Popular celebrity weight-loss drugs Wegovy and Ozempic could have a serious side effect, according to researchers in China.
In a study to be published in the monthly journal Acta Pharmaceutica Sinica B, researchers believe there is an “increased risk” of intestinal obstruction when taking such drugs.
The drugs consist of the peptide semaglutide, a derivative of GLP-1, a hormone derived from the small intestine.
It’s the hormone that mimics semaglutide and makes you feel fuller longer by slowing digestion, which leads to weight loss.
While this medicine may be useful for treating diseases such as obesity and type 2 diabetes by lowering a person’s glucose levels and promoting weight loss, concern has been raised about a potential unwanted side effect.
“Although their efficacy and safety profiles are widely accepted, long-term adverse events have been reported in diabetic patients such as an increased risk of bowel obstruction, which is 4.5 times higher than in those receiving other medications to control glucose,” wrote the drug researchers.
“A real-world study of 25,617 subjects demonstrated a 3.5-fold increase in the rate of intestinal obstruction associated with GLP-1RA treatment,” the researchers also noted.
The Post has reached out to the drug’s maker, Novo Norodisk, for comment.
The scholars also cited two studies in their research that showed a correlation between GLP-1 and gut problems, one published in 2020, the other in 2022.
However, they were observational in nature and could not confirm a direct relationship.
An intestinal obstruction occurs when there is a blockage that prevents food or liquid from moving through the small or large intestine, according to the Mayo Clinic.
If left untreated, it can cause those parts of the intestine that have been blocked to die and can lead to an infection called peritonitis.
The infection is classified as a life-threatening condition that often requires surgery, according to the organization.
In their letter, they explained that in their observations of rats that took the drug, they had an average 43% increase in small intestine length after a 3-month treatment with GLP-1b drugs, pointing out that clinical trials for Wegovy I only tested it for 16 months.
They also noted that clinical trials in humans have not shown the same changes in our gut.
The researchers explained that it can be difficult to determine the length of the small intestine in adults and that constipation, a symptom of intestinal obstruction, is also the same symptom as slower digestion, an effect of the drug.
However, independent experts who were not involved in the research told the Daily Mail that “the drug should be safe for the most part” and argued that before doctors prescribe the medicine to their patients, they should look at the person’s bowel history. .
Folk medicine is given as an injection once a week, which patients can give themselves. The maximum dose for Wegovy is 2.4 milligrams.
In recent months, the diet drug has taken over Hollywood, as many stars have admitted to taking it at one time or another, including comedian Chelsea Handler, who said she “didn’t know” she was on Ozempic.
She claimed that her doctor “distributes it” to anyone.
“I came back from a vacation and injected myself. I went to lunch with a girl a few days later, and she was like, ‘I’m not really eating anything. I’m so sick, I’m on Ozempic’,” she recalled during a Jan. 25 appearance on the “Call Her Daddy” podcast.
“And I was like, ‘I’m a little nauseous too.’ But I had just returned from Spain and was jet lagged,” she continued.
Twitter owner Elon Musk also admitted to using Wegovy last fall.