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Could the drug Ozempic bring back the dark diet culture of the 90s?

Credit: Fuu J via

A type 2 diabetic drug gaining popularity in Hollywood for its connection to dramatic weight reduction has been approved by the NHS in England for weight loss.

Semaglutide is an injection that helps people with type 2 diabetes control their blood sugar levels, as well as being prescribed for weight loss. The drug restricts hunger, working as an appetite suppressant by imitating a hormone called Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) allowing the user to feel fuller and more satisfied, whilst eating less.

The drug goes by the name Ozempic for people with type 2 diabetes and it is sold under the name of Wegovy for weight loss.

The drug is known particularly for its popularity on TikTok and throughout Hollywood. Celebrities such as the Kardashians, Elon Musk and Kyle Richards are among the many who have been rumoured to be taking the drug. Former Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson has admitted in his column with the Sunday times that he takes Ozempic, claiming curiosity got the better of him.

The celebrity craze surrounding Wegovy, feels like a comeback to the diet pill fixation of the 1990s.

The trend that saw a soaring use of amphetamines was largely marketed by pharmaceutical companies as weight loss supplements before anyone knew the side effects which can include; anxiety, depression, psychosis, and heart failure.

Although like any crash diet or weight loss drug on the market, once you stop taking the shot and resume eating and drinking whatever you like, the weight you’ve lost will return to some extent. Gaining weight back is likely,as an individual will only be able to take the drug for a max of two years, before the doctors stop prescribing it.

This opens the conversation to people finding the drug in unsafe ways, possibly turning to the black market to maintain their slender figure.

Infographic – made by Georgia Burns

Recent videos have blown up on TikTok of influencers talking about their experience with the drug.

One user posted a video which showed her starting weight of 216 lb. In total, they lost 35 lbs, and they now weigh 181 lbs after using the drug. However, in the comments she stated now after 7 months on the drug she has lost 48 lbs. Many of the comments on the video are people asking for information on the drug, mostly people wanting to know how they can get their hands on the drug for themselves.

Sparking the question…are TikTok users glamorising the drug, for likes and views?

What do medical professionals say?

Mr Wright, a pharmacist for a high street pharmacy, spoke to Breakthrough Press about the drugs popularity over the years.

“I would say there has been a definite rise in supply and demand of semaglutide considering even a year ago it wasn’t really something we ever kept in stock and very rarely did we receive a prescription for the drug.” Mr Wright said.

The drug has clearly become extremely popular, as Mr Wright went on to mention; “Over the last year we’ve been given new training due to the rising demand for the drug. We must keep more than a couple boxes in stock at all times as we get a prescription to dispense almost daily now.”

The patients receiving the drug can do so via an online form,simply answering a few questions. Although they do have to go through a health check before the prescription is provided.

Mr Wright described that the pharmacist isn’t always told why the patient is receiving the drug, stating:

“Based on this knowledge though we can kind of tell that the online doctor service is not the most secure and a lot of patients who don’t necessarily have a medical condition such as diabetes are using the service because they have seen or heard that it can be used to tackle other problems such as obesity.”

Mr Wright asserted that drugs of this nature should be regulated. With the pharmacy having to put regulations and control on the number of laxative tables, such as senna, that a customer can buy at one time due to the previous craze that laxatives can help with weight loss. “We have put a strict number on the amount we sell, and we have counselling services to discuss misuse with patients.”, he confirmed.

Mr Wright expressed just how much he feels that a drug of this nature should only be prescribed with a doctor or a pharmacist present throughout all aspects of accessing the drug, from consultation to supply.

When asked if Hollywood has had an impact on the rise of the drug, Mr Wright commented “Hollywood has always had an impact on society’s perception of how we should look, and this has been evident in pharmacy for a while.”

He spoke of how his pharmacy has tried to stay ahead of trends, trying to introduce regulations which limit sales. Although a drug like semaglutide is harder to control, because it is much easier to access via the online service.

Mr Wright dubbed the drug as a source of fear for those in the medical sector, saying: “It’s scary for something like this because misuse could be something that we don’t notice as clearly anymore.”

1 Comment

As always Georgia a very concise piece of work with so much detail and information and indeed brave to bring this to the public

keep up the good work


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