What do doctors think about GLP1 drugs?

What do doctors think about GLP1 drugs?
Photo by Derek Finch / Unsplash

As GLP1 Agonist weight loss drugs have absolutely taken off in recent years, doctors have had more patients ask about them.

Not sure what a "GLP1 Agonist" is? Check out our easy explainer article. You'll be up to speed in less than 3 minutes.

The best place to get an answer is YOUR doctor

Before we get into it, we want to make it clear โ€“ the best place to get an answer that makes sense for you is by asking your own doctor or medical professional.

Not everyone is lucky enough to have a primary care physician or be able to contact high quality specialists, but if you can you should be asking there first and asking the internet later.

๐Ÿ“บ Opinion: Doctor Gary Linkov

One of the many MDs wading into the frey is Doctor Gary Linkov, who runs a youtube channel. He put out a great summary video (with the help of his Wife, who is also a board-certified doctor) on what GLP1 drugs (Ozempic, Mounjaro, Wegovy, etc) are:

No, Mindy Kaling isn't his wife, but his actual wife (Dr. Elizabeth Grand) popped on to describe Ozempic (in particular) and the GLP1 Agonist drug Semaglutide (in general).

The 30 second overview

If you don't have time to watch the video, here are the highlights:

  • GLP1 Receptor Agonists are drugs that work on your gut
  • GLP1 Receptors are multiple place in the body, but the most important are
    • Pancreas (encourages insulin production & glucose intake to muscles)
    • Brain (reduces the feeling of hunger)
    • GI Tract (slows down movement of food, you feel more full)
  • In Dr. Grand's experience dosages start at 0.25 milligrams (mg) weekly to a maximum dosage of 2mg weekly, with dosage increasing as appropriate.
  • Ozempic can cost up to $1200 a month without insurance
  • Wegovy has higher dosages of Semaglutide than Ozempic
  • Wegovy is properly approved for weight loss, but is only for those who are overweight/obese and have one obesity-related condition (high blood pressure, high cholesterol , heart disease)
  • Staying on drugs Ozempic is often necessary to maintain the weight loss
  • Side effects of drugs like Ozempic are often gastrointestinal
  • The most dangerous warnings and risks are for Thyroid cancer and Acute pancreatitis (which can be fatal)
  • Many celebrities seem to have taken Ozempic
  • There is a shortage of Ozempic due to it's demand, which means that some people who need it are sometimes not able to get it.

Did Gary and Liz support taking GLP1 drugs like Ozempic/Semaglutide?

Gary and Liz expressed clear support (in the video and eventually in comments below) for use of Semaglutide for it's original clearance purpose (patients with type 2 diabetes).

They also were generally supportive of using Ozempic and Semaglutide, with Liz clarifying in a comment below that she did support it's use for overweight people. and for those who are suffering from obesity more generally.

As stated in the video however, the biggest issues with recommending a drug like Ozempic is that the decision is always an individual one, and there are concerns around people who need the drug (i.e. patients with type 2 Diabetes) not being able to get it.

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