PARIS: The race to lose weight can have unexpected effects, it seems. In Australia, a diabetes drug called Ozempic is in short supply.
This appears to be linked to the fact that some users of the TikTok social media site have recommended this drug as a weight loss aid.
The hashtags #ozempicjourney, #ozempic, #ozempicaustralia between them count more than 74 million views.
This treatment, to be injected once a week, is an anti-diabetic drug used by type 2 diabetics. It is available on prescription from a general practitioner.
Faced with this craze, the Australian agency responsible for regulating drugs, calls, in a statement, on health professionals to “limit prescribing and dispensing of semaglutide to its approved use.”
In a news release, stating that the drug is indeed in short supply, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) highlights “an unexpected increase in consumer demand.”
A drug known for its side effects
A side effect is defined as an unwanted response to a drug when taken at normal doses. For Ozempic, it is the associated reduction in appetite and resulting weight loss that is sought after by some consumers.
And these effects are confirmed by many users, who notice an increase in the feeling of fullness, which allows them to eat less.
However, several health professionals point out that it is impossible to know what long-term side effects taking Ozempic could have on otherwise healthy people.
Ozempic has become popular on social networks since the US Food and Drug Administration approved another semaglutide-based injectable drug, Wegovy.
The latter is not intended for patients with diabetes, but for obese or overweight individuals.