The Ozempic Craze

To quote the commercial, have you heard of the medication, "Oh, oh, oh, Ozempic®?" Also, have you heard of Wegovy®? Wegovy is a semaglutide, the same drug as Ozempic. The difference between the 2 medicines is a matter of dosage.1,2

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved both Wegovy and Ozempic but for different reasons. However, Ozempic has been in the news often, mainly for the wrong reasons.1,2

What is the purpose of Ozempic and Wegovy?

The FDA approved Ozempic to treat diabetes, along with diet and exercise. It is a once-a-week injectable medication. Wegovy is also a once-per-week injectable approved for the management of obesity but not for the management of diabetes.1

The latest buzz about Ozempic

Both drugs are costly, which means some who need it can't access them for their diabetes or their weight loss journey. That can be a problem. There are many benefits of Ozempic.3

Health benefits of Ozempic

Ozempic is effective in controlling blood sugar with adequate exercise and proper nutrition. Other drugs, such as Metformin or insulin, can be used with Ozempic.2

Another benefit of Ozempic is that it may protect the heart from damage. This is known as being cardioprotective. Since diabetes can impact the small blood vessels in the eyes, the kidneys, and the heart, these cardioprotective properties are beneficial.4

Few medicines receive the prestigious evidence-based title of cardioprotective. A medication that lowers A1C and protects the heart at the same time from a heart attack or stroke – well, that is a huge bonus.4

Ozempic and weight loss

A third benefit associated with Ozempic is weight loss. For many of us, our weight may have been a cause for concern before we were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Having a diabetes medicine that helps with controlling blood sugar and weight loss is an amazing benefit.2

What is the off-label use of Ozempic?

Now, here's where the problem comes in. There is something called off-label use. In off-label use, a doctor who has thoroughly assessed a patient prescribes medicine that is not approved by the FDA to treat their condition because the benefits of the drug may outweigh the risks.5

For example, someone diagnosed with prediabetes and overweight may be prescribed Ozempic because it can help prevent diabetes and heart disease.

I can accept that. We all know weight can be an issue for many living with diabetes. The key here is that the doctor has done a thorough assessment.

Ozempic is getting popular

However, Ozempic has recently been hailed as a new buzz-worthy weight loss drug on social media. Many people who do not have diabetes, aren't even at risk of developing it, or are not even a tiny bit overweight have been using Ozempic.3

Celebrities misusing Ozempic

Celebrities and public figures like the Kardashians, Elon Musk, and Chelsea Handler are all rumored to be using the drug. Handler claims she didn't know her doctor gave her Ozempic. Forgive me when I say no, this is not believable!

Serious Ozempic shortages

Off-label use and even misuse of Ozempic are out of control. There have been reports of shortages of Ozempic in the United States because of misuse.6

There are also reports of people going to Vancouver, BC, to access Ozempic. That's crazy! Misusers fail to understand that the weight will return when they stop using the medicine. They also fail to realize that they are taking away a drug required by people with diabetes to control their blood sugars and prevent complications.3

Should Hollywood stars promote the misuse of Ozempic? Absolutely not! I have to ponder this question: Who is ultimately responsible for the misuse?

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