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Ozempic – The drug that became a Tik Tok trend for faster weight loss, knowledge or misconception?

by Coffee Table Science

After the dramatic weight loss of Kim Kardashian, her met-gala look, people were quite concerned, and a lot of speculations were made about the unhealthy amount of weight she lost in a short period just to fit into the dress. It is rumoured that celebrities are switching to drugs to lose weight in a small period. Recently, a special drug has caught people’s eyes on TikTok and has made it to the spotlight.

Image Credit- Wikimedia Commons

About The Drug –

Ozempic is a drug associated with type 2 Diabetes that helps to manage blood sugar levels it is a medication formulated to inject in adults once a week. The drug is medically not associated with weight loss but, it is seen that it may help in losing a decent amount of weight while on the medication. One of the ingredients used in making this drug, named semaglutide, is approved by FDA (Food and Drug Association) for treating people with obesity and other weight-related problems when consumed in high doses semaglutide, was approved under the brand name Wegovy in 2021.

Semaglutide is a medicine that helps the pancreas to release insulin when the sugar level in the blood gets high thus affecting the hunger centre of the brain, it shows effects on the hypothalamus which results in reduced appetite and hunger. The drug is seen to lower the rate of stomach emptying hence confusing our body with the feeling of fullness after a meal. Therefore, this drug can affect the health of a person severely as the body is not receiving the right amounts of nutrients and minerals required for the proper functioning of the human body. Any drug taken without a prescription can lead to life-threatening outcomes, but if this drug is taken with a prescription it can also be life-changing as it reduces the risk of hypoglycemia and improves the kidney and heart health of a person.

Side Effects of Ozempic –

Ozempic is a very safe medication, and the majority of people with diabetes also have obesity problems, making the drug doubly beneficial for them but, the drug also has gastrointestinal side effects such as constipation, nausea, diarrhoea, vomiting, etc. While gastrointestinal side effects are very common but not serious, the drug may however show some less common but serious side effects such as pancreatitis, kidney problems, vision change, and allergic reactions.

Image Credit- Wikimedia Commons

The Trend and Expert opinions –

The Guardian reported that after trending on TikTok the sudden increase in demand for this drug lead to its shortage worldwide, especially in the first 3 trimesters of the year showed a surge in demand for Ozempic and Wegovy. This sudden demand is affecting people who have genuine needs, people with diabetes-2 are suffering due to this shortage, and the doctors had to prescribe 2 injections of lower-dose drug weekly, whereas, the original treatment consisted of 1 dose.

Dr Abhijit Chanda said that semaglutide is a highly promising anti-diabetes medication, which also increases gastric empty time due to which a person feels full for a longer time than usual. Dr Chanda warned patients who have a history of pancreatitis and a family history of thyroid cancer as the drug may induce fatal results. Ozempic and Wegovy are nearly the same medicines; the only difference is the number of doses.

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