By Dennis Thompson 

HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 1, 2023 (HealthDay Information) — Mila Clarke began taking Ozempic in 2020 to assist handle her diabetes, however was pleasantly stunned to search out herself quickly shedding kilos.

“I used to be like, that is actually bizarre as a result of I’m not having to strive very laborious to do that,” stated Clarke, who has been recognized with each kind 1 and sort 2 diabetes and chronicles her diabetes journey on her Hangry Lady weblog. “And as I saved happening, I saved noticing that the burden was falling off.”

Then the uncomfortable side effects began — most worryingly, a racing and palpitating heartbeat.

“I might be laying down in mattress and my coronary heart charge, like resting coronary heart charge, could be 120 beats per minute,” the form of charge related to train, Clarke stated in an interview with HealthDay Now. “It was actually having an impact on my coronary heart charge, and that was actually terrifying.”

First accredited to deal with diabetes beneath the model title Ozempic, the drug semaglutide obtained federal approval in June 2021 to even be prescribed as a weight-loss treatment — with the model title Wegovy.

Individuals thinking about dropping kilos — both for his or her well being or for vainness’s sake — flooded the marketplace for semaglutide, making it tough to inconceivable for individuals with diabetes to fill prescriptions wanted to handle their situation.

However semaglutide comes with some troubling uncomfortable side effects that folks won’t have thought-about of their seek for the right physique, consultants say.

These can vary from nausea and vomiting to untimely growing older of the face, in addition to coronary heart issues.

The drug is an artificial type of a naturally occurring intestine hormone, Dr. Holly Lofton, an weight problems medication specialist with NYU Langone Well being in New York Metropolis, advised HealthDay Now.

“It goes to totally different areas of the mind and blocks starvation indicators, it goes to your abdomen and slows down the speed your abdomen empties, and it hormonally helps your physique be extra delicate to the insulin that you simply produce, thus serving to your fats cells shrink,” Lofton defined.

Due to the way in which it really works, semaglutide’s mostly reported uncomfortable side effects contain the gastrointestinal system, Lofton stated.

These had been the primary that Clarke skilled.

Scary uncomfortable side effects, like a racing heartbeat

“You begin out on a really low dose to have your physique get used to it,” Clarke stated. “You will get quite a lot of nausea, diarrhea, you’ll be able to really feel dizzy.”

When Clarke superior to the therapeutic dose of semaglutide, she developed coronary heart palpitations and tachycardia (racing heartbeat).

“It bought to a degree the place it was like I might really feel my coronary heart beating out of my chest,” Clarke stated. “It might wake me up in the midst of the night time, and I used to be type of panicking as a result of I used to be like, this doesn’t really feel proper. It feels very scary.”

Clarke didn’t point out it, however different individuals who take semaglutide seem to develop what’s turning into often known as “Ozempic face,” during which speedy weight reduction causes an individual’s face to look gaunt, saggy and prematurely aged.

“While you drop a few pounds so acutely and shortly, you see extra of a world facial losing,” Dr. Paul Jarrod Frank, a New York Metropolis dermatologist, advised NBC’s TODAY present.

“It’s not only a wrinkle we’re seeing in a single space or a heaviness across the eyes,” Frank continued. “We’re seeing it within the temples, the jaw line, across the mouth, beneath the eyes.”

Regardless of her uncomfortable side effects, Clarke caught with Ozempic for a few yr as a result of the drug was very efficient in controlling her diabetes and serving to her drop a few pounds.

Clarke dropped about 10 kilos inside a month. By the point she determined to cease taking Ozempic a yr later, she’d misplaced 35 kilos.

“It was actually tempting to proceed it as a result of it is such a straightforward treatment to take,” Clarke stated. “It is as soon as weekly, it is an injection, it doesn’t harm that badly in any respect, barely appears like a pinch.”

“I simply felt like, I type of wish to proceed this as a result of I am seeing actually good outcomes on it. However then for the flip facet, it was like, regardless that I am seeing these nice outcomes, I really feel terrible on a regular basis,” Clarke added. “I do not really feel good, I haven’t got any vitality, I really feel sick and nauseous. And that is not high quality of life.”

Clarke was fearful that she’d regain the burden she misplaced after she stopped taking Ozempic, however that wasn’t what occurred.

“I really ended up sustaining my weight for a short while after which even dropping a bit bit extra. So complete, I misplaced about 50 kilos,” Clarke stated.

As demand exceeds provide, some with diabetes go with out

Clarke has described the semaglutide shortages as “actually irritating” on her weblog, notably for individuals who want the drug to handle their diabetes.

Wegovy comprises a better dose of semaglutide, as a result of that’s the dose wanted to deal with weight problems as accredited by the U.S. Meals and Drug Administration.

Ever since Wegovy arrived in the marketplace, producer Novo Nordisk has struggled to fulfill demand, prompting off-label prescription of Ozempic for weight reduction.

“There are people who find themselves utilizing it for weight reduction for well being functions, and I believe that’s wonderful,” Clarke stated. “Particularly with my very own expertise, I understand how useful it may be.”

However social media has spurred demand by selling semaglutide as a miracle weight-loss drug, Lofton stated.

Wegovy is supposed to assist individuals with weight issues so unhealthy that the additional kilos are harming their well being, however semaglutide is as an alternative getting used to assist individuals obtain the “good physique.”

Clarke famous an “Ozempic problem” circulating on TikTok.

“It is people who find themselves at a reasonably regular weight,” Clarke stated of the TikTok movies. “Possibly they’ve like 10 kilos that they wish to lose due to some purpose. From what I’ve seen, it is normally vainness functions.”

“And they also’re utilizing Ozempic, and I believe that has a very huge affect on individuals with diabetes as a result of we’re not capable of get the drug at this level,” Clarke stated. “There are such a lot of shortages, and there’s a scarcity of manufacturing for Ozempic with this elevated demand as a result of individuals are seeing that it really works for weight reduction very effectively.”

Lofton stated that each makes use of of the drug are reputable, and what’s actually wanted is for Novo Nordisk to resolve its manufacturing bottleneck and for insurers to cowl semaglutide therapy.

Novo Nordisk has promised to resolve the semaglutide shortages inside the first few months of 2023, Lofton stated.

“We have now about 40 million individuals with weight problems/chubby, and now we have about 11 million individuals within the U.S. with diabetes,” Lofton stated.

“If the businesses cannot meet the demand — which I’m glad the demand is nice and folks learn about these medicine — then we actually have to reevaluate how these pharmaceutical corporations are permitting us, in addition to insurance coverage corporations are permitting us, to have entry to those much-needed medicine for a number of circumstances,” Lofton stated.

Extra info

The U.S. Meals and Drug Administration has extra on shortages of Wegovy and Ozempic.



SOURCES: Mila Clarke, blogger and activist; Holly Lofton, MD, weight problems medication specialist, NYU Langone Well being, New York Metropolis


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