From Kim Kardashian to Elon Musk, a large number of Hollywood celebrities, Instagrammers and TikTokers are passing through. The open secret of losing weight quickly has jumped from social networks to gym conversations. it is about semaglutide, A GLP-1 receptor that causes the pancreas to release insulin – the hormone responsible for controlling blood sugar – and slows the output of food from the stomach, thereby reducing appetite.
Many studies have proved that GLP-1 receptors are highly effective weight loss tools. “They work very well to treat diabetes and They are a great tool when used correctly. That is, if they are accompanied by follow-up and changes in life habits,” he explains. Antonio More, Medical specialist in endocrinology and nutrition. “Injecting this hormone is your body’s way of telling you: You no longer need to eat. However, Patients now ask (and demand) to use them as a miracle diet, And it is a waste of money, time and health”, he added.
A drug that “really” helps treat obesity.
Well, it seems to have gotten out of hand.
Couldn’t find out.
— Antonio Mas (@masendocrino) October 19, 2022
marketed under the brand ozempic, This medication is given as a weekly injection into the abdomen, arm, or thigh. immediately suppresses the appetite of the patient, So that he can lose weight easily and fast. Its price is $ 900 (about 923 euros) per dose.
yet everything might have seemed normal if it weren’t for The drug is indicated only for the treatment of type 2 diabetes– the leaflet does not indicate anything about its use to combat overweight – and Patients who really need it are not able to access it as its use has become widespread And they can’t find it. In fact, The Spanish Agency for Medicines and Health Products (AEMPS) warned a month ago that there could be a “supply problem” of GLP-1 analog drugs if they continue these buying habits. it should be taken into account Spain is the second country in Europe with the highest prevalence of diabetes, with 14.8% of the population aged 20 to 79. (5 million people), according to the IDF Diabetes Atlas 2021 data.
Although semaglutide Funded only for people with type 2 diabetes (priced at 160–180 euros per month), off-label users don’t mind paying up to eight times more for this “miracle” drug that can make them Lose up to 15 kilos in three to six months.
For the expert, this is the worst part of the equation. “in my opinion, The problem of scarcity is temporary, Which will surely be resolved soon when the company that makes it adjusts the production. The problem is another – and it is more serious – and that is that we are all allowing ourselves to drift into a dangerous inertia. For endocrinologists, this new drug is like the ‘Holy Grail’ because we finally have something that works, so they overprescribe it, patients demand it directly and, of course, the pharmaceutical industry. does not set limits because it is not your paper”.
In addition, the drug is not exempt Side effects, like nausea, vomiting and constipation, “At first, there was talk about whether it could cause acute pancreatitis, gallbladder disease and diabetic retinopathy, but later studies have shown that these may be rare effects,” explains Más. Huh. still, the fact that these drugs have been introduced relatively recently (less than 10 years) For the therapeutic arsenal for the treatment of diabetes, the doctor builds Don’t know what their long term effects might be.
“it’s clear that When a drug is not indicated for something, it is because it has not yet been shown that the benefits outweigh the risks”. The Spanish Medicines Agency (Aemps) only indicates it for the treatment of type 2 diabetes and, like all drugs, its compassionate use can be requested, but only for people with a minimum BMI of 30, who have already Have tried changing your diet and lifestyle without success or for those who are grade 2 overweight and who have complications associated with obesity (such as high blood pressure, sleep apnea, cholesterol, among others).
“AEMPS marks validity, therefore, Regardless of whether it is misused by the doctors who prescribe it and those who use it off-label, it is illegal to do so. But, in addition, we are running the risk of assuming that the drug acts on its own, without requiring the person to make changes in their life, so that when it stops working or when they stop taking it , then they should be fine. weight loss”.