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Ozempic Makes Waves in Hollywood and Beyond
The chemical semaglutide is used to make the increasingly popular drug, Ozempic. Photo from

You have probably heard about Ozempic in the news lately, but the miracle medicine doesn’t come without its problems. The chemical semaglutide, known by brand names Ozempic, Wegovy, and Rybelsus, has been on the public’s mind for a variety of positive and negative reasons.

 In 2012, Danish pharmaceutical company, Novo Nordisk, began trialing semaglutide as a longer acting therapy to Type 2 diabetes. Novo Nordisk also found that semaglutide can help with obesity. The trials went well, and in 2017, the FDA approved injection-based semaglutide under the brand name Ozempic as a remedy for Type 2 diabetes. In 2021, the FDA approved a higher dosage of semaglutide under the brand name Wegovy for weight loss. 

Semaglutide works by mimicking a natural hormone called GLP-1. Semaglutide slows digestion and tells the body that you’re full, acting as an appetite suppressant to fuel weight loss. For Type 2 diabetes it lowers blood sugars and allows the pancreas to make insulin. GLP-1 also modulates addiction, and many people who have used semaglutide have also seen improvement with addictive problems like drugs, alcohol, and smoking.

 The miracle medicine isn’t all benefits, though. Semaglutide’s prescription is extremely expensive, usually running the user about $1,000 per month. Another problem with semaglutide is that because the drug was made so recently, we don’t know most of the long-term side effects. Many users who have benefitted from weight loss semaglutide prescriptions and then stopped using the drug have said that they gained back all the weight. Celebrities such as Elon Musk and Amy Schumer have used the drug to get skinnier.

Ozempic does have its problems, but the drug should inspire a wave of pharmaceutical innovation in the next decade.

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Theo Arnold
Theo Arnold, Staff Writer

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