Thursday 4 July 2024

Ozempic (weight loss drug) for pets and humans might cause blindness

Just four days ago I cautioned that there was an over-zealous approach to monetising Ozempic and Wegovy (same drug, different name) as a weight loss drug. The big Pharma companies want to monetize these drugs bigtime and they can see a lot of money in the obese cat and dog market for these products.

Ozempic (weight loss drug) for pets and humans might cause blindness
Ozempic is not a wonder drug for losing weight in people and cats as touted. Image: MikeB

These drugs have proved effective in suppressing appetite in people causing weight loss so why not do the same with cats and dogs?

Well, here is one reason: today's article in The Times newspaper "Blindness fears over weight drug Ozempic".

The Times refers to a new study which concluded that the drug may cause people to go blind. 

The Harvard researchers found that people taking semaglutide (Ozempic by a different name) were, in the words of the Times journalist, "significantly more likely to develop a rare and irreversible eye condition."

That I condition is called non-arteritic anterior ischaemic optic neuropathy, which results in sudden blindness in one eye. Usually it doesn't cause pain or discomfort and patients only notice one ey blindness on waking up. Shocking.

Ozempic was originally created to treat diabetic patients because it reduces weight and excessive weight can cause Type II diabetes. It is these patients who were found to be four times more likely to be diagnosed with this eye condition. People given the drug for obesity were seven times more likely to develop vision loss.

The study is published in JAMA Ophthalmology. It is the first study to identify that eye problems could be a side-effect of this popular new drug which is being rolled out in the NHS in the UK. Not any more I suspect.

I don't think that I need to go on. Researchers have found a very severe and side-effect to this wonder drug which has been touted as a massive solution to widespread obesity in people and cats in the UK and America. It isn't.

In an earlier post I said that humankind was emotionally lost if they have to rely on Ozempic to lose weight. The way to lose weight is to eat less. To rely on a drug is to go down a bad route because all drugs are poisons. A drug is worthwhile if the benefits outweigh the negatives. But there are always negatives, it just depends how bad they are.

This finding will put a huge dent in the monetisation of Ozempic and Wegovy and the good thing too because it might drive people to losing weight the natural way and in doing so they will probably feed their cats less as well because domestic cat obesity is the result of overfeeding and a lack of exercise. The two are always linked.

And I have always argued that if a cat caregiver is overweight they are likely to normalise being overweight and lose sight of an ideal weight resulting in not being able to assess their cat's weight accurately.


P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

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