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Scientists raise alarm over potentially deadly side effect from fat-loss shot Wegovy


Medical experts warn that Wegovy and similar fat loss injections can cause a potentially deadly side effect that is overlooked in studies.

The blockbuster drugs work by mimicking the effects of GLP-1, a hormone that slows the movement of food through the intestines, helping a person feel fuller for longer.

But researchers in China believe the drugs could cause a person’s small intestine to become enlarged, putting them at high risk for a potentially deadly obstruction in their digestive system.

In experiments performed on mice, the enlargement of the gut occurred about 20 months after taking GLP-1 drugs. The team points out that clinical trials for Wegovy lasted only 16 months, meaning this significant long-term side effect may have been missed.

The researchers also reviewed previous research in humans that appears to suggest that users of these types of drugs are up to four times more likely to experience intestinal obstruction.

Developed by Danish company Novo Nordisk, Wegovy is a weekly injectable drug that leads to heavy weight loss in the long term (file photo)

Chinese researchers warn that people taking GLP-1 drugs such as Wegovy will experience an enlarged bowel, which is less flexible and more prone to blockages

Chinese researchers warn that people taking GLP-1 drugs such as Wegovy will experience an enlarged bowel, which is less flexible and more prone to blockages

“Because[this class of drugs]can cause a continuous increase in gut length and villus height, the small intestine can become as inelastic and fibrotic as a loose spring, leading to long-term obstruction of the upper gut, probably due to certain unexpected abnormalities.” target effects,” scientists wrote.

Bowel obstructions occur when some type of blockage prevents food and liquid from passing through the intestines.

This can be caused by damage to the digestive system, cancer, or an inflamed and stretched bowel.

It can cause parts of the intestinal tissue to die. One of the first signs that someone is constipated is loss of appetite and constipation.

If left untreated, a person can develop peritonitis, a potentially fatal infection in the abdomen.

The blockage can occur when a gut gets too big, as it loses the ability to adjust its shape, making it difficult for food to travel through.

This will block the passage.

Wegovy, its sister drug Ozempic, and other similar weight-loss drugs were an instant hit in the pharmaceutical industry, becoming so popular that they were in short supply for much of the past year. Novo Nordisk, the manufacturer, says supply issues will soon be quelled.

The Chinese team, which published their report last month in Acta Pharmaceutica Sinica B, pointed to dangers found in previous research. They cited two studies showing a link between the drugs and stomach problems.

a study, published by French researchers at the end of 2020used data from VigiBase, the World Health Organization’s tracker for global side effects.

After observing more than 500,000 reports, they found that people taking GLP-1 drugs for diabetes management were 4.5 times more likely to have intestinal obstruction.

While Wegovy didn’t become available worldwide until 2021 – following this study – its sister drug, Ozempic, which uses the same active ingredient, was rolled out in 2017.

In a 2022 studyBritish researchers compared the number of intestinal obstructions between 25,617 GLP-1 users and 67,261 users of another type of diabetes drug.

They found that GLP-1 users had a 3.5-fold risk of intestinal obstruction.

Both studies were observational and found a correlation between GLP-1 use and gastric problems, but not that they were directly related.

Bowel obstruction is also a well-known symptom of diabetes, meaning the study could potentially find large-scale evidence for that symptom.

“It’s very difficult to say if the obstruction is a direct result of the medication,” Dr. Shauna Levy, an obesity medicine specialist at Tulane University, told DailyMail.com.

“Physicians should consider a patient’s history of intestinal obstruction before prescribing this drug. This highlights an important point that GLP-1 RA is a drug. They must be prescribed by a healthcare provider who can pre-screen the patient for a history of contraindications to the medication.”

She cited a 2022 study conducted by scientists from all over the world – including the University of Alabama, Birmingham and the University of Pennsylvania.

This study followed semaglutide users for two years and found no increased risk of intestinal obstruction in this population.

But the Chinese team cites previous research in mice to make their case.

A 2007 study by Danish researchers found that rodents exposed to the drugs increased the length of their small intestines by nine percent and their width by 31 percent.

Interestingly, dr. Lotte Simonsen, who led that study, would begin obesity research for Novo Nordisk in 2010 — a few years after that study.

According to her LinkedIn page, she holds the role of “Scientific Director” at the Wegovy manufacturer.

A German study from last year found that GLP-1 drugs increased the length of the intestines by 20 percent and the height of the small intestine by 34 percent.

These studies used exenatide and dapiglutide for their research. While both are GLP-1s, they differ from the semiglutide used in Wegovy.

Dr. Levy said the findings in mice may not have much impact on human outcomes.

“Animal studies, too, should be seen more as hypothesis-generating than as evidence of outcome in humans,” she explained.

However, Chinese scientists still note the concerns. And they point to the way the drugs are used for these problems.

Users of drugs such as Wegovy and Ozempic inject themselves with the drug once a week.

Doses start small, at 0.25 mg, before working your way up to the maintenance phase of 2.4 mg per week.

The body does not naturally produce GLP-1 hormones like these. Instead, it produces them when needed to regulate appetite. Of course there will never be so many hormones active in the body at once.

Semgalutide also has a half-life of about seven days, meaning that when a person takes their weekly injection, much of last week’s injection is still in their body.

The Chinese team isn’t sure, but they fear it could cause problems for a person’s digestive system.

The scientists say it’s difficult to measure the growth of a person’s gut, meaning it’s unlikely it would have been caught in clinical trials.

The earliest sign of stomach problems is constipation, a common symptom that can cause a host of other health problems.

Wegovy has been a golden goose for Danish Novo Nordisk since it first became available in 2021.

In clinical trials, obese people who took the drug alongside a fitness plan lost 15 percent of their body weight over 68 weeks — much faster than other weight-loss drugs.

The drug, a reformulated version of its diabetes drug Ozempic, was so popular that its supply was nearly wiped out by the second half of 2022.

It also comes with a high price, costing users more than $1,000 per month if their insurance doesn’t pay for it.

However, there are concerns about its use. Some fear doctors are now turning to pharmaceuticals to solve America’s growing obesity crisis — instead of more natural diets and exercise.

Another study also showed that users of the drug regain all of their lost weight once they drop the weekly injections.

Novo Nordisk did not respond to a DailyMail.com request for comment.

The drug has gained popularity among Hollywood’s biggest stars. Actress Chelsea Handler admitted that she had used the drug — albeit unknowingly — to lose weight earlier this year.

Reality TV icon Kim Kardashain reportedly used it to wear a vintage Marilyn Monroe dress to the 2022 Met Gala.

Billionaire tech magnate Elon Musk admitted on his Twitter last year that he used Wegovy to lose weight.

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