Diabetes drug in low supply amid TikTok weight loss trend

The side effect of weight loss from a Type 2 diabetes drug, and its recent rise to fame on TikTok, could be hindering supply for people who use the antidiabetic medication. 

Novo Nordisk's Type 2 drug, Ozempic, has sparked interest over the last few weeks. Multiple celebrities are clawing for the drug that costs between $1,200 and $1,500 for a month's supply, Variety reported in September. In response to a tweet asking what Elon Musk's secret was to looking "fit, ripped & healthy," he answered it was fasting and Wegovy — a higher dose of Ozempic's generic semaglutide.

On TikTok, #Ozempicweightloss has gained more than 85 million views and #ozempic has been seen 227 million times as of Oct. 20. 

Ozempic and Wegovy are both on the FDA's drug shortage list. The supply for Novo Nordisk's products will be disrupted for the next few weeks because of increased demand, according to the FDA. Wegovy supply is expected to return to normal levels by the end of 2022. 

Ozempic is not approved as a weight loss treatment, but physicians are reporting a flood of patients asking about the drug, according to Today. Prescribing the once-a-week medication for off-label use is up to a physician's discretion.

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