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The rich and famous are turning to the diabetes drug Ozempic as a quick-acting weight loss solution.
Everyone from Hollywood stars to tech moguls are turning to the injectable drug to stay slim.
The drug, which uses the active ingredient semaglutide, is manufactured by the Danish pharmaceutical giant Novo Nordisk costs around $900 per pop.
It is injected into the stomach, thigh or arm and quickly suppresses a person’s appetite – allowing them to quickly and easily lose weight.
The drug has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for type 2 diabetes treatment, making its use as a weight loss supplement off-label.
It costs around $950 for a month of treatment – and because it is being used off-label getting the price covered by insurance is a longshot.
It has still rocketed to popularity with celebrity dieticians reporting a surge in requests for it among their wealthy clients.
Demand for the drug has reached such heights that it type 2 diabetics that need it for treatment have had to deal with shortages.
The FDA has added the drug, and the similar Wegovy which is also manufactured by Novo, to its drug shortage list.
The injectable diabetes drug Ozempic has become popular has s weight loss supplement among celebrities and wealthy elites – so much so that it is in short supply for actual pre-diabetics who need it to manage their condition
Dr Nancy Rahnama is a Beverly Hills-based nutritionist who told the Wall Street Journal that she gets calls inquiring about the drug daily.
‘They specifically say, ‘How much is it to get Ozempic?’ she said.
The drug is not to be used this way, as it is intended to help those struggling with diabetes drop their blood sugar.
Its intense appetite suppressing properties have launched it into popularity, though.
Patti Stanger, executive producer of the reality show ‘Millionaire Matchmaker’ told the Journal that it ‘is the Hollywood drug.’
‘It’s nationwide… I have friends in Miami, I have friends in New York who are doing it.’
She went so far to say that everyone she knows is using the drug.
Its prevalence among the Hollywood elite was first revealed to the world over summer, when Ozempic went viral on Tik Tok as a weight loss supplement.
There were also popular rumors that Kim Kardashian had used the drug after she revealed dropping her body fat percentage from 25 to 18 in a short period of time.
Dr Shamsah Amersi (left), a Santa Monica-based gynecologist, says she prescribes the drug to clients that have exhausted other weight loss regimens. Dr Nancy Rahnama (right), a Beverly Hills-based nutritionist, said that she receives calls inquiring about the drug daily
Elon Musk (pictured), billionaire tech tycoon and CEO of Tesla, said that he used Wegovy for weight loss earlier this year
Kardashian has not addressed rumors about her use of the drug.
Last month, Variety reported that the drug had become a crucial part of many celebrities preparation before making public appearances.
It was even said by an anonymous source that it was so prevalent that it was comparable to getting a star’s hair or makeup done before an event.
Ozempic: The diabetes drug turned weight loss phenomena
Ozempic is a type 2 diabetes and pre-diabetes drug that uses the active ingredient semaglutide.
It is also popularly used off-label because of its strong weight loss properties.
It is to be injected into a person’s, arm, thing or stomach to help regulate their blood sugar and suppress appetite.
The drug has reportedly become popular among celebrities because of its intense weight loss effects.
It is a GLP-1 receptor that causes the pancreas to release insulin – the hormone responsible for regulating blood sugar.
The drug also slows down food exiting the stomach, decreasing a person’s appetite.
Studies have found that GLP-1s are highly affective weight loss tools.
In a 2021 study, patients who used semaglutide dropped 14 per cent of their weight over a 68 week period, compared to only two per cent weight loss among those who used a placebo
Encrypted Signal chats between the rich and famous are lauding over the drug’s ability to help them lose weight, the report said.
Dr Shamsah Amersi, a Santa Monica-based gynecologist, said she has prescribed the drug to her celebrity clientele that haven’t had success with other weight loss regimens.
‘I tell my patients to use this to retrain the way we eat,’ she said
Ozempic has a sister drug also produced by Novo, Wegovy. Both use semaglutide as their active ingredient.
Billionaire tech tycoon Elon Musk has admitted to using Wegovy for weight loss on his Twitter.
The latter is intended for weight loss, but the Danish firm has had trouble keeping it in supply leading to many turning to Ozempic.
Dr Jason Brett, executive director of medical affairs at Novo, warns that despite their similarities, the drugs should not be used interchangeably.
‘From our standpoint, we don’t promote or suggest or encourage any off-label usage at all,’ Dr Brett told the Journal.
‘…we’re not looking at weight loss for cosmetic purposes or episodic weight loss for people who don’t fit those criteria from the FDA-approved label indications.’
The surge in demand for the drug has left many diabetics and pre-diabetics – for which there are nearly 130 million in the United States – unable to access it.
‘It’s led to panic. Pharmacies have units on back order through December,’ Matt Mahowald, a celebrity nutritionist, told Variety.
The American Diabetes Association expressed concerns over these shortages to the Journal.