Unlicensed versions of semaglutide, the active ingredient in Ozempic, are being sold on social media and in some beauty salons, the investigation found.
Unregulated sellers are advertising the over-the-counter drug online, according to a new BBC report.
A lean prick exposed, An upcoming documentary on BBC Three has found unapproved versions of the drug advertised in beauty salons on Britain’s high streets.
Undercover investigators visited four salons in Manchester and Liverpool and received dangerous advice about mixing, dosages and how to use the drug.
Elsewhere, the BBC spoke to Maddie, who claimed she ended up in A&E vomiting blood after being illegally sold a slimming drug.
It was bad, she said. I threw up all night, to the point where I threw up stomach acid, blood, white foam.
Originally prescribed for those suffering from type 2 diabetes, Ozempic became increasingly popular after being touted as a Hollywood weight loss drug.
It is illegal to sell semaglutide as an over-the-counter medicine in the UK.
What is Ozempic? How does it work?
The once-weekly injection has become notorious as an A-list quick fix for weight loss.
It works because of its ability to mimic glucagon-like peptide-1, explains Claire Merrifield, GP and medical director at Selph.
Our bodies naturally produce GLP-1 after we eat, which slows stomach emptying, prevents us from eating more, and stimulates the release of insulin from the pancreas, she explains. Cosmopolitan UK. One of the main reasons it supports weight loss is that it reduces your appetite while you continue to take it.”
When is Ozempic safe and appropriate to take?
Ozempic is only available on the NHS to treat type 2 diabetes and Vegovi, another semaglutide drug prescribed specifically to treat obesity, is only offered on the NHS to those with a body mass index (BMI) of at least 35. It is never advisable – or safe – to take medicines that have not been prescribed for you, especially if they are bought through an online dealer or beauty salon.
There are also some circumstances in which Ozempic is even more dangerous to take, especially without your doctor’s supervision. For example, people who have had pancreatitis, those who suffer from type 1 diabetes or those with a genetic predisposition to thyroid cancer should not take Ozempiz, Dr. Merrifield explains.
It’s also not appropriate to take if you’re just carrying a few extra pounds and want to lose some weight, she adds. This medicine is for people who really struggle with their weight and for people whose extra weight is causing other health problems.
How can we check if the Ozempic we received is safe?
If you buy medicines online without a prescription, it is likely that they will not be safe.
Check the package and make sure it looks the same as the previous medicine if you had it. It’s important to check the credentials of wherever you buy it from is registered with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) and you can check the register directly to see if it is, says Dr Merrifield.
She adds that you should also check if they are registered with the General Medical Council.
I am really concerned about this drug being offered in settings like social media and beauty salons. That sends the message that the drug is completely safe and likely promotes its use among people who don’t need it, Dr. Merrific continues.
Every medicine you take has a potential benefit and a potential risk, and healthcare professionals have been trained for years to explain this to people so they can make an informed decision. I doubt that beauty salons would warn you about side effects.
We also still don’t know what the long-term effects of this drug are, so this needs to be explained to people before they start taking it.
What are the side effects of Ozempic?
Common side effects of Ozempic include nausea, vomiting, headache, diarrhea, constipation, stomach pain, and fatigue.
The product’s instructions reportedly list suicidal thoughts as a possible side effect for the three drugs above, with a word of caution: “You should pay attention to any mental changes, especially sudden changes in mood, behavior, thoughts, or feelings.” Call your doctor right away if you have any mental changes that are new, worse, or worry you.”
However, if you purchased Ozempic from an unregulated source, there are many more troubling side effects that you may need to consider.
“Taking Ozempic on the black market means you’re taking drugs sold by criminals who have no obligation to provide you with a safe or effective product,” explains Dr. Merrifield.
“At best, even if the injection was just saline and no active drug, you could get an infection where you injected it and it wouldn’t work.”
“It’s never a good idea to inject something into your body unless you know exactly what it is and the potential risks of taking it. It’s always important to ask yourself, is it really worth the risk to lose a few pounds?”
This article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis. Always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified healthcare professional about any questions you may have about your medical condition.
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