Advocates say it’s a “miracle” diet pill. But what’s the truth about Ozempic?
Ozempic is a controversial drug labeled by the media as Hollywood’s “worst-kept secret” for dramatic weight loss, and its seemingly rapid effects have set the internet on fire.
“There’s definitely talk of celebrities doing it,” says Samantha Glasser, a Los Angeles-based art dealer who has been taking Ozempic since April.
“I completely changed my lifestyle. I didn’t know I could lose 50 pounds,” she said.
But the drug is also prescribed to treat diseases such as diabetes, and there are concerns that demand is making it harder for doctors to get the drug to patients who need it.
Elon Musk says his slim appearance has diminished thanks to an injection he tweeted in November that he “lost 30 pounds.”
Ozempic rumors swirled around Kim Kardashian after undergoing a dramatic weight change ahead of this year’s Met Gala, but she hasn’t confirmed that she’s been using it.
The drug, which is only available in the UK for people with type 2 diabetes with a prescription, was approved for weight loss by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last year.
Ozempic’s main controversy stems from its immediate effects: mild to severe nausea when thinking about food.
“The biggest complaint I get is when patients go to their favorite restaurant and say, ‘I’ve had two bites of steak and I can’t eat it, I’m sick,'” he says in Simi Valley, Calif. says Dr Daniel Ghiyam of the clinic. Similar injectables, he is inundated with Ozempic and WeGovy requests.
There are other potential side effects – pancreatitis, gallstones, and a potential increased risk of thyroid cancer.
“Reset master clock”
After initial skepticism, LA-based nutritionist Kim Shapira is now a convert to Ozempic after working with a variety of clients.
“I hear people willing to take sickness-causing drugs, but I realize it’s all relative. How sick are you? There are drugs that will do that,” she explained.
“You’re basically resetting the master clock. And if you can really do the work and understand your emotional needs while doing it, there are many benefits.” I think.
Shortage for those who depend on it
There are concerns that shortages are widespread and drugs like Ozempic are not readily available to diabetics who rely on Ozempic for treatment.
Dr. Robert Gavey, chief scientific and medical officer of the American Diabetes Association, told Sky News that some patients “have to go from pharmacy to pharmacy to find out where they can get it.”
“Certainly, there are patients who have struggled to get their medication and have had to miss doses, putting them at risk of weight gain and elevated blood sugar levels,” Dr. Gabbay said.
Expected to be popular in the “obesity epidemic”
Many said they expected buzz around Ozempic.
America’s diet industry is worth about $58 billion and more than a third of the population is obese.
But the cultural dangers of offering people a “quick fix” for weight loss aren’t outdone by the experts who recommend it.
“We are facing an obesity epidemic. The average American gained 29 pounds (13.15 kg) during COVID,” added Mrs. Shapira.
“Their size can contribute to high blood pressure, high triglycerides, high cholesterol and high blood sugar. This is going to change things.
“I think doctors have a real responsibility to make sure they are being prescribed to the right people at the right time for the right reasons.”