Viral TikTok Weight Loss Trend Causes Medication Shortage

Various weight loss methods have gone through trends over the past years, and new ones keep on appearing on social media platforms. With the hype about its effectiveness, people tend to overlook the method’s effect on their own body type. The diet you will try should have sufficient scientific proof, but not everyone cares about that. Social media approval is not a justifiable reason to join the diet trend — your health should not be put at risk.

Photo: Pixabay/Joa70

Aside from that, some diet ingredients are medically recommended for patients with a particular disease. For instance, TikTok influencers promoted the use of Ozempic as a dietary drug. The weight loss method went viral and was tested by various people without diabetes. Ozempic is an essential part of a type 2 diabetes treatment, but due to sudden demand, supplies eventually went low. Extreme shortage is now happening in Australia.

Apparently, Ozempic can make a person feel full for long hours, hence less calorie intake. It mimics a hormone that aids in digestion and appetite regulation called glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1). The TikTok hashtag #ozempic has already reached 77.1 million views from videos proving its effectiveness. Ozempic’s role in balancing blood sugar levels makes it an efficacious solution to obesity and diabetes.

As its reach widened, the US Food and Drug Administration approved Wegovy — an injectable semaglutide medication produced by Novo Nordisk. It became more in demand for chronic weight management than using it for diabetes — which is now being assessed by the Therapeutic Goods Administration.

“The drug is indicated for chronic weight management in patients with a body mass index (BMI) of 27 kg/m2 or greater who have at least one weight-related ailment or in patients with a BMI of 30 kg/m2 or greater,” the US FDA stated in June of 2021.

With Ozempic’s low supply in Australia, health professionals are urged to limit the prescription of the semaglutide to diabetes patients only. According to the president of Pharmacy Guild Australia, Anthony Tassone, the supply rate of Ozempic will remain low for weeks.

Photo: Pixabay/stevepb

“I haven’t seen that medication in my pharmacy’s fridge for some time, unfortunately, and according to the medication shortage notices, stock may not be expected until mid-June,” he told reporters. Diabetes patients could be gravely affected if there is limited access to the drug.

Dr. Karen Price, the president of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, advises consumers about the side effects of using Ozempic, such as nausea and vomiting. It might also negatively affect pregnancy and breastfeeding.

“There are lots of issues people need to be aware of, but most importantly, it’s not yet approved in Australia or the UK for weight loss. It’s being used off-label, which means that this huge demand is now stopping people who have a genuine need for the medication for their diabetes,” she said.

Dr. Price also added that following health advice from social media should be done after proper research. There should be an assurance that the weight loss method is backed by health professionals. Blindly following a diet trend is not worth the risk. The solution to obesity varies with body type — there is no assurance that one diet method will work for another person. Health professionals from Australia encourage GPs to let diabetes patients have better access to Ozempic. Diabetes patients must be the priority during shortage — leave weight loss management to a healthy lifestyle that will provide better results than fad diets.

Support Research

Fund Diabetes research and care at The Diabetes Site for free!