CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A repurposed diabetes drug is getting a lot of buzz for weight management thanks to some Hollywood hype. The drug Ozempic, which is used to treat type 2 diabetes, can now be found as Wegovy, which is specifically targeted to treat obesity. Both are the same medication, semaglutide, but given in different doses.
But, is it safe and does it even work?
Dr. Gregg Silverman joined 3NEWS First Edition and said studies have shown those who get the Wegovy injections can lose 20 to 25 percent of their body weight.
"It inhibits insulin production, and that inhibits your need to eat, your hunger," Silverman said.
Wegovy was approved by the FDA for weight loss back in 2021. It was the first approved drug for chronic weight management in overweight adults since 2014.
Approximately 70 percent of American adults are suffering from obesity or are overweight. Losing 5 percent to 10 percent of body weight has been associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, according to the FDA.
Wegovy has been introduced as a way to help meet those weight loss goals.
"The long term studies of these seem to be that they are safe," Silverman said. "There are potential risks associated with this- some types of thyroid cancers, pancreatitis, hypoglycemia is one of those, especially if you're a diabetic."
The FDA said Wegovy should not be used in combination with other semaglutide-containing products or other products intended for weight loss. Silverman also warns that the injections are expensive and once you stop taking the injections, the weight can possibly come back.
"Everything in moderation and understand your numbers. Understand the amount of calories you take in and live a healthy lifestyle," Silverman said.
The most important part of a weight loss journey, Silverman said, is talking with your doctor and knowing your goals.
"You have to be associated with a physician, you have to understand how this works, and you have to understand when to take this."
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