With celebrities like Chelsea Handler and Amy Schumer admitting to using diabetes drug Ozempic to lose weight, many of us may be fooled into thinking this drug is harmless – but Roxy Jacenko has shone a light on what can happen when you underestimate it.
"You would be blown away by the number of people who will give you scripts for that stuff," Roxy told the Daily Telegraph.
Ozempic is a prescription medication that is used to improve blood sugar control in adults with type 2 diabetes. It contains an active ingredient known as semaglutide – this stuff works by mimicking the activity of a hormone called glucagon-like peptide-1, which, scientific jargon aside, simply means it helps regulate blood sugar levels by stimulating the release of insulin and suppressing the release of blood-sugar raising glucagon. The drug is usually administered as an injection once a week and may be used alone or in combination with other medications, but in recent years, Ozempic has been used a little differently to its label's instructions. It was not intended to be used as a generic weight-loss drug! Much like the many celebrities who’ve tried the medication in hopes of shedding weight, Roxy was already slim but was struggling with insecurities after taking a breast cancer drug that caused some weight gain.
"I thought, 'I am reading and hearing about Ozempic all the time. I am trying it'. I went to my doctor and I begged him and he said, 'Roxy go and look in the mirror'. He made me walk into his room and look at myself in the mirror and he said, 'I am not giving you a prescription, you don't need it'", she told the Daily Telegraph.
Roxy says she then researched a different source for the medication and paid someone to pick the it up for her – but the results were far from her hopes. She took four doses and just 12 hours later found herself vomiting and shaking, realising she had overdosed on the stuff.
"I thought I was actually going to die. I have had cancer, radiation therapy, all of that. It doesn't even compare to how bad I felt when I took this drug," she said.
As we mentioned above, Ozempic really wasn’t intended for people without diabetes or, in some instances, obesity – and even for people with those conditions, it’s recommended to begin with a small dose (not four regular doses!). Nonetheless, Roxy has revealed the dangers of underestimating and misusing a powerful drug. Don’t believe the hype you hear about it! It’s why some celebrities have warned against their use, from The Good Place’s Jameela Jamil to talk show host Andy Cohen – have spoken out against the use of these drugs and how they affect people’s body image, wellbeing and mental health, along with fuelling diet culture.
"We tried this in the 90s and millions of people developed eating disorders," Jameela Jamil said.
Another effect of Ozempic is that it slows the emptying of the stomach, leading to feeling of early fullness – this is part of the reason people lose weight. It’s also why it’s not necessarily safe to use these drugs as weight-loss tools, as it can affect your ability to meet your daily energy needs. These drugs are being used by people in a healthy – and sometimes underweight – weight range, reflecting a culture that demands thinness over healthiness. While it’s especially pervasive in Hollywood, those expectations leach out into the wider world, leading to the trends we’re seeing here with an uptick in the use of Ozempic. And the use of these drugs for this cosmetic purpose is affecting availability for those who need it most – type 2 diabetics. It’s a lose, lose situation.
If you’re struggling to get into a healthy lifestyle, we’re here to help. Join us for our ALL NEW 21-Day Gut Rebalance Program with nourishing recipes and exclusive expert content to support you on your way to better health. Whether it's constipation, bloating or even stress that's got you down, it could be your gut warning you that you're missing out on the gut-nourishing foods that help us thrive. We'll show you the ins and outs of healing, from the benefits of probiotics and prebiotics to the inflammation-busting foods you should be eating. Take a look at some of the exciting new recipes on the program:
- Pork Kimchi Dumplings
- Homemade Sourdough Bread
- Miso-Baked Salmon
- Tempeh Satay
- Chinese Beef + Broccoli
- Chocolate Chia Smoothie Bowl
And that's not even scratching the surface! We're selling out fast so don't wait, sign up now!