‘Botched’ doctor Terry Dubrow wants to stop Ozempic ‘shaming’ despite side effects

“Botched” doctor Terry Dubrow wants to destigmatize Ozempic and other weight loss drugs.

“I said from day one, I think this is the biggest breakthrough in medical history,” Dubrow told Fox News Digital.

“It’s treating effectively the No. 1 cause of all four causes of death in this country,” including heart and cardiovascular disease, cancer, neurodegenerative disorders and diabetes.

“If you can target the No. 1 risk factor for death, and you can do it in a safe, effective way, and we can share as a community in this nation how to use it in those who don’t have as much weight to lose — and those are the ones that are really interested — then we’ve got a real game changer in health and wellness.”

Dubrow also wants to stop the “shaming” of Ozempic and other weight-loss drugs.

“Stop with the Ozempic shaming,” he said. “Treat it like it’s any other drug, and do it appropriately with a prescription under a physician’s guidance and supervision. And then learn how to use it properly.”

The “Botched” star also responded to comments from Jillian Michaels, who has been a vocal opponent of Ozempic. As she told Fox News Digital early this month, “If it was the easy way out, I would recommend it.”

Close up of Dr. Terry Dubrow

The back-and-forth between the two began when Dubrow was asked Jan. 24 by TMZ about Michaels’ comments in a recent interview about the negative side effects of Ozempic.

“As a board-certified physician and a certified expert for the California medical board, I’m not here to debate scientific and medical issues with a personal trainer, OK?” Dubrow said. “What I’m concerned about is that someone of great influence like [Michaels] will limit people’s interest in treating the disease of obesity with these new miracle weight loss drugs.”

Michaels then appeared on the outlet days later and read from a July 2023 interview with the New York Post in which Dubrow spoke about side effects from weight loss drugs and their potential dangers, including patients hospitalized with pancreatitis linked with Ozempic use, calling it “a strange about face” from the doctor.

“She took an article that was written about an interview I had out of context. I had been interviewed about Ozempic shaming and the fact that, for a while, up until recently, when I think Oprah really came out and discussed her experience with it, people were using it and weren’t talking about it,” Dubrow told Fox News Digital.

“It was like a new plastic surgery procedure where you would have the procedure done, and you wouldn’t feel comfortable admitting to having it done. So, in the context of saying, ‘Listen, we got to stop shaming because we’re just learning as a community how to use these drugs, and we need to share our experiences, because if you don’t use them under a doctor’s supervision, for example, if you go to the internet and just get it on your own, and they send it to you, and you start using it, you have to be aware that, like any other drug, Ozempic and its related drugs like Mounjaro and Zepbound and Wegovy can have significant side effects.”

As for the patients hospitalized with pancreatitis, Dubrow said, “Some of my patients have had significant side effects, and those that didn’t get it prescribed under doctor supervision and drank too much, a few ended up in the hospital with pancreatitis. So, I was emphasizing that we’ve got to open up the dialog.”

“It was not an interview where I said, ‘Ozempic and its related drugs are bad,’” he added.

In fact, Dubrow admitted he recently tried a newer version of Mounjaro, one of several drugs similar to Ozempic.

Terry Dubrow sitting onstage with a serious look

“I wanted to try it. I wanted to see what my experience was like,” he said. “I had gone to Europe and gained about 18 pounds, and I thought, you know what? This is exactly what the new version of Mounjaro, called Zepbound, which is FDA approved for weight loss, is what people are going to use this for, particularly in Los Angeles, in New York and Miami. So, I thought I wanted to experience this and see how it affects me.”

Mounjaro works slightly differently than Ozempic, using both the semaglutide and a hormone called GIP, “which takes it to the next level, works faster, less side effects and, more weight loss,” according to Dubrow.

Dubrow said he started with a low dose, and “right away I noticed a difference in my appetite. It was like an immediate appetite suppressant.”

He also noted a decrease in hunger and cravings, but it did come with some mild nausea, a common side effect.

Terry Dubrow working with an ipad in a medical office

“But by the third and fourth weeks, within a day of injecting it in myself, I would have some pretty mild but persistent nausea for a day or two and then a complete change, a complete change in my appetite. I felt under control. I didn’t want alcohol, I absolutely had no interest in desserts. And it was very empowering. [I] felt great. And within four weeks, I had lost almost all the weight that I gained on that trip. And so I was impressed, and I liked it.”

The “Real Housewives of Orange County” star felt confident trying the medication despite all the debate over the side effects.

“These drugs have been around since about 2017, and they’ve been studied for ten years,” Dubrow said. “So, it’s not as though it’s a new drug on the market and millions of patients haven’t taken it before. It’s been widely studied. It’s published and researched in peer-reviewed journals for its use in diabetics. So, it’s safe in diabetics. And then recently it’s been studied in non-diabetics purely for the indication of weight loss.

“Like any other drug, it had side effect profiles that are listed with it. Nausea, diarrhea, stomach cramping, so on and so forth. But the side effect profile was very similar to any other kind of drug, including aspirin. And, I felt, well, it’s been around for a long time. It’s FDA approved, so I’m going to give it a go.”

Terry Dubrow with Heather Dubrow on the red carpet

Dubrow said he does discuss the medication option in addition to lifestyle changes for patients.

If “they struggle with weight loss or they’re big-time yo-yo dieters up and down, I tell them to consider it, along with, of course, diet and exercise.

“But if diet and exercise alone were extraordinarily effective for weight loss, there wouldn’t be an obesity epidemic in this country. So, you know, this really represents a true giant medical breakthrough. And it’s fascinating. And the way it works is so interesting and it’s so ridiculously effective.”

 

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