Videos under the hashtag #Ozempic” have been viewed almost 600 million times on TikTok, where users regularly share information about their weight loss process.
In the video, a French TikTok user says, “It’s possible to lose 40 kilograms in three months. This is thanks to Ozempic. It’s a miracle.”
The video that was recorded and uploaded to his TikTok account last December was watched 50 thousand times.
The injectable drug from the Danish pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk was originally developed and approved in several countries to treat type 2 diabetes.
The drug’s active ingredient, semaglutide, binds to hormone receptors that control blood sugar, thereby stimulating insulin release when glucose levels are high. This slows the time food leaves the stomach, which can reduce appetite.
As of early 2021, a study showed that nearly three-quarters of users of the drug Ozempic lost more than 10 percent of their body weight.
Jean-Luc Faillie, a pharmacologist at the University of Montpellier, France said, “This has resulted in an increase in the number of people without diabetes who are being prescribed the drug Ozempic using a falsified prescription.”
The company Novo Nordisk told AFP that “the surge in demand for Ozempic that exceeded expectations” had caused “drug availability and stockouts” worldwide.
French drug regulator ANSM urged doctors to give Ozempic only to diabetics.
Faillie added that doctors also expressed concern about the side effects of semaglutide, which are not widely discussed. Neither the patient nor the doctor was moved to report any side effects of the drug.
Nausea is the most common side effect of the drug Ozempic. There are also rarer and more serious cases such as acute pancreatitis, which can occur even with lower doses, bile disturbances, as well as severe constipation which can result in intestinal obstruction. [lj/ab]
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