April 23, 2024

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The first group of people who used the “magic weight-loss drug” are now doing?

The first group of people who used the “magic weight-loss drug” are now doing?

The first group of people who used the “magic weight-loss drug” are now doing?

In the “weight-loss circle,” the weight-loss “magic drug” semaglutide, which has been popular in the past two years, is believed to be familiar to everyone. As a type of glucose-lowering drug, its significant weight-loss effect has made it a “magic tool” for many people to lose weight. Although its indication for weight loss has not been approved domestically, there are still many friends currently using it for weight loss.

From the perspective of weight loss, the effect of this drug is undeniable. Relevant clinical data show that people who inject semaglutide weekly can achieve an average weight loss of up to 15% after 68.1 weeks of injection. The median weight loss is 15.3 kg.

In a recent randomized controlled study published in “The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology,” subjects who injected 2.4mg of semaglutide weekly by the 44th week had a weight loss of 12.1%, while the placebo group only had a weight loss of 3.6%.

Seeing this, we believe many friends must be very excited. However, as long as it is a drug, especially one labeled as a “internet-famous drug” or “magic drug,” we must remember to ask one more question: “What are the risks?”

Here, it is important to remind everyone that in addition to the gratifying and efficient weight loss effect, semaglutide still has many hidden dangers in long-term use. If you do not understand these medication safety information and misuse the drug, leading to damage to your health, it will go against our original intention of “healthy weight loss.” Today’s popular science article is to summarize the four major health risks that may exist in the long-term use of semaglutide for everyone.

The first group of people who used the "magic weight-loss drug" are now doing?

The first group of people who used the “magic weight-loss drug” are now doing?

Risk of gastrointestinal adverse reactions

From a drug classification perspective, semaglutide belongs to the GLP-1 receptor agonist class of drugs. GLP-1 is a hormone secreted by the human intestine. It can promote insulin secretion, reduce blood sugar, increase the body’s sensitivity to insulin, and increase satiety, slowing gastric emptying.

Semaglutide can mimic the action of GLP-1, further activating the action of GLP-1 in the intestine, and thus playing a role in lowering blood sugar and losing weight.

However, the common adverse effect of this action is the appearance of gastrointestinal adverse reactions. This situation is different from the adverse reactions of other drugs. It is closely related to the mechanism of action of the drug. Therefore, it can be said that most users of this drug will experience gastrointestinal adverse reactions. This point is also mutually confirmed by clinical trial results. In the aforementioned clinical trial results, the proportion of semaglutide causing gastrointestinal reactions was as high as 84.1%, while in the domestic group study, the incidence of this adverse reaction also reached 86%.

Common gastrointestinal side effects of semaglutide include nausea, diarrhea, abdominal pain, decreased appetite, stomach pain, vomiting, constipation, indigestion, etc. The specific situation and severity of these side effects vary from person to person. If intolerable gastrointestinal adverse reactions occur when using the drug, it should be stopped promptly, and adjustments should be made to improve the situation to avoid causing more gastrointestinal health problems.

Risk of muscle and bone loss

Semaglutide can quickly reduce weight, but what we lose during weight loss is not just fat that is harmful to our health. Muscle loss and bone loss caused by rapid weight loss are also important risks of long-term use of semaglutide for weight loss.

Especially for non-obese populations (which is not the indication for semaglutide weight loss in the first place) and people over 65 years old, using semaglutide for weight loss should be particularly cautious. While using this drug for rapid weight loss, it may lead to a large amount of muscle loss, and even a decrease in bone density. This loss may affect the user’s exercise endurance and daily activity ability, and even greatly increase the risk of falls and fractures.

Imagine, for the sake of losing weight, if it leads to a large amount of muscle loss, making it impossible to even go upstairs or bathe by yourself, what is the point of such weight loss?

