The award-winning voice of North Cobb High School in Kennesaw, Georgia.

The Chant

The award-winning voice of North Cobb High School in Kennesaw, Georgia.

The Chant

The award-winning voice of North Cobb High School in Kennesaw, Georgia.

The Chant

FDA dives into diabetes drug dangers

The+Food+and+Drug+Administration+%28FDA%29+currently+investigates+GLP-1+receptor+agonist+drugs+due+to+emerging+reports+of+harmful+side+effects.+Beyond+their+traditional+use+for+managing+diabetes%2C+these+medications+capture+the+attention+of+celebrities+who+turn+to+them+for+weight+management.+As+the+investigation+expands+globally%2C+questions+remain+about+the+direct+harmful+side+effects+and+the+overall+safety+of+these+popular+medications.%0A
Courtesy of Sarah Silbiger and Getty Images News
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) currently investigates GLP-1 receptor agonist drugs due to emerging reports of harmful side effects. Beyond their traditional use for managing diabetes, these medications capture the attention of celebrities who turn to them for weight management. As the investigation expands globally, questions remain about the direct harmful side effects and the overall safety of these popular medications.

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) initiated a comprehensive examination of reported side effects associated with the Glucagon-like peptide one (GLP-1) receptor. This hormone plays a role in regulating blood sugar levels in Type 2 diabetes. This class of medications, including Ozempic, Zepbound, Wegovy and Manjaro, traditionally have received approval for managing diabetes and facilitating weight loss. However, emerging reports of adverse side effects have prompted the FDA to heighten scrutiny.

“It is not surprising that the FDA is looking into GLP-1 due to the potential severity of reported side effects. Despite the side effects, pharmacies are still having a difficult time keeping adequate supplies available to dispense. Working in the medical field, healthcare providers and their assistants must recognize the paramount importance of patient safety and education when it comes to GLP-1 drugs,” NC parent and Certified Medical Assistant Danielle Franklin said.   

Beyond the medical realm, these medications have attracted the attention of individuals seeking effective solutions for weight management. Notably, the allure of weight loss benefits transcends into popular culture, with reports of celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey and Chelsea Handler turning to GLP-1 to support their wellness goals. The trend underscores a broader societal interest in leveraging pharmaceutical advancements for holistic health, extending beyond traditional applications to address the growing concern of obesity.

The fact that there’s a medically approved prescription for managing weight and staying healthier, in my lifetime, feels like relief, like redemption. Like a gift, and not something to hide behind and once again be ridiculed for. I’m absolutely done with the shaming from other people and particularly myself,” Winfrey said.

Reports submitted to the FDA Adverse Event Reporting System (FAERS) highlight instances of alopecia, aspiration and suicidal ideation in individuals using the GLP-1 receptor. The FAERS website, a tool for the FDA to monitor safety concerns, emphasizes that the appearance of a drug on their GLP-1 medication list does not conclusively indicate that the FDA confirms the drug’s listed risk. Rather, the appearance of a drug on the list signifies the identification of a potential safety issue, necessitating further investigation.

European regulators actively examine the risk of suicidal thoughts in individuals taking GLP-1, expanding the ongoing investigation beyond the U.S. It remains unclear whether the medications directly caused these effects or if underlying conditions caused them. Novo Nordisk, the manufacturer of several GLP-1 agonists, actively expressed its commitment to patient safety. Novo Nordisk stands behind the safety and efficacy of its GLP-1 medicines when used as indicated and under the care of licensed healthcare professionals

This drug has faced investigation before, raising additional concerns about the current inquiry. Previous research linked GLP-1 to severe digestive problems, prompting the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) to recommend precautions for potential gastrointestinal complications before surgical procedures.

Unraveling the investigation surrounding GLP-1, students should seize this pivotal lesson in responsible health management. While certain weight loss drugs may not directly impact students, the overarching message emphasizes the imperative of exercising caution with prescribed drugs. This situation highlights the necessity for students to consult with healthcare professionals before ingesting any medication and comprehend possible side effects. 

The FDA employs post-marketing surveillance and risk assessment programs to thoroughly evaluate the severity of the side effects that patients experience. In response to newly identified safety signals, the FDA will review available data to determine appropriate actions. These actions may involve requiring labeling changes or implementing a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) to ensure that the benefits of the medication outweigh potential risks.

 
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Jacey Cuffie, Page Editor
Jacey Cuffie, a senior at NC, returned to The Chant in hopes of improving her writing and editing skills. Cuffie runs track for the NC varsity track team and competes in the 4x400-meter relay and 400-meter and 800-meter individual events. When not writing, Cuffie can be found snacking or hanging out with her dog and friends. Cuffie will one day pursue a career as a sports marketer and administrator for the NFL. While in high school, Jacey focuses on maintaining a high GPA and participating in numerous school activities. Cuffie’s dream is to obtain a degree in sports management.

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