Madrid, 1 January. Ozempic, a drug indicated for people with type 2 diabetes, has been in short supply in pharmacies around the world for months; The reason, an exponential increase in demand, sponsored by influencers, who have caused an alarming buzz on social networks because of their slimming effect.
Experts consulted by Efe send a message of reassurance to diabetics that they have options for this drug, but it is important that they follow up with their doctor to make treatment changes while supplies of Ozempic are restored Which started causing problems in October. , explains Ana de Hollanda, endocrinologist at the Hospital Clinic in Barcelona (Spain) and member of the Spanish Society of Endocrinology and Nutrition.
But they stress that it is a prescription drug and taking it without medical supervision can have consequences. “If you use it uncontrollably, you will feel a loss of appetite and quickly lose fat and even muscle mass, but when you stop, you will find the opposite will have an impact,” say his colleagues at the Virgen Macarena University Hospital in Seville. Spain) and member of the Spanish Society for the Study of Obesity, Cristóbal Morales.
What is Ozempic?
The active ingredient in Ozempic is semaglutide, a molecule it shares with two other drugs: Rebelsus, which is administered orally, and Vegovy, which like the former is injectable.
Their indications vary: The first two are approved for people with type 2 diabetes and obesity as a supplement to diet and exercise; The third is approved in the United States and Europe for the treatment of obesity in people with a body mass index (BMI) greater than 30 or 27 if there is an associated co-morbidity.
These drugs, in addition to controlling glucose levels, suppress appetite, which favors weight loss, although always in combination with proper diet and exercise. Clinical trials have also shown very positive results for reducing the risk of heart diseases associated with diabetes.
All of this has fueled its demand: In the United States, one of the countries with one of the highest rates of obesity in the world, there are problems with the supply of Vigovi, which has led to more use of Ozempic as an alternative, says Morales.
To which another phenomenon has been added, and that is that many celebrities in the country, such as the Kardashian sisters, extol the power of the drug to lose weight on social networks. The hashtag #ozempic has been viewed over 341 million times on TikTok alone.
“And in the end, whatever happens out there ends here,” Morales summed up. The big problem is that this cult of the already famous injectable pen comes from normal weight people. “They are safe, very effective drugs that work very well, but they are not a magic wand: If you use them without control, you will have a huge rebound effect.”
obese people are not guilty
Morales calls for patients with obesity not to be held responsible for drug shortages, because “they feel like second-rate patients, that nothing is funded for them, and that combined with fatphobia makes them feel like doctors.” Don’t even want to go close. Because they are to blame, when we already know there are a lot of biology, genetics, epigenetics, sleep, hormonal, social and psychological factors involved in this disease”.
“People are desperate”, and it may even lead them to the black market where they have proof that feathers are being sold.
For this reason, it is recommended that people with weight problems refer to a specialist who will provide them with a comprehensive treatment. “Obesity is not a moral disease or a matter of choice, it is a social disease,” he concluded.