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Oh, Oh, Oh…It’s…Dangerous?

I have written several entries about the medication, Ozempic and it’s hype as a “magic” weight loss solution.  As a matter of fact, the pharmaceutical company itself uses the old “Magic” song by Pilot in the commercials touting it’s use for great use for diabetes and weight loss.  Ozempic (semaglutide) and Mounjaro (tirzepatide) have been selling like crazy due to social media’s craze about how these have revolutionized the weight loss industry.

My 40-plus year doctoring journey has made me a complete skeptic about “magic” solutions to anything in medicine, most notably weight loss.  I thought it would take a few years before the “magic” would fade away, followed by the realization that: 1- more and more side effects would be found and 2- people will realize that without the required behavioral changes, Ozempic and other drugs in this class will only help with temporary weight loss followed by gaining all of the weight back.

Over the last several days, there has been lots written about Lisa Marie Presley’s recent death, with the cause being complications from small bowel obstruction.  She apparently had bariatric surgery several years ago and rumors abound that recent weight loss of 40 pounds (she gained weight back after the surgery) was helped by the use of Ozempic.  Of course, I have no knowledge whether this is true or not.

There are a small number of people that have a delayed complication of bowel obstruction years after bariatric surgery but any abdominal surgery carries the risk of post-surgical adhesions and the risk of future bowel obstruction.  

Ozempic and other drugs in this class work by slowing transit time of food through the GI tract.  Clearly, this could worsen problems in people that have intrabdominal adhesions.  Therefore, it is probably wise for anyone that has had bariatric surgery (or any other abdominal surgery) to avoid the use of Ozempic and derivative meds in that class.

So, like anything else we place into our mouths from pharmaceutical companies, we all need to be cautious.  Ain’t nothing magic out there in medicine…but in songs, there is lots of magic.  Enjoy an old Barry Manilow song (I am not posting the Ozempic theme song anymore!)  Could It Be Magic?  

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