Taking Ozempic or Wegovy if you are not overweight could potentially cause you to lose muscle or skeletal weight, which could cause a myriad of other health problems.
Weight loss drugs aren’t new to the medical marketplace, but they are soaring in popularity right now thanks to some drugs’ affordability and accessibility. When most people see ads for weight loss drugs like Wegovy and Ozempic, they think the drug offers a fast, easy way to lose a few pounds, but it might not work like that for you if you don’t struggle with obesity. The drug was designed to reduce body weight in people with body mass indexes, or BMIs, over 27; for people who don’t fit the medical criteria for obesity, the drug likely won’t have a significant effect on your weight and, if it does, it won’t be fast.
According to NBC News, Wegovy, the brand name for the drug semaglutide, is also sold under the name Ozempic at a lower dose to help those with diabetes regulate their blood sugar levels. Both drugs are made by drug manufacturer Novo Nordisk. Though Wegovy did have significant success for people with obesity in the clinical trials—with most participants losing up to 15 percent of their body weight over 68 weeks—but it hasn’t been studied on people without obesity.
Even prime candidates for Ozempic and Wegovy must start with a low dose, usually 0.25 milligrams, so their bodies can acclimate to the effects of the medication, which slows the speed at which the stomach empties and, as a result, can cause nausea and stomach pain. For most patients, it can take up to three months to start seeing weight loss, and the likelihood is that it would take even longer for someone without obesity. The medication, according to experts, is not for those wanting to slim down for a pool party or a wedding, but for those whose weight interferes with their daily life and causes significant health problems.
Novo Nordisk themselves only recommend the Ozempic and Wegovy for those with obesity or weight-related health problems, saying that taking the medication if you are not overweight is a misuse of the drug. In addition, the medication is intended to be used long-term, so stopping the medication abruptly after reaching a goal could trigger regaining the weight. The more unpleasant side effects of the drug—like vomiting—are also not for the faint of heart.
Taking Ozempic or Wegovy if you are not overweight could potentially cause you to lose muscle or skeletal weight, which could cause a myriad of other health problems. Most experts recommend against using medication-based weight loss if you have a BMI of 25 or under, urging lifestyle and diet changes rather than medication, which may have adverse side effects. Weight loss drugs are for people already attempting to have a healthy diet and lifestyle and who, for medical reasons, remain unable to lose or keep off excess weight anyway.
While weight loss drugs like Wegovy and Ozempic are popular, and your health is of the utmost importance, it’s also good to remember that weight is not necessarily an indicator of health. Many overweight people still lead incredibly healthy lives and, for genetic or medical reasons, simply weigh more than the average. If you want to lose weight for a beach vacation, keep in mind that all bodies are beach bodies, and if your physician has not told discussed weight-related health issues with you, your body is likely in exactly the shape it’s meant to be in.