Ozempic: What to know about a diabetes drug that is expanding the weight loss market

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Ozempic, a diabetes drug, and its weight loss counterpart, Wegovy, have caused a stir in headlines, the medical community and pop culture like the new way to lose weight. Due to society’s complicated and often dangerous relationship with diet pills, some people are asking questions about the drugs – if they’re safe enough, if they’re even ethical to take, and who should use them in the first place.

The answers may depend on why you started taking them and whether you are able to continue taking them. Semaglutide injections (the ingredient in both drugs) are currently under prescription from the United States Food and Drug Administration. list of shortages. Compared to earlier drugs marketed for weight loss, Ozempic and Wegovy appear to be safer, despite common side effects like nausea and vomiting, said Dr. Christoph Buettner, professor of medicine and chief of the division of endocrinology. at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.

“It seems like there’s really nothing like it right now,” Buettner said, except for Mounjaro, who is currently approved for diabetes but it is expected to be approved for weight loss soon.

Ozempic And Wegovy are both relatively new to the market and have rare and more serious side effect risks on their labels, including thyroid cancer and pancreatitis. Like medications for other health conditions, Ozempic and Wegovy are intended to be chronic medications — ones that only work while you take them. This comes with both benefits and risks.

“There’s no free lunch, so to speak,” Buettner said.

Alexander Zubkov/Getty Images

What are Ozempic and Wegovy? How do they work?

Ozempic and Wegovy are similar medications that contain the same active ingredient, semaglutide, although Wegovy contains a higher amount and is FDA-approved specifically for weight loss. Ozempic was first approved for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, but in some cases it is also used off-label as a weight-loss drug. Both are weekly-use injected medications that you administer the same way you would use an EpiPen, and both are made by the same pharmaceutical company, Novo Nordisk.

Semaglutide works by interfering with insulin production and blood sugar stabilization. It also slows the movement of food as it leaves your stomach and decreases your appetite, thereby altering the body’s response to hunger and satiety.

The body of people with type 2 diabetes cannot properly process insulin, and the main goal of Ozempic is to control blood sugar, while reducing the risk of heart disease, stroke and heart disease. other health problems that people with diabetes are more likely to experience. In terms of blood sugar management – the goal of treating type 2 diabetes – semaglutide has proven very effective in the trials.

Wegovy is also effective in its approved use as a weight loss drug for adults with a body mass index over 27 and at least one medical condition, such as high blood pressure, as well as adults with a BMI over 30. Compared to people who received a placebo, the FDA said in its notice of approval, those taking Wegovy without diabetes lost an average of 12.4% of their body weight.

But the rise in popularity of Ozempic and Wegovy has sparked decades-old concerns about weight-loss drugs and weight-related stigma, and has also had other unintended consequences, including drug shortages.

Popular prescriptions have led to a shortage

High demand for Wegovy turned into increased demand for Ozempic, as some people who couldn’t get Wegovy turned to the low-dose sister drug for the treatment of diabetes, prescribed off-label by their doctors.

It makes sense that many people can get these prescriptions: according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 73% of American adults had an overweight or obese BMI in 2017-2018. BMI is an imperfect and often inaccurate indicator of health, but it is used to define obesity, which the CDC considers a chronic disease.

This high demand, similar to other drug shortages, has caused problems for some diabetes patients trying to get their Ozempic prescribed. Mounjaro, another popular drug with the active ingredient tirzepatide, is also approved to treat type 2 diabetes, but it is also used off-label in some cases to lose weight.

There are other treatments available for patients with diabetes, such as insulin, Buettner said. Although comparing insulin to semaglutide is a bit of a “loaded question”, he added, because whether semaglutide may carry a lower risk of hypoglycemia, or hypoglycemia, some patients really need insulin. This can make comparison difficult. As always when looking for a drug substitute, talk to your doctor or pharmacist first.

There is another medicine for the treatment of diabetes with the same active ingredient, called Rybelsus, but it is taken orally. Other medications include Vicoza, Trulicity and Bydureon, and these may be options if people with diabetes are have difficulty filling their medication prescriptionsas Everyday Health reports.

