The Rise and Fall of Weight-Loss Wonder Drug as ‘Ozempic Face’ Takes Over Hollywood

Maintaining perfect looks doesn’t come easy. For most of us, it takes time, effort, and money. If you’re under the glare of the public eye, well, that increases the pressure to look your best at all times. 

For years, we ordinary folks have taken our cues from Hollywood celebs in this context. Kylie Jenner just put in lip fillers. I want those. Oh, wait, she removed them. Halle Berry says she lost weight on the Keto diet. I’ll start next week.

It’s a cycle that we wash, spin, repeat. Celebrity-endorsed fads are sometimes exactly that. Many pursue those unattainable beauty standards. It can sometimes lead to disastrous consequences. 

Ozempic Face

Madonna’s now-infamous “pillow face” sparked a series of articles and opinions from plastic surgeons. They claimed her swollen features were the result of having numerous fillers done over the years. 

Simon Cowell’s extensive use of cosmetic procedures has also caught up with him. X users said he looked  more like “a waxwork of Simon Cowell than a waxwork of Simon Cowell.” 

Now that the Ozempic lawsuit has been thrust into the spotlight, many are noticing their favs are displaying peculiar new looks. Gaunt cheeks. Sagging skin. Sunken eyes. These are the hallmarks of ‘Ozempic face.’

How about that being a side effect of using the popular weight-loss drug Ozempic?

Reality TV star Scott Disick shocked fans when he was pictured looking emaciated and unwell. British singer Robbie Williams who openly admitted to using Ozempic appeared to carry no weight in his cheeks.

Sharon Osbourne claimed she lost 42 pounds while on the drug, but now regrets taking it. During an interview with the Daily Mail, she said that it was easy to become addicted. Osbourne also warned not to give Ozempic to teenagers. And it’s not just the risk of becoming addicted. 

And it’s not just the risk of becoming addicted. Studies have indicated that Ozempic and other GLP-1 weight-loss drugs are likely to cause severe gastrointestinal issues, says TorHoerman Law.

Demand Outstrips Supply

Initially touted as an injectable drug to treat type 2 diabetes, Ozempic showed significant promise. The FDA approved the drug to market itself as reducing stroke risks, heart attacks and other serious cardiovascular ailments. 

When the Healthcare Cost Institute conducted research, they found that by 2021, diabetes diagnosis had fallen to 77% of new Ozempic users.

Then doctors noticed that obese patients struggling with blood sugar were starting to lose weight. Semaglutide, the active ingredient in Ozempic, helps regulate insulin production and blood sugar. The side effects? Significant weight loss.

Despite the warning labels and side effects, Hollywood clamored at doctors’ doors, demanding Ozempic and Wegovy. It led to a global shortage of the drug. 

Those who it was intended for, suffered as a result. In fact, JP Morgan forecasted that GLP-1 medication sales would exceed $1 billion by 2030. To meet the increased demand, drugmaker Novo Nordisk told ABC News that it would invest over $6 billion.

Ozempic Lawsuit

Dozens of patients who have experienced significant side effects of Ozempic and similar drugs are suing the makers Eli Lilly and Novo Nordisk. 

USA Today reported that plaintiffs suffered gallbladder removal and gastroparesis. Several dozen lawsuits have accused the drugmakers of neglecting to notify patients about the side effects. 

A 2023 research paper backed their claims. Published on Jama, the study found a significant link between gastroparesis (stomach paralysis) and Ozempic. Patients also reported suffering from severe nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain.

In a statement sent to USA Today, Novo Nordisk said the cases are without merit and it intends to “vigorously defend against these claims.”

Thus far, the Ozempic lawsuits concerning health problems have been consolidated into a federal multidistrict litigation (MDL). Lawyers expect more patients to come forward. It could even result in an Ozempic class action lawsuit.

More Claims

Recent data currently being reviewed by the European Medicines Agency could also add to the scope of the lawsuit. The findings suggest there may be a link between semaglutide and suicidal thoughts. 

Little is known about the risks of semaglutide and gastroparesis. As patients continue to come forward, more data will become available. Hopefully, then the drastic side effects associated with Ozempic and similar drugs will be well-documented.

Regardless of the outcome, users of weight-loss drugs will no longer take these products at face value. Some drugmakers might even see a decline in demand. It’s a stark reminder that no drug comes with only rewards.

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