Hollywood weight-loss drugs could trigger deadly side effect, researchers claim

Hollywood weight-loss drugs could trigger deadly side effect, researchers claim

Popular celebrity weight-loss drugs Wegovy and Ozempic could have a serious side effect, according to researchers in China.

In a study set to appear in the monthly journal Acta Pharmaceutica Sinica B, researchers believe that there is an “increased risk” of intestinal obstruction when taking those medications.

The drugs are made up of the peptide semaglutide, a derivative of GLP-1, a hormone derived from the small intestine.

It is the hormone that semaglutide mimics, and it makes you feel fuller for longer by slowing down digestion, which leads to weight loss.

Although this medicine can be helpful for treating diseases such as obesity and type 2 diabetes by lowering a person’s glucose levels and promoting weight loss, concern has been raised about a potential unwanted side effect.

New research out of China suggests that the weight-loss drugs could have a potentially deadly side effect.

Researchers believe that there is an "increased risk" of intestinal obstruction when taking these medications.
Researchers believe that there is an “increased risk” of intestinal obstruction when taking the medications.
AFP via Getty Images

“While their efficacies and safety profiles are widely accepted, long-term adverse events such as increased risk of intestinal obstruction have been reported in diabetic patients, which is 4.5 times higher than those receiving other glucose control medications,” the researchers wrote about the medicine.

“A real-world study of 25,617 subjects demonstrated a 3.5-fold increase in the intestinal obstruction rate associated with GLP-1RA treatment,” the researchers also noted.

The Post reached out to the medicine’s manufacturer, Novo Norodisk, for comment.

The scholars also cited two studies in their research that showed a correlation between GLP-1 and intestinal issues — one published in 2020, the other in 2022.

However, they were observational in nature and could not confirm a direct relation.

An intestinal obstruction occurs when there’s a blockage that prevents food or liquid from moving through your small or large intestine, according to the Mayo Clinic.

If it’s left untreated, it can cause those parts of the intestine that were blocked to die, and it can lead to an infection called peritonitis.

The infection is classified as a life-threatening condition that often requires surgery, according to the organization.

In their letter, they explained that in their own observations of rats who took the drug, they had a 43% average increase in the small intestine’s length after a 3-month treatment of GLP-1b drugs, pointing out that the clinical trials for Wegovy only tested that for 16 months.

Chelsea Handler even admitted to taking this weight loss drug in the past.
Chelsea Handler admitted to taking the weight loss drug in the past.

Elon Musk admitted that he was on it, too, last fall.
Elon Musk claimed that he was on it, too, last fall.

They also noted that the clinical trials that have been done on humans have not shown the same changes in our guts.

The researchers explained that it can be hard to determine the length of the small intestine in adults and that constipation, a symptom of intestinal obstruction, is also the same symptom as having slower digestion, an effect the drug has.

However, independent experts who were not involved in the research told the Daily Mail that the “medication should be safe for most” and maintained that before doctors prescribe the medicine to their patients, they should look at the person’s bowel history.

The popular medicine is administered through a once-a-week injection, which patients can do themselves. The maximum dose for Wegovy is 2.4 milligrams.

In recent months, the weight-loss drug has been taking over Hollywood, as many stars have admitted to taking it at one point or another, including comedian Chelsea Handler, who claimed that she “didn’t know” she was taking Ozempic.

She alleged that her doctor just “hands it out” to anyone.

“I came back from a vacation and I injected myself with it. I went to lunch with a girlfriend a few days later, and she was like, ‘I’m not really eating anything. I’m so nauseous, I’m on Ozempic,’” she recalled during a Jan. 25 appearance on the “Call Her Daddy” podcast.

“And I was like, ‘I’m kind of nauseous too.’ But I had just come back from Spain and was jet-lagged,” she continued.

Twitter owner Elon Musk also admitted to using Wegovy last fall.

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