PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) — Initially, Ozempic was designed to treat type 2 diabetes.

Healthcare professionals, however, said it may also help those trying to lose weight. 

The drug works by blocking nerve receptors that normally indicate the hunger sensation. 

“Several things in the body that help you to not only have decreased appetite, but it does work on some hormonal aspects of the body as well that help with metabolism as well,” Family Physician Myra Reed said.

But getting the drug isn’t as easy as it sounds. 

“With insurance, there are some criteria that insurance will only pay for it,” Reed said. “If you have been on other medications, first, and specifically metformin. And you do have to have a certain BMI that and not all insurance are really strict on that. They’re not really checking that as much as maybe what your hemoglobin A1 C, which is your blood sugar level that’s been for over the last three months.”

Patients have the option to pay out of pocket,  but Reed said this may cost upwards of $1000 a month.

While medication isn’t necessarily the answer, Reed said something needs to be done about the rise in obesity throughout the country. 

Reed said the medication tends to have significant side effects like nausea and vomiting.

Click here for Doctor Myra Reed’s information.