DEMAND for popular slimming drug Ozempic has surged in Spain over the past year.
Between January and September over 31,000 units of the drug were sold in Andalucia.
According to distributors, demand was some 40% higher than existing stock, leading to huge waiting lists.
The so-called ‘miracle’ drug costs €128 a month, but this hasn’t stopped the drug selling out.
Decided by the Interministerial Price Commission, the hefty price tag is due to the use of ingredients exported from outside the European Union, including India.
Ozempic was originally intended for type two diabetics but has since exploded in popularity as a slimming drug thanks to viral TikTok videos.
Search ‘#MyOzempicJourney’ on Instagram or TikTok and you will find hundreds of people swearing a ‘simple injection’ can help you lose weight.
It also popular among Hollywood celebrities, including Sharon Osbourne, Keke Palmer and Chelsea Handler.
However, experts are warning that the drug should not be used as a slimming treatment as it can have very serious side effects.
These include nausea, fevers, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea and constipation.
The main ingredient in Ozempic is semaglutide, which imitates appetite regulating hormones to give a sense of fullness.
It also lowers blood sugar and could reduce the risk of heart disease, according to the Spanish Medicine Institute (AEMPS).
It is used to treat type two diabetes when ‘diet and exercise are not enough’ and provokes weight loss of 6-15% per year.
It is administered using a weekly injection and must be given under prescription.
It means those in Spain hoping to use ozempic must get permission and a slip from their doctor.