The AtlanticThe Atlantic

Ozempic is about to be old news

By Yasmin Tayag

04 Apr 2023 · 6 min read

Editor's Note

Semaglutide has been branded as "revolutionary" and "game-changing," but it's far from perfect. The next generation of drugs, however, may well be, reports The Atlantic.

All of a sudden, Ozempic is everywhere. The weight-loss drug that it contains, semaglutide, is a potent treatment for obesity, and Hollywood and TikTok celebrities have turned it into a sensation. In just a few months, the medication has been branded as “revolutionary” and “game-changing,” with the power to permanently alter society’s conceptions of fatness and thinness. Certainly, a drug like semaglutide could be all of those things: Never in the history of medicine has one so safely led to such dramatic weight loss in so many people.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. As weight-loss medications go, Ozempic is far from perfect. Though the drug has profound impacts, it requires weekly injections, a tolerance for uncomfortable side effects, and the stamina—not to mention the budget—for long-term treatment. (Ozempic has somehow become a catchall term for semaglutide but technically that product has gotten FDA sign-off only as a diabetes medication. A larger dose of semaglutide, marketed as Wegovy, has been approved for weight loss.)

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