place in some individuals' weight loss journeys, it should be carefully integrated within a comprehensive treatment plan, under the guidance of a professional healthcare team.

If you have questions about semaglutide or need help making sustainable lifestyle changes, schedule a free Discovery Call with one of our Registered Dietitian Nutritionists today. Together, we can navigate the complexities of weight management and empower individuals to achieve lasting success in their wellness journey.