Another issue to be aware of is that using semaglutide for weight loss can lead to “Ozempic Face,” which refers to a rapid facial aging and sagging appearance that occurs after rapid weight loss. This condition is also caused by the large amount of muscle loss caused by rapid weight loss. In addition to the face, other parts of the body may also experience sagging skin and lines similar to “stretch marks.”

Some people are not obese but misuse drugs just to achieve their “ideal” weight. However, they may end up with such an aging and sagging appearance and skin after rapid weight loss. Is it worth it?

Risk of intestinal obstruction

In August 2023, the FDA updated the safety label of semaglutide to warn of the risk of intestinal obstruction associated with its use.

According to reports, the FDA’s Adverse Event Reporting System has received more than 6,000 reports of gastrointestinal diseases related to the use of semaglutide. As of June 30, 2023, there were 34 cases of intestinal obstruction. Although the agency pointed out that it cannot determine the causal relationship between drug exposure and disease, the drug does have a “delayed gastric emptying” effect, which may indeed lead to the risk of this related adverse reaction.

Risk of weight rebound after stopping the drug

During the use of semaglutide, the weight-loss effect is clear, but when the body cannot tolerate it or due to issues with medication costs and the drug’s hormone mimicking effects disappear, its effects on metabolism promotion and appetite suppression will also disappear. Therefore, although semaglutide is effective for weight loss, rebound weight gain after stopping the drug is also common. A study published in April 2022 showed that after stopping the use of semaglutide, weight rebound occurred, and one year later, an average of two-thirds of the weight lost was regained!

In summary, although many friends regard semaglutide as a “magic weight-loss drug,” although its weight-loss effect is clear and efficient, there are also certain medication risks in terms of long-term use. It is advisable to use this medication safely and reasonably. Here are some suggestions:

Firstly, it should be used under the premise of clearly defining the indications. Currently, semaglutide has not been approved for weight loss indications domestically. Its use for weight loss treatment in non-diabetic obese populations is an off-label use. Therefore, whether it can be used and whether it belongs to the user group should be considered after professional evaluation before medication.

Secondly, if this drug is used for auxiliary weight loss, attention should be paid to the reasonable supplementation of nutrients, especially basic nutrients important for muscle and bone health, such as high-quality protein and calcium. Foods such as seafood, dairy products, and legumes are high-quality foods that can be consumed. Arrange for dietary supplements to reduce the risk of muscle and bone loss that the drug may bring. In addition, pay more attention to increasing water intake, which is also very helpful for maintaining skin elasticity.

Furthermore, the role of exercise cannot be ignored. Exercise is originally an important

means of improving body metabolism, strengthening calorie consumption, and healthy weight loss. For people using semaglutide, strengthening exercise is even more important. This is an important basic guarantee for the healthy weight loss of medication and an important intervention method to reduce muscle loss and reduce rebound after stopping the drug.

We lose weight and lose weight in the end for our own “health.” Therefore, the role of drugs is often just an auxiliary role. Maintaining regular healthy eating habits, long-term adherence to exercise, and other healthy lifestyle habits are the foundation of true healthy weight loss. On this basis, under the premise of ensuring the safety of medication, the rational use of drugs as an adjunct is the correct and reasonable way to lose weight. Do you agree?

Editor’s note:

In fact, there are several characteristics of current online communication that may affect our choices and bring health hazards.

Emotional expressions like “XXX weight loss is too effective! Just use it!” make us too busy to think carefully about the gains and losses. “Studies have shown that XXX weight loss is effective, and even doctors are using it!” Such simplistic expressions only allow us to obtain partial truths and overlook risks.

In fact, any medication has its indications and contraindications, especially prescription medications, which should be selected based on specific conditions and followed by professional advice for medication.

If in the future, we see a drug being labeled as an “internet-famous drug” or “magic drug,” the first thing we should do is to clarify its risks and applicable situations, rather than blindly placing an order. At the same time, it is also recommended that various media seek the help of professionals when reporting on drug-related content to obtain comprehensive information, rather than following the trend.

The first group of people who used the “magic weight-loss drug” are now doing?

(source:internet, reference only)

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