Social media is lighting up over what influencers are calling “budget Ozempic”. These are drugs normally used as laxatives and stool softeners, but people are taking them to lose weight. The demand is so high in the United States, there are reports this is contributing to shortages in pharmacies.
These laxatives are just the latest alternatives influencers are touting for the blockbuster drug Ozempic.
So, does “budget Ozempic” help you lose weight? Any weight loss is likely to be temporary and using these laxatives long term may be dangerous.
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Ozempic is in short supply.
Ozempic contains the active ingredient semaglutide. It is a prescription-only drug used to treat type 2 diabetes. One side effect of taking it is significant weight loss. This has led to so many people trying to obtain the drug there have been shortages.
Instead, some people have turned to more easily accessible over-the-counter alternatives to try to lose weight. That includes berberine, which has been dubbed “nature’s own Ozempic”.
What is ‘budget Ozempic’?
“Budget Ozempic” is different to “nature’s own Ozempic”. It is the polymer polyethylene glycol 3350, or PEG 3350 for short.
Chemically, it’s similar to other polymers used as ingredients in cosmetics, drug delivery, archaeological preservative paints, soaps and even missile fuel. It’s not to be confused with ethylene glycol, which is used in antifreeze.