Doctors Share Biggest Concerns About Ozempic for Weight Loss

Docs Share Largest Considerations About Ozempic for Weight Loss

Semaglutide is a well-liked weight-loss remedy, however docs fear misinformation about its use may put sufferers in danger.
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  • The burden loss remedy semaglutide has skyrocketed in recognition — however so has misinformation. 
  • Docs fear that sufferers could possibly be harmed by deceptive claims in regards to the drug and its outcomes. 
  • Unwanted side effects like weight regain and muscle loss could possibly be penalties of utilizing the remedy improperly. 

The burden loss remedy semaglutide has exploded in recognition, exhibiting up in every single place from Oscars punchlines to the SNL chilly open — however docs fear that the hype may have well being penalties as misinformation runs rampant.

Semaglutide was FDA-approved for weight reduction in 2021 underneath the model identify Wegovy, manufactured by Novo Nordisk. The identical remedy is offered to deal with sort 2 diabetes underneath the model identify Ozempic, and will be prescribed off-label for weight reduction, too.

Whereas medical specialists throughout totally different fields acknowledge the drug’s potential for well being advantages, many are nervous that deceptive claims circulating on-line may trigger regarding negative effects and an absence of entry to the drug by sufferers who want it most. 

A gastroenterologist says semaglutide is mostly protected, however social media myths are rampant

One of many greatest issues with semaglutide’s recognition is not the drug itself, however the widespread false claims about it on-line corresponding to exaggerated negative effects and deceptive success tales , in line with Dr. Chris McGowan, a board-certified doctor in inner medication, gastroenterology, and weight problems medication.

“Semaglutide is a legitimately efficient remedy. It gives health-altering weight reduction,” he advised Insider. “It has an total glorious security profile and is mostly effectively tolerated.”

Whereas the remedy does have negative effects, the most typical are gentle instances of diarrhea, constipation, and nausea, which may often be managed by beginning sufferers on a smaller dose and regularly rising it over time. 

McGowan mentioned that price and lack of insurance coverage protection are main points, however that deceptive and inaccurate claims in regards to the drug are additionally worrying, since it may well stop sufferers from understanding the way it works and find out how to use it safely and successfully. 

“My greatest concern is that there is misinformation in every single place,” he mentioned. “Individuals are seeing on social media it is a fast repair or a solution to lose a number of kilos. That is not how they’re studied or meant for use.”

An endocrinologist fears sufferers getting the drug on-line haven’t got correct supervision

As semaglutide turns into rising in style, it is develop into obvious {that a} rising variety of persons are acquiring it by way of on-line prescriptions with little or no follow-up or care from a medical staff, endocrinologist and weight problems medication specialist Dr. Scott Isaacs advised Insider.

“The notion is that you could take it, drop extra pounds, and cease taking it, and that is not the case in any respect. A lot of the weight be will regained,” he mentioned. “Something you do briefly, you are going to get non permanent outcomes.”

The remedy is meant for use together with wholesome life-style adjustments and physician supervision to observe the efficient and decrease negative effects, in line with Isaacs. And, much like different drugs for persistent situations, like hypertension, sufferers have to proceed taking it to take care of the advantages. 

“It is nearly felony to present somebody a drug and never inform them they should change their weight loss plan to drop extra pounds. It is incorrect on so many ranges,” he mentioned. 

A wholesome weight may help fertility, says an OB-GYN — however individuals who cease taking semaglutide can regain the burden

Semaglutide may additionally be related to reproductive well being, in line with Dr. Mary Jane Minkin, training gynecologist and medical professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences at Yale College College of Enterprise.

Minkin advised Insider that she is aware of comparatively little in regards to the drug and would defer to bariatric specialists, however that it is necessary to contemplate that the remedy must be taken long-term to maintain working. 

“The main concern I’ve about it are the studies of individuals regaining their misplaced weight, and generally much more, after they go off the drug,” she mentioned. 

