This photograph taken on February 23, 2023, in Paris, shows the anti-diabetic medication "Ozempic" (semaglutide) made by Danish pharmaceutical company "Novo Nordisk". On TikTok, the hashtag "#Ozempic" has reached more than 500 million views: this anti-diabetic medication is trending on the social network for its' slimming properties, a phenomenon that is causing supply shortages and worrying doctors. (Photo by JOEL SAGET / AFP)

Forged prescriptions

Since September, the drug agency has been alerted by the videos on social media and also by pharmacists reporting forged prescriptions and use for weight loss in non-diabetics. « We knew that Ozempic can be misused to lose weight but we wanted to quantify the problem, » explained Isabelle Yoldjian, director of drugs in

Ozempic (whose active substance is semaglutide) is marketed by the laboratory Novo Nordisk and has been approved in the United States since 2017 and in France since 2019. It is a so-called GLP-1 analog (a natural digestive hormone that helps control blood sugar levels), which was originally only intended to stimulate the release of insulin in diabetics. But it has another property: It slows down the rate at which food leaves the stomach (« gastric emptying »), leaving you feeling full and reducing your appetite.

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