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If You Take Ozempic Don’t Make This Mistake

Everybody is talking about the new cure for obesity. Best known by the brand name Ozempic, new drugs offer a way for people to lose weight, and keep the weight off, by controlling appetite.

However, for the drugs to work there is something users must do that, unfortunately, many are not. The new medications must be taken regularly. A new scientific study from Blue Cross Blue Shield determined that far too many people fail to use the medications for the minimum require period of 12 weeks, and longer.

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The obesity epidemic in the United States is a major public health concern. A staggering number of Americans are overweight or obese, putting them at increased risk for a variety of serious health conditions. These conditions not only impact quality of life but also lead to substantial healthcare costs. Furthermore, the social stigma surrounding obesity can negatively affect mental health.

The researchers reported that nearly three out of every four Americans over the age of 20 are overweight and 42% of Americans are affected by obesity.

Semaglutide’s (Wegovy®) FDA approval in 2021 for weight management marked a significant shift in how we approach weight and obesity. This new class of medications, GLP-1 agonists, has led to a surge in anti-obesity medication sales. However, with promising weight loss benefits come questions about how these medications are prescribed and whether patients are continuing treatment long enough to experience those benefits. This study delves into this question, exploring whether people prescribed GLP-1s for weight loss are discontinuing treatment prematurely.

“The introduction of GLP-1 drugs for the management of obesity has significantly disrupted traditional weight management approaches,” say the researchers. “The momentum of adoption of GLP-1s increased in June 2021 with the FDA approval of semaglutide (Wegovy®) for weight management. The rapid growth in the number of prescriptions issued and filled for GLP-1s for weight management has, at times, led to shortages of the formulations for patients who are intended to use these therapies to manage Type 2 diabetes.”

The scientists found that more than 30% of patients dropped out of treatment after the first four weeks, when the dose was still being increased to reach the targeted dose. When looking at patients using GLP-1 drugs for weight management, their findings show that most individuals did not stay on their prescribed treatment for a minimum of 12 weeks, suggesting that they were unlikely to achieve clinically meaningful weight loss.

In addition, the research showed that younger patients, aged 18 to 34, were more likely to drop out of treatment sooner and that gender had no impact on dropout rates within the first 12 weeks. Patients who were prescribed GLP-1s by providers with expertise in weight management and obesity, like endocrinologists and obesity specialists, were more likely to complete 12 weeks of treatment.

However, Individuals who completed 12 weeks of treatment saw their providers more frequently after the prescription of GLP-1s than those who dropped out of treatment sooner. People who had health inequities or lived in underserved health regions were also less likely to complete 12 weeks of treatment.

So, the researchers determined that to achieve these important health benefits, it is critical that people taking GLP-1s continue taking the drug long enough to achieve clinical success. This means that, on average, patients should complete at least 12 weeks of continuous treatment to achieve a level of weight loss that will positively impact their health. Weight management strategies should be in place to continue maintaining weight loss after initial success and may include long-term use of GLP-1s and healthy eating and exercise.



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