Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

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Prescription for Controversy: The Ozempic Issue

When typing the term “Ozempic” in the TikTok search bar, the hashtag has over 500 million views and is accompanied by hundreds of videos of influencers sharing their Ozempic journey. 

Ozempic, also known as semaglutide, is a prescription medication meant for Type 2 diabetics. It keeps blood sugar levels in line and is able to lower A1C, which is a test that measures average blood sugar levels.  

According to the Ozempic website it also can help “reduce the risk of major cardiovascular events such as heart attack, stroke, or death in adults with Type 2 diabetes with known heart disease.”

“Without medication, people with Type 2 diabetes risk blood sugar spikes that can potentially lead to serious health problems, including heart disease, kidney disease, hearing loss, and stroke” according to NBC News

Although there are other medications available for Type 2 diabetes, Ozempic is one of the most prescribed.

In late 2022 and early 2023 it became a hot commodity, but not why you may think.  Celebrities and those diagnosed as “obese” are purchasing this product at either full price or finding it through weight loss clinics.  The problem with this is that those with Type 2 diabetes who are in desperate need of Ozempic are not able to get it.

According to Daily Mail, rumors started to speculate that Kim Kardashian used Ozempic to lose 16 pounds for the 2022 Met Gala, after she said she lost that weight in two weeks.   

The reason celebrities are using and wanting the medicine is because it produces rapid weight loss. The semaglutide enhances the GLP-1 receptor agonist hormone. This hormone also “affects the hunger centers in the brain (specifically, on the hypothalamus), reducing hunger, appetite and cravings,” according to Forbes.  

T.V. personality Chelsea Handler has faced backlash due to her taking the semaglutide but claimed to not know that she was actually taking Ozempic.

“So, my anti-aging doctor just hands it out to anybody, I didn’t even know I was on it,” said Handler on the Call Her Daddy podcast.  

Handler said her friend brought up how nauseous she was due to Ozempic and that is when Handler mentioned her own nausea from her medication. The problem with Handler’s statement is how she said her anti-aging doctor is just handing it out. How do we know other doctors in Hollywood aren’t just handing Ozempic out?  There are people who need it to improve their health and it is being given out carelessly. As long as people have the money, a diagnosis is no longer necessary.

Additionally, pharmacies are having incredible difficulties ordering, receiving and filling the medication. CBS News spoke to Zoe Wiit, a spokesperson for Mutual Aid Diabetes, about the shortage of the semaglutide.  She mentioned how even before it blew up on the internet, the medication was hard to access. “Then to see all these people, essentially anyone who has the money to do it, get it instantaneously, it’s very frustrating,” said Wiit.

There are some people who are obese in the obese population who are claiming it is unfair that this medication is only being prescribed to Type 2 diabetics, considering obesity is also a serious medical condition. 

Professor Proietto, who is an endocrinologist, explained to The Daily Telegraph that Ozempic was a free medication that worked for obese patients as well as diabetics in a high range.  

Abrupt weight loss may sound appealing when trying to obtain the “perfect” Hollywood physique, but the reality is, it can have some side effects after stopping. One side effect is rapid weight gain, potentially leading to insulin resistance for someone who is not pre-diabetic or Type 2 diabetic.  Some people have even reported developing binge eating and gaining back more weight than they originally had. 

In Newsweek, influencer Remi Bader discussed her own Ozempic journey in 2020 before the surge in popularity of it, saying that it increased her binge eating.  

“I saw a doctor and they were like, ‘It’s 100 percent because you went on Ozempic, because it was making me think I wasn’t hungry,” said Bader.  She added, “I gained double the weight back.”

Will we see other celebrities and influencers gain the weight back? Will they ever stop using the injections or will they switch to something new? Will they ever feel a sense of guilt for taking a medication not intended for them without a diagnosis?  

Celebrities should feel a real sense of shame for obtaining and taking a crucial medication that is not intended for them, while those who severely need it to help them live can access it. 

According to Glamour Magazine UK: “The Ozempic fad isn’t just an individual health issue, either: it’s a privilege issue.”

About the Contributor
Olivia Peña
Olivia Peña, Staff Writer
Olivia is a fashion journalism major. In her free time, she enjoys going to the beach, hanging out with friends and trying new coffee shops.