For many people, spending the winter holidays means buying gifts, organizing trips and planning a rich menu with loved ones.
This year, however, these preparations may include bypassing drugs commonly used for weight loss.
According to Good Morning America and other media outlets, reasons range from wanting to eat more holiday food without post-meal discomfort to efforts to save money.
Still, people considering skipping diet pills need to be careful when resuming them later, an expert told FOX Business.
Common medications used for weight loss include Ozempic, Wegovy, and Mounjaro.
The last one contains tircepatide, while the other two are semaglutide.
Endobariatric physician and True You Weight Loss research director Dr. Dan Maselli told FOX Business that such reasons are “completely understandable.”
Some of his patients have wanted to stop their dosing schedule to avoid stigma-based judgment from loved ones who didn’t know they were taking such drugs, he added.
Individuals “are not going to harm themselves in the near future by stopping the medication” they use for weight loss, Maselli said.
While skipping can lead to feelings of hunger, drugs like Ozempic and Mounjaro don’t cause withdrawal, he noted.
According to Maselli, it’s continuing the medication where people need to be careful.
“These drugs are really meant to be used long-term and consistently, and one of the problems that can occur if we miss a dose, or actuallyating, if we forget to take two or three doses, is that our body can lose track of how well it is accustomed. to those drugs, especially the gastrointestinal side effects of those drugs,” Maselli said.
“It may be unwise, and in extreme circumstances, dangerous, to start the medication back at the same dose you were on.”
When using Ozempic, Mounjaro and other similar drugs for weight loss, doctors and patients must start with a low dose and slowly increase it over time, he explained.
This process can take up to 20 weeks.
“So if you were at or even over that maximum dose for the first two doses of this drug and you stop taking the drug for two or three weeks and then try to start again at the same dose, you can feel really uncomfortable,” he said.
Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, cramps and heartburn are symptoms that a person may experience.
Maselli said people who have forgotten or missed doses should contact their prescriber instead of starting again, as their doctor may need to lower the dose.
In some cases, they may have to start from square one, depending on how long it’s been.
People deciding to temporarily stop taking the drugs during the holidays comes after more people have sought help with weight loss from Ozempic, Wegovy and Mounjaro.
Novo Nordisk, the maker of Ozempic and Wegovy, has seen a significant rise amid the phenomenon, with its share price up nearly 51% since the start of 2023.
The shares of Eli Lilly, the company behind Mounjaro, have risen by more than 56%.
The S&P 500, meanwhile, is up nearly 25 percent this year.
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