That is necessary as a result of weight will be an necessary facet of fertility, in line with Minkin.

“We do know that fertility is enhanced by being as near the best physique weight — being each considerably obese 0r underweight can contribute to difficulties with ovulation — alas, it is generally onerous to get there,” she mentioned.

The FDA warning label for semaglutide additionally cautions towards utilizing the drug whereas pregnant, and advises sufferers attempting to develop into pregnant to cease taking it a minimum of two months prior, since animals research discovered a hyperlink to doable developmental points. 

Minkin mentioned she was conscious of the warning, however didn’t know sufficient in regards to the information to touch upon it.

Longevity specialists fear the drug may cause muscle loss

Not all weight reduction is created equal — the well being advantages of shedding pounds come from lowering fats tissue whereas sustaining muscle mass, which is necessary think about well being as we age, in line with docs who focus on longevity. 

However some proof suggests semaglutide would not discriminate, and sufferers lose considerably extra muscle than they do by way of different weight reduction strategies, in line with Dr. Peter Attia. 

“They’ve misplaced muscle mass at a charge that alarms me,” he mentioned in a latest clip of his podcast “The Drive.”

Dr. Mark Hyman, a specialist in wholesome getting older and writer of “Younger Endlessly,” expressed comparable issues.

“It isn’t a benign compound. You may have sufferers shedding muscle and slowing their metabolism, it is unrealistic and you need to keep on it for all times,” he advised Insider. “We have to handle the reason for systemic issues within the meals system as a substitute.” 

A heart specialist mentioned semaglutide may cut back coronary heart well being dangers, however might distract from the significance of wholesome consuming

Sustaining a wholesome weight is necessary for cardiovascular well being, so semaglutide could possibly be a priceless software to stave off heart problems, but it surely’s not an alternative choice to consuming proper, in line with heart specialist Dr. Elizabeth Klodas.

A nutritious weight loss plan is a significant factor in stopping heart problems, and Klodas mentioned she worries sufferers might rely an excessive amount of on the remedy with out making different life-style adjustments that might defend their hearts. 

“It is necessary to acknowledge that weight itself is just not the issue, it is the marker of the issue,” she advised Insider. “Individuals are this drug because the miracle weight-loss answer when it actually is not. In some ways it is simply one other fad weight loss plan – besides that is available in a really costly syringe.” 

The excessive value level — listed $1,349 a month, generally extra — additionally makes it onerous for folks to entry, and its recognition may distract from essential conversations about wholesome consuming, mentioned Klodas, whose firm Step One Meals has researched find out how to make in style meals like pancakes that may assist decrease ldl cholesterol. 

“Once we’re profitable at serving to folks drop extra pounds by means of prescription drugs we’re far much less prone to focus the dysfunctional meals setting that enabled and even inspired that weight acquire within the first place,” she mentioned. “$1,500 per thirty days buys lots of wholesome meals.”

Speedy weight reduction from the meds may cause telltale gaunt look of the face, in line with a dermatologist

With the rise of individuals utilizing semaglutide for aesthetic weight reduction, a sure group of sufferers are additionally going through a superficial aspect impact often known as “Ozempic face,” in line with a beauty dermatologist who has labored with celebrities. 

The phrase reference to a gaunt, hole or “deflated” look across the cheeks, Dr. Paul Jarrod Frank beforehand advised Insider’s Allana Akhtar.

It is significantly prevalent in folks 40 and older, in line with Frank, since youthful folks have extra elasticity of their pores and skin which permits it to shrink and alter as they lose underlying fats. 

“I believe a mixture of age and the rapidity of the burden loss is what’s inflicting what I name ‘Ozempic face,'” he mentioned.  “If you meet somebody that you simply noticed not too way back they usually’ve [suddenly] misplaced lots of weight, significantly in that space, it is type of like a telltale signal.”

Frank mentioned it may be handled with fillers, which have the identical doable negative effects (corresponding to bruising or swelling) as comparable beauty procedures. 

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