Singer Jojo Todynho recorded a video on Monday (20) in which she shows off an Ozempic pen (semaglutida), which is part, as she had said on another occasion, of a weight loss protocol.
“You know what this is here, guys? My Ozempic, which I take twice a week,” said the artist with the product in hand.
Shortly after the publication of the video, the manufacturer of the drug, pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk, issued a note clarifying that the only approved use for Ozempic worldwide is for the treatment of type 2 diabetes.
“Novo Nordisk clarifies that Ozempic (semaglutide) is a drug indicated, in conjunction with diet and exercise, exclusively for the treatment of adult patients with unsatisfactorily controlled type 2 diabetes (i.e. when the blood sugar level remains too high). The dosage recommended on the leaflet is for use once a week, with medical prescription and monitoring. It is important to emphasize that the company does not endorse or support the promotion of off-label information, that is, in disagreement with the leaflet of its products”, says the communiqué.
Ozempic has been increasingly sought after by those who want to lose weight, despite costing more than R$900. In the United States, with Mounjaro (tirzepatide), they are medicines that are already worrying specialists due to their misuse and a series of serious side effects. (see below).
Anvisa (National Health Surveillance Agency) released Ozempic in August 2018, in subcutaneous injection pens of 0.25 mg, 0.5 mg and 1 mg.
The medicine quickly moved to the list of the ten best sellers in Brazilian pharmacies, according to a survey by the IQVIA consultancy in 2021.
As there are no clinical studies of Ozempic for the treatment of obesity, there is no scientific information about the risks, for example.
Side effects described in the drug’s label, which have been evaluated in patients with type 2 diabetes, include:
• Reflux or heartburn;
• Anxiety or confusion;
• Drop in blood sugar levels (hypoglycaemia);
• Acute pancreatitis;
• Retinopathy (diabetic eye disease).
It has been observed in diabetic patients that semaglutide could lead to some weight loss, as it acts on an area of the brain that controls appetite.
Based on these indications, Novo Nordisk developed a specific drug to treat obesity with the same active ingredient.
O Wegovy was approved by Anvisa in January this year and should reach pharmacies in the second half.
The difference is the dosage. Ozempic has a maximum dose of 1 mg, while Wegovy ranges from 0.25 mg to 2.4 mg.
The patient starts treatment with 0.25 mg (four weeks), and the doses are gradually increased over 16 weeks, until the maintenance dose, which is 2.4 mg.
“Although Wegovy and Ozempic contain semaglutide, they are different products, with different indications, dosages, prescription information, titration schemes, etc. The products are not interchangeable”, stresses the manufacturer.
Studies done for Wegovy’s US registration application showed that some patients were able to reduce up to 17% of their body weight.
In addition to being intended for people with obesity, it can be used by those who are overweight and have some comorbidity resulting from this condition.
Anvisa defined that “Wegovy is indicated as an adjunct to a hypocaloric diet and increased physical exercise for weight control, including weight loss and maintenance, in adults with an initial body mass index (BMI) of ≥30 kg/m² ( obesity) or ≥27 kg/m² to <30 kg/m² (overweight) in the presence of at least one weight-related comorbidity, e.g., dysglycemia (pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes mellitus), hypertension, dyslipidemia, obstructive sleep apnoea sleep or cardiovascular disease".
Semaglutide “mimics” a hormone that our intestine releases after meals and which acts on the brain receptors that control appetite, the feeling of satiety and hunger, GLP-1.
“There is a region of the brain called the hypothalamus, where we have the appetite control center. So, there are hunger and satiety centers. Semaglutide acts specifically in these centers, to increase satiety and reduce hunger — that’s why the effects in weight reduction,” he explained to R7in January, the endocrinologist Priscilla Mattar, medical director of Novo Nordisk in Brazil.
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