Ozempic shortage impacting those with diabetes

Taking Ozempic has begun to be a trend to reduce weight gain. It's putting those with diabetes who need the medication in danger.
Published: Feb. 20, 2023 at 7:59 AM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Ozempic, a medication that helps improve blood sugar in adults with Type 2 diabetes. It’s also being used by others who don’t have diabetes as a way to lose weight, leading to high demand and short supply. Now those who rely on the medication are having trouble finding the drug.

Dr. Farah Husain at Banner Health says Ozempic helps the body have more hormonal balance, which can keep diabetes and obesity in check. “It’s one of those drugs that came about partially from obesity treatment,” Dr. Husain said. “Because in bariatric surgery we did see changes in GLP1 after surgery, and found out that was a really effective treatment for diabetes improvement.”

Side effects of taking Ozempic can include generally not feeling well, nausea, vomiting, etc. There’s also a small risk for pancreatitis, cancer, and other rare side effects, so like most other medications it should be taken with the oversight of a doctor. “If you find a hormone that you can take that stimulates your hormones and your balance to be better balanced, your body needs that,” Dr. Husain said. “If it works for you for your diabetes or your obesity, you need to plan to stay on it lifelong.”

The doctor said taking a hormone-adjusting medication like this is a full-term commitment.