Celebrities called out for taking diabetes drug to lose weight

Celebrities called out for taking diabetes drug to lose weight

"My anti-aging doctor just hands it out to anybody," says Chelsea Handler.

Chelsea Handler
Chelsea Handler reveals she accidentally took a diabetes drug/ Instagram (@chelseahandler)

It's no secret that many celebrities will do just about anything to look good. From Botox to fad diets, no expense is spared in their quest to look "perfect". 

But a new weight loss trend is causing outrage. Several celebrities have been accused of taking Ozempic- a semaglutide drug used by people with Type 2 diabetes. 

According to Diabetes UK, "people with type 2 diabetes who use Ozempic can lose weight while using the medication, which happens partly due to its effect on: reducing your appetite so you eat less; slowing down the movement of food in your gut meaning you stay full for longer". 

There has been an increased demand for Ozempic after viral social media posts revealed that some of the biggest stars in the world are reportedly taking it to lose weight. 

There are now concerns about a global shortage, which could lead to people who actually need the drug not having sufficient access. 

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Comedian Chelsea Handler shared her views on the disturbing trend this week during an episode of the 'Call Her Daddy' podcast. 

She admitted that she once took the prescription medication, which is self-injected once a week. But the actress says she had no idea that she was taking the diabetes drug Ozempic. 

"My anti-aging doctor just hands it out to anybody, and obviously now I can't say her name. I didn't even know I was on it. She said, 'If you ever want to drop five pounds, this is good'."

The 47-year-old then revealed how she found out she was on the medication.

"I came back from a vacation and I injected myself with it. I went to lunch with a girlfriend a few days later, and she was like, 'I'm not really eating anything. I'm so nauseous, I'm on Ozempic.' And I was like, 'I'm kind of nauseous too.' But I had just come back from Spain and was jet-lagged," she said. 

Chelsea then told her friend that she is "on semaglutide" not on Ozempic. To which her friend replied: "That's Ozempic."  The 'Fun Size' star says she has since stopped using the drug.

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Ozempic came under the spotlight last year after social media users claimed Kim Kardashian used semaglutide medication to lose weight.

The reality star revealed in May that she had to lose 16 pounds (seven kilograms) in three weeks to fit into Marilyn Monroe's iconic 'Happy birthday, Mr. President' dress for the 2022 Met Gala. 

One TikTok user said, according to the Daily Mail: "In my opinion Kim’s drastic weight loss could be due to something like [semaglutide]… I might be wrong. These [medicines] are tools for people to completely metabolically change their bodies."

Kim has never addressed the speculation. She credited a strict eating plan and exercise for her weight loss. Her sister Khloe Kardashian has also been accused of using semaglutide. She denied the claim. 

"Let’s not discredit my years of working out. I get up 5 days a week at 6am to train. Please stop with your assumptions. I guess new year still means mean people," she clapped back at one social media user. 

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One high-profile figure who has publicly owned up to using a semaglutide medication to lose weight is South African-born billionaire Elon Musk.

He credited fasting and Wegovy - which is an FDA-approved semaglutide that is used to help people who are clinically obese - for his weight loss. The drug is made by the same company that makes Ozempic. 

Doctors have warned against people turning to semaglutide medication for quick weight loss as "there are strict inclusion and inclusion criteria" for who can take it. 

Disclaimer:  According to the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA), “Ozempic is not registered in South Africa for use in weight-loss. Ozempic is only available on prescription and there are no generic versions of Ozempic registered in South Africa”. 

Read more here: FAQs – Semaglutide

Health-related information provided in this article is not a substitute for medical advice and should not be used to diagnose or treat health problems. It is always advisable to consult with your doctor on any health-related issues.

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Main image credit: Instagram/@chelseahandler

*This story was updated to add a disclaimer from SAHPRA about the use of Ozempic in South Africa, and more details about diabetes drugs.

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