Ozempic, Mounjaro, Wegovy, oh my!
Are you aware of the diabetes and weight loss medication craze? Ozempic, Mounjaro, and Wegovy are all names of drugs receiving a lot of attention right now, mostly because of their association with weight loss. Are you wondering if one of these drugs are for you, or just wondering what this is all about? Continue reading to learn more.
Ozempic and Mounjaro are Food and Drug Association (FDA) approved drugs for treating diabetes. Wegovy, the sister drug to Ozempic, is an FDA approved drug for weight loss. While Ozempic and Mounjaro were not developed for weight loss, nor are they approved for weight loss, they do lead to weight loss for many people.
Based on research and expert opinions, there are benefits, concerns, and overall health factors that you should think about before considering one of these medications.
Common side effects seen from these drugs include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, decreased appetite, constipation, heartburn, and abdominal pain. The intensity of these vary from person to person.
- Can help control diabetes.
- May, for some people, reduce their hyper-focus on food and alleviate their anxiety around food.
- Often contribute to weight loss.
- May improve other health issues, such as heart health, in some people.
- People must stay on the medications for life, or the weight returns.
- These meds can affect one’s interest in and relationship with food and cooking.
- Some people may be at risk for nutritional deficiencies when on these meds.
- These medications are not for those with or at risk for disordered eating or certain health issues.
- These meds have not been studied long-term; therefore, long-term side effects are unknown.
Other Health Considerations
- These medications are not a replacement for following a healthy balanced diet and being physically active.
- On these meds, people should eat small balanced meals, low fat, and adequate lean protein; and do weight bearing exercise to prevent muscle loss.
- People must stay hydrated, be physically active, and get adequate fiber to avoid constipation.
- After being on these meds, it is typical to hit a weight loss plateau, so people should discuss next steps with a physician and a registered dietitian.
- For people who are overweight or obese by current standards, but who are otherwise healthy, these drugs may not be necessary or even wise.
Be Aware, Safe, and Informed
- Only obtain these medications with a prescription from a licensed health care provider.
- Be sure to only purchase them from state-licensed pharmacies or outsourcing facilities registered with the FDA.
- Refer to the FDA’s BeSafeRx campaign tools and resources for more information.
- Make an appointment with a registered dietitian in addition to a physician.
- Follow up with your physician and registered dietitian monthly to determine the right dose for you and monitor your progress.
Overall, these drugs currently show benefits for people who have diabetes or who have major health issues due to their weight. Yet, there is more research needed and questions to be answered to understand how exactly these drugs work, long-term side effects, and other health implications. A healthy balanced diet and regular physical activity are still essential to overall health, and these drugs should not replace that.