Ozempic – NOT the “Silver Bullet” for Weight Loss in Non-Diabetics - The Jewish Voice
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Thursday, August 18, 2022

Ozempic – NOT the “Silver Bullet” for Weight Loss in Non-Diabetics

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Edited by: TJVNews.com

Seeking to lose weight has always been a formidable challenge to most Americans who are carrying around a few extra pounds or those who really need to shed a significant amount of weight to arrive at a healthy body mass index.

It has now been reported that a medication prescribed for those with Type 2 diabetes apparently has become the “silver bullet” for those who also want to lose weight. In particular, women with body image issues or those who are currently on the thin side but want to lose more weight are seeking prescriptions from doctors for the Ozempic pen.

According to published reports, Ozempic may help people who are considered obese lose weight when accompanied by eating changes and exercise. Ozempic is generally used to improve blood sugar levels and also help people without diabetes to lose weight.

Many people who use Ozempic prescription medication wonder how does Ozempic work? Ozempic medication is similar to dulaglutide (Trulicity), exenatide (Bydureon, Byetta), liraglutide (Saxenda, Victoza) and lixisenatide (Adlyxin). Ozempic contains the active ingredient semaglutide – like Rybelsus and Wegovy. Ozempic prescription medication belongs to a class of medications known as glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists, similar to tirzepatide (Mounjaro). With a chemical structure highly similar to human GLP-1, Ozempic medication turns on the GLP-1 receptor which has the longer term effect of increasing insulin secretion and blocking glucagon secretion. And when compared to human GLP-1, Ozempic medication is somewhat more protected from degradation as it can bind to albumin. In conjunction with diet and exercise, the Ozempic pen is indicated for to help improve glycemic control in adult patients with type 2 diabetes.

Ozempic, however, isn’t currently approved for weight loss in people without diabetes. But across most of the phase 3 trials studying it for this purpose, study results showed a 15% to 18% weight loss in adults who were overweight or obese.

GoodRX Health reported that “if you are not diabetic and your healthcare provider decides to prescribe it off-label for weight loss, keep in mind that the FDA has not yet reviewed the data and determined that the benefits outweigh the risks for how you would be using the medication.”

Ozempic also carries a boxed warning about thyroid C-cell tumors occurring in rodents (with unknown risk in humans), and it shouldn’t be used if there is a family history of certain thyroid cancers.

The most common side effects of Ozempic are nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain and constipation.

According to sources familiar with the abuse of Ozempic for weight loss in non-diabetic patients, the drug has been predominantly sought after by young women who are within a healthy and normal body mass index range but who want to lose even more weight.

“The problem with physicians prescribing Ozempic for non-diabetic patients for the purposes of weight loss is that if the FDA should grant approval for the drug to be used for losing weight, it would only be suitable for adults with a Body Mass Index (BMI) greater than or equal to 30, and adults with a BMI greater than or equal to 27 who have at least one weight-related comorbidity, like high blood pressure or high cholesterol. The medication would also need to be used in addition to diet and exercise,” said the source familiar with the matter.

They added that, “the real fear here is that people obsessed with their weight, despite the fact that they are thin and in normal weight range, as well as anorexics are currently finding doctors who will prescribe Ozempic for them and this has dangerous consequences to one’s long term health as the FDA has not approved it yet. And even if it does get FDA approval, studies indicate that it is not beneficial for those who are not considered obese.”

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