The New Drugs and Unforeseen Consequences

It might be useful to review the things that are known, suspected, or feared, about the new weight-loss drugs. Of course, they are not all the same, or else why even bother to create a different formula? The point is, it really pays to check out the potential side effects of the various possibilities, before making an appointment with a physician. A person might come across some surprising information and decide, without further ado, to give the medication idea a pass.

The stuff works by slowing gastric emptying, to preserve the sensation of fullness. By now, probably everyone has heard about a widely discussed problem:

[S]ide effects of Ozempic, Wegovy and other members of the class have been linked to serious stomach risks, including gastroparesis or stomach paralysis, which can result in severe and long-term gastrointestinal damage.

An article by Irvin Jackson lists 13 unpleasant consequences of being on semaglutide. Worse, some folks are having miserable side effects even after discontinuing the meds. A discouraging number of lawsuits are currently underway, with potentially thousands more waiting in the wings.

Whether Ozempic was prescribed because of diabetes or for weight loss, if elective surgery is on a person’s schedule, the drug should probably be discontinued at least a week beforehand. In fact, the Mayo Clinic and other prominent medical establishments have come out in favor of quitting semaglutide three whole weeks before surgery. Its job is to empty the stomach slowly, but nobody should be on an operating table with anything in their stomach. Jackson writes,

In late June, the American Society of Anesthesiologists […] warned against using the drugs before elective surgery, due to the risk of vomiting and aspiration during anesthesia.

Skipping it for even that one day could save a life. While the chance of fatality is not huge, neither is it non-existent, and if the temporary cessation of the drug does not seem like enough of a precaution, the surgical team can opt to have the patient intubated for even a minor procedure, which adds not only safety but also discomfort and complication.

As if that weren’t enough, at a semaglutide factory in North Carolina, apparently slipshod quality control has led to government inspectors finding “objectionable organisms” in batches of the drug, and to elevated concerns about microbial contamination on the premises in general.

Your responses and feedback are welcome!

Source: Ozempic Stomach Risks Result in Debate Among Anesthesiologists Over Surgery Guidelines,”, 09/13/23
Source: Microbial Contaminant Control Problems at Ozempic Manufacturing Facility Has Resulted in FDA Investigator Warning,”, 09/20/23
Image by Craig Howell/CC BY 2.0 DEED

One Response

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

FAQs and Media Requests: Click here…

Profiles: Kids Struggling with Weight

Profiles: Kids Struggling with Obesity top bottom

The Book

OVERWEIGHT: What Kids Say explores the obesity problem from the often-overlooked perspective of children struggling with being overweight.

About Dr. Robert A. Pretlow

Dr. Robert A. Pretlow is a pediatrician and childhood obesity specialist. He has been researching and spreading awareness on the childhood obesity epidemic in the US for more than a decade.
You can contact Dr. Pretlow at:


Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the American Society of Animal Science 2020 Conference
What’s Causing Obesity in Companion Animals and What Can We Do About It

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the World Obesity Federation 2019 Conference:
Food/Eating Addiction and the Displacement Mechanism

Dr. Pretlow’s Multi-Center Clinical Trial Kick-off Speech 2018:
Obesity: Tackling the Root Cause

Dr. Pretlow’s 2017 Workshop on
Treatment of Obesity Using the Addiction Model

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation for
TEC and UNC 2016

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the 2015 Obesity Summit in London, UK.

Dr. Pretlow’s invited keynote at the 2014 European Childhood Obesity Group Congress in Salzburg, Austria.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2013 European Congress on Obesity in Liverpool, UK.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2011 International Conference on Childhood Obesity in Lisbon, Portugal.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2010 Uniting Against Childhood Obesity Conference in Houston, TX.

Food & Health Resources