Everyone is looking for injections for quick weight loss, and the price can be unexpected

The demand for a drug that creates a feeling of satiety and thus leads to weight loss is so great that it is currently unavailable for diabetics who need it. The pursuit of the ideal line has also created new aesthetic concerns, and the side effects of sudden weight loss are first noticed on the face.


Anyone who has recently lost a lot of weight probably couldn't avoid the suspicious glances of those around them and questioning raised eyebrows - whether it was the result of exercise and a healthy diet or maybe "slimming injections". This description primarily refers to semaglutide, a drug registered for long-term weight control in patients with type 2 diabetes (market name is Ozempic, there is also a form in tablets Rybelsus, as well as a stronger form in injections intended for the treatment of obesity, Wegovy). The drug stimulates the pancreas to produce adequate levels of insulin and thus lowers elevated sugar levels, slows down gastric emptying and prolongs the feeling of satiety, all of which leads to gradual weight loss. It didn't take long for those without diabetes to start using it for weight loss, even though it is not registered for such use.

Musk's transformation

The use of "weight loss injections" has become widespread, they have become an open secret in Hollywood, so host Jimmy Kimmel joked with the crowd at the recent Oscars: "Everyone looks so good. When I look around the hall I can't help but wonder: Is Ozempic good for me?" However, this phenomenon should not be seen as a joke, not only because it caused a shortage of medicine. Internist Dr. Nancy Rahnama, who works in Beverly Hills and has the opportunity to observe her up close, told Vogue: "The use, or rather abuse, of these drugs to lose weight and achieve the ideal figure is deeply problematic and only contributes to an already strong culture of thinness. "


Kim Kardashian nije se izjasnila o tome je li za uvlačenje u haljinu Marilyn Monroe imala malu pomoć kemije

Some celebrities have admitted that their new line is the result of the help of chemistry, for others it is speculated. One of the richest people in the world, 51-year-old Elon Musk, also spoke about taking semaglutide. Answering a fan's question about the secret to his new lean look, Musk said he lost nearly 14 pounds while taking the drug. "My transformation came down to fasting + Ozempic/Wegovy and no tasty food for me," he said, adding that he decided to lose weight when he saw his unflattering photos on a yacht, the Daily Mail reported. Sisters Khloe and Kim Kardashian also came under attack. Khloe was called out on social media, saying it was "disturbing that she's using diabetes medication to lose weight," to which she responded that her year of hard work shouldn't be underestimated. Kim, on the other hand, attracted attention last year by shedding seven kilograms in three weeks to fit into a Marilyn Monroe dress, but she never responded to the accusations.


Za vitkiju se liniju Elon Musk morao privremeno odreći uživanja u jelu

Be that as it may, "weight loss injections" are not only sought after by the rich and famous, the craze has also spread to "ordinary" people, and they have been a hot commodity in Croatia for some time now. To lose weight, they are used by people who do not have diabetes, as well as by those with a small excess weight who are looking for an easier way to a slimmer figure, and in order to be able to buy it in a pharmacy, they need a private doctor's prescription. All this went more or less smoothly in the lee, until there was a shortage of semaglutide.

"Demand for semaglutide has increased, according to the information I have from colleagues, lately the drug is even more requested through private prescriptions than through HZZO prescriptions. Because of this, additional pressure is created, and the worst of all are the diabetes patients who remain without their medicine and have to ask for a change in therapy," mag. told us. pharm. Ana Soldo, president of the Croatian Chamber of Pharmacists. The shortage still reigns, and the supply should normalize in a week or so.

In our country, even those who do not have a diagnosis of diabetes can get this medicine relatively easily, because it can be prescribed on a private prescription by any specialist doctor, not necessarily an endocrinologist whose domain is the treatment of diabetes. With a private prescription, the medicine is paid for, the price of monthly therapy is around 150 euros.


Mag. pharm. Ana Soldo naglašava kako u svemu najgore prolaze oboljeli od dijabetesa

Once a week

There are, of course, also drugs registered for the treatment of obesity, three such drugs are used in Croatia, perhaps the most widespread is liraglutide, which is prescribed for weight control in people with a body mass index above 30, i.e. above 27, if they have at least one complication related to thickness. It works similarly to semaglutide, so that drug is also much sought after by private prescription. However, as mag. Soldo, although it is intended specifically for losing weight, semaglutide is more popular, probably because of its somewhat simpler application. Both drugs are in a syringe and the patient injects them into the thigh himself, but semaglutide is given once a week and liraglutide every day.

