People Are Using a Diabetes Drug To Lose Weight—but Is It Safe?
If you're wondering how Elon Musk achieved his "fit, ripped, and healthy" physique (as one fan dubbed it), the Tesla founder recently revealed his secret sauce. Twitter user Eva McMillan tweeted at the billionaire, "What's your secret? You look awesome, fit, ripped & healthy. Lifting weights? Eating healthy?" to which Musk responded, "fasting," and "Wegovy." We have the scoop on using Wegovy for weight loss—which seems to be the new "It" weight loss drug among celebs—so read on to learn more.
According to Insider, this injection was initially taken once a week by individuals dealing with diabetes as a means to regulate insulin. But last summer, the FDA approved it to help with "chronic weight management." Wegovy is a version of semaglutide, which takes on the brand name of Ozempic and was developed by Novo Nordisk, a pharmaceutical company headquartered in Denmark (via Variety). Ozempic made tidal waves on TikTok a few months back when the #MyOzempicJourney trend shined a spotlight on the jaw-dropping transformations of individuals using the drug.
Hollywood nutritionist Matt Mahowald reveals that the medicine comes with a hefty price tag. "It's easily going to be $1,200 to $1,500 per month. If you go out and buy an Ozempic pen from a pharmacist, that's what you're getting charged," Mahowald explains to Variety.
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What exactly are the weight loss benefits of Wegovy?
If you're curious about this coveted weight loss drug, you're likely wondering one of two things. First off, how does Wegovy help you shed excess pounds? We chatted with Deena Adimoolam, MD Endocrinologist and member of the Eat This, Not That! Medical Expert Board who explains, "Wegovy belongs to a class of medications called GLP1 analogs. These medications work on certain receptors in the brain and gut that help decrease hunger and increase the feeling of fullness which ultimately helps promote weight loss."
Is taking Wegovy for weight loss safe?
Next up, you're probably wondering if taking Wegovy for weight loss is safe. Dr. Adimoolam says the medication comes with many side effects, so it's imperative to chat with your healthcare professional to see if it's the right fit for you. "For example, if you have a history of medullary thyroid cancer or MEN (Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia) syndrome Type 2, this medication is contraindicated," she explains.
Dr. Adimoolam adds that Wegovy isn't currently available to the public; it's only accessible to individuals who have been taking it long-term. You may have to wait until after January 2023 hits in order to start taking Wegovy.