HomeDiabetesMy Experience With Ozempic: Stevie Cook’s Story

My Experience With Ozempic: Stevie Cook’s Story

Regardless of its reputation, listening to concerning the lived expertise of somebody taking Ozempic continues to be fairly uncommon.

Stevie Cook dinner, a authorized assistant in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, has lived with diabetes for the previous 23 years. Identified with kind 1 diabetes on the age of 10, they’ve been utilizing Ozempic for the previous 15 months for diabetes administration, along with insulin pump remedy.

Cook dinner sat down with us to share their story.

Stevie Cook smiling up at the camera

Ozempic is a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) treatment that’s generally prescribed for folks with kind 2 diabetes to assist handle blood glucose (sugar) and A1c ranges and to deal with insulin resistance.

Whereas authorised for kind 2 diabetes, Ozempic has additionally seen off-label use in kind 1 diabetes instances to handle comparable points, akin to insulin resistance. 

This off-label utility has contributed to its rising reputation amongst a broader vary of individuals with diabetes, though such use shouldn’t be formally authorised by the U.S. Meals and Drug Administration (FDA).

How did you get began taking Ozempic? 

Cook dinner was desirous about exploring Ozempic for managing insulin resistance — a situation the place the physique requires extra insulin to take care of regular blood sugar ranges — and consulted their pharmacist, who believed it may very well be useful. Inspired by this, Cook dinner remarks,

“So I approached my physician to start the dialogue.”

Many individuals with kind 1 diabetes develop a degree of insulin resistance just like that seen in kind 2 diabetes, particularly after managing the situation for a few years.

Ozempic and different GLP-1 medicines mimic the motion of hormones which might be naturally concerned in regulating starvation, emotions of fullness, insulin sensitivity, blood sugar ranges, and abdomen emptying. These hormones are sometimes poor in folks with each forms of diabetes, which may complicate administration of the illness.

Learn extra about this treatment in: All the things You Have to Know About Ozempic.

This deficiency is why medicines like Ozempic may be helpful. They assist deal with insulin resistance and enhance blood sugar and A1c ranges (a measure of glucose management over the earlier 2 to three months).

Be taught extra about blood sugar ranges and A1c in: Blood Sugar Chart: Blood Sugar and A1c Targets.

Why did your physician need you to take Ozempic? 

Overcoming doctor hesitancy is a major barrier for folks with diabetes, particularly these with kind 1 diabetes, in accessing medicines like Ozempic. This hesitancy stems from the truth that Ozempic is formally authorised by the FDA just for managing blood sugar ranges in folks with kind 2 diabetes.

Nevertheless, the underlying mechanism of motion of Ozempic — the way in which it impacts insulin secretion and blood glucose ranges — is comparable in each forms of diabetes. 

Consequently, many docs contemplate prescribing the treatment “off-label” (with out FDA approval). That is significantly widespread for folks with kind 1 diabetes who’re coping with insulin resistance and protracted excessive blood sugar ranges.

Analysis is ongoing to guage the effectiveness of GLP-1 medicines like Ozempic for treating kind 1 diabetes, with the hope that these research will result in FDA approval for this use. Such approval would simplify entry to those medicines for everybody with diabetes.

Cook dinner recounts,

“My physician wasn’t too eager on prescribing it at first, however agreed we should always strive it for insulin resistance and gave me a 3-month prescription to start out. That was 15 months in the past.”

Did you expertise any unwanted side effects? Do you continue to? 

Ozempic could cause quite a lot of adversarial unwanted side effects, particularly when first beginning the treatment. Cook dinner skilled a few of these results, noting,

“I had quite a lot of nausea and vomiting for the primary three to 4 weeks, however that has since dissipated.”

It is not uncommon for folks to expertise unwanted side effects initially once they start taking the drug. These unwanted side effects of Ozempic can embody:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea 
  • Constipation
  • Decreased urge for food
  • Low blood sugar (particularly when you additionally take insulin) 

Usually, because the physique adjusts to the treatment, these unwanted side effects typically subside on their very own. Nevertheless, it’s essential to concentrate on uncommon however critical unwanted side effects, akin to extreme gastrointestinal issues, and focus on any persistent or worsening signs along with your healthcare supplier.

Be taught extra about potential unwanted side effects in: Ozempic Facet Results: What You Have to Know.

Has your diabetes administration improved since taking Ozempic?

Ozempic has been efficient for Cook dinner in not solely decreasing blood sugar and A1c ranges but in addition in curbing blood sugar spikes. 

Cook dinner shares their expertise:

“I don’t expertise vicious excessive blood sugars as typically now, and once I do, they’re much less ‘sticky’ — they don’t keep excessive for as lengthy, and the crash down isn’t as extreme.”

Thanks to those enhancements, they’ve continued utilizing Ozempic for over 15 months, demonstrating the treatment’s long-term effectiveness in bettering each blood sugar ranges and general diabetes administration.

Did something shock you about taking Ozempic?

Whereas Cook dinner anticipated some adversarial unwanted side effects from Ozempic, they have been pleasantly shocked by how efficient it’s for managing their blood sugar ranges.

Regardless of a nationwide scarcity of the treatment in the US, Cook dinner stories that they didn’t encounter any difficulties acquiring Ozempic in Canada.  They plan on taking the treatment for the foreseeable future. 

Is the treatment inexpensive for you?

One of many tougher facets of managing diabetes with medicines like Ozempic is their price. Cook dinner notes that with out insurance coverage, the treatment could be unaffordable. In the US, for instance, the record worth is $935.77 monthly.

They are saying,

“I’ve an important advantages plan by my employer, however at first they’d not cowl Ozempic as a result of I’m a sort 1 diabetic. My physician offered a notice, which they nonetheless denied. I then spoke to my insurer straight and defined the state of affairs, and so they authorised it below my protection.”

Navigating the advanced prior-authorization course of to safe crucial medicines may be irritating. Fortuitously, by persistent negotiation and clear communication, Cook dinner efficiently secured protection for his or her Ozempic prescription.

Do you may have any suggestions or recommendation for folks trying to take Ozempic? 

Cook dinner presents a necessary piece of recommendation: 

“If price protection is a matter for you, I like to recommend being pushy about it along with your insurer. If you’re a long-time kind 1 diabetic and expertise insulin resistance, advocate for your self! Inform your physician you assume it’s price attempting, and notice your unwanted side effects and advantages totally in your physician’s assessment. 

Be constant along with your injections. And don’t let anybody inform you that you just’re ‘simply taking it to drop some pounds.’ Folks don’t wish to hear that it may very well be useful, they simply assume we’re being useless. Self-advocacy may be difficult, but it surely was price it for me!” 

Closing ideas

Navigating the complexities of diabetes administration requires extra than simply following a prescribed medical routine. 

Cook dinner’s expertise with Ozempic underscores the essential function of self-advocacy and personalised care in managing persistent circumstances like diabetes. Regardless of the hurdles, Cook dinner’s persistence in overcoming doctor hesitancy and insurance coverage limitations highlights the significance of advocating for your self within the healthcare system.

Cook dinner’s journey additionally highlights the evolving panorama of diabetes therapy. With the off-label use of the drug in folks with kind 1 diabetes, there may be hope for extra folks to entry this efficient medication. 



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