Doctors Warn Against Misuse of Ozempic for Weight Loss

The battle against obesity has long been a public health challenge, prompting the development of various interventions, including lifestyle changes, surgery, and pharmacotherapy. Among the pharmacological options, weight loss drugs such as Ozempic (semaglutide) have recently garnered significant attention for their efficacy. However, their rise has not been without controversy, raising important questions about their safety, long-term effects, and accessibility. Now, doctors in the UK are warning people against using Ozempic to achieve a ‘beach body,’ highlighting how harmful it is for the body.

Official Warnings from NHS England

“Drugs including Ozempic and Wegovy should only be used by people prescribed them for obesity or diabetes,” Stephen Powis, the national medical director of NHS England, said at a press conference in Manchester, according to a New York Post report. “I’m worried about reports that people are misusing them—they are not intended as a quick fix for people trying to get ‘beach body ready,'” he added.

Ozempic’s Intended Use

Ozempic is a medication primarily used to treat type 2 diabetes by helping to control blood sugar levels. It belongs to a class of drugs known as GLP-1 receptor agonists, which work by mimicking the hormones that the body naturally produces to stimulate insulin release in response to meals. Recently, Ozempic has been repurposed for weight loss and marketed under the brand name Wegovy, after clinical trials demonstrated its effectiveness in significantly reducing body weight.

Health Risks and Misuse

Dr. Vicky Price, a consultant in acute medicine and president-elect of the Society for Acute Medicine, has reported that “young, beautiful girls” are landing in emergency rooms across the UK after buying Ozempic online. “Sadly, we are seeing serious, life-threatening complications, including inflammation of the pancreas gland and alterations in blood salt levels in these patients, who were not aware of the risk they were taking,” said Dr. Price.

Call for Regulation

“There is a need for urgent regulation and control of access for weight-loss drugs online to avoid more patients becoming unwell,” Dr. Price added. One girl was treated for starvation ketoacidosis, a potentially life-threatening condition where the body breaks down muscle to use as fuel after running out of fat.


The misuse of weight loss drugs like Ozempic for non-medical purposes poses significant health risks. Medical professionals emphasize that these drugs should only be used under prescription for their intended purposes, such as treating obesity or diabetes, to prevent dangerous and potentially life-threatening complications.