It’s called the “skinny kick” and it’s all the rage on social media.
Now, because of the demand for the injectable drug ozempic, it is difficult to get it for people who need it to treat diabetes.
When you type him into TikTok, you get an idea of his interest.
Users invite you to follow them on their weight loss journey, claiming that a drug approved for type 2 diabetes is a weight loss miracle.
Naples-based Dr. Deborah Houck explains that it’s part of a new class of diabetes treatment that’s moving the needle on diabetes.
“Ozempic it is a medicine that mimics a normal hormone in the body. This hormone is called glucagon-like peptide one,” said Houk.
This injectable prescription regulates insulin, suppresses appetite, and slows digestion.
It’s a game changer for people who really need it.
“The effects of Ozempic on patients with type 2 diabetes help them in a number of ways, but the most important way is that it reduces the risk of developing atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease,” Hawke said. “It improves outcomes for cardiac events. So they have fewer heart attacks when they take drugs like Ozempic.”
The problem is that once the weight loss benefits became widely known, the drug became more difficult to obtain. The Federal Drug Administration now places it on the demerit list.
The reason? Increased demand.
Joanne Neal, a type 2 diabetic, was forced to go without a prescription for months, causing her blood sugar to spike.
“They started at 6.9 before I started taking it and went down to 6.1 which is almost diabetic and then went up when I couldn’t get it. They’re back by 7,” Neal said.
Neal lost weight on Ozempic, but it didn’t matter to her.
“I lost 22 pounds. This is a great side effect of Ozempic that is rarely seen in medications. But that’s not what it’s meant for,” she said.
This causes a lot of stress for patients and worries doctors.
In addition to the deficit it has created, unlabeled users may not be aware of its side effects.
“They include everything from mild nausea to pancreatitis, which could have put you in the hospital,” Hook said.
Doctors hope to curb appetite for the drug to continue helping patients with type 2 diabetes.
Because the drug is FDA-approved, people using it for weight loss can get the drug off-label if prescribed by a doctor.
It’s not cheap, costing up to $1,000 a month.
The manufacturer of the drug said it is working hard to increase supplies.