Celebrity weight loss fad causing diabetes drug shortage

Published: Mar. 1, 2023 at 9:10 PM EST
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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - It’s become a celebrity social media trend - using diabetes drugs like Trulicity and Ozempic to lose weight.

However, that’s causing a shortage for some who need those drugs for their intended purpose.

Community Pharmacies Vice President Amelia Arnold tells us this trend has made it to Maine, but they have still supplied most of their existing patients.

She says the drugs are available, but there have been lag times as demand has increased.

The drugs’ websites clearly state these are not weight loss drugs - for now.

Arnold says companies are seeking FDA approval for weight loss usage.

In addition to the cost - up to $1,100 per month - there are some serious side effects and unanswered questions.

”They are being touted across the country as kind of being this miracle, but there are many patients where nausea, vomiting may never go away,” Arnold said.

“There are also questions about what happens after you go off them. Does the weight instantly come back once you stop taking these medications, and what does that mean? Are we having all of these patients go on these drugs for a lifetime, and what would that mean for everyone? So, they are a very developing scenario.”

Arnold advises talking to your primary care doctor to see if this might be an effective option for you.