Weight loss drug Ozempic may cause stomach paralysis, UAE doctors warn

Ozempic weight loss craze turns sour as UAE doctors warn of shocking side effect: stomach paralysis

Ozempic, a type 2 diabetes drug being used by many for weight loss, can lead to stomach paralysis, UAE doctors warn.

While the drug “helps slow down the movement of food and reduce appetite,” doctors have observed that it can cause stomach issues, including severe gastroparesis – also known as stomach paralysis, Dr. Eman Ibrahim Eliwa, Family Medicine Specialist at Abu Dhabi’s Burjeel Medical City, told Arabian Business.

“Gastroparesis can have various causes, including diabetes, which is a condition that many individuals taking these drugs may have. Therefore, individuals with diabetes may be more prone to gastroparesis and other stomach-related issues,” she said, adding that regular users of the drug who do not suffer from obesity or diabetes can also experience side effects, even if they are generally proven to be less susceptible.

Common symptoms of stomach paralysis may include feeling full shortly after starting a meal, nausea, vomiting, excessive bloating, excessive belching, upper abdominal pain, heartburn and poor appetite, she added.

Dubbed as the ultimate rapid weight loss solution, viral TikTok videos for the type 2 diabetes drug took the world by storm earlier this year, with many obtaining the injectible drug without a prescription.

It has caused occasional global supply shocks in the medicine, effects of which were felt in the UAE as well, leaving many diabetes and obesity patients in need of the lifesaving medicine with limited or no supply.

Ozempic: Indigestion and reduced appetite

Ozempic acts on the brain by sending signals to the appetite centre to help suppress your appetite and make you fuller. It also lowers fasting and postprandial blood glucose by stimulating insulin secretion in a glucose-dependent manner.

The doctors advised against taking the medicine without consulting a healthcare professional first for a thorough evaluation and to discuss any concerns or potential risks associated with the use of Ozempic or similar medications like Mounjaro, Wegovy, and Saxenda.

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