A pill on a light blue background

Wladimir Bulgar/Scientific Photo Library

The dangerous history of diet pills – and their uncertain future

Semaglutide’s popularity is all too familiar to Tigress Osborn, president of the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance. Osborn, like many fat rights and body neutrality activists and some health care providers, rejects the idea that obesity is a disease. Some of the same medical frameworks used now for Ozempic and Wegovy were also in play during earlier waves of weight-loss pills, Osborn said, including Fen-Phen, a nickname for an appetite suppressant drug that was eventually dropped from the market. market in the late 1990s because it caused heart damage in many people who have taken it.

“We’ve heard that from you before,” Osborn said of the widespread support for the current wave of weight-loss drugs. “‘For sure it’s okay, it’s going to make you healthier,'” she said.

In addition to causing heart problems, some earlier pills caused psychiatric side effects, such as depression, according to Buettner. Rimonabant, which was approved in Europe and also withdrawn from the markethas been shown to induce adverse mental health side effects.

“When you give drugs that act on the brain, effects on depression or suicidal ideation are common,” Buettner said. Ozempic and Wegovy also work in the brain, hence their appetite suppressing properties, but “they signal very differently” as GLP-1 receptor agonists in specific areas of the brain, he said. declared.

Common side effects of Ozempic And Wegovy include stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and other gastric symptoms. Although rare, serious side effects including pancreatitis have also been reported. Because weight loss also causes you to lose stored fat in your face, some people report “Ozempic Faceor a loss of some facial fat associated with a younger or more youthful appearance.

Weight stigma and its ongoing health effects are also real factors. Research on weight questions the validity of prescribing healthy weight loss based solely on BMI. THE deep-rooted prejudices against bigger bodies and the constant pressure to be lean puts people in a difficult position between trying to lose weight with new tools or choosing to stay the way they are, Osborn said.

“The anti-fat is breaking our hearts – your drugs are actually altering our hearts,” she said. “How are we going to make a choice between these things?”

Bright orange pill bottles repeat diagonally.

MirageC/Getty Images

Those who choose to use these drugs face another problem: continued access. Beyond the current shortage, part of the future of these drugs depends on what insurance companies are willing to cover. Many patients have reported difficulty getting prescribed medications covered by insurance when labeled for obesity – an example of how health care for larger bodies is complicated by cultural biases, even when weight loss is the goal. This may change in the future as the catalog of weight loss drugs expands, put more pressure on Medicare and insurance companies change their policies.

For people who aren’t celebrities or don’t have deep pockets and need semaglutide for their health, access is a problem. Wegovy costs around $1,400 per month in the pocket, according to NPR. A patient who cannot renew their prescriptions for semaglutide could face health problems, either because of a lack of treatment for diabetes or because of rapid weight regain.

Most patients will regain the weight they lost take semaglutide when they stop it, which means it must be taken continuously to remain effective. Weight cycling, when people repeatedly lose and regain weight due to dieting or other methods, is linked to various health risks, including increased mortality. Meanwhile, if you take medicine to keep your blood sugar stable and then go cold turkey, returning to high blood sugar could increase your risk of other health problemslike a stroke.

The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended to constitute medical or health advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have about a medical condition or health goals.

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Anyone can Create a new Facebook account. if you want Create a Facebook account
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How to Create a New Facebook Account Without a Phone Number
necessary process Create a Facebook account
Not tied to a phone number You have an Android phone and it just needs
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Access the Google Play Store.

Find Facebook Lite Facebook.

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There are many ways To create a Facebook account
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Activating a Facebook account with a fake number has disadvantages and
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If you are new to this social networking platform then… Create a Facebook profile It can be stressful for you. So here are some tips to help you get started with Facebook:

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you signed up for a Facebook account via email, you’ll need to contact
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if you want it now Create a new Facebook account Using your phone number instead of your email address, you need to follow these steps:

Go to facebook.com and click Create New Account.

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How to Create a New Facebook Account on Your Computer
Here we will learn how to create a new Facebook gmail account on computer, and here are the necessary steps:

Turn on the computer and launch the browser.

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Your first and middle name.

Your gmail (which we created earlier).

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When using your phone to create a new Facebook Gmail account, you must first Download the Facebook app from Google Play
If you are using a phone with limited specs, not enough storage space
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Open the Facebook app.

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