Ozempic, branded Hollywood skinny jab, continues to make headlines as celebrities and influencers admit to using the wildly popular drug for weight loss.
While weight-loss drugs aren’t new, semaglutide has begun to gain attention over the past year, as demand soared and resulted in a global shortage.
Semaglutide is labeled as two separate drugs Ozempic and Wegovy.
Ozempic is the brand name of the injection approved only for the treatment of type 2 diabetes.
The sister drug, Wegovy, is semaglutide approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a treatment for chronic obesity.
Cottesloe GP Dr Deb Cohen-Jones said late last year that he was having great success prescribing compound glutides for patients waiting for Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) to approve a long-acting version.
He said the long acting version (Wegovy, basically) should be available in Australia soon.
Most celebrities have kept quiet about whether they use the jab, but a few have been open about having tried it.
The former E! Personality Chelsea Handler has admitted that she accidentally took the weight-loss drug.
The 47-year-old revealed that she took Ozempic without knowing what it did.
I didn’t even know I’d been there, she said, admitting on the Call Her Daddy podcast that her anti-aging doctor hands it out to anyone.
After discovering that the drug is meant to help people with diabetes, the entertainer stopped taking it.
I’m not here anymore. This is too irresponsible, she said.
I am an irresponsible addict, but I will not take diabetes meds. I’ve tried and I won’t. It’s not for me. It’s not right for me.
TikTok creator and model Remi Bader revealed that she took the drug for real health issues shortly after it was approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
The drug was prescribed to you by your doctor.
On an episode of the Not Skinny Not Fat podcast, Bader told host Amanda Hirsch that he started taking the drug before it became this trendy drug.
She said it was prescribed to her because she was pre-diabetic, insulin resistant and put on weight.
Bader has been very open about her experience with binge eating disorder. She has 2.2 million TikTok followers and supports fashion that includes plus size.
She warned people that when she came off Ozempic, she gained twice the weight.
I saw a doctor and they said, it’s 100% why you went on Ozempic, Bader revealed.
It made me think I hadn’t been hungry in so long. I have lost some weight.
I didn’t want to obsess over being on it long term. I was like, I bet the minute I get out I’m starving again. I did and my binges got a lot worse. So I kind of blamed Ozempic.
Bader now discourages other people from taking the drug if they don’t need it, explaining, “You’re even stopping it from being on the market because there’s not enough of it for the people who need it.”
Elon Musk and Jeremy Clarkson
Even Elon Musk has no qualms about admitting that he uses Ozempic.
The Twitter and Tesla CEO responded to a tweet asking about his physique’s secret by tweeting Fasting. And Wegovy.
Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson also credited semaglutide with helping him lose weight.
Golnesa GG Gharachedaghi
Shahs Of Sunset Golnesa star GG Gharachedaghi has been equally candid about her health journey.
He made no secret of the fact that he used a weight loss drug.
In a video posted on her Instagram page, the 41-year-old admitted: Unfortunately, due to my health, I had to get many steroid injections last year, which caused me to gain weight.
I had a very, very, very hard time getting rid of that weight.
I did what all people do, and lie. Im on weight loss shots.
I’m not going to lie about it.
While Gharachedaghi admitted to taking semaglutide, she also told Entertainment Tonight in May: Obviously, I didn’t look like this two months ago, so, all of a sudden, to lose nearly 30 pounds, I’d be lying if I said I stopped drinking. spirits. and you know all of a sudden he started working out as some people like to say.
Drug causes full sensation faster
Ozempic and Wegovy both reduce appetite and cause the stomach to empty more slowly so a person feels fuller faster, which is why they are popular for their weight loss effects.
However, health experts began to notice that people were using semaglutide without meeting the clinical criteria for being overweight or obese.
Obesity is defined as a body mass index (BMI) greater than 30, and overweight is a BMI of 25-30. Yet people with BMIs below 25 used Ozempic to lose some weight, says general practitioner Natasha Yates.
Equally concerning was the possibility that the drug was being used by people with eating disorders to starve themselves.
Equally alarming, people who depend on the drug to treat diabetes were showing up at the pharmacy unable to get their prescription because so many people were suddenly accessing the off-label weight-loss drug.
As a result, Australian doctors have been asked not to prescribe it for the treatment of obesity.
Doctors warn of side effects
Dr. Yates, who is also an assistant professor of general practice at Bond University, also points out that, as with all medications, semaglutide isn’t entirely without risk.
Consumers commonly complain of nausea, constipation, and diarrhea, while some also experience acid reflux, fatigue, and complain that food tastes different after taking the drug.
Some users describe lack of eating and enjoying food.
Dr. Yates wrote in The Conversation that there are also concerns it could increase the risk of pancreatitis, thyroid and pancreatic cancers.
And, while the research so far is reassuring, he added that it’s unlikely we know if there will be a significant increase for a few years to come, there are still many unknowns.
While semaglutide in the form of Wegovy is designed specifically for weight loss, and while US and Australian regulators recently approved Wegovy for that purpose, it hasn’t been available for use in Australia to date, said Dr. Yates.
Who will have access to the drug?
Studies show that semaglutide helps between 66% and 84% of people lose weight, which Dr. Yates notes, makes it more effective than other drugs on the market.
He said that after two years patients do not regain the weight they lost but only if they are still taking the drug.
Unfortunately, once discontinued, patients notice a gradual regain of up to two-thirds of the weight lost, Dr. Yates told The Conversation.
So basically semaglutide only works while taking it succeeds but does not cure.
Dr Yates added that when semaglutide becomes available again in Australia for diabetics, it’s unclear who will be able to access it for weight loss.
It costs a barrier
Dr. Deb Cohen-Jones believes that once supply issues are resolved, long-acting glutides will lead the way in 2023 due to their efficacy and tolerability among users.
However, Dr. Yates believes that one of the biggest barriers to using semaglutide for weight loss is the cost.
This is because people with diabetes will continue to be able to access the drug more affordably through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), but people using it for weight management will have to pay for the drug entirely themselves through a private prescription. .
Semaglutide use cost about $130 a month in Australia in 2022.
Dr. Yates believes the cost could rise once supply issues are resolved because the manufacturer, Novo Nordisk, has had to spend millions of dollars building new facilities to meet increased demand for the drug.
In the United States, prices already exceed $1,000 a month unless covered by insurance, Dr. Yates noted.
Dr. Cohen-Jones emphasized that semaglutide is meant to be an addition, not a substitute, for exercise and a healthy diet.
Meanwhile the TGA, Australia’s drug regulator, is investigating some influencers and online platforms for illegally promoting the drug as a weight-loss remedy.
Under Australian law, prescription medicines cannot be advertised to the public. The law aims to protect people from false and misleading claims and to ensure that drug information is balanced and accurate.
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