Ozempic takes the fun out of eating and makes life so “wretchedly boring” that many people stop taking it, says a scientist who helped develop the drug.
Jens Juul Holst, who found the hormone mimicked by Ozempic, warned that it was the “price to pay” for using the wonder drug – adding that most patients give up within two years.
The drug makes people feel no pleasure in eating by mimicking the action of the appetite-regulating hormone GLP-1, or glucagon-like peptide-1, to keep someone feeling full all the time.
The scientist’s claims are echoed in a 2020 study that monitored diabetic patients taking an Ozempic-like drug and found 70% discontinued use. He believes the reason was a lack of interest in food.
Jens Juul Holst, who found the hormone mimicked by Ozempic, warned that the drug works by robbing people of the enjoyment of food and their favorite snacks.
Ozempic mimics a GLP-1 hormone that makes people feel full
In an interview with WiredHolst revealed: “So you don’t eat through [taking the drug] because you have lost interest in food.
“It can possibly be a problem, that once you’ve been there for a year or two, life is so miserably boring that you can’t take it anymore and have to go back to your old life.”
Ozempic and Wegovy took the American public by storm with their promise to help someone lose weight with little more than a weekly injection.
Prescriptions have increased by more than 2,000% in just three years, from 230,000 a year in 2019 to more than five million last year alone – and are expected to continue to rise.
But speaking to the publication, Dr Holst suggested the drug would not solve the obesity crisis in the US without patients also being given advice on healthy lifestyles and diets.
He said: ‘What happens is that you lose your appetite and also the pleasure of eating [when you’re on the drug].
“So I think there’s a price to pay when you do that.
“If you like food, that pleasure is gone. Some people’s urge to eat is suppressed when they take GLP-1 drugs.
Asked about people quitting drugs, he said the loss of enjoyment of food was a major driving force, leaving people “disinterested” in continuing.
When asked if everyone would end up taking the drug, he said: ‘I don’t see that much of the population will be put on Wegovy and stay on Wegovy for the rest of their lives.
“I just don’t see that picture because it hasn’t happened with other GLP-1 drugs.”
Dr. Holst’s team discovered the hormone GLP-1 – mimicked by Ozempic – while researching stomach ulcers in the 1970s.
They also revealed that it was secreted by intestinal cells in response to food consumption, acknowledging its role in regulating blood sugar.
Dr Holst had previously patented drugs with Novo Nordisk – the owner of Ozempic – and is an adviser to the company.
But he says he never received a dime for developing these blockbuster drugs, with Ozempic grossing $8.56 billion last year alone.
Studies have found that Ozempic can cause patients to lose up to 15% of their body weight in one year and four months.
By comparison, the trial of almost 2,000 obese adults showed that those who underwent the lifestyle intervention lost 2.4% of their weight.
However, separate newspapers warned that after people stop taking the drug, they quickly regain weight.
A study conducted by the University of Liverpool, UK, involving 336 people found that those using Ozempic lost 18% of their body weight in 68 weeks.
But in the year since quitting the drug, the newspaper found that users had regained about two-thirds of the weight they lost on average.
Dr Christopher McGowan, a North Carolina-based weight loss expert, told DailyMail.com after seeing the results that it suggested Ozempic should be a lifelong “commitment” for patients.
“As soon as you stop this drug, your body will go back to trying to promote weight regain. It’s a relentless process,” he said.
“It’s very similar to how we treat other diseases like high blood pressure or high cholesterol. If you start a drug, if your cholesterol and your cholesterol improve, you don’t stop the drug. You stay on it.
Among the celebrities who use Ozempic but gain weight after stopping the drug is plus-size model Remi Bader.
The 28-year-old revealed last year that she was prescribed the drug when she became pre-diabetic.
She said she lost weight with the drug, but regained twice what she lost once she stopped it.
“I was like, ‘I bet the second I leave, I’m going to starve again,'” she told a podcast.
‘And I did. My bulimia got so bad, so I kind of blame Ozempic. I regained double the weight afterwards.
Many doctors prescribing Ozempic have also raised concerns about the drug’s side effects, including muscle loss and sagging skin.
This has prompted some to only offer the drug to patients if they make other lifestyle changes like resistance training to protect muscle mass.