Is "Ozempic Butts" Coming to Lake Berryessa? by Peter Kilkus

It may sound like a new heavy metal band or a rap song, but it's much funnier than either one of those. Even South Park has a new video on Amazon: South Park: The End Of Obesity.

I am so tired of seeing stupid drug commercials on television. A few months ago, I was struck by how many TV ads were showing young fat women dancing happily. It seemed odd that a company appeared to be celebrating a clearly unhealthy lifestyle. At that time, I didn't recognize the drug name Ozempic. My friend Julie clued me into the fact that Ozempic was being pimped as a weight loss drug and the ads were targeting fat women (for profit) and probably fat men too.

Ozempic is used for type 2 diabetes to improve blood sugar levels in adults and also to lower the risk of major cardiovascular events like stroke, heart attack, or death for adults with type 2 diabetes with heart disease and "may also reduce your appetite to help weight loss." Ozempic is currently not an FDA-approved weight loss medicine.

Common Ozempic side effects include low blood sugar (in people with type 2 diabetes), upset stomach, heartburn, burping, gas, bloating, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, loss of appetite, diarrhea, constipation, runny nose or sore throat, stomach flu symptoms or headache, dizziness, tiredness. Serious Ozempic side effects: Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives, itching; dizziness, fast heartbeats; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

“Ozempic face” and "Ozempic butt" are terms for common side effects of Ozempic characterized by sagging skin that can develop as a result of extreme, rapid weight loss while taking these drugs.

As prescriptions for weight-loss and diabetes drugs skyrocket, so too has revenue for drugmakers Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly. Novo Nordisk, the Denmark-based company behind Ozempic and Wegovy, reported a 29% increase in sales to $8.4 billion for the third quarter. Eli Lilly, which makes diabetes drug Mounjaro, reported a 37% revenue increase to $9.5 billion in the third quarter. The pharmaceutical companies are two of the biggest beneficiaries of the recent weight-loss drug frenzy, with Novo Nordisk catapulting to Europe’s most valuable company.

A female celebrity was once quoted saying, "Nothing tastes so good as feeling skinny." I agree, which is why I hike and use my recumbent exercise bike regularly. BUT, often making the choice between an apple fritter and coffee for breakfast compared to a half-hour on the bike can be tough. Should I risk my health for a new drug promising weight loss by sitting around? Or am I better off just buying stock in Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly? (Probably too late to catch the wave - back to the bike.)

Years ago, when the FCC allowed television advertising of prescription drugs, the majority of doctors opposed this action - and still do. But Big Pharma won, surprise! See the medical journal article quote from 2018:

"Dangers and Opportunities of Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) Advertising: The average television viewer in the United States watches as many as nine drug advertisements per day and about 16 hours per year, far exceeding the time an average individual spends with his/her primary care physician. Since 2012, spending on drug commercials has increased by 62%, and $5 billion were spent on drug commercials last year. Given their ubiquity, the article by Klara, et al. in this issue of JGIM offers one more piece of evidence to indicate that this medium is not operating as intended, and to force us to consider alternatives to the status quo."

In the 1960s, Congress granted the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulating authority of prescription drug labeling and advertising. This authority included ensuring that ads (1) were not false or misleading, (2) presented a “fair balance” of both drug risks and benefits, (3) included facts that are “material” to a drug’s advertised uses, and (4) included a “brief summary” that notes every risk described in the drug’s labeling. DTC advertising exploded in the late 1990s after the FDA eased up on regulations for required risk information by stipulating that ads must include only the “major risks” and provide resources that consumers can be directed to for full risk information.

DTC ads can mislead patients by overemphasizing benefits and underemphasizing risks. For example, a 2015 FDA survey found that 65% of physicians believed DTC ads confused patients about the relative risks and benefits of prescription drugs. A 2016 Yale study found that 13% of diabetes medication ads suggested off-label uses for weight loss and blood pressure reduction.

Patients may ask for unnecessary drugs they've seen in advertisements, which can lead to inappropriate prescribing. DTC ads may lead to increased use of more expensive branded medications, which are often featured in commercials, rather than generic options. DTC ads may promote drugs over healthy lifestyle choices, which can lead to less interest in nonpharmacological treatments. DTC ads can cause strained relationships with healthcare professional and affect physicians' medical practices and interactions with patients."

Conclusion: DTC ads are not only stupid, but also dangerous.

Actual online ads for fixing Ozempic butt:

A Brazilian Butt Lift is designed to add volume to your butt using fat harvested from other areas of your body. It not only boosts your booty, but because it also requires liposuction, you will reap the benefits of shaping and contouring other areas of your body.

When diluted and injected into the buttocks, calcium hydroxylapatite-based filler can immediately improve the contour and volume.

I'll use a technique called skimming with a device called ultrasound-assisted liposuction to harvest fat from multiple body areas. Skimming is ideal for patients who have benefited from weight loss but continue to have micro-stores of fat available for buttock contouring. For these patients, I'll take fat from the back, arms, abdomen, flanks, and thighs. I'll also contour the back and love handles to carve out a better transition between the lower back and the buttocks.

In severe cases of Ozempic butt, the skin may need to be removed to lift the buttocks and tighten saggy skin after weight loss. This is done with a circumferential abdominoplasty where the tummy tuck incision is designed to include the lower back skin with a circumferential incision. This is sometimes called a lower body lift.