“Ozempic”: We explain the hype surrounding the supposed weight loss product – and why it can even be dangerous
If you follow TikTok and the usual celebrity news channels closely, you’ve probably already asked yourself: What is “Ozempic” and why is everyone talking about it now?
Here’s the answer: “Ozempic” is a diabetes drug containing semaglutide that’s injected. It increases insulin sensitivity and suppresses appetite – which in turn is said to help with weight loss.
What exactly is “Ozempic”?
“Ozempic” is a brand name for Semaglutide, which is approved for the treatment of type 2 diabetes and the treatment of obesity. It is given by injection into the thigh once a week.
A quick medical excursion: Semaglutide is a GLP-1 agonist, meaning it mimics GLP-1, a hormone in the body that releases insulin and suppresses appetite after meals. “However, semaglutide has a much longer half-life than our natural GLP-1, meaning it stays in our bodies longer,” explains Spencer Nadolsky, obesity physician, lipid specialist and sequence medical director in an interview with GLAMOR. This means that it makes you feel full for longer.
“Drugs that increase the activity of the hormone GLP-1 cause you to feel fuller more often and less hungry, which usually results in less food intake,” explains Dr. Jessica Cutler, weight loss surgeon at the Maryland Bariatric Center at Mercy in Baltimore. This is how the drug makes people lose weight: by controlling appetite in the brain.
But semaglutide also has other health benefits: “This drug helps lower blood sugar levels — but only when they’re elevated, not when they’re normal — by helping the pancreas release more insulin, which lowers blood sugar , and by decreasing the release of glucagon, a hormone that raises blood sugar, and by slowing gastric emptying, which slows the GI tract,” says Dr. Nadolsky.
That’s why “Ozempic” causes discussions
Critics question the normalization of “Ozempic” as a weight-loss drug. While it is developed and approved for the treatment of obesity, it has been shown to also help people with various conditions that are not related to weight, such as: B. Prediabetes, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), fatty liver, reducing insulin resistance and other related diseases. Indirectly, conditions like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, sleep apnea, and others may improve with the weight loss that comes with these drugs. Therefore, “Ozempic” and similar drugs should not be reduced to their diet effect; they’re real medicines that help people with chronic conditions — and they’re in short supply right now because many people see them as an easy way to lose weight. “Unfortunately, manufacturers sometimes make mistakes and can’t keep up with demand,” explains Spencer Nadolsky. dr Cutler agrees: “We have seen many supply chain issues that have limited the availability of these drugs. I wish we lived in a world where every person who could benefit from a drug had the opportunity to take it.”
“The real story is that we finally have highly effective, safe weight loss and weight management drugs, and we can finally treat the obesity epidemic effectively,” said Spencer Nadolsky. “There’s a lot of stigma and prejudice against people with obesity: why would anyone mind their quality of life being improved and future disease being prevented just because they’ve used a weight loss drug? We should be happy for them.”