The use of prescription medicine for weight loss and diabetes has increased by 600% in young people since 2020

The information comes at a time of growing concern about the use of diabetes medications to lose weight.

A study published in JAMA magazine revealed a 600% increase in prescriptions for weight loss and diabetes medications among young people since 2020. The study found that between 2020 and 2023, the number of prescriptions for individuals aged 12 to 25 rose from 8,722 to 60,567.

"The study authors also looked at prescription trends for other medications and found that there was a 3% decrease in the prescription of other drugs for this age category during this same time period," reported CNN, which reviewed the study.

The study specifically analyzed medications such as Ozempic (semaglutide), Trulicity (dulaglutide) and Byetta (exenatide), which are approved to treat type 2 diabetes and can aid in weight loss, as well as Saxenda (liraglutide) and Wegovy (semaglutide). 

The information emerges amid increasing concern about the use of diabetes medications for weight loss, particularly with the popular drug, Ozempic. Although intended for diabetes management, Ozempic has gained popularity as a weight loss solution. 

Some experts argue that medications like Ozempic are a breakthrough in treating obesity in the United States and could transform the perception and management of overweight conditions. However, most Americans believe these medications are not suitable for individuals without weight-related health issues. 

"By contrast, just 12% of those familiar with these drugs say they are good options for people who want to lose weight but do not have a weight-related health condition. A far larger share (62%) say these drugs are not good options for people without a weight-related health condition, while 26% aren’t sure," explained a survey conducted by Pew Research.

In addition, the study warned about the shortage of the drug due to its unauthorized use. Pew Research pointed out, "Demand for Ozempic has led to supply shortages, raising concerns about off-label use and impacting people who rely on these drugs to manage their health conditions."