A drug against diabetes and obesity went viral on TikTok

In 2019 the laboratory new nordisk launched a diabetes medicine that also helps with weight loss. the videos about Ozempic is Tik Tok accumulated more than 500 million views.

Although it is a drug that controls glucose, its slimming properties than semaglutide led many doctors in the United States and Brazil to recommend it to combat obesity.

Worth 195 dollars per unitThe one called on TikTok as the “slimming pen” attracted the attention of many users who went to buy it without prior consultation and ignoring its side effects.

From the Novo Nordisk laboratory they warned that, in the coming months, as a result of the great demand, Ozempic could enter the shortage list of all pharmacies in the world since the industry was not prepared to meet this peak in demand.

On TikTok, videos about Ozempic amassed more than 500 million views worldwide.

How does the Ozempic work?

The active ingredient in Ozempic is semaglutide, which works as a substitute for the human hormone GLP, responsible for controlling glucose metabolism in the body, according to Rodrigo Lamounier, an endocrinologist and professor at the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG).

Lamounier added: “It improves the efficiency of insulin action in people who have diabetes and is very effective in improving glucose control.” In addition, the drug has the effect of generating satiety. “It causes a delay in gastrointestinal emptying, causes satiety. It also acts on the hypothalamus, the hunger center, causing inhibition of hunger, loss of appetite and, therefore, reduced food intake,” according to the agency. AFP.

What is diabetes, the silent disease that is already considered a “pandemic within the pandemic”

The drug has become a good choice for obese or overweight diabetics. “It is a good option for type 2 diabetics. Before, I only used indications for diabetics who gain weight and this is a drug that can make the patient lose weight. So it is interesting to reduce the cardiovascular risk of the patient, helping to prevent a cerebrovascular accident (CVA) or kidney disease”, says the president of the Brazilian Diabetes Society, Levimar Araújo.

What is the diabetes?

Diabetes is a “chronic” disease that occurs when the level of glucose in the blood, also known as blood sugar, is too high. Glucose in the blood is the main source of energy and comes from food. Insulin, a hormone made by the pancreas, helps glucose from food get into cells to be used for energy. Sometimes the body doesn’t make enough or no insulin or doesn’t use it properly and the glucose stays in the blood and doesn’t get to the cells.

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Over time, too much glucose in the blood can cause health problems. Although there is no cure for diabetes (which is why it is classified as a “chronic” disease), the person with diabetes can take measures to control their disease and stabilize their health.

The main types of diabetes are type 1, which is when the body does not produce insulin because the immune system attacks and destroys the cells of the pancreas that produce it. Type 2 diabetes, when the body does not make or use insulin properly. Type 2 diabetes can appear at any age, even during childhood. And gestational diabetes that affects some women during pregnancy. Most of the time, this type of diabetes goes away after the baby is born. However, when a woman has had gestational diabetes, she is more likely to develop type 2 diabetes later in life.

How effective is it to lose weight?

According to a study published in 2021 in the academic journal New England Journal of Medicine, it showed an average weight loss of 14.9% in obese patients who used semaglutide once a week, and changed lifestyle habits, for 68 weeks (15 months). The patients who only changed their exercise habits lost 2.4% of their weight during that period.

At the end of 2022, Anvisa (National Health Surveillance Agency) presented another drug based on semaglutide for the treatment of obesity, Wegovy, from the same manufacturer, according to the agency. AFP.


Ozempic Side Effects

People taking the drug often experience nausea and diarrhea or constipation. Tachycardia is also common. But there are more serious (although less frequent) problems that can result from taking the drug, such as gallstones, kidney failure, and pancreatitis.

The large number of people using Ozempic has drawn attention to another, mainly aesthetic, effect: the so-called “Ozempic face”. These are patients who present significant facial aging due to loss of facial fat.

The risks are considered low compared to the health benefits for those who may have a stroke due to obesity.

“Not everyone should use this product and should know how to use it. The product is for weekly use and must be prescribed by a specialist, who is the one who can analyze the benefits and harms. You must be very careful with this indiscriminate use of the medicine”, stressed Levimar Araújo.


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