Another Ozempic side effect pops up: 5 updates

The FDA label for Ozempic does not mention muscle pain, but some patients taking the popular Type 2 diabetes drug for weight loss are experiencing the side effect, according to an Oct. 27 report in women's magazine First for Women.

Some glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists have been associated with muscle mass loss, which can lead to sarcopenia and bone density issues. The loss of muscle mass is common for various weight loss methods — not just GLP-1 drugs — but physicians are noting patients reporting pain from muscle mass loss.

Ozempic and similar drugs, Wegovy and Mounjaro, do not directly cause muscle mass loss, according to the report. A lack of protein intake and exercise can inadvertently lead to this risk, which is most common among women, physicians told First for Women. With the right protein-adjusted diet and exercise plan, muscle health can be improved alongside Ozempic use. 

Clinicians are not as concerned with muscle pain compared to other self-reported side effects, such as stomach paralysis, and research has found a link between GLP-1 and severe gastroparesis.

Here are four other recent updates on Ozempic: 

1. Amid the high demand for GLP-1 receptor agonists — which are mostly approved for Type 2 diabetes — pharmaceutical companies are working on weight loss drug candidates for children as young as 6 years old.

2. The first study to analyze the sudden increase in Ozempic use among a health system's patient population was published in October. University of California Health, a six-hospital system, tracked nearly 90,000 EHRs between 2014 and 2022. Researchers found that, in the first year Ozempic was available, the mean monthly growth rate was 85%.

3. Walmart CEO John Furner told Bloomberg that the national chain is seeing a decrease in food purchases amid the popularity of these weight loss therapies. 

4. The FDA is investigating schemes of companies marketing and selling counterfeit versions of Ozempic to pharmacies.

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