Can you take Ozempic after gastric bypass?

Some people who want their weight loss journey to be shorter reportedly have been requesting Ozempic after gastric bypass. But how safe is it? Can you take Ozempic after gastric bypass surgery?

Ozempic is an FDA-approved semaglutide injection for type 2 diabetes. As it has the common side effect of curbing appetite as many other “weight loss medications”, it has been used for weight loss purposes among people over the counter like a gastric bypass alternative pill. Meaning its usage for weight loss has not been approved by the FDA. In some cases, it has been shown that it indeed helped some people lose weight. But most of them regained all their weight or more as soon as they stopped using Ozempic. And some never lost weight, to begin with.

Weight loss alone is a journey combined with a unique diet and physical exercise plan. A semaglutide injection alone may only work to some extent. And even after a while, it has to be heightened in dosage to keep it working. And the unnecessary stress it puts the body under is definitely not worth it.

Can you take Ozempic after surgery for faster weight loss?

You may be wondering “Can you take Ozempic after gastric bypass surgery?”. Some doctors have reported that they have prescribed Ozempic to their bariatric patients for off-label purposes. However, it is definitely not recommended after a bariatric surgery and it can even be dangerous for a bariatric patient.

Surgery is already a great benefactor for your weight loss. Also, as the nature of the procedure, your metabolism will boost and your hunger hormone production will be eliminated from the equation. And due to the new size of your stomach, you will not be able to eat more than your stomach allows.

The surgery already puts the body under a great deal of stress, especially during recovery. Taking Ozempic after gastric bypass can affect your health in a drastically negative way. Combined with Ozempic’s side effects and possible risks, you may have a rocky road ahead of you if you go with Ozempic after surgery, unless you are still suffering from a pre-existing type 2 diabetes. Only after then can you take Ozempic after gastric bypass, provided it is under observation and in small doses.

Why it's not a good idea?

Ozempic can do more harm than good after bypass or other invasive weight loss procedures. Taking Ozempic after bypass can cause too rapid body weight loss. And that can weaken the body greatly and put it under a lot of stress. Besides, Ozempic’s purpose for weight loss still hasn’t been approved by FDA or hasn’t even been fully clinically tested yet. So, while its risks without weight loss surgery are known, with the surgery they may double. 

When thought of it, in this case, Ozempic wouldn’t be any different than over-the-counter diet pills that were not approved or even considered by FDA. One might even develop an eating disorder if one uses Ozempic after a gastric bypass. Because this bariatric surgery is already a restricting procedure. Using Ozempic can lessen the food intake even more, and can cause you to starve your body, develop an eating disorder, or affect your health negatively.

Surgeries and their observed recovery stages are more than enough for healthy weight loss. Seeking help from medicines that may or may not help with weight loss is not the answer. Let’s observe other reasons why.

Your stomach will be sensitive

After your bariatric surgery, for about a year, your stomach will be sensitive. Ozempic has known side effects that can affect the stomach, such as nausea and vomiting. It can also cause gas buildup, bloating, and increased burping.

Possible side effects can put extra stress on your stomach. Afterward, you might have to deal with health problems related to these side effects. For instance, if gas buildup becomes excessive, your stomach may enlarge. And if it’s a constant problem, you may then experience acid reflux.

The actual purpose of Ozempic

The actual clients for Ozempic are people with type 2 diabetes. Meaning this medicine alters your blood sugar levels. If you do not have type 2 diabetes, you might be intervening in your body’s functions unnecessarily.

When you take certain hormones from medicines while your body is able to produce them by itself, your body stops producing unnecessary amounts of hormones. Because the body sees that you are getting extra. And producing more of that hormone can harm the body. If you stop taking Ozempic, your body will not immediately start reproducing those hormones. So you might experience your blood sugar being risen.

The recovery process is already hard

Gastric bypass recovery can be hard. You are already losing weight rapidly. Adding more haste to that can only harm your body. According to studies, losing weight too fast can cause dehydration and electrolyte problems. They can indirectly cause liver dysfunctions, nutritional deficiencies, and a lot more health issues. Also, losing weight way too fast can also strain your heart.

Taking this once-weekly medicine after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass as an extra method can lead to sudden weight loss. The usage of Ozempic after gastric bypass can potentially damage blood vessels, resulting in changes in heart rate, blood pressure, and rhythm, ultimately increasing the risk of heart failure. Ozempic alone has its own set of side effects and risks, even without the surgery. So, if you are not diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, even if you haven’t had the surgery, you shouldn’t use it for weight loss.

The surgery will already curb your hunger without any extra precautions. And because of its nature, gastric bypass patients are more prone to vitamin and mineral deficiencies. To make up for them, you need to drink lots of water and take supplements for life. Adding Ozempic to the equation can further worsen this side effect.

The results won't satisfy you in the long run

It has been observed that once patients stop taking Ozempic, they have regained two-thirds of their prior weight loss. Some have reported that they have faced even more weight gain. So in order to make Ozempic work, you have to use it for life. And after a gastric bypass, when you do not have type 2 diabetes, it is not only pointless, but it can also reverse the effects of it with the possibility of other health issues.

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Wilding JPH, Batterham RL, Davies M, et al. Weight regain and cardiometabolic effects after withdrawal of semaglutide: The STEP 1 trial extension. Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism. Published online May 19, 2022. 

Levinson JA, Sarda V, Sonneville K, Calzo JP, Ambwani S, Austin SB. Diet Pill and Laxative Use for Weight Control and Subsequent Incident Eating Disorder in US Young Women: 2001–2016. American Journal of Public Health. 2020;110(1):109-111

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