Vial, Injection, Medicine, Vaccine,


  • An ER doctor reported seeing an uptick of hospital admissions among people who take Ozempic
  • Doctors noticed side effects such as renal failure, blurred vision and gallstones among users
  • Other serious long-term side effects of the drug may still remain unseen, according to an academic health psychologist

An injectable drug intended for Type 2 diabetes and clinical obesity that is now being touted on social media as a quick fix for shedding pounds could cause cancer, blurred vision, pancreatitis and gallstones.

Doctors are sounding the alarm about the serious side effects of Ozempic and its sister drug Wegovy as they reportedly witnessed a spike in emergency room admissions among users, according to the New York Post.

Ozempic and Wegovy are semaglutides, which help the pancreas release the right amount of insulin when blood sugar levels are high.

"Semaglutide is produced while we eat; it tells the brain that we are full," New York City physician Dr. Katherine H. Saunders told the news outlet. "It helps people to feel less hungry, to feel full faster, and to stay full longer — but it does so when we are actually less full."

Last week, an ER doctor tweeted that they have been seeing an uptick in hospital admissions among people who take Ozempic.

"The amount of people coming to the ER for the side effects of Ozempic. Diarrhea. Nausea. Bloating," the doctor wrote.

Other medical professionals have reported seeing other side effects such as renal failure, blurred vision and gallstones.

Some Ozempic users said they were found to be malnourished and noticed changes to the face, fingers and wrists after taking the drug, according to the New York Post.

According to the drug's website, the most common side effects of Ozempic are nausea, diarrhea, stomach or abdominal pain, vomiting and constipation.

But it also states that serious side effects may include pancreatitis, changes in vision, low blood sugar, kidney problems, serious allergic reactions, gallbladder problems, and "possible thyroid tumors, including cancer."

Despite this, doctors have said Ozempic and other similar drugs are generally safe when used properly by the appropriate patients, according to The Post.

Novo Nordisk, the maker of Ozempic and Wegovy, told CBS News that the drugs "are a well-established class of medicines, which have demonstrated long-term safety in clinical trials."

Academic health psychologist and director for psychobehavioral research within the Division of Gastroenterology at Mount Sinai Dr. Laurie A. Keefer told CBS News that she has personally seen patients who use Ozempic present with issues with their kidneys and gallbladder.

But she suggested that other serious long-term side effects of such drugs, which are relatively new to the market, may still remain unseen.

"Chronic abdominal pain and unpredictable digestive symptoms such as nausea, diarrhea, fullness or constipation can take a significant toll on your mood and energy levels," Keefer said.

In the Philippines, the country's Department of Health (DOH) had to issue a public warning after the injectable drug for type 2 diabetes "semaglutide" that went viral on social media for its supposed weight loss effect was hoarded to the point that those who actually needed it couldn't access the drug.

"A lot of patients have been messaging us, saying they can't buy semaglutide in any drugstores in the Philippines," Dr. Juan Miguel Co of the Philippine Association for the Study of Overweight and Obesity told local news outlet GMA News.

The health department, as well as the local Food and Drug Administration, urged the public to use medicines as prescribed by doctors and only for their intended purposes as the drug could have severe and adverse reactions.