Latest diet fad leads to diabetes medication shortages

(WPRI) — As weight loss trends circulate on social media, finding a range of diabetes medications has become difficult.

Ozempic and Mounjaro are used to treat type 2 diabetes. Injections have been shown to improve blood sugar levels and heart function, but doctors have recently started prescribing injections to help patients lose weight.

“It’s a diabetes drug, but it’s not insulin,” Dr. Stephen Ramirez told KENS. “It does lower blood sugar, but there are safeguards to keep patients from getting their blood sugar too low.”

Influencers and celebrities on TikTok flaunt their weight loss in before and after photos.Elon Musk Ozempic credited Helped him lose 30 pounds. An advertisement for the drug lists weight loss as a benefit of the drug, with the average person saying he loses 12 pounds.

However, due to the enthusiasm for medicine, the drug supply is dwindling. The Food and Drug Administration lists Ozempic as “currently in short supply.” Some patients report switching to lower doses to expand supply.

“At one point, patients waited at least three months to receive their first drug, but only if they were paying in cash,” Dr. Ramirez said.

It’s also not a cheap weight loss method if insurance doesn’t cover it. Mounjaro costs him about $1,200 out-of-pocket for a month, and Ozempic costs about $875 a month, according to Dr. Ramirez.

Ramirez hopes that drug supply will keep up with demand. Both drugs are available only by prescription.

This type of off-label prescription is legal, reports the Los Angeles Times, but is not regulated by the FDA.

Side effects of Ozempic and Mounjaro include possible inflammation of the pancreas, vision changes, low blood sugar, kidney and gallbladder problems.

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