Over 2% Of One State’s Residents Have Prescription For Trendy Weight-Loss Drugs, Data Shows

(Photo by SEBASTIEN BOZON / AFP) (Photo by SEBASTIEN BOZON/AFP via Getty Images)

Julianna Frieman Contributor
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Over 2% of Kentucky residents have a prescription for Ozempic or similar weight-loss drugs, data shows.

Kentucky has the highest rate of Ozempic and other weight-loss drug prescriptions among all 50 states, with 21 out of 1,000 Kentuckians being prescribed the popular drug last year, according to data from Axios and health analytics company PurpleLab. Although initially approved in the United States to treat diabetes, the drug has been increasingly marketed for weight loss.

Other southern states, such as Louisiana and Mississippi, have a similarly high rate of prescriptions for weight loss drugs like Ozempic and Wegovy, the outlet reported.

Ozempic is a “once-weekly” injectable prescription drug that “lowers blood sugar in adults with type 2 diabetes,” according to the drug’s website. Ozempic has surged in popularity within the past year among people trying to lose weight, and celebrities like Oprah Winfrey, Sharon Osbourne and Amy Schumer have spoken out about how the drug helped them shed pounds, People reported.

Possible serious side effects of Ozempic include inflammation of the pancreas, changes in vision, low blood sugar, kidney problems, gallbladder issues and possible thyroid tumors and cancers. The most common side effects of Ozempic include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain and constipation, according to the drug’s website. (RELATED: Kentucky Lawmaker Introduces Bill To Legalize Cousin F*ckin’)

One woman trying to lose weight to fit into a dress for her daughter’s wedding died after taking Saxenda, another drug that causes weight loss, during the five-month period she was taking prescribed Ozempic.

Kentucky had the second-highest adult obesity rate in America in 2022, according to Kentucky Health News. The state had the highest rate of obesity for children ages 10 to 17 during the same period.