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Beware Of The Magic Bullets

Having passed 42 years of being a physician, I have had lots of time to see the comings (and goings) of “magic bullets” in medicine.  I am using this term to describe new medications that are released that purportedly produce “incredible” results that “change lives” for the better with little-no side effects.  Over time, pretty much every “magic bullet” turns out to be not so “magic” and although lots of positives may be seen, negatives occur as well.

This entry was prompted by reports this week all over the media about a spike in ER visits around the U.S. due to people experiencing side effects from the “magic” new “weight loss meds”:  Ozempic, Wegovy, Mounjaro and their compounded knock offs.  The emergency room visits are mostly due to gastrointestinal side effects, mostly diarrhea, nausea and bloating.  The surge in usage of these medications is due to the media hyping semaglutide and tirzpepatide as “magic bullets” for weight loss.

Ad nauseum, you have heard lots from me over the years that there are not any “magic bullets” when it comes to long-term weight control success.  Yes, there are adjunctive aids in helping jump-start weight control efforts including oral medications, injections, etc.  However, these MUST be accompanied by a person’s willingness to engage in long-term behavioral changes.  Following a prudent dietary plan of high protein/low carbohydrates, getting to the gym, lowering/obviating the use of alcohol…these and more lifestyle changes are necessary.

Americans are spending over $100 billion dollars a year on weight loss efforts.  Overweight/obese people are often desperate to find solutions that work and when a “magic bullet” arrives, millions of people are jumping on the bandwagon.  We all would love to find a weight control solution that is simple, easy and allows us to continue to engage in all of the “fun” eating/drinking behaviors that feel good.  Unfortunately, no “magic bullet” exists for this purpose.  Roll up your sleeves and do the work…the results are well worth those efforts.

And today, in respect for any of those Ozempic users that got sick from this medication, I am NOT posting “It’s Magic” (the Ozempic theme song) but instead, here is Steppenwolf’s “Magic Carpet Ride”.

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