Wegovy and Ozempic Could Have a Potentially Deadly Side Effect

The warnings on the weight-loss drugs are looking more severe by the day.

Initially, the only downsides of taking diabetes drugs Ozempic and Wegovy for weight loss seemed to be the price tag and side effects like diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. Then we learned about Ozempic face, the gaunt, aged appearance some have reported developing when on the meds. Now, Chinese researcher have identified another, potentially lethal downside to taking the drugs which contain the generic semaglutide.

A forthcoming study in the monthly journal Acta Pharmaceutica Sinica B reveals that there is an “increased risk” of intestinal obstruction when taking semaglutide.

Semaglutide is in a class of drugs called GLP-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1RAs). Injected weekly, the drug mimics the small intestine-derived hormone GLP-1 in the body. This helps slow down digestion and regulate appetite, causing you to feel fuller for longer.

The researchers wrote that while the efficacy and safety of the GLP-1RAs are widely accepted within the medical community, the risk of intestinal obstruction—a potentially fatal condition that requires surgery—increase in type 2 diabetics, peaking around a year and a half. This “is 4.5 times higher than those receiving other glucose control medications,” the researchers wrote.


The study authors cited a 2022 study in Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics that found medications that mimic GLP-1 can reduce motility in the gut, leading to constipation and potential intestinal obstruction.

The suggestion of an added risk for intestinal obstruction, may make those who are not in need of the medications, such as non-obese and non-diabetic patients, think again about trying to get a prescription.

Independent experts not involved in the new research told the Daily Mail that the GLP-1RAs “should be safe for most,” yet also stressed that before doctors prescribe these meds, they should look at a patient’s bowel history.

Ozempic Can Also Cause Muscle Loss

In an interview with CNN’s Chris Cuomo about the new study, functional medicine doctor Mark Hyman, M.D. shared that Ozempic can also cause muscle loss. About 40 % of the weight lost is muscle, Hyman said. “Muscle is the currency of longevity and health and aging. If you don’t have muscle your metabolic health becomes poor and you regain the weight lost.”


There may be no need for emergency-level panic when it comes to the side effects of Ozempic and Wegovy, but it’s becoming clearer that the Hollywood gloss on the medications was always going to be too good to be true.

If you’ve already started taking Wegovy or Ozempic, talk to your doctor about this new finding. If you decide to come off the meds, we’ve got a whole article on what to expect.