Ozempic is making so much noise on social media for its guaranteed weight loss. But what many people fail to understand is that repercussions are bound to surface once they stop using the diabetes drug without a proper plan in place on how to move forward with their weight loss journey.

Several people stop using the medication for various reasons, including lack of insurance, high out-of-pocket costs, side effects and shortage of supplies. Experts recently weighed in on the different scenarios that could happen upon stopping the use of Ozempic, Wegovy and other similar diabetes drugs used for weight loss.

Speaking with Everyday Health, Robert Kushner, M.D., a professor and director of the Center for Lifestyle Medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, said weight gain is “likely” right after stopping Ozempic use.

Ozempic and its sibling drug Wegovy contain semaglutide that regulates blood sugar and makes people feel fuller and eat less. Without it, food cravings return, making it possible for former users to regain weight. According to Kushner, this happens when people do not follow healthy lifestyle changes alongside the medication.

“Ozempic should always be taken along with making healthy lifestyle changes in diet and physical activity. These changes should be continued even after stopping the medication and can help maintain some of the health benefits seen with body weight and blood sugar control,” he explained.

As mentioned, a person’s appetite returns in the absence of Ozempic and similar drugs. This is another scenario that users can expect once they stop the drugs. David Shafer, M.D., a plastic surgeon at Lenox Hill Hospital and Northwell Health in New York City, shared with Everyday Health his personal experience with this effect.

“I used to be able to eat half a pizza, but now on semaglutide, I take a few bites and feel full. If I miss a dose, my consumption increases as I lose the effect of feeling full,” he said.

One side effect of Ozempic and similar drugs that made a lot of noise online was “Ozempic face” — the distortion of the face after a dramatic weight loss. Experts previously said the dehydrated and shrunken facial appearance of users is normal because of the abrupt weight loss.

Stopping Ozempic will reverse Ozempic face or the facial changes during drug use. Joshua Zeichner, M.D., an associate professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in the Big Apple, told the same outlet that the body regains weight, just like the body.

“Ozempic face will go away if you gain back the weight you lost from the drug. The face can get full the way it used to, just as you can regain the weight in your body,” Zeichner explained.

Dermatologists recently shared that people in their 40s or 50s concerned about facial aging and sagging while using the drugs have turned to dermal fillers to make their faces look fuller and reverse facial wasting.

Ozempic has other possible side effects aside from facial changes. Users experience nausea, vomiting, constipation, dizziness, headache, gas and even heartburn. All these go away once treatment is stopped, according to Kushner.

Weight Gain
People can gain in certain areas throughout the body and it has to do with several factors. Photo courtesy of Pixabay, public domain