Semaglutide medications, such as Ozempic, WeGovy, Rybelsus, Victoza, Mounjaro, and Trulicity, belong to a group of drugs called GLP-1 receptor agonists. They work by suppressing appetite and promoting feelings of fullness, making it easier to eat smaller portions and resist overeating.

However, it’s important to be aware of potential side effects and understand that semaglutides are not a standalone long-term solution.

Weight regain is common after discontinuation, and maintaining weight loss requires sustainable lifestyle changes and addressing underlying factors contributing to weight gain.



What are semaglutide medications?
What does semaglutide do to your body?
What is the dark side of semaglutide?
Do you regain weight once you stop semaglutide?
Study data on weight regain after stopping use of semaglutides

6 minute read


What are semaglutide medications?

Semaglutide is a medication that can help with weight management. It belongs to a group of drugs called GLP-1 receptor agonists. Basically, semaglutide works by interacting with certain receptors in our body to help control our appetite and make us feel full.

Some brand names you may have heard of include Ozempic, WeGovy, Rybelsus, Victoza, Mounjaro, and Trulicity.

When we take semaglutide, it can help us eat less by suppressing our hunger and making us feel satisfied even with smaller portions of food.

What does semaglutide do to your body?

Semaglutide works to suppress appetite and promote feelings of satiety, or fullness, through its interaction with certain receptors in the body.

When we eat, our body releases a hormone called glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), which plays a role in regulating our appetite and food intake. Semaglutide is a GLP-1 receptor agonist, which means it mimics the effects of GLP-1 in the body.

When semaglutide is taken, it binds to the GLP-1 receptors in the brain and other organs involved in appetite regulation. By activating these receptors, semaglutide sends signals that help suppress appetite and reduce food cravings. This can make it easier for individuals to eat smaller portions and resist overeating.

top view of woman holding apple at grey table, closeup

Additionally, semaglutide slows down the emptying of the stomach, which means food stays in the stomach for a longer period of time. This delay in gastric emptying contributes to feelings of fullness and can help individuals feel satisfied with less food.

By suppressing appetite and promoting satiety, semaglutide can assist individuals in reducing their caloric intake and making healthier food choices. This, in turn, can contribute to weight loss and improved weight management.

What is the dark side of semaglutide?

While taking semaglutide, it is important to be vigilant for any potential symptoms or side effects that may occur. Here are some specific symptoms or side effects to watch out for when taking semaglutide:

Severe or Prolonged Gastrointestinal Symptoms:

Semaglutide may cause gastrointestinal side effects such as persistent nausea, vomiting, severe abdominal pain, or persistent diarrhea.


Semaglutides can cause constipation by slowing down the movement of food through the digestive system.


Semaglutide can lower blood sugar levels, especially when used in combination with other medications that lower blood sugar. Symptoms of hypoglycemia include dizziness, shakiness, sweating, confusion, irritability, and blurred vision.

Allergic Reactions:

Although rare, allergic reactions to semaglutide can occur. Watch out for symptoms such as rash, itching, swelling (particularly of the face, lips, throat, or tongue), severe dizziness, or difficulty breathing.


In rare cases, semaglutide has been associated with pancreatitis, which is inflammation of the pancreas. Symptoms may include severe abdominal pain that radiates to the back, nausea, and vomiting.

Thyroid Nodules or Cancer:

While the risk is uncertain, semaglutide has been associated with an increased risk of thyroid tumors, including thyroid cancer, in animal studies. Watch for any changes in the neck area, such as lumps, swelling, or difficulty swallowing, and promptly report any concerns to your healthcare professional.


Headaches are a relatively common side effect of semaglutide. They are usually mild and transient, but if they persist or worsen, it’s advisable to consult with a healthcare professional.

Fatigue or Weakness:

Some individuals may experience feelings of fatigue or weakness while taking semaglutide. It’s important to rest when needed and engage in activities that promote overall well-being.

middle age beautiful sportswoman wearing sportswear sitting on mat practicing yoga at home bored yawning tired covering mouth with hand. restless and sleepiness.


Cardiovascular Effects:

Semaglutide is associated with an increased heart rate, which may raise concerns regarding its cardiovascular effects.

Gallbladder Disease:

Semaglutide may increase the risk of gallbladder-related complications, such as gallstones or inflammation of the gallbladder (cholecystitis). Any symptoms of gallbladder disease, including abdominal pain, should be reported to a healthcare professional.


