- RHONJ star Dolores Catania has spoken recently about her use of Ozempic and Mounjaro to lose weight.
- In the interview, she revealed that these drugs are “no easy fix” and can be expensive.
- Experts say it is important to make lifestyle changes along with using the medication for lasting results.
- They also point out that insurance companies are reluctant to cover the drugs, making it hard for those who need them to obtain them.
- They note that it is important to speak to a credentialed expert rather than relying on celebrities for advice.
The Real Housewives of New Jersey star Dolores Catania recently spoke with The U.S. Sun, revealing that she has thus far lost 20 pounds while using the type 2 diabetes medication Ozempic, which she was on for two years.
Previously, in April, she told Andy Cohen on Watch What Happens Live that she had recently switched to Mounjaro, another brand of medication containing the same active ingredient, semaglutide. She told Cohen that she had changed to Mounjaro after taking a break from Ozempic due to how expensive it was.
The Bravo star further noted that she started the medication because “I was gaining weight every month,” topping out at 163 pounds. She has since reached a weight of 137 pounds but has a goal of reaching “the low 130s.”
While many are using the diabetes medication off-label to lose weight, Catania said her need for it went beyond simple weight loss.
“I was medically prescribed for both because I am insulin resistant/pre-diabetic and have a thyroid issue,” she said.
Catania added, however, that semaglutide was “no easy fix,” telling the outlet, “I work out regularly … and I have to watch what I eat.”
Dr. Amy Lee, chief medical officer at Lindora Clinic, a weight management and metabolic health company located in Southern California, said that when you are taking medications like Ozempic, Mounjaro, and Wegovy (a brand of semaglutide that is FDA-approved to help treat obesity), you are using them as tools to help aid your weight loss.
“They are meant to get to an ideal, healthy, and manageable weight loss faster,” she explained.
She went on to say, “These medicines are not the magic bullet and once you stop, you will acquire the symptoms of hunger and cravings that you had before starting the medication. Your body will return to the ‘baseline.'”
Unfortunately, people often begin using these medications with unrealistic expectations due to how they are marketed. Rhyan Geiger, R.D.N., owner of Phoenix Vegan Dietitian, explained, “Weight loss drugs like Ozempic are marketed to make people feel like their life will change for the positive.”
However, Geiger added that many people don’t consider the negative side effects like vomiting, diarrhea, and changes in social settings around food that some people may experience while taking these medications, which can greatly affect the quality of life.
In addition to having unrealistic expectations, some weight loss patients, including Catania, are finding that drugs like Ozempic and Mounjaro can be quite expensive because insurance companies refuse to pay for them.
Geiger said that this can hurt people who don’t have the money to pay out of pocket.
“Without insurance, this medication can be over $900, depending on the dose,” she said. “Changes in coverage will especially put less privileged groups at risk of losing access to medications.”
According to Lee, one reason for the lack of coverage is that insurance companies are for-profit enterprises.
“The required payment for this specialty class of medication each month often forces individuals to thoroughly consider the potential ROI and cost-benefit for the treatment,” she said. “Additionally, will people simply use this medication, lose weight, and be cured? Or does their weight return when not taken long-term or consistently?”
Lee further noted that the risk of regaining weight after stopping the medication is actually what causes most insurance companies to balk at paying for the drug without trying less expensive options first.
She did say, however, that the insurance industry is beginning to be more accepting of covering these drugs as more data is collected and obesity advocates speak out.
“However, we are still far from covering the majority of the population in need,” she concluded.
Geiger said that, regardless of your weight loss goals, she always recommends working with a registered dietitian.
“One program doesn’t work for every person,” she added, “because we’re all individuals.”
She also pointed out that working with a professional who can provide personalized nutrition guidance can help some people form healthier dietary habits beyond simply losing weight.
Additionally, Geiger cautioned against looking to celebrities for weight loss advice since they are not credentialed professionals and “live in a different reality.”
“It’s never a good idea to take advice from someone on the big screen regarding personal health,” she advised.
The Real Housewives of New Jersey star Dolores Catania recently talked about her use of Ozempic and Mounjaro to help lose weight.
In the interview, she revealed that these drugs are “no easy fix” and can be expensive.
Experts say it is important to make lifestyle changes along with using the medication for lasting results.
They also point out that insurance companies are reluctant to cover the drugs, making it hard for those who need them to obtain them.
They note that it is important to speak to a credentialed expert rather than relying on celebrities for advice.