National Drug Early Warning System (NDEWS) Weekly Briefing


What is Ozempic and why is it getting so much attention?

In recent monthsdemand for the drug Ozempic has soared, causing global supply issues. The drug used to treat diabetes has gained attention after celebrities and influencers have promoted it as a method for losing weight. An article published by The New York Times provides an overview of how Ozempic works, who is supposed to take it, what the side effects are, and if off-label use of these medications is dangerous. Read the article here.

Report from the Web Monitoring Team: Online mentions of Ozempic

What was found? Mentions of the drug Ozempic have shown small increases in online NPS communities between June 2020 and May 2021, with a larger spike starting in late 2022. 
What is Ozempic? Ozempic is an injectable prescription medication used to treat Type 2 diabetes in adults. 
How is Ozempic being discussed? Discussion posts and comments suggest the drug is being used as a weight-loss drug, irrespective of whether it was prescribed or not. Many online say it is relatively easy to source. The drug seems to be popular in "online influencer" communities based in New York and Los Angeles. 
Drug Terms: Ozempic, Wegovy, Rybelsus, semaglutide

Ozempic misuse responses from our Sentinel Sites

When asked about Ozempic, 15 NDEWS Sentinel Site Directors (from Atlanta, Florida, San Diego, Phoenix, New York City, St. Louis, Texas, Seattle, Los Angeles, Kentucky, Minnesota, San Francisco, DC, Denver, and Chicago) reported no detectable trends of misuse in their area. Responses from Sentinel Site Directors included no postmortem toxicology data on Ozempic, no official reports of misuse from groups in their region, and very few patients being treated in emergency departments for problems related to Ozempic use.


NDEWS Hotspot Alerts (n=29) January 5 – 11, 2023: Opioid, heroin, methamphetamine, and non-opioid 911 dispatches

This week's NDEWS Hotspot Alert​s ​report ​includes 24 counties with higher-than-expected drug-related 911 dispatch counts over the previous 7-day period. View the full report hereClick here to read more about NDEWS Hotspot Alerts.


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Read the study here

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Read the study here

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