Nurse Took Ozempic to Lose 50 Pounds and Reveals What Happened After Stopping the Medication

People are turning to Ozempic to lose weight and an ICU nurse shares her experience taking the drug.

Ozempic has been gaining national attention as celebrities and influencers have revealed they've lost weight in a short amount of time thanks to the diabetes medication. It seems like everyone is talking about the buzzed about drug and on TikTok, the hashtag #Ozempic has been viewed over 663 million times. Ozempic is used to treat diabetes, but in 2021, the Food and Drug Administration approved the injectable medication with a higher dose of the active ingredient in Ozempic, called semaglutide, to treat obesity in 2021. The brand name is called Wegovy and people can often see results within the first week. There's been much debate about Ozempic, as well as safety concerns, and fitness trainer Jillian Michaels has been vocal about not being a fan of the drug. However, people are swapping their success stories online about Ozempic including intensive care nurse Meredith Schorr who shares she lost 50 pounds in 11 months.

Why Meredith Turned to Ozempic


Schorr was an ICU nurse at the height of the pandemic. A combination of stress, long hours at Banner University Medical Center and taking PTSD medications caused the 25-year-old to put on 50 pounds in a year and a half. She first shared her story on Reddit and wrote, " I was a COVID ICU nurse and gained 50lbs 2020-2021…I heard about semaglutide (I got the compound not the brand name pen) and thought why not? I had a wedding coming up and I managed to gain 50lbs AFTER buying my dress, so I wanted to 1. Fit my dress 2. Feel like myself/feel good in my skin." She later told PEOPLE, "I was pretty uncomfortable with the new weight that I had gained because it wasn't where I normally sat. I didn't feel healthy, I was restricted in doing exercise." 

Ozempic is Not a "Crutch"

young woman buying salad

While Schorr lost the amount of weight she wanted with Ozempic, she admits diet and lifestyle changes helped. She reached out to a family nurse practitioner to get advice about the mediation and told PEOPLE, "She basically made it clear to me that I can use this drug as a tool to help me lose weight, and garner the motivation to improve my lifestyle habits," she explains. "She made sure that I knew that the drug wasn't just a crutch to rely on, I had to make lifestyle changes as well."

The Weight Can Come Back

Person Getting on a Scale

One of the main criticisms of the drug is that once you stop, the weight comes back. Schorr admits she did gain back 10 pounds, but reiterated how healthy choices make a difference. On Reddit she said, "I had probably 3 plateaus…? I kept going though and I broke through all of them. My BMI dropped below 25 so I technically wasn't supposed to be on it anymore, so I weaned off and have been navigating life since." She added, "I did gain back 10 lbs, but I'm ok with that (still down 40!) because there were some extenuating circumstances that anyone would've gained some weight over, but now I'm back to doing my best to make healthy choices and have increased my activity significantly. The weight loss has made activities I enjoy so much easier to do." Schorr revealed, "About 5-6 weeks after stopping the medication my hunger becomes ravenous for a few weeks and those are the weeks where you need to focus on making healthy choices while also satisfying your body's needs." Ania Jastreboff M.D., PhD., an obesity medicine physician scientist at Yale, told PEOPLE the weight does often come back. "Not everybody needs the highest dose, but if you want to maintain the weight reduction that you achieved, you have to continue taking the medication. The reason for that is because obesity is a chronic disease."

There Can Be Side Effects


Another reason for so much ozempic backlash is the side effects people can experience. Schorr stated on Reddit, "I had severe nausea, but was prescribed an antiemetic and have learned many ways to curb nausea without medication.I learned that certain foods would make me feel so horrible I'd consider stopping the medication. I learned to eat differently to avoid causing any unwanted symptoms." She also told PEOPLE within 24 hours of her first injection, she felt horrible.

Meredith is "Thankful" for Ozempic


According to PEOPLE, Schorr stopped taking the injections in "January 2023 because she eventually wanted to start a family, which she couldn't do while taking it." She told the outlet, "I'm young and I'd rather not be on this medication for a long time. Plus, it's expensive." On Reddit she explained, "I'm mostly thankful that it has made me feel myself again. I can run, I can hike, I have more energy, and have been able to do things such as yoga to help me move through all the trauma that came with COVID ICU nursing. You definitely need to commit to healthier habits to keep weight from coming back, though. I could see how easily it'd all come back if I wasn't mindful of my habits."

Why Health Guru Jillian Michaels Convinced 8 Friends to Stop Taking Ozempic


In a separate interview with PEOPLE, the well-known trainer explained why she isn't for the weight loss trend. "I have taken at least eight family friends' parents off of this drug. They're getting heart palpitations, they're nauseous, they feel [bad]. They feel so awful that it's motivated them to reverse their type 2 diabetes." She also shared how ineffective the drug can be once you stop the weekly injections. "Once they get off of the drug, it does the rebound effect. So you're not gaining anything. You get off the drug in a year and go all the way back. You've not learned anything."

Heather Newgen
Heather Newgen has two decades of experience reporting and writing about health, fitness, entertainment and travel. Heather currently freelances for several publications. Read more
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