THE FAT loss jab Ozempic has been hailed as the holy grail of obesity cures.
With hoards of A-listers openly – and not so openly – resorting to the jab's fat-melting benefits, it's easy to forget Ozempic is actually a treatment for type 2 diabetes.
The Novo Nordisk drug – which contains semaglutide – first became available for prescription in the UK in January 2019, according to Diabetes.co.uk.
It's designed to be injected once a week to manage blood glucose levels in people with type 2 diabetes.
It increases the levels of incretins – a hormone – which helps your body to produce more insulin when needed and supresses the amount of glucose produced by the liver.
The jab also suppresses users' appetite – mimicking a naturally occurring hormone called glucagon-like peptide-1, which is usually released after eating.
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As a result patients have less of an appetite, and reduce the number of calories they eat.
Ozempic also slows down the movement of food in your gut, meaning you stay fuller for longer. These two factors means that anyone taking the drug tends to lose weight.
Sun columnist Jeremy Clarkson hailed the drug 'genuinely incredible' after using it to ward off type 2 diabetes, saying it had a huge impact on his appetite.
But with celebs like Kim Kardashian rumoured to have used the jab simply for weight loss purposes, the thought of nabbing some even if you don't have diabetes might be tempting.
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Experts have warned that you shouldn't be taking the drug if you haven't been prescribed it for a condition.
Diabetes UK stated: "It is not a medication for people who do not have diabetes or are at risk of type 2 diabetes."
Meanwhile, Dr Christopher McGowan, M.D., a gastroenterologist specialising in obesity medicine told Huffington Post he didn't recommend using Ozempic for cosmetic weight loss.
“While this has received significant attention in the media, Ozempic and related medications aren’t designed to be used in this way, can lead to potential adverse events and ultimately, the weight that is lost will be regained," he explained.
“Further, this off-label use of Ozempic is greatly impacting availability of the medication for those who need it most – individuals with type-2 diabetes.”
In January, Diabetes UK warned of Ozempic shortages – but the charity reassured type 2 diabetes patients that there were a number of alternative treatments available that work in similar ways to the drug.
Some common side effects to expect from the drug are:
But less common ones include:
- altered taste
- acute pancreatitis
- kidney problems
- allergic reactions
- thyroid tumours
- gallbladder problems
Wegovy – which works similarly to Ozempic – is set to become available on prescription in Boots pharmacies.
But trials showed showed that around half of people taking the drug experience experienced nasty side effects such as gut issues, including sickness, bloating, acid reflux, constipation and diarrhoea.
Many also regained two-thirds of the pounds they shed after dropping the weekly injections.
But American researchers have developed a new weight-loss treatment which could solve both these problems.
And its effects mirror the long-term benefits of gastric bypass surgery without the need to go under the knife, the researchers wrote.
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