Weight Loss Drug Use by Young People Up 600%

Girl injects the drug Ozempic into her arm
Girl injects the drug Ozempic into her arm | Image by Alones/Shutterstock

A new study shows that weight loss drug use by young people has increased by 600%, according to a report by ScienceNews:

“From 2020 to 2023, the number of U.S. adolescents and young adults who picked up prescriptions for Ozempic, Wegovy and related drugs rocketed up nearly 600 percent — from roughly 8,700 people to more than 60,000, scientists report May 22 in JAMA.

“That spike ‘palpably feels like a massive increase,’ says Joyce Lee, a pediatric endocrinologist at the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor. In comparison, the number of young people receiving other medications stayed relatively flat over the same period.

“The drugs, GLP-1 receptor agonists, have gained a reputation in recent years for their drastic effect on weight — and other health benefits (SN: 12/13/23).

“First approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2005, GLP-1 drugs have continued to roll in. Ozempic, an injectable form of the drug semaglutide, was approved for adults with type 2 diabetes in 2017; liraglutide for weight loss in adults in 2014 and kids 12 and older in 2020; and Wegovy, high dose semaglutide, for weight loss in adults in 2021. A year later, Wegovy’s approval extended to kids.

“Lee’s team wanted to find out what was happening in the real world: Who was actually receiving these drugs? The researchers analyzed information about people ages 12 to 25 using a database that reports prescriptions from U.S. pharmacies.”

To read the entire article by ScienceNews, please click HERE.

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