A doctor recently warned about the “Ozempic face,” a side effect that many have said makes them look older after taking the diabetes drug for weight loss.
In an interview with the Fox News morning show Fox & Friends, Dr. Mark Siegel explained that people tend to “overuse” the drug to lose weight quickly, “The buccal mucosa, the fat, it leaves your face, and you become emaciated.”
He also warned that the side effects may be irreversible.
“It’s something that happens to us anyway as we get older,” he explained, but rapid weight loss speeds up the process.
According to a Fox News report, people have reported “sagging skin, an older appearance, and a “scanny face” after the increased popularity of using common diabetes medications for weight loss, mainly due to social media trends.
Despite the side effects, Dr. Siegel praised the drug.
“Ozempic is actually an amazing drug. It’s the first weight loss drug I’ve seen that I think really works,” he said on the morning show. “It actually improves insulin, improves sugar disposal, and reduces hunger…”
Even while praising the diabetes drug, the doctor noted that diet, exercise, and lifestyle changes should be followed first before going back to a “chemical.”
Ozempic Deficiency, Saxenda
The increased demand for diabetes injections such as Ozempic and Saxenda due to popular social media trends and celebrity promotions has contributed to a global shortage.
Al Arabiya English recently reported that doctors have warned non-diabetics against using such injections for weight loss saying that they are much more dangerous than people think.
As with any medication, semaglutide and liraglutide when used for weight loss alone or as part of a diabetes treatment plan can cause a variety of side effects, doctors told Al Arabiya English.
Common side effects of these injections include nausea, diarrhea, constipation, headache, abdominal pain, dizziness, fatigue, and low blood sugar.
Dr. Maya Kabara, an endocrinologist and metabolic specialist at Healthbay Clinic Dubai, told Al Arabiya English that such injections have strict criteria that must be observed before starting treatment due to their risks.
There are strict inclusion and exclusion criteria that must be taken into account. This means that not everyone who wants to lose some weight is eligible to use them.
Dr. Mona Jumaa, a clinical nutritionist and weight loss consultant at Mediclinic Parkview Hospital in Dubai, also pointed out that these drugs have not been studied or tested on other patients.
“It is not safe to take these medications if you do not fit the criteria for which they were approved. They have not been studied or approved for use in other patient populations, and their safety and efficacy in this population are not known.”
Al Arabiya English’s Tamara Abeich contributed to this report.
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