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Ozempic- a Diabetic Drug Used by Non-diabetics for Weight Loss

Ozempic, a drug that went viral recently for extreme weight loss. If you have yet to hear about this- in October 2022 the Today Show address a viral "Tik Tok" drug that people are using to lose weight but it is a diabetic medication. I was asked by an office manager that I work with currently and I had no information on the matter and told her I would hold off. This has been popular for the past four years as a weight loss tool. For my first blog, I am addressing Ozempic- is it truly worth it to take this "trendy" weight loss drug?

On October 18,2022, the Today Show addressed Ozempic as a hot new weight loss drug that has went viral. Ozempic (Semaglutide) is within the same family as Wegovy and Rybelsus as anti-diabetic drugs- more specific a GLP-1 receptor agonist which is different from a drug such as Metformin ( I must add that Metformin is a drug that may be prescribed with Ozempic for Type-2 diabetes) as that drug is a drug to address type-2 diabetes and high blood pressure while drugs like Wegovy and Ozempic address weight loss and diabetes. GLP-1 stands for glucagon-like peptide-1. Glucagon is different from Glucose as glucose breaks down sugar while glucagon regulates glucose in the body. The side effects of this drug include pancreatitis, diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, constipation, change in vision, "effects of hypoglycemia", and stomach pain. ( This was found on their actual website) With the side effect of pancreatitis- which is an inflammation of the pancreas- would this cause a person who is not diabetic, to fall into pre-diabetes or worse, type one or type two diabetes? Based off the studies that I found, there was no answer to this question so I went to mainstream media for some answers which may or may not be a great idea. An article in the New York Times in November 2022 published the dangers of Ozempic and Wegovy as they mentioned pain being so extreme that people would end up in the ER. There is not enough information to deduce that this drug can cause an extreme state such as Type 1 diabetes but there have been warnings of caution before taking this drug. Semaglutide was first produced in 2012 by Novo Nordisk, a Danish pharmaceutical company. Current research shows studies of using Semaglutide as a weight loss drug in 2019 while before that it was first used as a diabetic drug. The price tag on this drug is high ( around $1,300) and there is a shortage. The official website does recommend that only persons with Type-2 diabetes should take drugs like Ozempic.

Currently, out of the United States population, 30.7% is overweight which is 1 and 3 adults. 42.4% of the adults in the United States are obese. While there are more diets, exercise programs, and more people sharing their stories, we as Americans continue to have a problem with our weight. Being in the health field and working in underserved areas of a major US city, there are still people out there that have no idea what is a good way to eat. I also must point out that there are more health care persons who are resigning or retiring since we have been battling COVID since 2020.

With this information in mind, my conclusion is to take care. If you are pre-diabetic or not diabetic, I would NOT recommend taking this drug for weight loss. As I am not a person to prescribe medication, I do have to mention to speak with your primary care physician. The best way for weight loss is lifestyle modification- changing the way we eat, how we think about food, and being active physically. If you are not sure where to start for lifestyle modification, be sure to contact our office as we have protocols and systems to help you stay away from diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, and overall heart health. This is my first blog article so if you got this far, thank you. Let's begin not only our own lifestyle change but the changes throughout our nation and our world.

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