Jillian Michaels is speaking out about encouraging her loved ones to stop taking Ozempic.
The former Biggest Loser coach and celebrity fitness trainer, 48, shared that she has convinced several loved ones to stop taking the type 2 diabetes medication, which has risen to popularity as an off-label weight loss treatment. Known by its generic name, semaglutide, the drug is sold under the brand names Ozempic, Wegovy and Rybelsus.
"I have taken at least eight family friends' parents off of this drug," Michaels told People. "They're getting heart palpitations, they're nauseous, they feel like s***. They feel so awful that it's motivated them to reverse their type 2 diabetes."
Taken by injection once a week, Ozempic works to control blood sugar levels in adults. While the drug's website states that it's "not for weight loss," it does mention that it "may help you lose some weight," and that adults taking Ozempic lost up to 14 pounds. However, in addition to the potential side effects that can occur when taking Ozempic, which include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, and constipation, Michaels says she believes the drug results in weight gain when someone stops taking it.
"Once they get off of the drug, it does the rebound effect," she explained. "So you're not gaining anything. You get off the drug in a year and go all the way back. You've not learned anything. You've not built any physical strength or endurance. You haven't learned how to eat healthy."
Influencer Remi Bader, who was prescribed Ozempic in 2020, has also spoken out about the rebound effect of the drug. She previously said she ended up gaining "double the weight back" after she stopped taking the medication, which she was prescribed because she was pre-diabetic. When she stopped taking it, her binge eating worsened.
Ultimately, Michaels wants to encourage people to educate themselves about the drug before taking it.
"The truth of the matter is, Ozempic has some pretty significant side effects. Do your homework on it. The results are not lasting, in very large part," she concluded.
Ozempic has become a viral sensation in Hollywood and beyond. Comedian Chelsea Handler previously shared that she was unknowingly prescribed the medication, and only questioned it when she started to feel nauseous.
"So, my anti-aging doctor just hands it out to anybody,” Handler shared on the Call Her Daddy podcast. “I didn’t even know I was on it. She said: ‘If you ever want to drop five pounds, this is good.’”
The drug has also skyrocketed to notoriety on social media. On TikTok, the hashtag #ozempic has 508.9 million views, with the hashtag #ozempicweightloss trailing behind with 189.4 million views, Men's Health reported. But as a result of its increasing profile, some people who take the drug for the treatment of diabetes cannot find it in stock. It has since been placed on the Food and Drug Administration’s list of current drug shortages, as has Wegovy.
In addition to its previously-stated side effects, the term "Ozempic face" has become a common term to describe the hollow, droopy appearance that can potentially occur following rapid weight loss in the face as a result of taking the medication.
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