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Elon Musk Uses This Diabetes Drug for Weight Loss

Dr Rohit Bhaskar
Dr Rohit Bhaskar
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Elon Musk has acknowledged using this drug, along with “fasting,” for his “fit, ripped, and healthy” body.

There are two drugs manufactured by Novo Nordisk –– Ozempic and Wegovy –– both of which are prescribed for people who are overweight or suffering from obesity, and are also suffering from type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol as a precondition.

As far as India is concerned, though the Drug Controller General of India approved using oral semaglutides to treat type 2 diabetes back in 2020 itself, the first ever oral semaglutide (manufactured by Novo Nordisk) was only launched in January 2022.

What Are These Drugs?

Ozempic and Wegovy (both injectable drugs) are semaglutides that are used as incretins or gut hormones. The basic function of these drugs is to change the levels of insulin in diabetes patients.

How they work is that they help “early satiety and delay gastric emptying” in the people taking the drugs. Basically, you get full quickly and the food moves slowly through your gut making you feel full for a longer duration, thus reducing weight.

Do These Drugs Have Side Effects?

Wegovy.com and a press release by the United States Food and Drug Administration enlisted certain side effects of the drug:

  • Cancer
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Kidney failure
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Increased heart rate
  • Gall bladder problems
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhoea
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Abdominal pain
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Indigestion
  • Dizziness
  • Gastroenteritis
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease

Apart from these, there is also a potential risk of thyroid C-cell tumours and allergic reactions.

The website also said that the drug should only be taken with a “reduced calorie meal plan and increased physical activity.” Additionally, people under the age of 18 should not take the drug since its effects on them are still not known.

How Much Do These Drugs Cost?

If one is using these for weight loss, medical insurance in the United States might not cover the cost of these injections. Doses of Wegovy (which are required to be taken once every week) might cost USD 1,349.02 for a month. On the other hand, Ozempic might cost USD 1,368 per month.

However, ever since these drugs started “trending,” there has been increased pressure on the supply chains. The Daily Mail reported that many US pharmacies have backlogs of this drug till December at this point.

However, there is no clarity on the availability of Wegovy and Ozempic in India yet. But doctors do prescribe a drug called Rybelsus which is also a semaglutide.

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