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Popular Drug Being Used for Weight Loss Can Cause ‘Serious Side Effects’

A drug that is growing in popularity due its use for weight loss purposes can cause significant side effects including kidney failure, according to experts.

Ozempic, also sold under the brand name Wegovy, is actually a prescription type 2 diabetes treatment. However, the drug’s weight loss effect has boosted its popularity, sparking concern in the health industry.

Health Canada, which is responsible for Canada’s national health policy, issued a warning this month that the use of Ozempic for weight loss “is not an approved indication” and that doing so can cause “serious side effects” including pancreatitis, severely low blood sugar levels, gallbladder issues, severe allergic reactions, thyroid tumors, and kidney problems, including kidney failure.

In a May 31 update, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said that even though Wegovy injections are approved for adults and children aged 12 and older to help deal with obesity issues, the medication is “only available with a prescription.”

There can also be psychiatric consequences from using Ozempic. An April 18 report from The Wall Street Journal states that many who use Ozempic and similar medications are experiencing bizarre dreams.

A spokesperson from Novo Nordisk, which manufactures Ozempic and Wegovy, admitted to the media outlet that the company had received reports of users having abnormal dreams but insisted that it did not have enough information to link the phenomenon to the medication.

Altering Relationship With Food

There is also a possibility that the drug can change people’s relationship with food. In a June 12 interview with Wired, Professor Jens Juul Holst, a scientist whose work led to the development of drugs like Ozempic, warned that people who use the medication can lose their appetite as well as “the pleasure of eating.”

“The craving for food for some people is taken away when they take GLP-1 drugs,” like Ozempic, he said. Ozempic works by mimicking the glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) protein in the body. When ingested, the drug activates GLP-1 receptors and raises insulin to manage blood sugar. At the same time, feelings of hunger are artificially minimized.

“So, you don’t eat through GLP-1 therapy because you’ve lost interest in food. That may eventually be a problem, that once you’ve been on this for a year or two, life is so miserably boring that you can’t stand it any longer and you have to go back to your old life.”

In an interview with Healthline, Dr. Daniel Maselli, an obesity medicine specialist, explained that semaglutide, another name for Ozempic, has been proven to be a safe and effective medication for weight loss.

However, as with all medications, it will affect people differently and the drug’s effects will vary along a spectrum, he said.

“Semaglutide is no exception to this. At one extreme, we have very minimal effect on appetite at all, and on the other extreme, we have patients who have such an over-regulated appetite that they can lose both drive to eat and pleasure from eating significantly.”

Response From Novo Nordisk

An emailed statement to The Epoch Times from Novo Nordisk’s Associate Director for Communications Kate Hanna said, “GLP-1 receptor agonists as a drug class have been used to treat type 2 diabetes for more than 15 years, and for the treatment of obesity for eight years, including Novo Nordisk products such as semaglutide and liraglutide that have been on the market for more than 10 years.

“Serious adverse events (pancreatitis, gall bladder disorders, serious allergic reactions, or kidney failure) are rare (<= 2.0% of patients studied in the clinical development program for Ozempic). It should be noted that semaglutide does not increase the risk of hypoglycemia, unless combined with other medications such as sulfonylureas or basal insulin. Additionally, safety data from large clinical trial programs and post-marketing surveillance have not demonstrated a causal association between use of semaglutide and either thyroid or pancreatic cancer. Ozempic had a well-tolerated profile across the SUSTAIN clinical trial program with the most common adverse events being generally mild to moderate gastrointestinal disorders, which diminished over time.

“We are continuously performing surveillance of the data from ongoing clinical trials, real-world use and other relevant information in relation to these products and collaborate closely with Health Authorities to ensure patient safety and adequate information is provided to prescribers and patients.

“Ozempic was approved by Health Canada in 2018 for the treatment of adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus based on data from phase 3 SUSTAIN global clinical trial program, which demonstrated both the safety and efficacy of semaglutide in patients with type 2 diabetes.”

Weight Loss and Dangers

A March 2021 study published in The New England Journal of Medicine found that using Ozempic can result in weight loss. It tested the drug with 1,961 adults who had a body-mass index (BMI) of 30 or greater.

The study concluded that 2.4 mg of semaglutide once weekly together with lifestyle intervention “was associated with sustained, clinically relevant reduction in body weight” among overweight and obese participants.

However, negative effects of such weight loss have also been identified. An April 23 report from The New York Times cited an example of a New Jersey woman who became malnourished after being on Ozempic.

Moreover, the weight loss from taking Ozempic might not be long-lasting. On its website, Health Canada cited a 2022 study which found that non-diabetic people who took semaglutide ended up gaining much of their weight back within a year of stopping the medication.

  • Threelies One says:

    Ok, so first of all, this whole article is all about canada crying about the avaiability of ozempic and the resulting push by canada to slow it’s use because they probably have to stand in line behind the US to get it.
    I personally couldn’t care less about canada since they and Mexico are nothing more than a tapeworm to the United State, garnering their national safety and trade wealth from us purely due to proximity.
    Secondly, ozempic and wegovy are the exact same drug except ozempic is half the dose, making it much safer and less likely to have side effects.
    Third, the reason they are so effective is BECAUSE they make food less desirable, which is the whole point.
    Last of all you’re not likely to suffer near the side effects once you quit dining on your usual half a ham and 4 cokes before bed.
    Stay home canada, you suck…

  • vickie says:

    i use trulicity ….same thing to treat type 2 diabetes…im on 1.5mgs of it…you do feel yukky when taking it for a few days but it goes away….now im on it for diabetes …so people taking it for weight gain it might not be the same…..with all meds we have to be careful. i have a long long list oif drugs i cannot take because of allergy and horrible side affects…like all cholesterol drugs…also CIPRO ..throws me into deep depression and anxiety for at least 2hrs…until it wears off…so people be carefuf….dont take drugs to lose weight unless its been proven to be safe…or you have the illness the drug treats…

  • Bret says:

    We are in an entitled society that does not want to do the hard work and would rather take a pill After this covid vaccine fiasco, why would anyone take something that they can replicate with some hard work and healthy choices. This country needs to remember that struggling to reach a goal was a good thing. Big pharma is more worried about profits than consequences with their new products. They have made billions on covid and don’t care that their vaccines may have caused problems for its users. Those billions are already in their pockets. The government will cover for them in any lawsuits down the road.

  • Nate says:

    HOWEVER, The side effects are far less dangerous than The Covid Vaccine and Boosters!

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