If you are considering a non-invasive approach to weight loss, you must have heard of Ozempic and gastric balloon pill. While deciding on one of these treatments, it’s important to weigh some aspects and see which fits you the best: ozempic vs gastric balloon pill.
Let’s compare how they work, their benefits and drawbacks, their reliability, effectiveness on weight loss, and the process.
Exploring non-invasive weight loss options: Ozempic vs gastric balloon pill
A balloon is typically considered if you cannot succeed with other methods and still have obesity, while Ozempic is a prescription diabetes drug the use of which usually requires certain health conditions. It has become a common misconception that Ozempic is a miracle cure for weight loss, which is not the case. There are also still many misleading theories about the gastric balloon, even though it has been around for many years.
Let’s find out about the main differences between Ozempic vs gastric balloon pill.
Difference #1: the mechanism
In contrast to Ozempic, the gastric balloon is an intervention, not one of the weight loss medications. Ozempic is a medicine for diabetes while a gastric balloon pill requires a non-surgical procedure that involves swallowing a special capsule device.
Ozempic increases a hormone called glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and its activity in the body, whereas the balloon minimizes empty parts in your stomach by expanding. By stimulating the GLP-1 receptors in the brain, Ozempic can reduce your food intake, whereas the balloon creates a feeling of fullness.
Ozempic helps reduce your appetite by increasing feelings of fullness, while a gastric balloon takes up space in your stomach and reduces your hunger. The medicine slows down the emptying of your stomach and increases insulin secretion, whereas the balloon lowers your food intake.
Difference #2: weight loss and effectiveness
Average weight loss is up to 30% after your gastric balloon procedure, while it is not possible to have fast, dramatic, and long-term effects with Ozempic.
With a gastric balloon, you are most likely to keep the weight off within the first year if your lifestyle modification and diet changes are also sustained, whereas Ozempic can cause problems with fully relying on long-term weight loss. After quitting Ozempic you gain more weight than you lost, while after the balloon expires you have a risk of regaining weight if you don’t keep up with your diet.
Difference #3: reliability
Ozempic is a relatively new drug that has recently shown successful results in an Oxford research for the medical management of obesity, whereas gastric balloon has been known and used for over 20 years. It has been an FDA-approved treatment for obesity for much longer than Ozempic.
While Ozempic got FDA approval for type-2 diabetes, the research did not confirm the expected efficacy for diabetes control in the case of a gastric balloon yet.
Difference #4: treatment duration
Balloon pill lasts from 6 to 12 months, while we cannot say exactly for how long should you use Ozempic.
You can most probably continue taking Ozempic as long as you do not experience any side effects, while your weight loss may continue even after when the balloon therapy ends. In both cases, it all depends on keeping your healthy lifestyle and sticking to a balanced, healthy diet.
Difference #5: common and possible side effects
If you use Ozempic, you may experience diarrhea and constipation, which are not the usual potential side effects of a gastric balloon. The most common negative reactions to a balloon include acid reflux and heartburn, whereas taking Ozempic may sometimes result in hypoglycemia or kidney problems.
If you have a medical history of pancreatitis or acid reflux symptoms, we do not recommend getting a gastric balloon, while using Ozempic with gallbladder issues is definitely not advised. It rarely happens that your body may reject a balloon and result in an allergy while being allergic to semaglutide or any of the ingredients in Ozempic is a contraindication to the using this drug.
Difference #6: convenience and financial aspects
One year’s supply of Ozempic can cost around $15.000, whereas gastric balloon prices start from 2.000 to 10.000$ depending on the country, balloon type, and brand. Ozempic requires constant use so its cost can add up quickly, while a gastric balloon is a medical procedure you get once generally. You can get a second balloon after the balloon expires if you qualify and need to lose more weight.
Gastric ballon is therefore an affordable option for sustainable weight loss and also requires less legibility to be qualified than Ozempic. It is simply a swallowable capsule that requires a hospital stay of only a few hours, while Ozempic is given as an injection and does not require any hospitalization at all.
Difference #7: post-treatment
After removing a gastric balloon, there is a risk of weight gain if you do not go on with your diet and exercise plan, which is also the case for Ozempic. According to a study, you need to continue Ozempic treatment in order to keep the benefits of the medication, otherwise, you will regain your excess weight or gain even more in many cases.
Doctors often try medications other than Ozempic to help control blood sugar for diabetes patients, while balloon post-treatment requires sticking to your diet and sports activities. In the case of Ozempic treatment, your physician can advise replacement like metformin or insulin, whereas, in the case of a gastric balloon, you should focus on continuing your healthy lifestyle and newly adopted eating habits.
Finding the best weight loss option for you
All in all, a gastric balloon seems to be a better non-invasive weight loss option with greater and more predictable results than Ozempic. You should keep in mind that Ozempic is an approved medication for diabetes treatment, while a gastric balloon pill has been known as a weight loss treatment for many years.
Both Ozempic drugs and gastric balloon pills have their benefits and risks. The decision on which option to choose depends on a variety of factors. They include your obesity levels and health conditions, such as type-2 diabetes, individual preferences, and last but not least, your doctor’s recommendations. It is crucial to talk to a healthcare professional to see which of these treatments is right for you: Ozempic vs gastric balloon pill.
Han SH, Safeek R, Ockerman K, Trieu N, Mars P, Klenke A, Furnas H, Sorice-Virk S. Public Interest in the Off-Label Use of Glucagon-Like Peptide 1 Agonists (Ozempic) for Cosmetic Weight Loss: A Google Trends Analysis. Aesthet Surg J. 2023 Jul 4:sjad211. doi: 10.1093/asj/sjad211. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 37402640.
Tønnesen CJ, Hjelmesæth J, Hofsø D, Tonstad S, Hertel JK, Heggen E, Johnson LK, Mathisen TE, Kalager M, Wieszczy P, Medhus AW, Løberg M, Aabakken L, Bretthauer M. A novel intragastric balloon for treatment of obesity and type 2 diabetes. A two-center pilot trial. Scand J Gastroenterol. 2022 Feb;57(2):232-238. doi: 10.1080/00365521.2021.1994641. Epub 2021 Oct 29. PMID: 34714203.
Wilding JPH, Batterham RL, Davies M, Van Gaal LF, Kandler K, Konakli K, Lingvay I, McGowan BM, Oral TK, Rosenstock J, Wadden TA, Wharton S, Yokote K, Kushner RF; STEP 1 Study Group. Weight regain and cardiometabolic effects after withdrawal of semaglutide: The STEP 1 trial extension. Diabetes Obes Metab. 2022 Aug;24(8):1553-1564. doi: 10.1111/dom.14725. Epub 2022 May 19. PMID: 35441470; PMCID: PMC9542252.