- When people stop using semaglutide medications like Ozempic and Wegovy, weight rebound occurs
- Experts say this is because the drug is not a permanent cure
- Long-term changes in diet and activity are a must
- Weight Regain is certain after Semaglutide Withdrawal
Weight regain after withdrawal of semaglutide weight loss medicine is causing immense frustration among people who believe to have found an easy solution for chronic obesity.
It is again proved that lifestyle modifications are the only authentic way to lose weight. The semaglutide medications like Wegovy and Ozempic took the weight loss market by storm ever since their introduction. Wegovy has a higher dose of semaglutide & is specifically prescribed for obesity. Ozempic has a lower dose of semaglutide & is specifically for diabetes. The hype for these medicines was so intense that, many people used ozempic for weight loss without diabetes, which caused a shortage of ozempic for diabetics.
The weight regain issue with semaglutide has already been indicated by research & it’s very clear that once people stop taking the semaglutide, any weight they’ve lost is quite likely to return.
Semaglutide is a glucagon-like-peptide-1 agonist (GLP-1 antagonist) which is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat diabetes and obesity or overweight.
The mode of action of semaglutide is to make people feel full sooner as it causes a suppression of appetite with the result that people do not feel as hungry. One of its action here is to slow down the emptying of stomach so there is a feeling of satiety. This effectively works since the reason for weight issues or obesity for majority of the people is that they keep on piling extra calories.
Weight Regain is certain after Semaglutide Withdrawal
The semaglutide drug was taken as a delicacy by those who were dreaming of cutting the heavy pounds without surgery. Now since the semaglutide has been tried by a good number of people, the bitter truth about its results is clear.
The semaglutide might seem like a miracle to those with diabetes and obesity as they are able to shed pounds effectively, however the truth is that the effects only last as long as you take the semaglutide.
According to a recent study which worked to examine changes in body weight & cardiometabolic risk factors upon the withdrawal of the drug, it was found that after a year, people actually regained two-thirds of the weight they had lost.
Furthermore, the positive changes that had appeared in cardiometabolic risk factors such as, blood pressure, blood lipid profile, HbA1c & C-reactive protein had also similarly reversed.
In another such study, the participants retained a degree of weight loss similar to the first study. The participants here also retained some of the improvements in cardiovascular risk factors observed during the treatment time period.
Systolic & diastolic blood pressure both returned to baseline values by 52 weeks after withdrawal of semaglutide. But the levels of C-reactive protein, HDL(good cholesterol), LDL(bad cholesterol) and triglycerides were still significantly improved in the semaglutide group relative to placebo group.
The researchers found that people who lost the maximum weight while on semaglutide tend to regain the most after stopping it.
Researchers describe the weight regain after semaglutide withdrawal as “relatively rapid” in comparison to the withdrawal of other weight-loss medications.
These findings reinforce the need to continue semaglutide in order to maintain its benefits.
Semaglutide is one of the most effective treatments for obesity
According to Dr. Kathleen Dungan, an endocrinologist in Diabetes & Metabolism at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, there are several potential benefits of using semaglutide.
“It is one of the most effective treatments available for either prediabetes or obesity, outside of bariatric surgery,” said Dr. Dungan.
“Moreover, there is evidence that the use of semaglutide may reduce the risk of developing diabetes and may be particularly useful in individuals who are prediabetic.”
How to avoid Weight Regain with Semaglutide?
The only way to avoid weight regain after quitting semaglutide is to keep on taking it forever. The reason being that obesity is a chronic illness. As in the case of any other chronic illness, patients will need to take the medicine for their entire lives to maintain the benefits.
So, this makes it clear that with semaglutide, if you need to keep the pounds at bay, then the medicine has to stay. Patients after withdrawing semaglutide notice that their appetites return to the levels they had before they took it. Even beyond this, in some cases, the appetites went even bigger than they were in first place.
According to medical professionals, when you’re at maximum weight loss, your body’s hunger hormones work at the highest. So, at this point, when you withdraw the drug your hunger is even higher than it was before losing weight.
Why Weight Regain is so certain?
Weight regain occurs simply because the drug is not a permanent cure for obesity as it does not work on the underlying issues that led to weight gain in the very first place.
A patient on semaglutide after withdrawal shared her terrible experience after withdrawal. She had not only “gained double the weight back” after stopping ozempic but her binge eating got even worse.
Her doctor explained that metabolic adaptation occurs while patients are losing weight while on semaglutide and this can contribute to weight gain when the semaglutide is stopped.
She further shares that this effect isn’t unique to semaglutide & has been the same for other weight loss medications she tried.
Long Term Weight Loss Maintenance
Dr. Dungan said “the optimal duration of use for semaglutide is not known yet”. However, since there is a high tendency for weight regain if you stop the drug, it is utmost to make changes in your lifestyle.
“Semaglutide can be under no circumstances a substitute for diet and exercise,” she said, “but otherwise can be a very effective treatment.”
Research studies have shown that obesity is a chronic illness, so long-term medication is necessary in order to prevent weight regain.
However, one can always weigh the risk of taking a medication against the benefits in making any decision for long-term use.
Semaglutide side effects
There are some potentially serious side effects that have a tendency to happen with this medication, like pancreatitis, kidney failure & medullary thyroid cancer. There is also tendency of risk to a developing fetus.
Apart from these, semaglutide highly shrinks muscle mass. The muscle loss with semaglutide or other weight loss medications is something worth considering. Because not only it takes away the younger version of yourself you expect after losing a good number of pounds, muscle loss is also a setback for health & it also ensures a fall in long term weight maintenance.
Exercise is highly helpful in weight maintenance after losing weight on semaglutide.
Like any other chronic disease, obesity requires long-term management.
Weight regain after discontinuing semaglutide is certain as seen in a vast majority of cases. Lifelong Semaglutide intake is needed to maintain benefits.