SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — There are several new medications your doctor can prescribe you that are supposed to help you shed unwanted pounds.
But, just how much risk are you taking on when you take these drugs?
Dying to be thin, some weight loss drugs currently on the market have proven to be dangerous, even deadly.
But that has not lessened their popularity. In fact, these medicines are in such high demand they are causing shortages for those whose lives depend on them. Now the FDA has approved a new drug, but some question the long-term effects.
“We want to lose as much weight as we can but we want to do it safely,” said Beth Cornell, Primary Care Physician.
Dr. Cornell is referring to losing weight on the new FDA-approved drug Zepbound, which is an injectable medicine aimed at helping decrease a person’s BMI. It’s not like previous weight loss drugs Ozempic or Mounjaro which were created for diabetics and had the side effect of weight loss.
“So, this new drug is FDA approved for weight loss you don’t have to be a diabetic but anybody who has a BMI of 27 or higher that’s the weight-to-height ratio we use so 27 or higher BMI and comorbidity so another illness like hypertension,” Cornell explained.
Previous drugs used for weight loss but made for diabetics Ozempic and Mounjaro became so popular that supply couldn’t keep up, so people started buying them from the black market and diabetic patients had to find other solutions.
“When you have the risk from being overweight and diabetic you need as much help as you can to lose weight and control your blood sugar and so it’s very important that those medications remain available for those who truly need them and so buying them on the black market or getting them online from someone who’s not your primary care doctor or endocrinologist is not only putting yourself at risk but it’s taking away the medicine from those who need it,” Cornell told News 3.
Side effects of taking the drugs are nausea and other gastrointestinal problems. Doctors say monitor your symptoms and if they get worse talk to your physician.
Doctors say the best way to lose weight and keep it off is by diet and exercise. They say it won’t be sustainable without proper lifestyle changes.