Semaglutides can contribute to weight loss and appetite suppression, which may result in reduced food intake. If individuals on semaglutide experience prolonged and severe caloric deficit, inadequate nutrient intake, or disordered eating patterns, it could potentially lead to malnutrition.

Major Loss of Muscle Mass & Bone Density:

Semaglutides cause fairly rapid weight loss due to the fact that you’re just not eating enough due to lack of appetite and hunger. During rapid weight loss, the body may break down muscle tissue for energy when there is a significant caloric deficit and insufficient protein intake. Additionally, the lack of resistance training and hormonal changes can contribute to muscle loss, while inadequate nutrient intake can affect bone density.

“Ozempic Face”:

“Ozempic face” refers to potential changes in facial appearance associated with rapid weight loss, which can include a hollowed look, changes in lip, cheek, and chin size, facial wrinkles, sunken eyes, and sagging jowls; however, it’s important to note that these changes can occur with any GLP-1 drug or rapid weight loss.

Metabolic Adaption:

Metabolic adaptation refers to the body’s response to changes in energy intake during weight loss This includes adjustments in basal metabolic rate (the amount of energy the body uses at rest to function), hormonal regulation, muscle mass loss, and improved energy efficiency. These adaptations can make it harder to lose weight and easier to regain it, as BMR decreases, hormonal changes promote hunger and slow down metabolism, muscle mass is lost, and the body becomes more efficient in using energy (meaning it will use less energy & burn less calories to function = slowed metabolism & difficulty with weight loss).

woman at the gym tired wiping sweat from her forhead as she tried to work hard and get healthy

Life-long commitment & cost:

If a person needs to take semaglutides indefinitely for chronic conditions like diabetes or obesity management, it could become costly due to the continuous need for medication refills. Semaglutide is a prescription medication, and the expenses can add up over time, especially if insurance coverage is limited or unavailable. The long-term financial burden of sustaining semaglutide treatment may require individuals to consider budgeting and exploring potential assistance programs to manage the costs effectively.

Other Unknown Long-term Affects:

The long-term risks of taking semaglutides are currently difficult to assess due to limited data availability, with only a two-year study on semaglutide’s use for obesity.

Do you regain weight once you stop semaglutide?

After people stop taking semaglutide, there is a very high possibility that they will experience weight regain [studies show almost 66% of it within 1 year of stopping the drug].

This can happen due to various factors, including metabolic adaptations, changes in energy expenditure, psychological factors, behavioral patterns, and lifestyle and environmental influences.

It’s crucial to understand that semaglutide is not a permanent solution on its own.

To maintain weight loss and minimize the risk of regaining weight, long-term lifestyle changes and behavior modifications are necessary. This includes incorporating regular physical activity, adhering to a balanced and healthy diet, and addressing any underlying psychological or emotional factors that may contribute to weight regain.

Here’s what the data says about weight regain after stopping semaglutide

The STEP 1 extension trial provides valuable insights into weight trajectories after stopping semaglutide therapy.

Here are the key highlights:

  1. 327 adults from the STEP 1 trial were followed for 52 additional weeks after treatment withdrawal to assess weight regain.
  2. During the initial 68-week treatment period, the semaglutide group lost an average 17.3% bodyweight vs 2% with placebo.
  3. In the subsequent 52-week extension phase, the semaglutide group regained an average 11.6 percentage points of their lost weight.
  4. Those who lost the most on semaglutide tended to regain the most, but still maintained larger reductions from baseline than others.
  5. Regain occurred primarily in the first 6 months after stopping, described as “relatively rapid” compared to other medications.
  6. At week 120, weight was still reduced by at least 5% in 48.2% of the semaglutide group vs 22.6% of placebo recipients.
  7. Benefits on cardiometabolic parameters like lipids were partially preserved despite weight regain.
  8. Continuous treatment may achieve greater improvements in health risks than short-term treatment.

In summary, while some weight loss benefits were retained, this study emphasizes obesity’s chronic nature by demonstrating substantial regain after abruptly stopping an effective treatment like semaglutide.



So, in a nutshell, semaglutide is a medication that can help with weight management by reducing appetite and helping people eat less.

However, there is a dark side to semaglutides. It’s important to be aware of potential & common side effects to make informed decisions about their use.

Additionally, while semaglutides may be effective for short-term weight loss or managing certain conditions, they may not be an ideal long-term solution due to factors such as potential side effects, the need for continuous medication use & cost, the possibility of weight regain after discontinuation, and the importance of addressing underlying lifestyle and behavioral factors for sustainable weight management.