LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) – Ozempic, a drug originally made to treat diabetes, is now taking Hollywood and social media by storm as a weight-loss wonder drug.
The prescription medication which patients self-inject once a week is sometimes referred to as ‘the skinny pen’ by users.
”I took Ozempic for about a month I lost almost 10 pounds in about 3 weeks,” said Cristy O’Connell. She is the owner and one of the nurse practitioners at Health Xpress in Henderson.
Her story is what has been the talk of the town, losing weight with Ozempic.
The health center, in its second year, is a walk-in clinic as well as primary care.
Three weeks ago, O’Connell introduced Ozempic to her patients.
“Person to person your BMI what you weigh there are comorbidities there’s just a lot of factors,” said O’Connell.
“Ozempic is an anti-diabetic drug that’s used for weight management and long-term weight management,” said Cristina Kulvack, a provider at Health Xpress.
Cristina Kulvack is a provider at Health Xpress – she says she’s seen about 50 people who’ve asked for Ozempic specifically.
“It helps the body with caloric burning and helps the body burn stored fat,” said Kulvack.
Ozempic was originally an injectable medication used to help control blood sugar for those with type two diabetes.
Now, with the help of social media, it’s become quite the popular drug for weight loss.
This drug is not FDA-approved. However, Wegovy, the exact same drug under a different name is.
Leiana Oswald is a pharmacist and associate dean professor of pharmacy at Roseman University, she says people should know this isn’t a magic potion.
“They need to have failed diet and exercise alone before going on to the medication,” said Oswald.
However, Oswald says for some people it can be a great resource. It could help with the prevention of cardiovascular disease for those who can not lose weight with diet and exercise.
But following trends on social media is not the best thing to do for your health.
“There is a space for any weight loss drug to be added on to a patient who is overweight or obese, especially those with comorbid highly beneficial a cool TikTok craze can get a lot of people in the hospital and get them sick,” said Oswald.
In extreme cases, Oswald says thyroid cancer has been detected during animal studies, and she urges those who are pregnant or could be pregnant, prone to gallstones to talk with a doctor further.
Here are the most common side effects: “Nausea upset stomach increased gas vomiting for some, especially for those who overeat while on the medication because they get this trigger in their brain that they’re really full,” said Oswald.
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