Endocrinologist Matthew Gilbert, M.D., professor of medicine
(JULY 10, 2023) Speaking to iNews about the surging demand for Ozempic — a drug that is approved by the FDA to treat people with diabetes but which, in “off-label” use, leads a weight-loss drug market worth $2 billion — endocrinologist Matthew Gilbert, M.D., professor of medicine says, “This is a good example of social media driving demand for a product that is effective.”
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Ozempic, Gilbert says, is among a handful of drugs that mimic natural hormones to trigger the body’s release of insulin, which is critical to combatting diabetes. Since its development in 2012 by Novo Nordisk, it has been shown to suppress appetite and slow the movement of food through the stomach, leading to people losing more than 10 percent of their body weight. Social media has exploded with stories of celebrities and regular people alike touting the effectiveness of a “magic pill” for dramatic and fast weight loss.
Despite some doctors’ concerns that the surge in popularity of weight-loss drugs is “troubling” — potential side-effects of using Ozempic include diarrhea, abdominal pain, constipation, and the sagging and aging of facial skin as the result of rapid weight loss — many doctors praise the role played by Ozempic and other drugs in helping treat obesity.
This topic was also reported in a story on WCAX-TV and other media.