March 6, 2023 | 10:05 p.m.
According to researchers in China, the popular weight loss drugs Wegovy and Ozempic could have a serious side effect.
According to researchers in China, the popular weight loss drugs Wegovy and Ozempic could have serious side effects.
In a study to appear in the monthly journal Acta Pharmaceutica Sinica B, researchers believe there is an “increased risk” of bowel obstruction when taking these drugs.
The drugs consist of the peptide semaglutide, a derivative of GLP-1, a hormone derived from the small intestine.
This is the hormone that semaglutide mimics, and it makes you feel full longer by slowing down digestion, which leads to weight loss.
Although this drug may be useful in treating diseases such as obesity and type 2 diabetes by lowering a person’s glucose levels and promoting weight loss, concerns have been raised about a side effect potential undesirable.
“Although their efficacies and safety profiles are widely accepted, long-term adverse events such as an increased risk of intestinal obstruction have been reported in diabetic patients, which is 4.5 times higher than those receiving other blood sugar control medications,” the researchers wrote of the drug. .
“A real-world study of 25,617 subjects demonstrated a 3.5-fold increase in the rate of intestinal obstruction associated with GLP-1RA treatment,” the researchers also noted.
The Post has contacted the drug’s maker, Novo Norodisk, for comment.
The researchers also cited two studies in their research that showed a correlation between GLP-1 and gut problems – one published in 2020, the other in 2022.
However, they were observational in nature and could not confirm a direct relationship.
A bowel obstruction occurs when there is a blockage that prevents food or liquid from moving through the small intestine or the large intestine, according to the Mayo Clinic.
If left untreated, it can cause parts of the intestine that were blocked to die and lead to an infection called peritonitis.
The infection is classified as a life-threatening condition that often requires surgery, according to the organization.
In their letter, they explained that in their own observations of rats taking the drug, they had an average 43% increase in the length of the small intestine after a 3-month course of GLP-1b drugs, pointing out that the clinical trials for Wegovy only tested for 16 months.
They also noted that clinical trials that have been done on humans have not shown the same changes in our intestines.
The researchers explained that it can be difficult to determine the length of the small intestine in adults and that constipation, a symptom of intestinal obstruction, is also the same symptom as slower digestion, an effect of the drug. .
However, independent experts who were not involved in the research told the Daily Mail that “the drug should be safe for the most part” and argued that before doctors prescribe the drug to their patients, they should examine the person’s intestinal history.
Folk medicine is given by injection once a week, which patients can do themselves. The maximum dose of Wegovy is 2.4 milligrams.
In recent months, the weight-loss drug has taken Hollywood by storm, as many stars have admitted to taking it at one time or another, including comedian Chelsea Handler, who claimed she “didn’t know” she took Ozempic.
She alleged that her doctor was just “handing it out” to anyone.
“I came back from vacation and injected myself with it. I went to lunch with a friend a few days later, and she said, ‘I really don’t eat anything. I’m so nauseous, I’m on Ozempic,” she recalled during a Jan. 25 appearance on the “Call Her Daddy” podcast.
“And I was like, ‘I’m a little nauseous too.’ But I had just returned from Spain and I was jet lagged,” she continued.
Twitter owner Elon Musk also admitted to using Wegovy last fall.