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TikTok Weight Loss Trend Sparks Shortage of Diabetes Treatment

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In the latest "as seen on TikTok" saga, TikTokkers are chronicling their weight loss journeys using an injectable drug — and its soaring popularity has led to a troubling side effect for those who use it to treat diabetes.


The drug, semaglutide, is marketed both as Wegovy, to help with weight loss, and Ozempic, which is approved for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes. Even Hollywood has joined the craze with unnamed celebs reportedly spending about $1,500 a month for the drug. Demand for Wegovy combined with manufacturing problems has resulted in shortages, prompting Wegovy patients to instead turn to Ozempic and leading to shortages of Ozempic.


The Food and Drug Administration approved the use of semaglutide for weight loss in 2021 and it's proven popular among those who find it difficult to lose weight. One TikTok user said the drug works so well for her that she has lost nearly 20 pounds in three weeks, noting that she is under doctor's supervision.

The treatment requires just one injection a week and works by mimicking glucagon-like peptide-1 — an amino acid that helps with appetite control and digestion. Ozempic works by making users feel full, thereby consuming fewer calories.


Gallery: These Viral TikTok Trends Cleared Store Shelves

The craze has left diabetics unable to secure their treatments. Though patients can switch to a different drug for treatment, the transition might not be seamless for some since Ozempic is a treatment that starts with a low dose that increases after about the first month.

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