There have been several cases of health issues from overdosage of weight loss medications recently. Poison control centers are receiving an increasing number of calls regarding overdoses from these medications.
The leading cause of overdose is injected weight loss and a diabetic drug named Semaglutide. The semaglutide comes in two medications: Ozempic for diabetes and Wegovy for weight loss. As there have been reports about many celebrities taking semaglutide for their weight loss, the drug has been gaining popularity in the market.
The poison center of the U.S. has documented over 2800 people with exposure to semaglutide this year till November 30. According to the poison center, all the documented cases are only volunteer reports.
Those who have not reported their condition, report on that is still unclear. Those who’ve used compound semaglutide have other problems that need to be tackled.
According to reports, there has been a 15 times increase in semaglutide overdosage since 2019, which was only 196 at that time. Dr. Anand Parekh, Chief Medical Advisor for the Bipartisan Policy Centre, has stated in his statement that “ Semaglutide was in demand so much that there was a shortage in the market for the drug”.
This drug has gained a huge amount of popularity over time. As celebrities started recommending the usage of semaglutide on social media in 2022, the drug officially had a shortage, according to the FDA.
What Was The Controversy Regarding Semaglutide Drug?
Dr Anand also mentioned that, unfortunately, there are many counterfeit combinations of Ozemppic and Wegovy revolving around in the market.
Usually, counterfeit manufacturers of these medications add their ingredients to make the dosage larger and more abundant. The wrong dosage of compounds in the medications causes accidental overdosage in the victim.
Novo Nordisk, the Manufacturer of Ozempic and Wegovy, has decided to sue the fake and counterfeit manufacturers. The legal proceedings taken by Novo are for two counterfeit companies for manufacturing and selling his drugs with adulterated ingredients.
In his statement in an interview, Nono Nordisk stated that these manufacturers are misbranding and claiming that their fake medication contains semaglutide.
According to test results done by the health care agencies, the counterfeit Ozempic and Wegovy had 33% unknown impurities in them.
There was also a compound in the medication, which shouldn’t be in there due to safety risks. FDA also found out that the actual content of semaglutide in the fake medication was 19% less than as labeled.
Official Statements Related To The Semaglutide
Dr Anand Parekh has said in an interview with CNN that even if people are taking the actual medications, they sometimes take an excess dosage of it.
CNN reporter intervened and mentioned a report from the American College Of Toxicology, which stated about a patient with overdosage of 20 times more semaglutide than recommended.
According to Dr Kait Brown, who is a clinical directing Manager of a Poison Control Centre, 94% of calls coming with the problem of severe nausea are related to the dosage of semaglutide.
Brown said the responsibility is mostly on counterfeit manufacturers, but sometimes people take the wrong dosage as well. Semaglutide was approved by the US Food And Drug Administration in the year 2017, and since then, the popularity of this drug has been increasing, and so as its fake manufacturers.
Dr Parekh also said that he and his teams are seeing a rapid increase in calls in their Poison Control Centres. Most cases are of either an overdose or adverse effects of the medication.
All the adverse effects of Ozempic and Wegovy are nausea, vomiting, low blood sugar, and dehydration. It causes those patients to rush to their local emergency centers immediately, and some have had to get hospitalized for their severe condition.
Novo Nordisk said in an interview with CNN that he and his company are taking immediate measures to ensure the responsible usage of semaglutide. They are spreading awareness about the drug on the official website “Semaglutide.com”.
It is up to him and his pharmaceutical company to hold the responsibility and take necessary actions about the case. More news is yet to come in the case, and mostly, the best part about this situation is that there hasn’t been any death due to the medication.