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What Happens When You Stop Taking Ozempic?

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Updated on
What Happens When You Stop Taking Ozempic?

Table of Contents

Key Takeaways

  • When you stop taking Ozempic, your body loses appetite suppression and blood sugar management benefits the drug provided.
  • During a study, participants who stopped taking semaglutide, the active ingredient of Ozempic, regained most of their weight.
  • Several management strategies, such as following healthy eating habits, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep at night, may help you maintain your weight loss after stopping Ozempic.

Individuals who stop taking Ozempic can anticipate a noticeable return of their appetite, the potential increase in their blood sugar levels, and the likelihood of regaining some of the weight previously lost.

Stopping Ozempic can also lead to the gradual disappearance of its side effects.

These changes are due to the medication no longer working in your body helping suppress your appetite and control your blood sugar.

Returning to previous eating habits and not getting enough exercise can contribute to weight gain.

This article takes a look at what happens when you stop taking Ozempic.

Read on to learn what research reveals about weight regain when stopping Ozempic and learn reasons behind why you may find yourself putting weight back on. 

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What Happens When You Stop Taking Ozempic?

Since May 2023, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has listed Ozempic on the drug shortage list.

Due to its sudden popularity, the drug is now becoming difficult to find.

Because of this and several other reasons, some people opted to stop taking Ozempic. 

Ozempic’s primary purpose is to help people with type 2 diabetes control their blood sugar levels.

It’s part of the glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist drug class and works in your body in three ways

  1. Stimulating the pancreas to secrete insulin when blood sugar levels rise.
  2. Slowing down the rate food leaves the stomach during digestion.
  3. Reducing the amount of glucose (sugar) the liver produces. 

When you stop taking Ozempic, these effects from the medication start to wear off.

It may take about a week for you to feel changes.

Once it is out of your system, you may notice it’s harder to control your blood sugar levels.

You may also notice you start feeling much more hungry.

If you were experiencing any side effects from Ozempic, such as nausea, diarrhea, or constipation, you will notice those symptoms disappearing. 

What Does the Research Say About Weight Regain After Stopping Ozempic?

In Spring 2022, Novo Nordisk, the manufacturer of Ozempic, completed a study on a person’s weight when they stop taking semaglutide 

For 68 weeks, participants received a weekly injection of semaglutide and followed lifestyle interventions such as getting regular exercise and eating a healthy diet.

The average weight loss was about 17% of total body weight. 

After 68 weeks, the semaglutide treatments were stopped.

Researchers note that weight regain started right away.

Within one year, most of the weight that had been lost during treatment was regained. 

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Reasons for Weight Regain After Stopping Ozempic 

Several factors contribute to weight regain after stopping Ozempic. 

Returning to Previous Eating Habits

One reason for weight regain after stopping Ozempic is returning to eating habits you had before taking Ozempic. 

While you take Ozempic, the medication greatly suppresses your appetite.

After just a few bites, you may feel full. This effect helps you greatly reduce how much food you consume daily. 

It’s important to learn new healthy eating habits while taking Ozempic.

Discover how to build balanced meals to ensure you are getting proper daily nutrition.

Also, learn your hunger and fullness cues and train yourself to avoid emotional eating. 

Practicing mindful eating and learning to cook at home are other ways to develop healthy eating habtis.

When you stop Ozempic, the appetite suppression goes away, and you may find yourself feeling very hungry.

With your appetite back, slipping back into old eating habits is easy, which may result in weight gain

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Lack of Physical Activity 

Another factor in weight regain may be that you’re not getting enough physical activity. 

Experts recommend adults get at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise five days a week with at least two or three days a week of muscle-strengthening exercises. 

Some people may require more exercise to maintain weight loss.

It depends on a person’s age, diet, and other factors. 

Hormonal Changes

Ozempic influences several important hormone pathways for blood sugar levels and weight management.

The active ingredient, semaglutide, mimics GLP-1, a hormone in your gut that regulates appetite and insulin secretion. 

Stopping Ozempic can reverse its effects on these hormonal pathways, leading to an increased appetite and less effective insulin regulation. 

This hormone shift may make maintaining the weight loss achieved during treatment challenging. 

How Much Weight Will I Regain After Ozempic?

How much weight you may regain when stopping Ozempic varies from person to person.

It depends on factors such as metabolic differences, lifestyle choices, and adherence to healthy eating and exercise routines. 

During the clinical study, people who had discontinued taking the semaglutide injections regained an average of two-thirds of their weight one year after stopping treatment.

This means some people regained over two-thirds of their weight while others gained less than two-thirds. 

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Preventing Weight Gain After Stopping Ozempic

A proactive approach is necessary to prevent weight gain after stopping Ozempic.

Continue With Healthy Eating Habits

One of the key strategies is to continue following the healthy eating habits you developed during the treatment period.

This includes eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and low-fat dairy.

It’s also important to be mindful of portion sizes and mindless snacking throughout the day. 

Maintain Or Increase Physical Activity

Another aspect is maintaining or increasing your physical activity levels.

Regular exercise helps with weight management, boosts metabolism, and helps maintain lean muscle mass. Having lean muscle is beneficial for your metabolic rate. 

Talk With a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

Find a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) who can give you personalized advice on meal planning and food choices to help you maintain your weight loss after stopping Ozempic. 

RDNs can also help you recognize and modify eating behaviors that may have contributed to your weight gain before Ozempic and help you establish new habits.

This may include mindful eating techniques, recognizing hunger and fullness cues, and addressing emotional eating patterns. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is it OK to suddenly stop taking Ozempic?

Never stop taking medication, Ozempic included, without first consulting with your doctor.

Your doctor may want to slowly taper you off the medication to help reduce unwanted side effects and rapid weight regain.

Do you have to stay on Ozempic forever?

Some people stay on Ozempic long-term for blood sugar management.

However, this isn’t necessary if you and your doctor establish other ways of meeting your health needs.

Do you gain all the weight back after stopping Ozempic?

During clinical trials, people regained an average of two-thirds of the weight they had lost while taking Ozempic.

Results vary from person to person depending on individual metabolism as well as eating and physical activity habits.

References

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