Ozempic face: Can a weight-loss drug cause facial aging?

Drugs used to fight type 2 diabetes have exploded in popularity as rapid weight loss drugs, but people are now reporting unwanted side effects, including facial aging and vomiting.

The drugs – which include brands like Ozempic, Mounjaro and Wegovy – have been trending on social media after several celebrities and influencers reportedly used them to slim down, including Kim Kardashian and Elon Musk.

But many doctors fear that popularity has led to more people taking them without sufficient medical supervision, which can be risky as there is a possibility of rare but serious side effects like thyroid cancer, pancreatitis and renal failure.

The most common side effects – as many women document on TikTok – are nausea, vomiting and aging of the face, which has been dubbed “Ozempic face”.

Drugs - like Ozempic - that are used to fight type 2 diabetes are trending on social media for rapid weight loss - but some are reporting side effects like facial aging and vomiting

Drugs – like Ozempic – that are used to fight type 2 diabetes are trending on social media for rapid weight loss – but some are reporting side effects like facial aging and vomiting

Dr. Daniel Dziabas posts an animation of an 'Ozempic face' shriveled from drug use

Dr. Daniel Dziabas posts an animation of an ‘Ozempic face’ shriveled from drug use

Jennifer Berger, 41, told The New York Times that she used Mounjaro to lose weight after her pregnancy. The drug, which she injected into her thigh, stomach or arm, worked wonders and she was able to lose 20 pounds.

But she said her face had started to look very thin.

“I remember looking in the mirror, and it was almost like I didn’t even recognize myself,” she told The Times. “My body looked great, but my face looked exhausted and old.”

Dr. Oren Tepper, a New York-based plastic surgeon, told The Times that it’s common for key areas of the face to deflate with weight loss – so much so that that person looks older.

“When it comes to facial aging, fat is usually more friend than foe,” he said. “Weight loss may set your biological age back, but it tends to move your facial clock forward.”

Mounjaro, which regulates blood sugar, suppresses appetite and apparently helps shed extra pounds, is the latest claim on the market.

“Everyone is on it or asking how to go about it,” Dr. Paul Jarrod Frank, a dermatologist in New York City, told The Times. “We haven’t seen a prescription drug with so much cocktail and dinner talk since Viagra hit the market.”

Dr. Frank said he coined the term “Ozempic face” to describe the sagging facial condition.

“I see it every day in my office,” he explained. “A 50-year-old patient is coming in, and suddenly she’s super skinny and needs filler, which she’s never needed before.” I look at her and say, ‘How long have you been on Ozempic?’ And I’m right 100% of the time. It’s the drug of choice these days for the 1 percent.

Ozempic works to suppress appetite and makes the stomach feel fuller for longer

Ozempic works to suppress appetite and makes the stomach feel fuller for longer

A woman on TikTok opened up about her journey with the injections and said it left her feeling bloated, gassy and 'not well'

A woman on TikTok opened up about her journey with the injections and said it left her feeling bloated, gassy and ‘not well’

Another posted a video of themselves in a towel saying he threw up in the shower

Another posted a video of themselves in a towel saying he threw up in the shower

There are procedures to restore volume to a patient’s face, The Times reported, with doctors performing very expensive but non-invasive injections of Radiesse and collagen-boosting hyaluronic acid or Sculptra fillers.

Fat can also be transferred from other parts of the body to fill out the face.

Dr. Dhaval Bhanusali, a dermatologist in New York, told The Times that “the idea is to even out the face to compensate for dimples and downward projections in the cheeks, jowls and other areas.”

“We’re seeing more and more patients on medication,” he said. “Typically, it’s people in their 40s and 50s who lose a lot of weight and worry about the resulting aging and sagging face.”

Everyone from Hollywood stars to tech moguls are turning to the injectable drug to stay slim, with Elon Musk crediting the drug in October for his recent weight loss.

Rumor has it that Kim Kardashian used Wegovy for quick weight loss to fit Marilyn Monroe’s famous “Happy Birthday Mr President” dress she wore to the 2022 Met Gala.

