GLP-1 medications like Ozempic and Mounjaro (which have been approved for treating type 2 diabetes but are sometimes used off-label for weight loss), as well as Wegovy and Zepbound(which have been approved to treat overweight and obesity), have soared in popularity due to their effectiveness as weight loss aids.
While many people find they do lose a significant amount of weight while taking these drugs, a large number of people who stop taking them discover they can quickly regain the weight they’ve lost and more — commonly referred to as Ozempic rebound. In fact, a clinical trial published in 2022 indicated that people regained two-thirds of their body weight a year after ceasing to take 2.4 mg of semaglutide (the maximum Wegovy dose).
“Anti-obesity medications like Wegovy should not be used for short-term weight loss, but rather long-term treatment of obesity, which is a chronic disease requiring lifelong intervention,” says Dr. Katherine H. Saunders, MD, DABOM, the co-founder of Intellihealth and a physician at Weill Cornell Medicine. However, there are a number of reasons why people may stop taking these drugs. “Cost is a big factor,” explains Dr. Mir Ali, MD, a bariatric surgeon and medical director of MemorialCare Surgical Weight Loss Center at Orange Coast Medical Center in California. “Often, these medications, even when covered by insurance, can have significant out-of-pocket expenses. Due to their popularity, these medications can often be in short supply. Many people stop these medications when they achieve their desired goal.”
Excerpted from Healthline