A recent weight loss trend among TikTok users that rumored about celebrities using diabetes drug Ozempic gathered over a million views using the hashtag #ozempic and #ozempicjourney.
Alpro Pharmacy, Malaysia’s largest prescription pharmacy chain, would like to proactively address the controversy and educate the public on the risks and side effects of misusing prescription medicine that is indicated for Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus.
Semaglutide, a medication sold under different brand names including Ozempic, an antidiabetic medication used for the treatment of type 2 diabetes and, in the United States, as anti-obesity medication for long-term weight management. However, Ozempic is not the ultimate answer for obesity as it is a prescription medicine indicated for Type 2 diabetes that requires a patient to go get a complete medication review.
Overdose of Ozempic or other similar prescription can cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) that leads to more health complications. Common side effects of diabetes drugs include gastrointestinal symptoms including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain and constipation. Other possible side effects include pancreatitis, changes in vision, low blood sugar, kidney failure and gallbladder issues. The drug Ozempic is also contraindicated for people who have suffered from medullary thyroid cancer or certain endocrine disorders.
According to Alpro’s Nutritionist and Dietitian, the first choice to reduce body weight is through lifestyle and diet modification. Diet is the key component in weight management. Many people are aware of this, but only a few succeeded. This is because most people initiate lifestyle and diet changes without proper planning and consultation from experts such as nutritionists and dietitians. With proper consultation from nutritionists and dieticians, weight loss progression can be measured with a much higher success rate.
Dietitians can personalize weight management plans effectively and safely while taking into account the underlying contributing factor that needs to be addressed for each individual, respectively.
In cases where patients require Ozempic, it should only be used under Doctor’s prescription and purchased from a licensed pharmacy. Public should keep in mind to not purchase this drug online via illegal sources as it risks the health of the consumer. It also adds unnecessary distress to diabetic patients as the medications run out of stock due to the self-prescribing habit of the netizens. Ozempic have to be handled with care under tight temperature control as it is a cold chain medicine. Once the cold chain is broken, the efficacy may be affected and may also cause unwanted side effects. The public is welcome to visit any Alpro Pharmacy outlets to consult our experienced nutritionists and dietitians regarding weight loss concerns including advice and support.
About the author: Lim En Ni (pictured above) is the Chief Pharmacist and Director of Engagement for Alpro Pharmacy. This is an opinion column. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of this publication.
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