There are high hopes for new weight loss drugs that will be offered to thousands of people across the UK.
The appetite suppressant Wegovy will be given to around 35,000 patients as part of a breakthrough pilot programme, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced on Tuesday.
The goal is to combat obesity and related health conditions and reduce NHS waiting lists, but the drugs will be available (at least initially) only through specialist services.
Still, Wegovy and other semaglutide drugs like fellow celebrity favorite Ozempic (it’s the same as Wegovy only generally prescribed in a lower dose), have been widely available in the United States for some time.
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Despite their success rates, users have spoken about the side effects they have suffered since taking the regular injection.
A woman, named Chamal, who says she’s been on Wegovy for 14 months, took to TikTok to lay out the three things she wished she knew before starting treatment.
In the video, she explained that she lost a whopping 50 pounds (22.6 kg) in that time going from a size 16 to an 8-10 and was clearly happy with her results.
However, he stressed that he had suffered from some personal reactions to the drugs, starting with extreme insomnia.
It lasted about three whole months and when I say it was extreme, I couldn’t sleep, she said. 2am, 3am, 4am I was literally up and tossing and turning. Nothing I could do or do would substantially help me fall asleep, and it was awful.
Thankfully it passed, he added, before moving on to side effect number two.
There will be absolutely no overeating on Wegovy or semaglutide because you will feel awful, completely awful, so no overeating or that feeling of fullness. You’ll probably never hear from him again, she warned.
And number three, the biggest, and I feel like that’s why a lot of people don’t continue on the medications because it’s hard that you have to be willing to give things up.
She clarified, “I had to give up all sugar, drinks and alcohol. So basically, over a 12-month period, I probably had […] no more than five or six drinks.
Yes, I know, no wine. No beer at all, I have a horrible reaction. I get very sick and get drunk very quickly, so it is very dangerous for me to drink alcohol.
The TikToker, warned his comments by pointing out that these were fair [her] reactions to the drug and that may not be in any way, shape, or form true for others.
In no way, shape or form am I a certified medical person. So please talk to your doctor, she added.
On the official website of the drug, manufactured by Novo Nordisk, it is stated that the most common adverse reactions (occurring in less than 5% of patients) include: nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, constipation, abdominal pain, headache, fatigue , dizziness, flatulence and hypoglycemia in patients with type 2 diabetes.
Meanwhile, several commenters on Chamal’s video said that he continued drinking alcohol without a problem, although some admitted that they simply lost their craving for alcohol.
In a separate TikTok, a woman laid out five things she wished she knew before she started taking Sister Wegovy’s drug Ozempic.
Sarah, 40, from Canada, explained that she had been on the drug for five months and wanted to share some key points from her experience.
Number one, Ozempic is not an appetite suppressant, he said. It suppresses appetite as a side effect at first, but just like nausea, just like any other side effect, it eventually goes away.
The actual intended effect of Ozempic is to slow down your gastrointestinal tract and help you feel fuller longer to help reduce cravings, but it’s not meant to make you feel hungry, that’s not what it’s supposed to do.
So when you start taking Ozempic for a long time, that feeling of hunger will come back and it’s normal.
She continued: Number two, you may not lose weight right away, and that’s completely normal. A lot of people when they start Ozempic, when they take lower doses, 0.25mg, 0.5mg, they don’t lose weight, they may even find they gain some weight.
It’s completely normal, frustrating, I understand it perfectly. But this is actually normal and many people don’t see weight loss until the 1mg dose.
Number three, which is along the same lines, is that weight loss isn’t linear, it doesn’t follow a neat little path of consistently losing a pound or two a week. It would be nice if it did, but absolutely not. So, if you find that you’re gaining a pound one week, you’re losing a pound next week, you’re losing two pounds a week after, you’re not losing it the entire next week, that’s normal. It’s completely normal.
Frustrating, I know, but as long as you’re going downhill over time, then you’re doing really well, he pointed out.
Fourth, this is a long term drug, not a quick fix. If you’re someone who needs to lose 10 to 15 pounds and you’re thinking, oh, I’ll just take Ozempic for a short time and lose some weight, this drug isn’t for you. This is not what it is designed for.
If you start Ozempic now you need to understand that you will be taking Ozempic or some other type of GLP-1 drug (medicines to treat type 2 diabetes) on a long-term basis.
She continued: I don’t mean forever because that’s a really long time, but you have to be aware that this, like anything else you’re doing to lose weight, you have to persevere. So it’s not about taking this drug for six months, hitting your goal weight, and then coming off because you’re probably going to put the weight back on.
There has to be a plan in place, there has to be a maintenance plan in place when you decide to come off this drug it’s a long term commitment.
Finally, he stressed how much this drug had an effect [me] in a positive way.
Noting that she has polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), she said: While this isn’t a cure, it has definitely eased many of my symptoms, such as swelling. She gave me my period back, relieved a lot of my tiredness. Obviously she is helping me lose weight. So yeah, that was a game changer for me.
She concluded her monologue by adding: I didn’t realize how good it would feel. And that might sound a little cheesy, but oh my god, the difference in my mental health between before Ozempic and now is huge. And I’m really, really glad I did it for myself.
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