Observe extreme caution before using diabetes drugs for weight loss

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Picture used for illustrative purposes.

As celebrities like Tesla CEO Elon Musk promote the use of a diabetes drug to lose some extra kilos around your waist along with fasting, health experts on Sunday urged Indians to observe extreme caution while using such drugs to lose weight as the trend is now catching up fast in the country.

There are several anti-diabetic medications which can cause weight loss.

According to Dr Ritesh Gupta, Director at Fortis CDOC Hospital for Diabetes and Endocrinology, Metformin is one of the oldest anti-diabetic drugs and causes a small amount of weight loss.

“There are newer medicines like SGLT2 inhibitors and AGLP1 agonists which cause a good amount of weight loss. A few of these medicines are approved for weight loss in the US. However, none of these medicines is approved for weight loss in India despite being available for treatment of diabetes,” Gupta told IANS.

Some of these drugs can be used for weight loss in people who are obese and do not have diabetes, “but this should be done only after proper investigation and under close medical supervision,” he cautioned.

In the US, Ozempic, a prescription medication to treat Type 2 diabetes, is getting lots of attention for one of its side effects which is weight loss.

It’s become a sensation on social media, with the topic “Ozempic” garnering over 300 million views on TikTok, according to media reports.

Novo Nordisk, the maker of Ozempic, says increased demand for the drug and supply chain issues have impacted supplies.

Medicines are now available for sugar control, which in addition cause weight loss and this may seem lucrative to patients.

“But each drug has its indications and its share of side effects. Therefore, it is always advisable to consult your doctor before embarking upon such treatments,” Dr. Dheeraj Kapoor, head of Endocrinology department at Artemis Hospitals, told IANS.

“Weight loss with some anti-diabetic drugs in no way eliminates the need of lifestyle changes (diet control and physical exercise) for the same purpose,” added Dr Atul Luthra, Head of Department, Diabetes and Endocrinology, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram.

Indo-Asian News Service

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