Everyone from Hollywood stars to tech moguls are turning to the injectable drug to stay slim, with Elon Musk crediting the drug in October for his recent weight loss.  Pictured above, Elon Musk in August 2022

Jeremy Clarkson, 62, revealed he started injecting the drug

Everyone from Hollywood stars to tech moguls are turning to the injectable drug to stay slim, with Elon Musk crediting the drug in October for his recent weight loss. Pictured above is Elon Musk in August 2022. Jeremy Clarkson, 62, revealed he started injecting the ‘huge’ drug, Ozempic, after fears he might develop type 2 diabetes. the photo above, Mr. Clarkson in 2017

Kim Kardashian Rumored To Use Wegovy For Quick Weight Loss To Fit Into Famous Dress

Kim Kardashian is rumored to have used Wegovy for quick weight loss to fit Marilyn Monroe’s famous ‘Happy Birthday Mr President’ dress at the 2022 Met Gala (pictured)

Since the drugs have exploded in popularity, doctors are warning against homemade weight loss injections with raw chemicals purchased online.

People are being led to websites normally used by research groups to purchase experimental chemicals amid a nationwide shortage of Wegovy and Ozempic.

DailyMail.com found nearly a dozen websites selling semaglutide, the active ingredient in Wegovy and Ozempic, for between $80 and $300 for up to two months’ worth. Two of the websites had completely exhausted the chemical, and one had a tutorial teaching people how to mix the ingredients and inject them.

But Dr. Shauna Levy, assistant professor of bariatric surgery at Tulane University in New Orleans who sits on the American Board of Obesity Medicine, said DailyMail.com taking the drug at home is “incredibly dangerous on so many levels” and puts people at risk for side effects, dangerous ingredients and overdose.

The websites – which often included words like “laboratory” or “asylum” in their title – sell a range of research chemicals, including hormones and steroids, which they say are “not intended for human consumption”.

A global shortage of the drug was caused last year by a stampede fueled by celebrities and influencers, jeopardizing people who depend on it to treat their type 2 diabetes and leaving semaglutide out of stock, even on some peptide supplier websites.

A global shortage of the drug was caused last year by a stampede fueled by celebrities and influencers, jeopardizing people who depend on it to treat their type 2 diabetes and leaving semaglutide out of stock, even on some peptide supplier websites.

The lists of many chemicals state that they should only be purchased for scientific research purposes – a warning that allows the sites to exploit a legal loophole.

DailyMail.com also found semaglutide on 10 sites. It was sold in powder form, to be mixed with bacteriostatic water before being injected into the abdomen.

Wegovy has become highly sought after since it was first marketed in the United States last year, after it was shown to reduce a person’s body weight by around 15% over 68 weeks in clinical trials.

But its popularity, combined with manufacturing issues, led to month-long shortages of Wegovy de Novo and its sister drug Ozempic.

Tirzepatide, another diabetes drug sold under the brand name Mounjaro by Eli Lilly, has also fallen into shortage, according to the FDA’s online drug shortage database.

Wegovy and Ozempic work by causing the body to produce a hormone called glucagon-like peptide-1 which is released naturally from the intestines after meals.

Wegovy and Ozempic work by causing the body to produce a hormone called glucagon-like peptide-1 which is released naturally from the intestines after meals.

Wegovy and Ozempic work by causing the body to produce a hormone called glucagon-like peptide-1 which is released naturally from the intestines after meals.

The hormone helps control blood sugar and makes people feel full so they know when to stop eating.

Results from a study of 2,000 people over 15 months show that participants lost an average of 15% of their body weight, which equates to (34 lbs) (15 kg).

The group received one-on-one counseling sessions from registered dietitians to help them follow a low-calorie diet and exercise plan, alongside weekly injections.

Volunteers reported improved quality of life and reduced risk factors for developing heart disease and diabetes, such as reduced waist circumference, blood fats, blood sugar and blood pressure.

Leave a Comment