Ozempic, Vegovy and other weight loss drugs present holiday challenges

For many people, celebrating the winter holidays means buying gifts, making travel arrangements, and planning heavy menus for meals with loved ones. However, this year those preparations may include giving up drugs popularly used to facilitate weight loss.

Reasons ranging from wanting to eat more during the holidays without the post-meal discomfort to the goal of saving money have led some people to hold off on binges before the festivities. good Morning America and other media reports.

Still, one expert told Fox Business that people who are considering quitting weight-loss drugs need to be careful when restarting them later.

An image of Christmas cookies on a baking pan during the holiday season. (iStock/iStock)

Common types of medications used for weight loss include Ozempic, Vegovi, and Monzaro. The last contains tirazeptide, while the other two contain semaglutide.

anchor Security Last Change Change %
NVO Novo Nordisk A/S 102.71 -0.77 -0.74%
LLY Eli Lilly and Company 570.48 -1.50 -0.26%

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Endobariatric physician and True You Weight Loss Associate Research Director Dr. Dan Maselli told Fox Business that such reasons are “completely understandable.” Some of his patients, he added, want to interrupt their dosing schedule to avoid stigma-driven judgment from loved ones who did not know they were taking such a medication.

two ozempic boxes

A pharmacist at Rock Canyon Pharmacy in Provo, Utah displays boxes of Ozempic, a semaglutide injection drug used to treat type 2 diabetes and made by Novo Nordisk. (Reuters/George Frey/Reuters Photo)

“By discontinuing a medication that people take for weight loss, they will not be harming themselves in the near future,” Maselli said. He said that although skipping can cause a feeling of hunger, drugs like Ozempic and Monzaro do not induce withdrawal phenomena.

According to Maselli, it is the drug’s resumption where people need to be careful.

“These medications are really meant to be taken over a long period of time and continuously, and one problem that can arise if we forget to take a dose, or indeed if we forget to take two to three doses, is that That our body can lose its habit. “Especially for the gastrointestinal side effects of those medications,” Maselli said. “It may be unwise and, in extreme circumstances, unsafe to start the medication back at that dose.” “Could be what you were taking.”

diet medicine monjaro

Rachel Graham holds a Monjaro injection pen at her home in Carlsbad, California on November 30, 2022. (Sandy Huffaker for The Washington Post via Getty Images/Getty Images)

He explained that when using Ozempic, Monzaro and other similar drugs for weight loss, doctors and patients need to start with a low dose and gradually increase it over time. That process could take 20 weeks.

Doctors say patients stop taking Wegovi, other weight loss-related drugs soon after starting it

“So if you were on that maximum dose – or even above that for like the first two doses of this drug – and you stop this drug for two or three weeks, and then you try to start back on the same dose. If you do, you can really make yourself uncomfortable,” he said.

Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, cramps and heartburn are among the symptoms a person may experience.

Maselli said people who have missed or skipped a dose should contact their doctor rather than starting the dose again, as their doctor may need to reduce the dose. In some cases, they may need to start from square one, depending on how long it has been.

ozempic and monjaro

Diabetes medications Ozempic and Monzaro. (Joel Saget/AFP/Sandy Huffaker for The Washington Post via Getty Images/Getty Images)

The decision to temporarily stop taking the medications during the holidays comes as more and more people are turning to Ozempic, Vegovy and Monzaro to help with weight loss.

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Novo Nordisk, which produces Ozempic and Vegovy, has seen considerable growth amid the incident, with its share price climbing nearly 51% since the start of 2023. Shares of Monjaro, the company behind Eli Lilly, have surged more than 56%.

Meanwhile, the S&P 500 has gained nearly 25% this year.

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