Billionaire Elon Musk claims it helped him lose weight; Many other stars use it to stay in shape, say “pink press” websites; and tiktok is full influential people Showing off her before and after pictures, her amazing weight loss after using it.
What is? And Medicine called semaglutidewhich is sold in the United States under various brand names, including ozempic, approved in 2017 for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, and WegsApproved last year for weight loss.
According to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), The promotion of these drugs has led to a shortage of both drugs. (expected to last several months), which has raised alarm among diabetics who rely on Ozempic to control their blood sugar. Experts caution that it’s important to understand It’s not about miracle drugs And there are risks in taking them beyond their intended use.
Here’s what you need to know about semaglutide, how it works, and its risks.
What is the science behind the medicine?
Ariana Chao, MD, medical director of the Center for Weight and Eating Disorders at the University of Pennsylvania, explains that semaglutide helps lower blood sugar by mimicking the hormones that are naturally released when you eat a meal. This drug, given by injection, Helps people feel fuller for longer, controls appetite and reduces hunger and cravings,
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There is a lot of demand for this medicine in America. In 2019, more than 11% of the population was diagnosed with diabetes, while in 2020 more than 4 in 10 adults were eligible for obesity.
In 2017, the FDA approved the use of Ozempic in patients diabetes type 2, These patients often have low levels of insulin, a hormone that helps break down food into fuel, says Chao. Ozempic tells the pancreas to make more insulin., which helps control blood sugar levels and also lowers glucagon, a hormone that increases sugar levels. This may lead to weight loss, but experts note that Ozempic is not approved for this purpose.
Vegovy was approved only last year for overweight or obese patientsIt is the first drug to be approved for chronic weight management since 2014. The difference between the two drugs is that Vegovy is administered with a higher dose of semaglutide than Ozempic; Clinical trials have shown greater weight loss but only modest improvements in glycemic control at this high dose, Chao notes.
What are the risks of using Ozempic and Vegovy?
Like all medicines, it can also have drawbacks. The most common side effects are gastrointestinal problems, such as nausea, constipation, and diarrhea.Chao describes, and more rarely, pancreatitis, gallbladder disease, and diabetic retinopathy.
These drugs have been studied extensively, but their relatively recent acceptance means Researchers don’t yet know what the long-term effects of taking them are., There is little data about what happens when people suddenly stop taking them, which amid the current shortage may be forcing many people to do so.
Research suggests that patients may put the weight back on discontinuing this medication, especially if they have not made any lifestyle changes.
“In almost all studies on weight loss, it really depends on your baseline,” reports Stanford endocrinologist Sun Kim. “Your lifestyle efforts will determine how much weight you lose. If you have the basics in place like food, exercise, and sleep, you’ll be fine.” but, You can regain up to 20% of the weight lost per year,
In the United States, these drugs can also be incredibly expensive, especially without insurance. Kim says an injectable pen can cost more than $1,000.