- In a recent interview, Sharon Osbourne said she quit taking Ozempic due to losing too much weight.
- She also said she felt that younger people should stay away from the drug.
- Experts say people need to be aware that Ozempic is not a quick fix for weight loss.
- Also, older people should be aware that they may be more at risk for side effects.
Speaking on a recent episode of “Piers Morgan Uncensored,” Sharon Osbourne — TV personality and wife of British rocker Ozzy Osbourne — told the talk show host that the first thing to know about Ozempic is “you can’t stay on it forever.”
She also revealed that she had lost too much weight on the drug and had stopped using it.
“I lost 42 pounds now and it’s just enough,” she explained.
“It’s just time to stop. I didn’t actually want to go this thin, but it just happened,” she added, noting that “I’ll probably put it all on again soon; I’ve done it my whole life.”
Osbourne said when she first began using the drug she felt nauseous for two to three weeks.
“You don’t throw up physically, but you’ve got that feeling,” she said.
She was also very thirsty and did not want to eat.
She also spoke of misgivings about the popular weight loss drug, stating, “You’ve got to keep this stuff away from younger people because they will go berserk on it. It’s not right.”
As Osbourne mentioned, medications like Ozempic can sometimes lead to bothersome side effects. Some may fade over time, but others may be more serious.
Dr. Michael Kane, Professor, Department of Pharmacy Practice at Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, said gastrointestinal side effects — such as nausea, diarrhea, abdominal pain, vomiting, and constipation — are the most common side effects that people will experience.
“Patients should be counseled to stop eating when they feel full, as overeating may be a prelude to vomiting,” Kane advised. He further suggested that staying away from greasy foods and foods that are hard to digest can help. Good hydration is also important, especially when first starting the drug or when increasing the dose.
“Patients with a history of pancreatitis, medullary thyroid cancer, or history of multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2 should not take these medications,” added Kane.
While Kane did not address excessive weight loss in his remarks to Healthline, nor does it seem to be mentioned in the Prescribing Information for the drug, it does appear that Osbourne is not alone in her experiences.
For example, in April of this year, The New York Times reported on the case of Renata Lavach-Savy, who became malnourished on the drug despite weighing over 200 pounds. She reported having to set alarms to remind herself to eat because she had no appetite.
Dr. Andrew Kraftson, a clinical associate professor in the division of metabolism, endocrinology, and diabetes at Michigan Medicine, told the Times that some people may experience an aversion to eating that’s so extreme that they can’t obtain adequate nutrition.
Dr. Alex Foxman, medical director of Achieve Health and Weight Loss, said that people like Osbourne who are over 65 years of age may additionally be more sensitive to the effects of weight loss drugs like Ozempic.
“They may have a higher risk of developing low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) [and] gallbladder problems,” said Foxman. “They may also have a higher risk of interactions with other medications they may be taking for other conditions.”
He advises that people using Ozempic or similar drugs like Wegovy and Mounjaro, should be under the supervision of an experienced, licensed medical provider who can help them if they do have problems.
He further suggests that it’s a good idea to use a medical management program to monitor your progress and help you shift into a maintenance program when you’ve lost a sufficient amount of weight.
“A medical management program can help people set realistic and healthy weight loss goals, track their blood sugar levels, adjust their medication doses, prevent or manage side effects, and provide support and guidance throughout the weight loss journey,” he explained.
This type of program can also help educate you about the benefits of these medications, which may include a reduced risk of heart attack, stroke, or death in people with type 2 diabetes or cardiovascular disease.
“They can also improve blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and inflammation markers,” said Foxman.
“At LifeMD, for example, we emphasize a holistic approach to wellness that involves consistent oversight by your doctor,” Sehgal said.
“We also work closely with patients on a continual basis, discussing lifestyle modifications such as a healthy diet, hydration, and increased physical activity to achieve sustainable weight loss.”
Sehgal said it is also vital to address other factors that impact weight loss, such as:
While drugs like Ozempic have become quite popular for their ability to aid in weight loss, people like Sharon Osbourne have come forward stating that they are not a quick fix for weight loss and can lead to problems like nausea and even excessive weight loss.
Experts say it’s important to work with an experienced provider who can guide you through a comprehensive plan of diet, exercise, and other lifestyle changes.
It is also vital for older adults to understand that they may be at greater risk for side effects and drug interactions if they choose to use these drugs.
While weight loss can help people improve their health, the benefits of these medications must be weighed against any potential risks.