‘Ozempic Wall’: Patients Are Hitting Weight Loss Plateau

By: Ben Campbell | Published: Apr 10, 2024

In recent years, many Americans have turned to drugs like Ozempic and Wegovy to help them lose weight.

While the injections can help people lose as much as 14 pounds, experts now suggest that many users are hitting the “Ozempic wall,” with the drug’s effects wearing off after a few months. 

A Rising Trend of Injections for Weight Loss

Ozempic is a diabetic drug that the FDA approved in 2017. According to UC Davis Health, the weekly injection helps the pancreas produce more insulin, which in turn lowers blood sugar

An image of an Ozempic injection pen on a small table

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However, it has become a prevalent weight loss method in recent years. 

Can Ozempic Help People Lose Weight?

Ozempic helps people lose weight by mimicking a naturally occurring hormone in the body that sends a signal to the brain telling it they’re full.

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Various studies carried out on diabetic drugs suggest the active ingredient, semaglutide, can help users lose weight. 

Ozempic Helps Celebs Drop Unwanted Weight

Various American celebs have shared their success stories using drugs, which contain Ozempic. 

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When asked about his weight loss journey back in 2022, Elon Musk replied to a fan on X saying he was taking Wegovy (per NDTV). 

Ozempic Effects Halt After a Few Short Months

While Ozempic and Wegovy have become increasingly popular over the past few years, according to new reports, the drugs might not be as effective as once thought. 

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According to a report from The Daily Mail, users of the injectable drugs may start to hit the Ozempic wall after as little as six to eight weeks. 

Glaswegian Professor Explains Why Users Are Hitting the Ozempic Wall

In the wake of online complaints, Professor Naveed Sattar at the University of Glasgow shared his opinion on why so many people may be hitting the Ozempic wall.

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“As lighter people burn less calories, weight will always plateau over time, as with any weight loss intervention,” he told The Daily Mail.


Users Plateau at New Steady Weight

According to Ahmed, an expert in cardiometabolic medicine, users will eventually reach a new steady weight after experimenting with Ozempic. 

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“The amount of calories consumed will eventually balance with less calories burned to lead to a new steady weight,” he said.


Side Effects of Long-Term Use of Ozempic

Many Ozempic users have reported a loss of appetite and are even repulsed by some of their former favorite foods. 

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Others have put on significant weight once they stopped using the drugs.


Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

A study conducted by researchers at Aintree University Hospital in 2022 led to shocking side effects for those who stopped using drugs that contain the powerful ingredient semaglutide, reports The Daily Mail. 

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Many saw a significant portion of the weight they had lost return. Others had an increased chance of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease.


Mental Health Side Effects

While some people may miss the joy they had from eating their favorite foods while taking Ozempic, others have noticed different, rather severe side effects.

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According to NPR, the FDA Adverse Event Reporting System (FAERS) has received an increase in Ozempic patients experiencing mental health issues, such as depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts.


Semaglutide and Mental Health

This reporting indicated that all weight loss drugs that have the active ingredient Semaglutide may increase these types of mental health issues.

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This worrisome revelation has already led many organizations and even governments to look into why this may be happening. In the summer of 2023, the European Medicines Agency revealed it would be looking into these specific side effects.


Other Side Effects

Some people can have side effects while taking drugs that contain Semaglutide. Common side effects include vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, and nausea.

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However, other serious side effects that affect one’s body can also occur, such as inflammation of the pancreas and kidney failure.


Celebrity Outeats Popular Weight Loss Drug

During an appearance on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” at the beginning of March, American comedian Tracy Morgan said the Ozempic eventually stopped working for him. 

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According to the 55-year-old, he “out-ate” the drug’s effects and put on over 40 pounds while still taking Ozempic. 


Some People on Ozempic Don’t Lose Weight

Many Ozempic users have also claimed that they cannot lose weight successfully while using the drug. This is actually incredibly common.

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While everybody differs in their Ozempic experience, as everybody has completely different bodies and health systems, experts do say that there could be a few reasons why these specific people are struggling to lose weight — even when using a weight loss drug.


An Incorrect Dose

Sometimes, the lack of weight loss while using Ozempic simply concerns the dosage one uses. Normally, doctors put people on a lower dose of the drug to begin with. Some people may immediately see results, while others might not.

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Slowly, doctors will then increase the dosage for their patients. For those using the drug and not experiencing weight loss, this may be because they simply need to receive a higher dose.


Patience Is Key

However, this doesn’t mean that people should immediately try to up their doses. Doctors won’t do this. A steady uptick of Ozempic is needed.

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Increasing dosages to the correct one that your body corresponds to could take several months. Therefore, experts stress that patience is key.


Making Lifestyle Changes

One common reason people don’t lose weight while using a weight loss drug? They don’t make any dietary or lifestyle changes.

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Experts have long explained that people will only lose weight if they make these changes while also using drugs like Ozempic. Therefore, you can’t expect to lose weight just by using the drug alone.


Understanding Your Body

Some people might not lose weight while on Ozempic because it’s simply not the right drug for them. For example, many people struggle with weight gain as a result of food cravings.

A person holding their stomach while they also hold a plate with a burger on it.

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A weight loss drug can make you feel full — but it won’t get rid of these food cravings. Therefore, people can still keep on weight, and even gain weight, while using these drugs if they cannot deal with their cravings.


Unrealistic Expectations of Weight Loss

Ahmed Ahmed, a consultant bariatric surgeon at the Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust in London, said online influencers promote unrealistic expectations centered on weight loss. 

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“Unrealistic expectations of a weight-loss cure have been driven by social media, not science or medicine, and by marketing rather than public health,” he told The Daily Mail.


Supplement Weight Loss Management with Long-Term Lifestyle Changes

“Worse, they think you can take the drug for only a short while and keep the weight off permanently afterward, but all the research shows that this isn’t true: people put the weight back on after stopping the drug,” said Ahmed. 

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This is why many experts argue that weight loss should occur in small steps over an extended period, during which time people create healthy and sustainable lifestyle choices to avoid relapse. 


Ozempic Remains Popular

Though Ozempic may stop working just a few weeks after people first start using it, the weight loss drug still remains incredibly popular.

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In fact, Ozempic is so highly sought after that Costco is going to start selling prescriptions of the drug through its partnership with Sesame, a direct-to-consumer healthcare system and marketplace.


Costco Is Selling Ozempic

According to Costco and Sesame, many of their customers have increasingly asked for weight loss help. This led to the warehouse retailer and its partnered healthcare brand to start looking at Ozempic.

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Last year, Costco and Sesame first teamed up to offer Costco members cheaper healthcare alternatives. Its first service was offering online health checkups to members, starting at $29.


People Want Ozempic

Now, Sesame is going to provide weight loss drugs like Ozempic to those who qualify. That fact has surprised even Sesame’s co-founder and current president Michael Botta, though he is all for the move.

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“It wasn’t what we initially thought would make sense to offer for Costco members who were coming to Sesame,” he said. “But we realized pretty quickly, just by looking at what people were curious about, that there was a clear unmet need here.”.


Will the Ozempic Wall Change Things?

Now that reports are coming out about this Ozempic wall, will it change the popularity of the drug? Will Costco scale back on its selling of it?

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Not likely. There have been unfavorable reports of Ozempic in the past — and none of them have quelled the popularity that the drug has. Therefore, allegations of an Ozempic wall may not impact the drug’s reputation at all.