The tech billionaire announced a few days ago that he was already over 13 kilos lighter thanks to the drugs Ozempic and Wegovy. In August, unfavorable photos of the Tesla founder in swimming trunks on a yacht caused negative headlines, a lot of ridicule on the Internet and public criticism of his father: “Elon is very well built and very, very strong, but he eats poorly,” blasphemed Errol Musk on a TV show. The 79-year-old’s tip to his 51-year-old son: diet pills.
Apparently he took the advice to heart: “Hey, @elonmusk, what’s your secret? You look great, fit, fit & healthy,” a Twitter user recently asked the new CEO and owner of the social network. Musks promptly replied, “Fasting + Ozempic/Wegovy + no tasty food near me.”
Diabetics in the US: Healthy customers buy their medication – to lose weight
The run on Ozempic and Wegovy is now so great that diabetic patients who are actually medically dependent on it can hardly find the drugs in the USA. As early as August, the manufacturer warned US doctors nationwide not to prescribe the drugs to new patients for the time being. The health authority FDA has now listed both drugs on its website as “scarce until further notice”.
The phones in his practice rarely ring, says Jonathan Foalkow of Baptist Health South Florida in Miami. Desperate diabetic patients can no longer find the drugs anywhere. The chief cardiologist reported to the news magazine Axios: “The pharmacies no longer get the medicines delivered and we bend over backwards so that they can continue to take the medicine they need.”
The drugs are no longer available at Brandee Lam’s pharmacy in Dania Beach (Florida). According to the pharmacist, customers without any form of diabetes would have bought up all the supplies and paid the steep price of $1,070 per month’s supply out of their own pockets.
Celebrities and influencers rave about the appetite-suppressing side effects of semaglutide
But such media reports have not stopped celebrities and influencers from continuing to rave about the appetite-suppressing side effects of semaglutide on social media. The active ingredient was developed specifically for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. It was approved for the American market in 2017 and for the European market in early 2018. Semaglutide is the main ingredient in Ozempic. Even stronger concentrates contain the ingredient in Wegovy. Both drugs are manufactured by the pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk.
Semaglutide stimulates the pancreas to produce more insulin. This leads to the regulation of blood sugar levels as well as the reduction of glucagon – a hormone that raises sugar levels. One side benefit is weight loss, although Ozempic wasn’t designed for that, explains Baptist Health’s Heberto Valdes:
“Ozempic can help patients lose weight, but it’s actually used to treat diabetes. Countless patients come to my practice without any previous diabetes conditions, who specifically ask for Ozempic to lose weight. This demand limits the supply for those who really need it.” The doctor also warns of possible side effects – including deafness, dizziness, kidney failure and an increased risk of thyroid cancer.
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Kim Kardashian’s weight loss is said to be the result of semaglutide use
Nevertheless, the so-called “Ozempic bodies” continue to be celebrated on TikTok: a corresponding hashtag by the popular TV presenter Andy Cohen was clicked over 274 million times. Kim Kardashian’s 16-pound weight loss in three weeks to fit into the original Marilyn Monroe dress at the Met Gala was also the result of appetite-suppressing semaglutids, it’s said – speculation the reality star has yet to confirm or deny.
“Patients speak of a true miracle cure,” New York cosmetic surgeon Paul Jarrod Frank told the fashion journal Vogue. “Aside from Viagra and Botox, I’ve never seen a medicinal compound so quickly made it into the mainstream vocabulary of modern culture.” The demand for Ozempic for weight loss has skyrocketed, he says.
The experiences of his colleague Nancy Rahnama are similar. She also warns: “Diabetes is a chronic disease, which is why Ozempic must be taken indefinitely. As soon as you stop Ozempic, blood sugar levels and appetite return to normal.” The Beverly Hills internist is certain: “Patients will then gain exactly what they lost.”