Ozempic discontinuation: what happens?
Makeup artist Larissa*, 28, began taking Ozempic, a pen-shaped drug containing a needle, last year to lose weight.
She shed 8 kg and sized down in the first three months. However, when the makeup artist stopped using the medicine after reaching her objective, unwelcome shocks occurred.
In four months, she gained 15 kg and began binge eating, something she didn’t have before Ozempic.
Marina*, 32, a saleswoman, had a similar experience.
After seeing online videos about the drug’s advantages, she started taking it.
The drug was easily purchased at a pharmacy in São Paulo, even without a prescription.
She dropped 5 kg in the first weeks of usage but gained it all back when she stopped taking the drug without medical supervision.
“A month after gaining the weight I lost, I bought another pen and started using Ozempic again”, she adds.
“However, I’ve been using it for a month now and I no longer feel any effect, I haven’t lost any weight.”
Larissa and Marina’s story is typical of individuals who take Ozempic without medical guidance, which the makers and specialists discourage. Only type 2 diabetes may be treated with the medication in Brazil (see below).
Many social media groups and videos claim utilizing it to reduce weight. In most situations, they solely count the advantages, encouraging increased pharmaceutical usage.
Ozempic was pulled from pharmacies in various Brazilian towns when its weight reduction effect became famous, leaving diabetes patients who needed medication without it.
Today, it’s readily available in stores.
The injectable medicine semaglutide, sold as Ozempic, treats type 2 diabetes.
The Brazilian National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) does not authorize semaglutide for obesity.
Even with type 2 diabetes, it might cause weight gain and other negative effects.
Novo Nordisk makes Ozempic, which requires a prescription.
The laboratory also claimed that it “does not endorse or support the promotion of information” concerning off-label usage of its drugs (outside leaflet guidelines).
“Ozempic, approved and marketed in Brazil for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, does not have an indication approved by national and international regulatory agencies for the treatment of obesity” , said the lab in a note.
Semaglutide lowers blood sugar via boosting insulin production and decreasing hepatic glucose synthesis.
As a drug, a doctor must prescribe the dosage and duration.
“Semaglutide has side effects and contraindications like any medicine,” explains endocrinologist and SBEM director Fabio Moura.
The doctor lists contraindications:
This includes pregnancy, gastroparesis, pancreatitis with unknown cause, medullary thyroid cancer, and multiple endocrine neoplasia.
Endocrinologist Bruno Geloneze, member of the Brazilian Association for the Study of Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome (Abeso) and University of Campinas researcher, says diabetic medications might cause negative effects.
Geloneze claims nausea, vomiting, and constipation are the most prevalent consequences with reduced frequency.
“These effects can be overcome by a progressive and slower increase in weekly doses of the medication with dietary guidance.”
Geloneze adds certain symptoms may be treated with medicine.
Endocrinologist Renato Zilli at Hospital Sírio-Libanês believes the drug affects all patients, even those with type 2 diabetes.
Zilli said, “People go there and buy the medication, they don’t adapt and many end up in the hospital”.
“So, yes, there is a risk, and, in addition, other medications need to be adjusted, in the case of those with diabetes.”
How semaglutide affects the brain
Weight loss may result from the medication’s central nervous system effects on hunger. This manages type 2 diabetes.
Semaglutide suppresses hunger by mimicking intestinal GLP-1. Satiety and hunger are regulated by it in the brain.
After a meal, GLP-1 makes individuals feel full, reducing daily calorie consumption.
According to neurologist Sandro Matas, coordinator of the Neurology department at Hospital São Camilo’s Pompeia unit, GLP-1 decreases the urge and anxiety associated with consuming fatty or carbohydrate-rich foods in the central nervous system.
“So, [when taking the medicine] the patient also ends up having a certain aversion to this type of food.”
When semaglutide is suddenly withdrawn, the brain no longer perceives the stimulation, and the patient resumes eating.
José Oswaldo de Oliveira Júnior, neurologist at Hospital do Servidor Público Estadual (HSPE) in São Paulo, says that when a patient stops taking medicine, the brain signals a need for food due to decreased satiety.
According to BBC experts, using the medicine without medical supervision may cause weight gain and compulsive eating. body requires.
When semaglutide is stopped, the brain no longer gets satiety impulses. So, the individual becomes hungry and craves sweets.
Diabetes therapy should prioritize food re-education and physical activity with semaglutide as an adjuvant.
Medication should be reduced gradually and under physician supervision.
“The medication dose is gradually reduced, so the person gets used to feeling full without it, which inhibits hunger,” adds Oliveira Junior.
“This reduction must also be combined with monitoring binge eating.”