Counterfeit Ozempic Amidst Rising Popularity

Counterfeit Ozempic Amidst Rising Popularity for Weight Loss

counterfeit ozempic

The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued a warning about fake versions of Ozempic, a drug that has gained immense popularity as a weight-loss tool in recent years.

The WHO cautions that using counterfeit Ozempic can pose serious health risks, including exposure to unlisted and potentially harmful ingredients.

Originally designed to treat type 2 diabetes, Ozempic has been widely adopted for weight loss, including by celebrities. Wegovy, another drug containing the same active ingredient, semaglutide, is specifically intended for weight loss.

Semaglutide helps suppress appetite, aiding diabetics in managing their blood sugar levels through weekly injections. However, a significant side effect is weight loss.

Novo Nordisk Counterfeit

Both drugs are produced by the Danish pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk.

Wegovy is now available on the NHS and from pharmacies in the UK, but high demand for Ozempic has driven some customers to unofficial suppliers, increasing the risk of encountering counterfeit drugs.

The WHO has identified three batches of counterfeit semaglutide, including one sold in the UK last October. These fake products can be dangerous, lacking necessary raw components or containing undeclared active ingredients such as insulin, leading to unpredictable health risks or complications.

The WHO advises patients to only purchase medications through prescriptions from licensed pharmacies and to avoid drugs from unfamiliar or unverified sources, such as online retailers.

Dr. Yukiko Nakatani, WHO assistant director-general for access to medicines and health products, emphasized the importance of vigilance among healthcare professionals, regulatory authorities, and the public. She urged stakeholders to stop using suspicious medicines and report them to the relevant authorities.

Patients using authentic Ozempic and Wegovy have also experienced side effects, including gastrointestinal issues and rapid weight loss, leading to a phenomenon known as “Ozempic face.”

On the same day, US pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly warned about counterfeit versions of its drugs Mounjaro and Zepbound, which are used for diabetes management and weight loss. Counterfeit drugs containing tirzepatide, the active ingredient in these products, have also been found.

The WHO’s warning serves as a crucial reminder to only obtain medications from trusted sources to avoid potentially dangerous counterfeit drugs.