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Aifa alert on stocks. «Shortnesses for the whole of 2023»

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Aifa alert on stocks.  «Shortnesses for the whole of 2023»

The alarm is sounding in Italy due to the possible depletion of stocks of the anti-diabetic drug Semaglutide (or Ozempic), increasingly used – outside the indications – by those who want to undertake a slimming diet. The medicine was in fact included by the Italian Medicines Agency (Aifa) in the list of deficient medicines. The same agency underlines in an information note that the increase in demand for this medicine “has led to shortages which are expected to continue throughout 2023 ».

Although the supply continues to increase, the note also reads, «it is not possible to predict with certainty when it will be sufficient to fully satisfy current demand. Late awareness of an out-of-stock situation can result in patients being unable to acquire the necessary doses, with possible clinical consequences such as hyperglycemia.

The appeal addressed to doctors and pharmacists by AIFA, therefore, is to ensure patients with suitable therapeutic alternatives based on clinical evaluation, to ensure that they are less encouraged to resort to the drug.

The use of Semaglutide without a prescription, specifies the note, is indicated exclusively for the treatment of adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus in addition to diet and exercise: «Any other use, including weight management, represents a use off-label and currently jeopardizes the availability of Ozempic for the indicated population.”

Misinformation on social media

“The medicine is also used, with serious risk, by anorexic people who want to lose further weight, exploiting the molecule’s ability to reduce the sense of hunger,” Graziano Di Cianni, president of the Diabetologists’ Association (Amd) told beraking latest news ), turning the spotlight on the “totally improper” use even by non-diabetic people, in order to lose weight.

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«These drugs – continues Di Cianni – are subject to prescription and cannot be purchased even with a simple white prescription, and are distributed by the ASL on behalf. The rules are therefore strict, but it is clear how, in some way, a phenomenon of use outside the correct indications has been created. Unfortunately these drugs, and not only the
molecule we are talking about, in common opinion they have established themselves as “medicines for obesity”. And messages pass on the net that enhance its weight reduction capabilities, without however taking into account the fact that it is a drug for the treatment of diabetes.

In short, according to the expert there are those who say they eat what they want and then lose weight with the drug and those who instead recommend using it for only a couple of months, just to lose a few pounds. The privileged place for the dissemination of bad advice on the use of Semaglutide would be social media, with serious side effects of a gastrointestinal type for those who fall for it: “nausea, sense of fullness, tendency to vomit”, warns Di Cianni, according to whom the use thoughtless use of the medicine can represent “a very serious problem, because in doing so there is the risk of aggravating eating disorders that are already dangerous in themselves”.

Semaglutide, here are the side effects

One of the main effects of Semaglutide, which is why it is used (often improperly) for the simple purpose of losing weight, is to reduce appetite. But the feeling of “anticipated satiety” may not be the drug’s only effect, according to a recent New York Times investigation.

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In fact, several US doctors and specialists who had recently prescribed the drug to diabetic patients, speaking with the Big Apple newspaper, let it be known that in addition to losing their appetite, many of their patients also experienced an unusual and marked reluctance to consume alcoholic beverages.

The experts therefore hypothesized that Semaglutide could also influence the eating behavior of patients linked to the consumption of drinks and not just that of food.

It is not yet perfectly clear how this happens, because nothing has yet been proven. However, if the US doctors’ hypothesis were to be confirmed by clinical studies and insights into the matter, Semaglutide could be used in the future for other possible therapeutic purposes. For example, alcohol detox.

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