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The Rise In Popularity Of Ozempic

Many individuals are turning to diabetes medication to aid in weight loss, but experts advise against it as an effective treatment.

Ozempic, a medication that treats diabetes has recently gained attention as stars like a tech mogul and TikTok influencers have spoken about taking Ozempic to lose weight in a short period of time.

The Food and Drug Administration first approved the injectable drug to treat diabetes in the year 2017; it also approved a medication with an increased dose that contains the ingredient active in Ozempic known as semaglutide, for treating obesity in 2021 with the name Wegovy. Since then, news about the drug has surfaced all over the web. Elon Musk when asked if the look of his body was “fit well, muscular and healthy” said he took Wegovy. Andy Cohen posted about Ozempic’s increasing popularity. The following month, Variety reported that actors and their producers “are still singing the praises of the drug” on Signal which is an encrypted messaging application. On TikTok the hashtag #Ozempic has been seen more than 273 million times with people expressing surprise about their supposed weight loss and exchanging stories of side negative effects.

The F.D.A. has identified both Ozempic as well as Wegovy as among the hundreds of medicines that are out of stock. A representative from Novo Nordisk, which manufactures the drugs, said in an official statement that the company was experiencing “intermittent supply disruptions for various dosages of Ozempic owing to the combination of a huge demand and global supply issues.” The spokesperson said that the problem with Wegovy is likely to end in the near future, and that it is “on course” to have all dosage strengths of the drug available by the end of December.

It’s not uncommon for doctors to prescribe medication for “off-label” usage or to serve a different use than the one the medication is intended for, explained the Dr. Disha Narang, an endocrinologist at Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital. Since the popularity of Ozempic has grown, certain experts believe more patients have been seeking ways to use the drug to lose weight through either getting a doctor to prescribe it off-label or by looking for the drug online. Doctor. Narang herself has seen patients “who have somehow managed to get the drug,” taking the medication off-label, she explained. (Dr. Narang previously served as an advisory committee member for Novo Nordisk, a common method for professionals working in this field.)

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She fears that, when the drug becomes more well-known, people will associate them to “vanity,” not as an essential medication for diabetic patients.

We’ve got the facts on what medications will, and won’t be used for, and the people who should take it.

What is Ozempic function?

Ozempic, as well as Wegovy are both intended to be injected at least once per week into the arm, stomach or thigh.

Semaglutide reduces the blood sugar level and also regulates insulin levels, which is essential for those who suffer from Type 2 diabetes. It also mimics an endocrine called glucagon-like Peptide-1 which is produced naturally in our intestines. It reduces appetite by signalling to our bodies that we are full and causing the stomach to empty slowly. This is why people who suffer from obesity and health problems have shed excess weight while taking the drug. People are more full according to doctor. Janice Jin Hwang, head of the department of metabolism and endocrinology at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. For those taking the medication, “foods that used to be exciting for them aren’t anymore exciting,” she said. The medication hasn’t been extensively studied in those who do not have diabetes or excessive weight.

The medication also helps reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases for those with diabetes, according to the Dr. Robert Gabbay, chief medical and scientific officer at the American Diabetes Association.

The F.D.A. has not granted approval for Ozempic to treat weight loss, said that Dr. Andrew Kraftson, a clinical associate professor in the department of endocrinology, metabolism and the study of diabetes in Michigan Medicine. However, once the F.D.A. approved Wegovy to help lose weight there was a huge need for the drug that some health professionals switched to Ozempic after they were unable to obtain Wegovy the drug, he said.

As some individuals are prescribed medication to treat high cholesterol or blood pressure for an indefinite period, certain patients suffering from weight gain may be prescribed drugs such as Wegovy for a prolonged time frame according to the doctor. Kraftson said. People who quit using the drug may gain the weight that they have lost by taking Wegovy Dr. Kraftson said.

“These medicines were not created for people of normal weight who wish to drop weight to become ultra thin.” Dr. Hwang stated.
Who will be the one to decide who should take Ozempic or Wegovy?

Following the F.D.A. approved Ozempic for people suffering from Type 2 diabetes, the agency also approved Wegovy for people who have excessive weight or obesity, with at minimum one “weight-related disease,” which the agency believes to be issues such as excessive blood pressure Type 2 diabetes or high cholesterol. The F.D.A. defines obesity and excess with The Body Mass Index, an established, yet widely debated measure.

The drug is costly without insurance . The cost of the list price for Wegovy is more than $1300 for a 28-day supply and Ozempic could cost as much as $892 per month without insurance . those who don’t meet F.D.A. ‘s requirements are likely to encounter difficulties obtaining insurance that will cover the expense.

However however, the increase in patients taking Ozempic off-label could be causing the problem in the market, Narang said. Narang said, noting that those suffering from obesity and diabetes are having trouble to get access to the medication.

“It’s been truly, truly awful as patients aren’t sure which direction to go,” she said. “We’ve become hamsters on the wheel trying to figure it out.”

“While we acknowledge that certain health professionals might prescribe Ozempic for patients who want to shed weight, it’s up the decision-making of every health care professional to select the appropriate approach to treatment to their clients,” a representative from Novo Nordisk wrote in a statement, stating that the company will not “promote or advocate for non-approved use of our medicines.”

What are the potential side adverse effects?

The people who take Ozempic or Wegovy to treat both F.D.A. approved and off-label use could suffer from vomiting and thirst. Patients may also experience fatigue and feel malaise. They may also experience a change in their bowel movements and some sufferers may experience diarrhea while others becoming extremely constipated. “It could be so severe that people visit in the E.R.,” Dr. Kraftson said. “It’s not a comedy.” Patients must be closely monitored when taking these medications according to him, and doctors can prescribe anti-nausea medication and stool softeners or laxatives. In rare instances the medication may cause an increase in the likelihood of suffering from pancreatitis an ailment that causes inflammation of the pancreas. Certain patients may also develop gallstones. Doctor. Gabbay said he had seen patients who suffered from intense vomiting that they had to take a break from the medication.

Doctors usually begin patients on lower doses of drugs such as Ozempic as well as Wegovy and gradually ramp up, in order to lessen these negative side consequences the doctor. Gabbay said.

Does using these medications off-label medicines a danger?

Doctors claim there’s not enough evidence to conclude whether these medications are beneficial or risky for people who do not meet F.D.A.’s guidelines. Although tempting the thought of a weight loss drug loss might be, experts advised against those who seek the drug for use off-label. Patients who are taking Ozempic and Wegovy must be monitored closely according to Doctor. Kraftson said. “If you’re only taking this on the internet there’s probably not going to be the same level that protect you,” he said. “I would rather not watch people gamble on the health of their family members.”

The drug isn’t thoroughly tested on people who weigh less Dr. Hwang said, and it’s possible that people who aren’t part of the group that which the drug is designed to treat could suffer more intense adverse effects. Without further research it’s not clear how harmful these negative side effects can be.