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May 23, 2024

Fitness Guru Jillian Michaels Sounds Alarm on Ozempic

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Jan 18, 2024

Fitness celebrity Jillian Michaels is speaking out with grave concerns over the popular new diabetes drug Ozempic, which has been increasingly prescribed off-label for weight loss. In multiple interviews this week, Michaels warned of disturbing long-term impacts and blasted the “nefarious” promotion of the drug.

Rapid Rise of Off-Label Ozempic Use

Ozempic, generically known as semaglutide, was approved by the FDA in 2017 exclusively for treatment of type 2 diabetes. However, in recent years doctors have increasingly prescribed the weekly injectable drug for obesity and weight management purposes in patients without diabetes.

This off-label use has skyrocketed over the past year in particular. Prescriptions for non-diabetics make up an estimated 40-50% of total Ozempic scripts today, fueled by growing buzz around dramatic weight loss results on social media.

High profile celebrities like Elon Musk, Oprah Winfrey, and Andy Cohen have publicly attributed major weight drops to using Ozempic, further driving demand. Oprah even declared it one of her “favorite things” last year.

| Year | % Ozempic Scripts for Non-Diabetics | 
|--|--|
| 2020 | < 5% |
| 2021 | 15-20% |  
| 2022 | 30-40% |
| 2023 | 40-50% |

But as prescriptions have exploded, Jillian Michaels is now urging caution.

Jillian Michaels Blasts “Nefarious” Marketing of Ozempic

Long-time fitness expert and trainer Jillian Michaels called out what she deemed the “extremely nefarious” promotion of Ozempic for weight loss this week.

In an interview with Page Six on Wednesday, Michaels warned that the drug’s risks were being downplayed in irresponsible marketing campaigns.

“There are… ways that I think it’s being marketed and promoted that are extremely nefarious,” Michaels stated.

She called particular attention to targeted ads on social media platforms and influencer promotions.

“The way they’re targeting women on social media to pedal this… as a weight loss drug is very irresponsible,” Michaels added.

The celebrity trainer accused pharmaceutical companies of trying to capitalize on insecurities around weight to push the drug.

“I think it’s a very vulnerable population that they’re preying on,” she said.

Concerns Over Long-Term Impacts

Beyond shady marketing tactics, Jillian Michaels’ core concern surrounds potential long-term consequences of Ozempic.

In interviews with Page Six and the New York Post this week, she repeatedly emphasized worries about long-term neurological and metabolic effects.

“We have no idea the neurological effects, the 500-pound gorilla in the room,” Michaels told the Post.

“We have no long-term data… We have no idea what it could do to your metabolism in the long term,” she further stated.

Due to the drug’s recent introduction and rapid off-label adoption, data on longer-term impacts remain limited. But Michaels stressed worrying early indicators around dependency.

“The body stops producing the hormones that Ozempic is replacing. Your cells can basically become dependent on it,” she explained.

If that occurs, discontinuing Ozempic could have serious consequences Michaels warned. This could theoretically include rebounds to higher pre-drug weight.

Cell Mutation and “Ozempic Face” Concerns

Beyond metabolic impacts, Michaels also highlighted potential for cell mutation. She referenced unusual fat deposits and facial changes observed in some Ozempic users – now dubbed “Ozempic face.”

“We’re seeing weird fat deposits, facial changes because it mutants your cells,” Michaels told the Post.

“I’m sure it mobilizes fat in the short term, but at what cost? …It’s survivability over vanity for me,” she added.

The phenomenon of “Ozempic face” – featuring fat loss in extremities but buildup around the jaw and chin – has flooded social media in recent months with speculation around causes.

Michaels contended this offers more reason for caution until further research.

Calls for More Research and Regulation

Given the unknowns and early warning signs, Jillian Michaels argued firmly for more rigorous research and regulation of off-label Ozempic prescribing.

Until long-term data exists, she believes marketing for weight loss and cosmetic purposes should be prohibited. Approvals should focus narrowly on diabetes treatment she contends.

“It shouldn’t be allowed off-label like this. Doctors should not be writing it off-label. …We need the rigor of the FDA approval process,” she told Page Six.

Michaels also doubled down on calls for public awareness of risks, not just benefits. She encouraged those considering Ozempic to have an honest risk/reward discussion with their doctors.

And she concluded with a simple appeal:

“We need real data here.”

What Happens Next?

It remains to be seen whether Jillian Michaels’ prominent warnings may impact demand for off-label Ozempic use. But her added voice to rising concerns underscores the need for more conclusive research.

In the interim, some physicians argue judicious short-term prescribing under careful monitoring can aid weight loss when options are limited.

However, until FDA approvals Catch up, patients must weigh real risks around long-term impacts. Perhaps the 500-pound gorilla has indeed entered the room.

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AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

To err is human, but AI does it too. Whilst factual data is used in the production of these articles, the content is written entirely by AI. Double check any facts you intend to rely on with another source.

By AiBot

AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

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