For years we’ve heard of magical weight loss products that promise to melt away the pounds. Some are wacky, some are so dangerous they’re illegal, and some have made their way into the limelight – most recently, Ozempic and WeGovy. Originally intended to treat diabetes, these drugs are now prescribed, often via Telehealth, to people who want to lose weight. And it all started in Hollywood.
Variety reports that Ozempic and WeGovy have taken the industry by storm, and everyone from reality stars to movie producers to actors have tried them. (Chelsea Handler said her doctor prescribed Ozempic — without explaining what it was — in case she wanted to lose five pounds. Elon Musk tweeted WeGovy helps her look fit and healthy.) Since many health insurers refuse to cover the cost (about $1,200-$1,500 per month) for anyone without diabetes, only the wealthy can afford the injections. However, the average consumer shouldn’t be envious of celebrities who can pay for their weight loss, as these drugs have potentially serious side effects.
How Ozempic and WeGovy work
Ozempic and WeGovy both have the same active ingredient: semaglutide. It comes as a solution injected into the stomach once a week and works by stimulating the release of insulin. The drug also suppresses the secretion of glucagon (a hormone produced by the pancreas that raises blood sugar) – but only when blood sugar is already high. This reduces the risk of hypoglycaemia (very low blood sugar). Finally, semaglutide slows down digestion, which allows the patient to feel full longer. All of this can translate into significant weight loss.
Negative Side Effects of Semaglutide
Although some users believe that Semaglutide is one of the best ways to jump-start a healthy lifestyle, health experts warn that the drug has serious side effects, listed below.
Nausea, abdominal pain, constipation, heartburn, diarrhea or vomiting
Rash, itching, swelling of the eyes, face, mouth, tongue, throat, legs, ankles or feet
Difficulty breathing or swallowing
Vision changes, fainting, or dizziness
You may regain some or all of the weight when you stop taking the medicine
Your blood sugar may drop too much if you take this medicine with other blood sugar-lowering medicines
Additionally, some semaglutide takers have developed serious kidney problems, including acute kidney injury. Symptoms of this include bloody urine, decreased urination, muscle twitching, nausea, rapid weight gain, and seizures. You should not take semaglutide if you have a history of thyroid cancer or pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas).
If you’re curious about taking Generic Semaglutide, Ozempic, or WeGovy for weight loss, see your doctor — not just a telehealth doctor. Chances are it’s more of a problem than it’s worth, depending on your condition and potential side effects. Additionally, the sudden popularity of the drug makes it difficult for people with severe diabetes to get their prescriptions filled. (Although even some pre-diabetic and diabetic patients who have taken the drug report that it is not worth the risks.) to recover from eating disorders.
You are more than just a number on a scale – don’t let Hollywood tell you otherwise.
If you or a loved one has an eating disorder, the National Eating Disorders Association has a toll-free helpline available at 1-800-931-2237 or by text at 1-800-931-2237.
This content is not a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis. Always consult your doctor before proceeding with any treatment plan.