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The Grizzly Gazette

The Grizzly Gazette

The Grizzly Gazette

Popular Weight Loss Drugs Need Stricter Restrictions

Weight loss drugs like Ozempic and Wegovy (semaglutide) have gained popularity thanks to social media. These companies have begun mass-producing to keep up with the demand. These drugs have been used to help issues associated with diabetes and chronic obesity, but most people are using the drugs as a way to quickly lose weight. The risks of using this drug have come to light and some who truly need the drug are struggling to find supply. 

According to Ozempic’s website, the drug is used to lower blood sugar for type two diabetes by “helping your pancreas produce more insulin when your blood sugar is high, slows down food leaving your stomach, and prevents your liver from making and releasing too much sugar.” 

Wegovy, however, is meant for people who struggle with obesity, not healthy people who just want to look skinnier. These drugs fall under the drug class of GLP-1 agonists, which mimic the receptors in the body to produce more insulin, help lower blood sugar, and decrease appetite.

This aid of weight loss has been supported by celebrities including Elon Musk and Amy Schumer. 

CNBC stated, “In the last three months of 2022, U.S. health-care providers wrote more than 9 million prescriptions for Ozempic, Wegovy, and other diabetes and obesity drugs, according to analytics firm Trilliant Health. Ozempic accounted for more than 65 [percent] of total prescriptions as of the end of 2022.”

These numbers have only been increasing since 2022, as many believe that the drugs truly are an easy way to shed weight. 

The risks of semaglutide have come to light in a study by Mohit Sodhi, Ramin Rezaeianzadeh, and Abbas Kezouh. Their findings, published this month, showed that the use of GLP-1 agonists can be associated with an increase in pancreatitis, bowel obstruction, and gastroparesis. While the positives can seem enticing, are they worth these life-threatening risks?

The most important factor is the risk that is associated with drugs that have been off-label prescriptions or unmonitored drug use. 

Many who are looking for a way to lose weight are not those who need it. They are not able to get this drug prescribed by doctors and allow themselves to be properly managed. Especially since the price of GLP-1 agonists is so expensive without insurance, people have been turning to ways that could harm them. 

Without insurance, the price of Wegovy is $1079.20 per month, on average, and Ozempic on average costs $892.06 per month. 

Monitored use of any medication is important to make sure that those who are taking it are safe to keep taking it consistently. Without this, you could be putting your body at risk of death. All medications have side effects, and some can be bearable while others need a change or stop in the use of that medication. 

The biggest issue with people using GLP-1 agonists for weight loss is taking it away from those who need it. 

People who have Type Two Diabetes need Ozempic to help their pancreas produce more insulin when their blood sugar is high. Those who struggle with obesity need Wegovy to help them decrease their appetite. 

If people have such easy access to these drugs, patients whose health relies on these drugs will not have access to them. The Food and Drug Administration needs to make stricter restrictions to help the supply of these drugs remain in the hands of people who medically need them, not those who want them. 

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