Patients using the blockbuster weight-loss drugs Ozempic and Wegovy say their hair has started to fall out in clumps.
An American TikToker who lost 60lbs while on Ozempic claims her hairline has receded so much she now has to cover it with makeup.
Another patient was so horrified after suffering hair loss she said that she would rather be ‘fat and able to hide behind my hair than skinny with bald spots’.
Hair loss is not listed as a side effect of semaglutide, the active drug in both products, but the side effect showed up in clinical trials of Wegovy. It affected three percent of patients on the drug, compared to one percent in the placebo group.
Ozempic and Wegovy have already been linked to a host of other nasty side effects, including vivid dreams, suddenly being repulsed by common foods such as ground beef and losing muscle at an ‘alarming rate’.
An American woman on Mounjaro, who calls herself ‘theegeriatricmillennial’ on TikTok, said her hair was falling out in clumps when she brushed it or showered
Ozempic and Wegovy use the same drug, semaglutide, which suppresses appetite and triggers weight loss.
The former was approved for type 2 diabetes in 2017. A reformulated version was approved under the name Wegovy in 2021.
The drug is a GLP-1 receptor, which triggers hormones in the brain that keep the stomach full and tell the body to stop eating and avoid cravings.
Doctors are not clear on exactly what is causing hair loss in some patients, but some say this can be triggered after rapid weight loss by a condition called telogen effluvium.
A temporary thinning of the hair can be triggered by the rapid weight loss disrupting hormones or leading to resources being directed away from the hair, they said.
This causes hair follicles to suddenly switch to the resting, or telogen, phase of their growth cycle — causing hair to fall out.
But the condition is temporary, with experts saying new hairs will later start growing again.
Temporary hair loss can appear about three months after rapid weight loss and may take up to six months to resolve.
Novo Nordisk, the Danish firm that manufactures the drugs, did not respond to a DailyMail.com request for comment.
Hair loss has also been recorded in patients receiving another drug, Mounjaro, to help them lose weight.
Tirzepatide, the active drug behind it, acts on the same receptors as semaglutide.
It also suppresses feelings of hunger to help patients lose weight.
Eli Lilly, says that hair loss was recorded in clinical trials of this drug but was generally short-lived.
The Indianapolis, Indiana-based company did not reply to a DailyMail.com request for comment.
Among patients who reported hair loss on Ozempic was Becca, from the US, who had lost 40lbs while on the drug.
She said in a TikTok video: ‘I feel like my hairline has definitely receded a little bit or just gotten like a little bit thinned out.’
She said that she now fills out her hairline before going out to obscure the fact that it has receded slightly.
Other patients affected include a woman on Mounjaro who uses the moniker ‘theegeriatricmillennial’ and is based in the US.
In a TikTok video, she said: ‘We need to talk about hair loss.
‘My whole life I had a thick and luxurious head of hair.
‘[But over] the last month I have lost so much hair.’
She added: ‘I know it’s to be expected when you have a rapid weight loss… um… but the rate at which it’s falling out is terrifying.’
‘I would rather be fat and be able to hide behind my beautiful hair than be skinny and have bald spots.’
Another patient named Becca, from the US, revealed on TikTok that she had lost 60lbs while on Ozempic.
Amanda Staffor, from Kentucky, who is also using Mounjaro, posted a video online where she held up a clump of hair saying that this had fallen out of her hair while she was in the shower. She said this keeps happening, which ‘adds up’ over time
Becca, from the US, also said that she has suffered from hair loss after losing 60lbs while on Ozempic. She said it had caused her hairline to recede
Amanda Staffor, from Kentucky, who is also using Mounjaro, similarly posted pictures of herself online holding clumps of her own hair.
She said: ‘But, this, yeah, that is how much hair I’m losing every time I shower, and you can imagine that adds up.
‘I need to know, does anyone else have this problem? Do you take any supplements for it? Do you have any suggestions? Somebody help me, I don’t wanna lose all my hair.’
More than five million Americans received a prescription for Ozempic in 2022, data shows, compared to 230,000 in 2019.
And the number is only growing, with more than 373,000 prescriptions filed in the last week of February alone, double the number from the same time last year. Analysts say more than half of these were new.
Texas, Florida, California, New York and Georgia are the states where it is most common for patients to receive a new prescription for the drugs.
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