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While the National Medicines Agency warned about the misuse of the antidiabetic drug Ozempic in order to lose weight, doctors are worried about the side effects of the treatment and its harmful effects on the body in the long term.

Nicknamed the “slimming pen”, theOzempic, an injectable medication prescribed to treat type 2 diabetes, has been in the news for over a year. Its use has been diverted as a weight loss outside of a therapeutic framework and popularized on the TikTok social network. A few days ago, American actress Amy Schumer even accused many celebrities of secretly taking Ozempic to lose weight.

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In the USA, “everyone uses it or asks how to use it“said Dr. Paul Jarrod Frank, a dermatologist in New York City.”We haven’t seen a prescription drug be discussed so much at cocktail parties and dinners since the arrival of the Viagra on the market.” he confided to the New York Times at the beginning of the year.

At his side we also find Wegovy (drug indicated for overweight or obese adults) or even tirzepatide (marketed under the name Mounjaro). While Wegovy has been approved as a weight loss treatment alongside a low calorie diet and increased physical activity, Ozempic is not. He must only be prescribed as an anti-diabetic treatment. Ozempic and Wegovy contain semaglutide which increases insulin production and lowers blood sugar. It thus reduces appetite and acts as an appetite suppressant by slowing down digestion. But these effects can have consequences on the organism.

What are the side effects of Ozempic, which are the most concerning?

Most of the adverse effects noted by the European Medicines Agency are of the order of gastrointestinal disorders but not only :

For diabetic patients, an increased risk of complications related to diabetic retinopathy has been observed in patients treated with insulin and semaglutide as well as a increased risk ofhypoglycemia.

Most gastrointestinal reactions were mild to moderate in intensity and resolved quickly. But up to 5% of patients had to stop treatment. Digestive disturbances should be occasional and of short duration. Beyond that, effects on physical but also mental health can be felt. They can be sources of stress, anxiety And depression. “Chronic abdominal pain and unpredictable digestive disorders such as nausea, diarrhea […] can have a huge impact on your mood and energy levelsLaurie A. Keefer, an academic psychologist and director of psychobehavioral research in Mount Sinai’s division of gastroenterology, told CBS News.

The most serious complications observed by Dr. Meera Shah, an endocrinologist at the Mayo Clinic, in her patients are: pancreatitis and the gallbladder problemsboth of which can result in hospitalization.

What are the long term effects?

There is a bit of an unknown when it comes to the long term“, Dr. Shah told CBS News. “At some point, does the body no longer react to the product? I don’t know“. There is still not enough information to know the effects on the body of using these drugs for years. Especially outside of the therapeutic setting.

Taking any medication or dietary supplement that causes weight loss can be dangerous. It is imperative to follow the instructions of health professionals. Otherwise, you expose yourself to the risk of deficiencies and of malnutrition even of malnutrition. Also beware of people with eating disorders that can be aggravated by treatments with an appetite suppressant effect.

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