Is It Right For You?

By Jamie Bussin and David Nelson

I recently interviewed researcher David Nelson ND, on Episode #315, regarding some of the collateral issues surrounding Ozempic®. This article is inspired by that conversation. Here are 10 Things about the drug you may not know:

  1. It works by stimulating insulin production. It reduces glucose production in the liver, so this helps to change blood sugar levels, and then it also slows down gastric emptying, so it contributes to satiety, fullness and that seems to help it aid in weight loss.
  2. Although you probably know someone who is or plans to take Ozempic® on a temporary basis, the drug is meant to be taken for life. Going off Ozempic® would likely result in gaining back the weight you lost (barring other lifestyle changes).
  3. Ozempic® (and other GLP1 receptor agonists) are so prevalent that it is impacting the price of public snack food companies such as Nestle or Mondelez International (Chips Ahoy and Oreo brands), which are down more than 2%.
  4. Novo Nordisk, manufacturer of Wegovy® and Ozempic®, now has a higher market capitalization than the yearly GDP of its home country, Denmark. In September, 2023, the International Monetary Fund projected Denmark’s 2023 GDP to reach $405.6bn, whilst Novo Nordisk’s market cap sat around $418.1bn.
  5. The monthly cost of Ozempic® in Canada is $200-$300 (4 doses – weekly injections). Whether or not your Ozempic® prescription is going to be covered by OHIP in Ontario depends on several factors. Some of these factors include if you are 65+, reside in a long-term care home or home for special care, or if you receive professional home care or community care. 
  6. Here are the potential side effects of taking Ozempic® (taken from the Novo Nordisk website): The most serious – Possible thyroid tumors, including cancer. Others include inflammation of your pancreas, change in vision, low blood sugar, kidney problems (including kidney failure), allergic reactions, and gallbladder problems. 
  7. More common side effects are nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach (abdominal) pain, and constipation.
  8. Because Ozempic® acts as an appetite suppressing agent, you eat less. Because you eat less, it is important to make sure that you are getting sufficient amounts of nutrients. So eating a healthy, nutrient rich, well-rounded diet is particularly important.
  9. One nutrient, if not consumed in sufficient amounts, can have a particularly disturbing outcome. Those taking Ozempic® should be sure to consume protein, as many people taking the drug report loss of muscle mass. 
  10. Similarly, and for the same reason (loss of muscle mass) it is important to include resistance/weight training as part of your lifestyle if you’re taking Ozempic®