As Dr. Mladen Mešter, specialist in plastic, reconstructive and aesthetic surgery (Poliklinika Aesthete), told us, for many patients who come for a body contouring procedure, for example, liposuction, it is desirable to lose a few kilograms beforehand, in order to better prepare and to make the procedure more successful. For this purpose, he prescribes them liraglutide, since it works on fat around the organs that are not affected by liposuction, but emphasizes that it is a serious drug that cannot be prescribed without checks.

"The patient must have his blood count, thyroid and pancreas checked, because if everything is not as it should be, the drug can cause a certain imbalance in the body. For those who can take it, it is very effective and I have not seen a patient who did not manage to lose weight with it." says Dr. Mešter.

How does the weight drop?

Those who may think that they can continue with fatty and sweet, because the "weight loss injection" will solve everything anyway, are seriously mistaken - both liraglutide and semaglutide are prescribed to be taken with a diet with reduced calorie intake and increased physical activity. In the simplest terms, the drug imitates the GLP-1 hormone that regulates satiety, but it works much longer than it does - while the hormone keeps us full for a few hours, drugs that are administered weekly give a feeling of a full stomach for six or seven days, depending on the dose. As Dr. Rahnama said, some of her patients eat a third of their previous amounts of food, have a longer gap between meals, and have no need to snack. The study, which lasted 68 weeks, showed that during that time, semaglutide helped the participants lose an average of about 15 percent of their weight.

Some patients can lose weight faster, but as Medscape writes, anyone who loses more than one kilogram per week should be under medical supervision.Although they are generally considered safe, they are drugs, not nutritional supplements, much less magic weight loss formulas. Not everyone can use them, they have contraindications, they can also have serious side effects (inflammation of the pancreas, kidney problems…), although much more often they are milder, such as nausea, vomiting, watery stools, constipation. However, they can also be intense, so some people give up taking the medicine because of them.

Musk also complained about the side effects, describing them as a "new level" of unpleasant belching and rotten egg taste. Considering that semaglutide is a drug for a chronic disease, it is designed to be taken indefinitely.

When you stop taking it, its effect also stops, because the appetite returns, so if the person does not follow a healthy diet and exercise regime, the kilograms will return, as well as the increased sugar level in people with diabetes.

A study that followed what happened after stopping the stronger version of semaglutide showed that participants regained two-thirds of the weight they had lost within a year.


The patient administers the medicine himself using a syringe

Sudden weight loss and skin

Widespread off-label use of semaglutide has made weight loss easier for many, but it has also created additional aesthetic concerns for many. The terms "Ozempic face" and "Ozempic body" come from the USA, where it is used the most, which describe the consequences of sudden weight loss visible on the face and body. According to the experiences of American aesthetic doctors, writes New Beauty, changes are first noticed on the face. Thin and inflamed cheeks or sagging skin on the neck and underarms are most often mentioned, which can be followed by changes on the body, such as sagging breasts and sagging skin. "If they are used in the right way and if they are prescribed by doctors of the appropriate specialization, weight loss drugs can be of great benefit for improving the overall health of a person, and even for public health," believes American plastic surgeon Dr. Robert Singer, who sees an opportunity for his specialization as well. : "I think this will ultimately lead to a cosmetic surgery boom, because after all, people will take a good look in the mirror, see more loose skin, and want to put everything back in place."

However, rapid weight loss not only leads to loss of volume in the face, but also affects collagen and elastin, the main proteins in the skin. According to Vogue, such a face can look "thin, deflated, and sagging, all of which are associated with accelerated skin aging." To help after sudden weight loss, some aesthetic doctors suggest ultrasound or radiofrequency treatments that can help increase the level of collagen and elastin so that the skin can better adapt to the new situation, and electromagnetic muscle stimulation. They also suggest combining it with fillers that strategically restore volume and with biostimulators.

spec. of plastic, reconstructive and aesthetic surgery, Dr. Irijana Rajković (Poliklinika Medikol) believes that after a sudden loss of a large number of kilograms, treatments intended for shaping cannot help with sagging skin. If a significant melting of fat has occurred on the face, in the area of the cheeks, the application of dermal fillers can be helpful, he says, but if the result of sudden weight loss is a sagging neck and chin, in that case, the most complete solution is a necklift, i.e. surgical lifting and tightening of the neck. It is the same on the body; the only real solution is a surgical procedure that removes the excess skin, for example, if the excess is on the abdomen, an abdominoplasty is performed. Although the skin is an adaptable organ, losing weight more slowly is not a guarantee that it will not sag, the doctor notes, since after the age of thirty the skin no longer has the capacity to adapt to major changes.