As much as it’s been the summer of fun-loving Barbie looks, joy-inducing Eras mobs and empowered Beyoncé crowds, it’s also the summer of “How did she do it?” “It” being “slim down,” “get abs,” or “fit into those jeans”? The answer, shared in whispers and text threads, is likely Ozempic, the injectable drug originally meant to treat Type 2 diabetes, that’s taken the media and market by storm for one particular side effect: its ability to help users drop pounds.
Brought to the masses’ attention as a “Hollywood secret,” Ozempic and its counterparts (aka, GLP-1 agonists and closely related drugs that release insulin to make you feel full) have become synonymous to some as A-lister weight-loss cop outs. To others, the drugs are symptoms of a disturbing cultural obsession with thinness and the decaying future of healthcare.
But to a lot of us, we just…want to know more. How do you get it? How much does it cost? Are the side effects that bad? The buzzing questions come from the fact that there is an air of mystery and taboo around these drugs and the people taking them for weight loss. What we know is that Ozempic is not FDA-approved for weight loss, so it’s tricky to get insurance to cover it for off-label use (when a physician prescribes a drug to treat a condition different from its approved use). Wegovy, on the other hand, is approved for weight loss, and those with a body mass index (BMI) over 30 are typically eligible for it—still, how much you pay largely depends on your insurance policy.
It’s kinda all over the place. So we figured the best way to the bottom of our questions was to chat with women who’ve taken Ozempic and similar injectables (Wegovy and Mounjaro) to learn how they really did it—from how they pay for it to what their long-term plans are.