Beware of the new diabetes drug that’s venomous — literally

If you have type 2 diabetes, and have seen your doctor recently, he may have already shared the “good news” with you. There’s a new diabetes drug on the market — and doctors just love a new drug. Especially when it’s packaged with plenty of hype like this one.

Just days ago, a Reuters report gushed about Ozempic® (generic name: semaglutide), which won FDA approval for treating diabetes in December of 2017. And it’s expected to rack up blockbuster sales for the Danish company, Novo Nordisk.

Reuters notes that Ozempic® belongs to a class of insulin-stimulating drugs and nonchalantly mentions it “was derived from the venomous bite of North America’s Gila monster lizard.”

Venomous bite? Gila monster lizard? Those details should be enough to give anyone pause.

And according to new study results, if you take Ozempic® you might end up wishing you’d been bitten by a Gila monster instead…

Are big benefits worth the big risks?

Ozempic® is a Big Pharma dream come true because it can be used for two different purposes: blood sugar control and weight loss.

In fact, just a few weeks ago, a new study showed that Ozempic® prompted significant weight loss in obese participants who were not type 2 diabetic. This was a year-long study with nearly 1,000 volunteers. Research of this scope is very expensive, so it was obviously designed to promote Ozempic® for the weight-loss market (which can prove to be a gold mine if you make a good impression).

One of the researchers described the results as “the highest weight reductions yet seen for any pharmaceutical intervention.”

The FDA has yet to sign off on the drug as a weight-loss product. But considering it’s already been given the green light for diabetes, my guess is it’s only a matter of time before Ozempic® glides through the approval process and Big Pharma cheerleaders start calling it a miracle “skinny pill.”

But you know what they say about things that seem too good to be true. And a close look at the latest study results (and the drug’s own website) show that Ozempic® is no exception.

The study was presented at the Endocrine Society’s recent annual meeting. It isn’t published yet so we don’t have full details. But a press release from the Society stated that the most common adverse events in those taking Ozempic® were mild to moderate nausea.

Of course, those aren’t the only adverse events.

According to the Ozempic® website, common side effects also include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting

But the list doesn’t end there. Other side effects include:

  • Changes in vision
  • Inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis) and…
  • Kidney failure
  • Not to mention “possible thyroid tumors, including cancer.”


And remember — as with all newly approved drugs, you have to keep in mind that these are only the adverse effects they know about so far. Once a new drug is widely used — as this one apparently will be — other nasty consequences always pop up. Always

“Newer” doesn’t always mean “better”

If your doctor is enthusiastic about Ozempic® or any new drug, don’t get caught up in the novelty of it being new and “cutting edge.” As Dr. Marc Micozzi makes clear in his Integrative Protocol for Defeating Diabetes, it’s very rare for a new drug to improve on what’s already out there.

With obvious urgency, Dr. Micozzi offers this warning: “According to a review by my colleague Dr. Donald Light, 90 percent of all new drugs over the past three decades are no more effective — or just slightly more effective — than older, approved drugs.

“That statistic means only 10 percent of new drugs over the last 30 years represented true, therapeutic breakthroughs. But 50 percent of new drugs approved have a worse safety profile than the drugs they were meant to replace. Not a good trade-off to pay more for newer, more dangerous drugs.”

And that bad trade-off is especially true among the ever-growing list of diabetes drugs. As Dr. Micozzi notes, they’re more expensive, but have a wide range of problems with safety and effectiveness.

The class of drugs type 2 diabetics must avoid

Dr. Micozzi singles out a class of drugs known as “SGLT2 inhibitors.” You might recognize the brand names: Farxiga®, Invokana®, and Jardiance®. With these drugs, clever scientists figured out a way to get rid of excess blood sugar through the urine. But like so many other drug “solutions,” this one has unintended consequences.

Problem one: your kidneys. Dr. Micozzi says, “I have to wonder about the long-term consequences of exposing the kidneys’ delicate urinary filtration equipment to all that extra sugar.”

In addition, he says, these drugs can cause ketoacidosis, a condition that boosts levels of dangerous blood acids and ketone chemicals. Ironically, ketoacidosis is also a factor in dangerous complications of untreated diabetes.

Dr. Micozzi includes similar warnings about several other popular diabetes drugs such as Januvia®, Byetta®, Glucotrol®, and Victoza®. Their problems range from serious digestive issues to increased risks of heart failure, bone fractures, and weight gain.

It’s no wonder, then, why Dr. Micozzi offers this guideline: “If your doctor recommends a different medication, ask why. Unless there is a very specific reason you should be taking a different drug, ask if you can try metformin first, or switch to metformin from the diabetes drug you’re currently taking.”

Dr. Micozzi is cautious about recommending any drug, but makes an exception with metformin for one important reason: Over several decades, it’s proven to be effective and safe for most type 2 patients.

You can find out much more about which diabetes drugs are akin to venomous poison — and why metformin is a much better option in Dr. Micozzi’s Integrative Protocol for Defeating Diabetes. It’s also chock-full of all-natural lifestyle, diet, and nutrition strategies to prevent — and even reverse — Type 2 diabetes. To learn more about this online learning tool, or to enroll today, click here.

Novo Nordisk upbeat on new diabetes drug as profit tops forecast
May 2, 2018
New diabetes drug may help people with obesity lose weight
The Endocrine Society
March 18, 2018
What is the most important information I should know about Ozempic® ?