Ozempic, a drug typically used to treat diabetes, has gained a reputation among TikTok influencers and celebrities for helping them lose weight in short time frames, but what is it?

Ozempic contains semalgitude, which lowers blood sugar levels and regulates insulin, crucial for people with Type 2 diabetes.

However, it also mimics a hormone which limits are appetite by signalling to our bodies that we feel full.

As a result, people with obesity have lost weight while taking it, and it has even been used in a weight loss drug approved for use by the NHS in England, Wegovy.

Glasgow Times:

Since September 2023, the jab, which is to be used alongside a reduced calorie diet and exercise, has been available to eligible patients.

Those eligible should have a body mass index (BMI) over 30 or a BMI of more than 27 and at least one weight-related co-morbidity.

The National Institute for Care and Excellence (Nice) gave Wegovy the green light for NHS use in 2023.

Its guidance said it should be used for a “maximum” of two years.

Wegovy manufacturer Novo Nordisk said it believes the launch of the drug in the UK “will help provide an additional option to support people living with obesity”.

At the time of its approval, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak described Wegovy as a “game-changer”.

“Obesity puts huge pressure on the NHS,” he said. “Using the latest drugs to support people to lose weight will be a game-changer by helping to tackle dangerous obesity-related health conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes and cancer – reducing pressure on hospitals, supporting people to live healthier and longer lives, and helping to deliver on my priority to cut NHS waiting lists.”

What are the side effects of Ozempic?

According to the F.D.A in the USA, Ozempic and Wegovy can cause nausea and dehydration.

People taking the drugs may also feel fatigue and malaise, while bowel movements could be affected with some patients suffering from diarrhoea and others becoming severely constipated.

In rare cases, the medication has increased the risk of pancreatitis, and other patients have suffered from gallstones.