GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) — Using a diabetes drug to shed a few pounds is more than a TikTok trend. Celebrities like Elon Musk boast about losing pounds thanks to the substance. The two drugs are Ozempic and Wegovy. Ozempic has been approved for diabetes and Wegovy for weight loss. But they are made from the exact same ingredient, semaglutide. A Greenville clinic is offering a compound of the drug, and one patient says it’s been life-changing.
Dennis Cameron says he was 5’8″ last summer and weighed about 260 pounds. He had high blood pressure and went to his doctor for severe chest pain.
“They said I had some kind of stroke,” Cameron said.
His grandfather died of a heart attack at the age of 56 and he worried about the same fate, especially as he is a single father.
“I have a three year old and I just wanted to be around,” Cameron said. “I’m 50 years old and being overweight really wasn’t good.”
He looked for the internist Dr. Mario Menendez of the Lowcountry Male Clinic in Greenville.
“We tend to associate obese people with a lack of willpower and bad habits in general, but that’s actually not the case,” said Dr. Menendez. “It’s a survival mechanism that we have.”
He recommended that Cameron try a combination of semaglutide and B12. The active ingredient acts as an appetite suppressant.
“A compound version is just a custom version of the drug,” Menendez said. “The function of the drug is partly at the brain level. It acts on certain signals in the brain that tell us we’re full when we’ve eaten.”
Cameron said it worked. In six months he lost about 65 pounds. He says he didn’t feel as hungry and was able to eat smaller portions.
“If I went to the steakhouse and ordered steak, potatoes and salad, I’d probably eat a third of that,” Cameron said.
Cameron warned that it’s important to listen to your body while taking medication and stop eating when your body signals it’s full. Patients can take up to 2.4 mg of semaglutide as an injection. Cameron says 0.5mg worked for him. But there can be side effects.
“The biggest problem I had with it was when I started increasing the doses, I got a little bit of heartburn,” Cameron said. “Nothing else.”
Other side effects of semaglutide include abdominal cramps, nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting. Individuals with a family history of thyroid cancer or multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2 should not use the drug. dr Menendez says it can cost anywhere from $400 to $1,300 a month, depending on whether a person’s insurance covers the cost.
Copyright 2023 WHNS. All rights reserved.