Your browser is not supported. We do our best to optimize our websites to the most current web browsers. Please try another browser.

What is Ozempic? The Controversial Drug Celebs May Be Using to Lose Weight

A pink scale with a measuring tap on top

Fad diets and weight loss plans are nothing new, especially when it comes to people who are in the public eye, but the latest extreme measure that people are allegedly using to lose weight — taking Ozempic, an injectable medication used as a treatment of type 2 diabetes — is highly controversial for multiple reasons. From shortages in certain countries (which impacts those who need the drug for medical reasons) to potential side effects, here is what we know so far about Ozempic.

Related: 10 ways to care for your body that have nothing to do with weight loss. 

Remember: you should always do your own research and get expert advice when making any medical decisions. This post is not intended to substitute as advice of a qualified healthcare professional.  

What is Ozempic?

According to its website, Ozempic is a “once-weekly medicine for adults with type 2 diabetes used to improve blood sugar, along with diet and exercise, and reduce the risk of major cardiovascular events such as heart attack, stroke or death in adults with type 2 diabetes and known heart disease.” 

As Juniper explains, Ozempic works by mimicking a natural hormone in your body, glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), which helps regulate how full someone feels after eating and insulin secretion in response to eating.

So, for people with certain health challenges like type 2 diabetes, this type of medication can be a helpful tool. However, while there are medical and health reasons why doctors may prescribe Ozempic, the reason the drug has been making headlines has more to do with weight loss for cosmetic and aesthetic reasons. As outlined in Variety, Ozempic “has saturated the industry in recent months, helping the beautiful and wealthy shed extra pounds in the never-ending Los Angeles pastime of optimizing appearances.”

You may also like: I tried sea moss gel — here’s how it went.


Ozempic, semaglutide and Wegovy

As Global News outlines, Ozempic is the brand name for the diabetes medication, which is manufactured by Novo Nordisk. The medical ingredient in Ozempic is called semaglutide. Novo Nordisk also manufactures another drug with semaglutide as the only medical ingredient, Wegovy, for obesity.

In Canada, both drugs have been approved for use under certain circumstances: Ozempic has been approved since 2018, while Wegovy has been approved since 2021.

What are some of the potential side effects of using Ozempic?

While Variety notes that the drug’s “primary side effect is dramatic weight loss,” like with any prescription drug, there is always a possible risk of side effects. The Ozempic website lists some of the most common side effects as nausea, diarrhea, vomiting and abdominal pains, while some of the more serious potential side effects might include inflammation of your pancreas, kidney problems, thyroid tumors and even cancer.

Another potential side effect that some people have seen accompany the rapid weight loss that can come with Ozempic use is what New York dermatologist Dr. Paul Jarrod Frank calls, “Ozempic face” — AKA a gaunt or “aged” appearance in the face, according to PEOPLE.

See also: These 20 foods will boost your immune system. 

Which celebrities have admitted to using Ozempic? 

There has been plenty of speculation about certain non-obese celebrities potentially using Ozempic for weight loss. While many have denied using the medication (The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Kyle Richards has denied rumours attributing her weight loss to Ozempic multiple times and The Kardashians star Khloe Kardashian clapped back against rumors, according to Page Six, commenting the following: “Let’s not discredit my years of working out. I get up 5 days a week at 6 a.m. to train. Please stop with your assumptions.”), other celebs have openly admitted to using Ozempic or Wegovy.

Chelsea Handler recently admitted to using the drug, though she says that she didn’t know she was on it. As CNN reports, the comedian shared on the Call Her Daddy podcast that she was given the medication from her “anti-aging doctor.”


“I didn’t even know I was on it,” Handler noted. “She said, ‘If you ever want to drop five pounds this is good.’”

As NBC News reports, model and TikTok creator Remi Bader shared on the Not Skinny But Not Fat podcast that she was prescribed Ozempic after it was approved by the Food and Drug Administration, because she was pre-diabetic and insulin resistant. However, Bader said she “gained double the weight back” when she went off the drug.

See also: Why you vitamin D, and 5 signs you’re not getting enough.

Is there an Ozempic shortage in Canada?

Celebrities aside, the rise in popularity of Ozempic — specifically for people who do not have a medical need for it, like type 2 diabetics — appears to be rapidly driving demand. So, while Ozempic is a drug that can be used for medical reasons, its growing popularity as a weight loss aid for those who are not obese has driven reports of shortages across the globe in places like the United States, Australia, Singapore and Southeast Asia

While Canada does not currently have a shortage of Ozempic, according to Global News, this could change if demand continues to spike. As the drug’s manufacturer, Novo Nordisk, told Global News, in order to “ensure a continuous supply of Ozempic, we are asking physicians to only use Ozempic for patients with type 2 diabetes.”

So, while you may be tempted to take the drug as a shortcut to weight loss, you may want to consider all the factors — especially if you’re not diabetic.



Latest News

This content is restricted to adults of legal age.
Please enter your birthdate to confirm.
Date of Birth