The Diabetes Drug Becomes A Viral Weight Loss Hit (Elon Musk Boasts Using It) Creating A Shortage


Ozempic, the “worst saved secret in Hollywood,” has turn into more and more fashionable on account of its weight reduction outcomes—hyped even by billionaire Elon Musk—inflicting a scarcity, though it’s actually meant to be used in sufferers with kind two diabetics.

Key Information

Ozempic (recognized generically as semaglutide) is an injection used to decrease blood sugar and hemoglobin A1C (the a part of pink blood cells with glucose connected) in kind two diabetics; low A1C ranges lower diabetes problems like stroke, hypertension and blindness.

Manufactured by Novo Nordisk, the drug is a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor antagonist (a category of medicine used to deal with diabetes) that was first authorized to be used in kind two diabetics in 2017.

To decrease blood sugar and A1C, the drug reacts with the physique in 3 ways by serving to the pancreas produce extra insulin when blood sugar is excessive, slowing down the method of meals leaving the abdomen and stopping the liver from making and releasing an excessive amount of sugar.

It’s meant to be injected as soon as weekly in both the thigh, abdomen or higher arm, with or with out meals at any time of day, and sufferers usually begin out taking a dose of 0.25 mg, although after 4 weeks it’s bumped as much as 0.5 mg after which as much as 1 mg if “extra glycemic management is required.”

Out of the greater than 37 million Individuals with diabetes, the overwhelming majority—between 90% to 95%— have kind two diabetes, in line with the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention.

One of many uncomfortable side effects of Ozempic is weight reduction, so some docs have been prescribing the drug as an off-label use (the unapproved use of an authorized drug) for weight reduction in these with out diabetes—Ozempic has not been authorized by the FDA as a weight reduction drug.

A examine revealed in The New England Journal of Medication discovered those that took Ozempic for 68 weeks, paired with a decreased calorie eating regimen and a extra energetic way of life noticed a mean change of physique weight of 14.9% in comparison with a 2.4% change within the placebo group.

These findings have brought about each overweight folks and people barely obese to request Ozempic prescriptions from their docs.

Though Ozempic isn’t authorized for weight reduction, Wegovy, a higher-dose model of Ozempic, was authorized for weight reduction by the U.S. Meals and Drug Administration in 2021 for overweight or obese adults with a minimum of one weight-related situation like diabetes or hypertension.

Information Peg

Wegovy and Ozempic are each listed by the FDA as two of just about 200 medicines in a provide scarcity, their current rise in recognition for weight reduction is believed to be the rationale for his or her scarcity. Francisco Prieto, a California-based doctor advised the Los Angeles Occasions that as a result of scarcity, his sufferers who take Ozempic should “name a number of pharmacies and drive round city to see if it’s in inventory,” with some nonetheless not with the ability to fill their prescriptions.

Chief Critic

In accordance with the chief of medical diet on the David Geffen Faculty of Medication at UCLA, Dr. Zhaoping Li, folks ought to be cautious of utilizing diabetes medication for weight reduction. “The problem is that this is likely one of the instruments in our field, it isn’t the end-all,” he advised Selection. “The longest examine completed on these injections was performed over lower than two years. Loads of questions haven’t been answered.”

Facet Results

Among the most typical uncomfortable side effects that Ozempic causes are nausea, diarrhea, constipation and abdomen ache. Nevertheless, extra severe uncomfortable side effects might happen, like attainable thyroid tumors and most cancers. In accordance with Novo Nordisk, if somebody takes the drug and feels a shortness of breath, a lump or swelling within the neck, hassle swallowing or hoarseness, they need to contact their major care physician.


Ozempic and different diabetes medication like Mounjaro have made their approach round Hollywood, with totally different celebrities and influencers boosting their weight reduction because of the medication. For instance, when somebody identified Elon Musk’s weight reduction on Twitter in October, Musk responded that he achieved the look via fasting “and Wegovy.” His remark was met with a combination of reward and criticism, with somebody citing the drug shortages, claiming Musk didn’t “want it for weight reduction, diabetics ACTUALLY want it.” In accordance with Selection, the medication have “devotees from each nook of the trade,” with actors, executives and brokers alike glorifying them on Sign, an encrypted instantaneous messaging service used to carry confidential conversations. Even simply hypothesis is sufficient to attract controversy, and hashtag #ozempic has over 350 million views on TikTok. 1000’s of movies are posted with the hashtag with folks sharing their weight reduction journeys and earlier than and after photos, with some attributing the drug’s rise in recognition on the app to its provide scarcity.

Additional Studying

What Is Ozempic and Why Is It Getting So A lot Consideration? (New York Occasions)

Hollywood’s Secret New Weight Loss Drug, Revealed: The Hype and Hazards of Ozempic (Selection)

TikTok development wipes out Ozempic provide, leaving folks with diabetes dizzy, scared (Los Angeles Occasions)

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Jean Nicholas

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