Weight loss is an investment

Written by: Taylor Duff | Staff Writer

Content warning: this article mentions suicide, self-harm and mental health struggles. 

Ozempic was approved in 2017 to help treat those who suffer from type 2 diabetes. The medicine works synergistically with the body’s insulin and hormones to decrease appetite and lower blood pressure. 

Ozempic is a weekly injection that includes Semaglutide, an antidiabetic medicine that mimics the GLP-1 hormone and promotes the pancreatic process to pump more insulin into the body. A person on Ozempic can expect to lose 15 pounds in only two months. However, many people who don’t suffer from these conditions are abusing Ozempics benefits to lose weight. Some cases say the best results are shown in correlation with diet and exercise, but Ozempic isn’t labeled as a weight loss medication by healthcare professionals.

Like any medication, it isn’t without its side effects. Ozempic has been shown to cause side effects such as diarrhea, vomiting, constipation, brain fog, dizziness, blurred vision and even gallbladder disease. 

The mental health side effects include depression and anxiety with many users reporting increased suicidal thoughts, suicidal ideation and self-harm. The medication is also not recommended for women who do not plan on becoming pregnant. Ozempic causes a decrease in birth control effectiveness, and, as a result, women have reported falling pregnant while on both birth control and Ozempic.  

Ozempic has become increasingly popular on social media as many celebrities and influencers started taking the medication. People have speculated about celebrities who have lost weight such as Kelly Clarkson and Post Malone, but these celebrities have denied claims about using the medication. Other celebrities are open about using Ozempic such as Chelsie Handler, Sharone Osborn and Oprah Winfrey. TikTok and other social media avenues have also aided in Ozempic’s popularity, as many users show their weight loss or criticize others who may be on Ozempic. 

The problem that arises is that Ozempic was developed to be a helpful medication for those with type 2 diabetes. Still, many of these celebrities and influencers who take Ozempic don’t have the condition. In turn, many individuals turn to Ozempic as a replacement for diet and exercise. The medication is also expensive and rarely covered by insurance, as Ozempic isn’t FDA-approved as a weight loss medication. Some websites offer Ozempic for around $250 per month, but the cost of the medication can be up to $1000 per month. With the high demand and price tag, many individuals who suffer from health conditions the drug was originally made for aren’t able to access the medication. This has resulted in Ozempic being part of the drug shortage list, which created illegal counterfeit Ozempic injections to surface. Safety is a priority as Ozempic continues to be on the market.     

Contact the author at tduff23@mail.wou.edu