Ozempic, Wegovy, and similar drugs represent the vanguard of a weight-loss revolution. Last year, Yanovski attended a conference in San Diego on the results of a new Novo Nordisk trial for adolescents and teens with severe obesity. The hotel ballroom was standing-room only, according to the scientific journal Nature, and the results of the trial were met with cheers, “like you were at a Broadway show.” After a year, young patients on semaglutide said they lost nearly 35 pounds on average. Teens on the placebo actually gained weight.
As weight-loss medications go, Ozempic is far from perfect. Though the drug has profound impacts, it requires weekly injections, a tolerance for uncomfortable side effects, and the stamina—not to mention the budget—for long-term treatment. (Ozempic has somehow become a catchall term for semaglutide but technically that product has gotten FDA sign-off only as a diabetes medication. A larger dose of semaglutide, marketed as Wegovy, has been approved for weight loss.)
Weight-loss drugs affect the brain in ways that help researchers understand how the body regulates weight.
This drug was first approved in 2017 by the brand name Ozempic® for the treatment of diabetes. Due to its effects on weight loss, semaglutide was also approved in 2021 for weight management under the name Wegovy®. The sheer popularity of this drug has resulted in supply shortages, prompting some people to seek out compounded versions of the drug instead.
An obesity medicine specialist shares his insights on the new social media craze.
Drugs like Ozempic and Wegovy are changing how patients view their own weight struggles. Will society follow?
Semaglutide, a weight-loss drug developed by Novo Nordisk, is currently in short supply due to high demand, leading some people to seek out "generic" or compounded versions of the drug instead... But obesity specialists warn against using compounded semaglutide since its quality and safety cannot be guaranteed.
Demand is mounting for Mounjaro — though like some other trendy medications, it has yet to be approved for weight loss.
I inject myself once a week. It’s changing my body—but not how I see myself.
Mainstream media has framed Ozempic as part of a "diet fad." But in reality, GLP-1 injections help people with diabetes, prediabetes, PCOS, reducing insulin resistance, and other related conditions. Ahead, doctors break down how these work, what they treat, side effects, and more.
What we have learned (or rather, confirmed) through this latest wave of weight loss drugs is that our society continues to prioritize thinness over actual health. While we focus on our scales and our waistlines as the North Star of wellness, we forget that we’re growing more deficient in a number of critical nutrients that protect us from disease.
For the first time, a drug has been shown so effective against obesity that patients may dodge many of its worst consequences, including diabetes, researchers reported on Wednesday.
The drug, semaglutide, made by Novo Nordisk, already is marketed as a treatment for Type 2 diabetes.
Wegovy is the latest in a line of medications, starting with phentermine in 1959, that have achieved FDA approval for the treatment of obesity. Currently there are 10 FDA-approved anti-obesity medications in the US: phentermine, diethylpropion, benzphetamine, phendimetrazine, orlistat, phentermine/topiramate ER (Qsymia), bupropion/naltrexone (Contrave), liraglutide (Saxenda), setmelanotide (Imcivree), and now semaglutide (Wegovy).
Websites appear to be defying a UK ban on advertising prescription drugs by urging customers to register their interest in the new weight-loss injection.
Every drug comes with potential side effects. People taking Ozempic are discovering the issues that come with the weight loss medication that’s so trendy there's a shortage.
The new treatment — a once-weekly injectable from Novo Nordisk, a Danish pharmaceutical company that has hired many leading diabetes and obesity scientists as consultants — is poised to safely help many people with health-threatening obesity, physicians and researchers say. It may even illuminate some of the mysteries around how appetite works in the first place.
Weight loss drugs like Ozempic and Wegovy are just the latest in a depressing line of obesity ‘cures’.
I take semaglutide for my pre-diabetes, which is nearly impossible to treat without medical intervention. And I wish Ozempic critics—the most outspoken of whom happen to be naturally thin celebrities who have never had it or been obese—would understand.
The Wegovy approval continues a trend in which manufacturers of diabetes drugs repurpose them to treat other conditions that are common in diabetic patients. So, for example, the diabetes drugs Jardiance (empagliflozin) and Victoza (liraglutide) now have approvals for reducing the risk of heart attack, stroke and death in cardiovascular patients.
Bays added that Wegovy’s safety profile is “far safer” than earlier drugs for obesity that “have gone down in flames” over safety issues. The most common side effects of Wegovy are gastrointestinal problems such as nausea, diarrhea and vomiting. They typically subsided, but did cause about 5% of trial participants to stop taking the drug.
There is also a possible risk for a type of thyroid tumor. As a result, the drug is contraindicated for people with a medical history or family history of certain thyroid and endocrine tumors. There is also a risk of depression and inflammation of the pancreas.
In participants with overweight or obesity, 2.4 mg of semaglutide once weekly plus lifestyle intervention was associated with sustained, clinically relevant reduction in body weight.
Bays said Wegovy appears far safer than earlier obesity drugs that "have gone down in flames" over safety problems. Wegovy's most common side effects were gastrointestinal problems, including nausea, diarrhea and vomiting. Those usually subsided, but led about 5% of study participants to stop taking it.
Diabetic patients who need the medication are now facing shortages after unfounded claims that celebrities are using it to lose weight.
Could Hollywood's latest obsession with thinness be to blame?
People using drugs like Ozempic are discovering an unwanted side effect: facial aging.
Many people become heavier after halting the use of semaglutide to manage weight.
Some scientists hypothesize that GLP-1 decreases appetite by acting on specific areas in the brain. One side effect of GLP-1 agonists is weight loss, which is usually desired in patients with type 2 diabetes. However, GLP-1’s effects on weight haven’t been properly verified in humans without diabetes.
The new drugs are the first to manipulate the hormonal regulatory systems governing energy balance. The drugs simulate the action of our native GLP-1 but with longer-lasting effects, amplifying the fullness signal inside the body. People who struggle to feel sated suddenly don’t, effectively giving “someone the willpower of those lucky enough to have won the genetic lottery,” said Dr. Brierley.
Discovering how the new weight loss medications alter appetite and the compulsive behavior that can be associated with it could offer new insight into the nature of pleasure and addictions.
How the new obesity pills could upend American society.
Ozempic® is a medicine for adults with type 2 diabetes that, along with diet and exercise, may improve blood sugar. While not for weight loss, Ozempic® may help you lose some weight.
Wegovy (semaglutide) is an expensive drug used to help people lose weight and maintain weight loss. It is used with a reduced calorie diet and exercise. It is less popular than comparable drugs.
Calibrate doctors prescribe medications called GLP-1s (glucagon-like peptide-1s) because research shows that, in combination with coaching, GLP-1s are the most effective and safe long-term option for weight loss.