Doctors are warning of a “dangerous” trend of Americans making homemade weight-loss injections at home using raw chemicals bought online.
People are being herded to websites normally used by research groups to buy experimental chemicals amid a nationwide shortage of Wegovy and Ozempic.
The drugs, originally intended for people with diabetes, have exploded in popularity after rumors have it that several celebrities and influencers have used them to lose weight, including Kim Kardashian and Elon Musk.
found nearly a dozen websites selling semaglutide, the active ingredient in Wegovy and Ozempic, for between $80 and $300 for up to two months. Two of the websites sold out of the chemical entirely, and one had a tutorial teaching people how to mix and inject the ingredients.
But dr Shauna Levy, an assistant professor of bariatric surgery at Tulane University in New Orleans who sits on the American Board of Obesity Medicine, told that making the drugs at home is “unbelievably unsafe on so many levels” and is putting people in distress bring risk of side effects, unsafe ingredients and overdose.
Some websites state that the product should only be used for “laboratory and research use” but customer reviews on the websites calling it a “perfect weight loss product” suggest buying it instead of Wegovy
An online video linked from one of the sites showing how to prepare the drug at home, which is also used to treat type 2 diabetes
The websites, whose titles often include words like “laboratory” or “asylum,” sell a range of research chemicals, including hormones and steroids, which they claim are “not for human consumption.”
Many chemicals’ lists state that they can only be purchased for scientific research purposes – a warning that allows the websites to exploit a loophole in the law.
also found Semaglutide on 10 pages. It was sold in powder form to be mixed with bacteriostatic water before being injected into the abdomen.
Most websites state that Semaglutide should only be used for “laboratory and research use” but customer reviews on the websites calling it a “perfect weight loss product” suggest buying it instead of Wegovy.
A review of Amino Asylum states, “The stuff is real and high quality. This is the first semaglutide I’ve tried that has made me lose 15 pounds… The only reason I’m leaving three stars is because I can now find it in other places for almost half the price. Semaglutide prices are going down from what I’ve seen.’
Kim Kardashian is rumored to have used Wegovy to lose weight fast to fit into Marilyn Monroe’s famous Happy Birthday Mr President dress at the 2022 Met Gala (pictured).
A global shortage of the drug was caused last year by an onslaught of celebrities and influencers, endangering people who rely on it to treat their type 2 diabetes and even leaving semaglutide sold out on some peptide supplier websites
This website offers the bacteriostatic water, which is said to be required for mixing, for free with large orders
Another review on a separate website read, “My friend told me this on Reddit and I gave them a try. New type of WL [weight loss]showing significant positive changes.’
Accelerate Labs even links to a video on how to prepare semaglutide injections at home, which shows a woman dissolving the powdered chemical in water.
While most websites only sell the powdered chemical and leave users free to purchase syringes and the bacteriostatic water separately, one website offers the water for free with large orders.
dr Levy said this increases the risk of contamination and sterilization problems and warned that Wegovy must be taken under the supervision of a doctor.
She said: “Wegovy is a prescription drug and should therefore be taken under the supervision of a doctor. While Wegovy is safe and generally well tolerated, there are side effects that are best managed by a doctor.
“Nothing about making this drug at home can be regulated; As a result, patients are at risk of exposure to unsafe ingredients, ingestion of the wrong dosage, and more.’
She added, “Making this drug at home seems incredibly unsafe on so many levels.”
Wegovy’s drugmaker, Novo Nordisk, does not sell the drug to other manufacturers, which means the semaglutide sold on those sites could be mixed with other substances not found in Wegovy or Ozempic.
dr Levy said: “There is a reason medicines are made in highly regulated environments by highly skilled people, and that is to ensure medicines are consistent and safe.
“I know patients are dying to take Wegovy to help with weight loss, but this is not a good or safe way to access the drug. There is no generic version of Wegovy and there won’t be for a while.’
Wegovy has become highly sought after since it first became available in the US last year after clinical trials showed it had the ability to reduce a person’s body weight by about 15 percent over 68 weeks.
But its popularity, combined with manufacturing problems, led to month-long shortages of both Novo’s Wegovy and its sister drug Ozempic.
Tirzepatide, another diabetes drug sold under the brand name Mounjaro by Eli Lilly, also ran into shortages, according to the FDA’s online Drug Shortages Database.
Everyone from Hollywood stars to tech moguls is turning to the injectable drug to stay slim, with Elon Musk crediting the drug with his recent weight loss in October. Pictured above, Elon Musk in August 2022. Jeremy Clarkson, 62, has revealed he started injecting himself with the “enormous” drug Ozempic after fears he might develop type 2 diabetes. Pictured above, Mr Clarkson in 2017
Novo told STAT News in a statement that alternative compound products “do not have the same safety, quality, and efficacy guarantees as FDA-approved drugs and can potentially expose patients to serious health risks.”
There are currently no studies looking at the interaction between the active ingredient semaglutide and other substances that may be added.
Wegovy and Ozempic work by stimulating the body to produce a hormone called glucagon-like peptide-1, which is released naturally from the gut after meals.
The hormone helps control blood sugar and makes people feel full so they know when to stop eating.
The results of a study of 2,000 people over 15 months show that the participants lost an average of 15 percent of their body weight, which corresponds to 15 kg.
The group received one-on-one counseling sessions from registered dietitians to help them stick to a reduced-calorie diet and exercise schedule alongside the weekly injections.
The volunteers reported an improved quality of life and reduced risk factors for developing heart disease and diabetes, such as: B. reduced waist circumference, blood lipids, blood sugar and blood pressure.
However, drug-induced side effects include mild or moderate nausea and diarrhea, but the researchers said these were short-lived and resolved on their own.