(VitalNews.org) – People trying to lose weight have been warned not to buy diet drugs from unofficial or illegal sources after some claim to have been sold fake versions of drugs such as Ozempic. Ozempic, and other drugs which feature semaglutide as a key ingredient, were originally prescribed to patients in order to manage Type 2 diabetes.
Semaglutide works by stimulating the pancreas to release insulin, lowering the patient’s blood sugar. It also has the effect of slowing down the release of food from the patient’s stomach, creating the sensation of fullness for longer. This helps to suppress the appetite and has quickly become popular amongst individuals who wish to lose weight and are keen to have their appetites suppressed.
This rise in popularity has seen diabetic patients struggling to get hold of the drugs, as more of the available supply is being used as a weight-loss aid. In response to this demand, many websites have offered to sell Ozempic and other brands of semaglutide without any need for a prescription.
Many people have raised concerns about people using these unofficial sellers, many of whom target potential buyers via social media such as Facebook and TikTok. The Chief Executive of the UK’s Association of Independent Multiple Pharmacies, Leyla Hannbeck, told reporters that the drugs people buy may be counterfeits and run the risk of contamination. She added that even if the correct drug is sold, without appropriate guidance from a patient’s doctor or pharmacist, the user could be at risk of taking the drug incorrectly and causing themselves harm.
One such buyer, a woman named Francesca, started taking Ozempic in 2018 after struggling with her weight after the birth of her daughter. As of April 2023, she found she could no longer purchase the drug, which is normally injected by the user, from any trustworthy supplier. Her doctor would not prescribe the drug to her as she did not have diabetes, so she decided to buy a different version of the drug, which she understood to be a substitute for insulin. Whether or not the drug was what she was led to believe, it caused deeply unpleasant side-effects. Even after quitting the drug, she suffers with gastrointestinal issues, struggles to eat more than one meal per day, and has difficulty sleeping due to stomach cramps.
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, an organization based in the UK, warned dieters to avoid buying diet drugs from any illegal suppliers in order to avoid putting themselves at risk of injury or illness
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