Ozempic Weight Loss Warnings for Teens — Not a Magic Shot
Ozempic is being prescribed to teens and now the medication shortage has gotten worse since I first wrote about it in January. Now almost 6 months later, new American childhood obesity reports are recommending more medications like Ozempic and even surgery to prevent diabetic complications.
However, parents should be informed about the side effects and harmful trends surrounding this new Ozempic craze. According to Yasmin Tayag’s article in the Atlantic:
Somehow, America’s desire for Ozempic is only growing. The drug’s active ingredient, semaglutide, is sold as an obesity medication under the brand name Wegovy — and it has become so popular that its manufacturer, Novo Nordisk, recently limited shipments to the U.S. and paused advertising to prevent shortages. Its promise has enticed would-be patients and set off a pharmaceutical arms race to create more potent drugs.
Part of the interest stems from Ozempic’s potential in teens: In December, the FDA approved Wegovy as a treatment for teenagers with obesity, which affects 22 percent of 12-to-19-year-olds in the United States. The drug’s ability to spur weight loss in adolescents has been described as “mind-blowing.” In January, in its new childhood-obesity-treatment guidelines, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommended that doctors consider adding weight-loss drugs such as semaglutide as a treatment for some patients… although many doctors and obesity experts have embraced semaglutide as a treatment for adults, some are concerned that taking it at such a young age — and at such a precarious stage of life — could pose serious risks, especially because the long-term physical and mental health effects of the medication are still unknown.”
I take Ozempic and initially I lost a good amount of weight, but I also suffered painful acid reflux and heartburn. The rapid weight loss can also lead to loose skin which I’ve also experienced on my thighs. However, some people have reported a gaunt look to the face after using Ozempic. This is being called “Ozempic face”. The Mayo Clinic, advises against using this term — but fat loss to the face is a real side effect of the use or misuse of the drug.
As a diabetic, these new guidelines and trends make it hard for adult diabetics who need Ozempic, and other diabetes medications now being prescribed for weight loss and vanity drugs.
Parents beware, you might want to try good old fashion meal planning, exercise, and other drug-free alternatives like counseling and support groups before taking your children down the road to a lifetime commitment to prescription drugs. There isn’t a magic solution only short-term fixes — lifestyle and behavior changes are always better.
Thank you for reading.
American Academy of Pediatrics