‘People who need these drugs can’t get them’

‘People who need these drugs can’t get them’

People making semaglutide ozempic injection control blood sugar levels

People making semaglutide ozempic injection control blood sugar levels

The Getty

A doctor is warning people to steer clear of a TikTok trend that’s also popular in Hollywood circles that involves the off-label use of prescription diabetes drugs for rapid weight loss.

Ozempic is an FDA-approved prescription drug — given by injection into the thigh, abdomen or arm — to help lower blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes. It’s the brand name for semaglutide, which stimulates insulin production and also targets areas of the brain that regulate appetite, according to the FDA.

Novo Nordisk, the maker of Ozempic, makes several brand-name drugs, including Wegovi and semaglutide, which are FDA-approved for weight loss in people with obesity.

Recently, Ozempic and Wegovy started trending across social media when TikTok users found out that many celebrities have used drugs to lose weight, even though they don’t have diabetes or clinical obesity.

Remarkably, Elon Musk Tweet Earlier this month she used Wegovy for her recent slimdown. bravo Andy Cohen Also Tweet About the increasing popularity of drugs for weight loss.

RELATED VIDEO: Firefighter who lost 96 pounds after diabetes diagnosis honored by hometown with surprise party

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However, Dr. Carolyn Apovian, co-director of the Center for Weight Management and Wellness at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, warns that using Ozempic and Wegovi strictly for weight loss is “inherently” creating less availability for diabetic patients whose lives without the medication are at risk.

Both Ozempic and Wegovi are listed as “currently in short supply” by the FDA website. Novo Nordisk said, a release That shortage is caused by recent demand increases, as well as supply chain issues.

“The trend in Hollywood is alarming,” Apovian tells PEOPLE. “We’re not talking about stars who need to lose 10 pounds. We’re talking about people who are dying of obesity, dying of obesity.”

“You’re taking away from diabetics,” he continued. “We have life-saving drugs… and the people in the United States who really need these drugs can’t get them.”

Apovian also noted that “although one third of obese patients will lose 20% of their body weight [on the drug]”Using Ozempic or Wegovy is just a quick fix for moderate weight loss.” “If you lose weight with a drug and you stop the drug, you’ll gain it back,” he adds.

Another systemic problem, he said, is that the drugs are so expensive — about $1,200 a month for Ozempic — that people who need them most can’t afford them. They are usually not covered by insurance, which means that wealthy people can buy them at the literal cost of other people’s health.

The drugs can cause several side effects, including headache, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, pancreatitis, and kidney failure.

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