February 5, 2024 at 7:39 am

Almost 5,000 Overdosed On Ozempic Since 2021, And The Number Is Rising According To Researchers

by Trisha Leigh

When it was first conceived, semaglutide – brand names Wegovy and Ozempic – was meant to help Type 2 Diabetes patients manage their condition.

Since then, though they have been offered to people who are trying to lose weight.

Doctors have been on the fence as to whether or not this is a good thing, but a rash of overdoses certainly doesn’t seem to bode well.

Although both drugs primarily contain semaglutide, Wegovy was developed specifically for weight loss and contains a higher concentration. Overdoses have doubled every year since 2020.

Source: Vecteezy

Scientists say they aren’t totally sure how semaglutide works, but they believe that by replicating the natural digestive hormones that control insulin, it helps control appetite and fullness.

Some patients report losing all desire to eat, period.

Overdoses are dangerous as they cause dizziness, sweating, and rapid heart beat that are common with episodes of hypoglycemia.

This is concerning, since 1.7% of the American population (5.68 million people) have been prescribed in the last year alone.

In fact, the injectable has become so popular it can be difficult to get, leading some to turn to black-market alternatives.

Stephen Petrou and Raymond Ho work for the California Poison Control System, and say most overdoses are occuring with the injectable version.

“Someone who is unable to get Wegovy can resort to using Ozempic instead, because it is the same medication, but they may start to adjust their dose upwards. That’s when they might encounter problems.”

America’s Poison Centers, which represents 55 US poison control facilities, says almost 3,000 people overdosed in 2023. In 2022, that number was 1,447 and in 2021, just 607.

Source: Wikimedia Commons/HualinXMN

Ho says the reason for this “alarming trend” is clear.

“We get the usual dosing error calls, and all of a sudden there’s an explosion of people calling much more regularly about this.”

If you’re thinking about trying semaglutide for weight loss, know that along with the potential for overdose, there are other pretty significant side effects.

These include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach paralysis, and intestinal blockage.

You know what they say about things that sound too good to true…

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