Now Ozempic patients say they’re going BALD while on fat-loss shot — amid concerns about the drug’s growing list of side effects
- Patients on the drugs say their hair is starting to fall out in clumps in the shower
- Doctors say this is being caused by rapid weight loss rather than the drugs
- READ MORE: The bizzarre side effects of Ozempic REVEALED: Vivid dreams
Patients using the blockbuster weight-loss drugs Ozempic and Wegovy say their hair has started to fall out in clumps.
An American TikToker who lost 60lbs while on Ozempic was among those to reveal that her hairline had receded, which she is now covering up with makeup.
Another patient was so horrified after suffering hair loss she said that she would rather be ‘fat and able to hide behind my hair than skinny with bald spots’.
Hair loss is not listed as a side effect of Ozempic. For Wegovy, the side effect showed up in clinical trials in three percent of patients on the drug compared to one percent on the placebo.
Ozempic and Wegovy have already been linked to a host of other nasty side effects, including vivid dreams of Oprah Winfrey riding a go-kart, suddenly being repulsed by ground beef and losing muscle at an ‘alarming rate’.
An American woman on Mounjaro, who calls herself ‘theegeriatricmillennial’ on TikTok, said her hair was falling out in clumps when she brushed it or showered
Wegovy and Ozempic both use the same drug, semaglutide, which suppresses appetite to trigger weight loss. Wegovy, however, uses a higher dose than Ozempic.
Doctors are not clear on exactly what is causing the hair loss, but some medics say that this can be triggered after rapid weight loss.
A temporary thinning of the hair — termed telogen effluvium — can be triggered by rapid weight loss disrupting hormones or leading to resources being directed away from the hair, they said.
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This causes hair follicles to suddenly switch to the resting, or telogen, phase of their growth cycle — causing hair to fall out.
But doctors point out that the loss is temporary, adding that new hairs will start growing at a later time.
Temporary hair loss can appear about three months after rapid weight loss, medics say, and may take up to six months to resolve.
Novo Nordisk, behind Ozempic and Wegovy, has not responded to requests for comment.
Hair loss has also been recorded in patients receiving another drug, Mounjaro, to help them lose weight.
This uses a different drug, tirzepatide, which acts on the same receptors as semaglutide as well as a separate group. It also suppresses feelings of hunger to help patients lose weight.
Eli Lilly, which is behind the drug, says that hair loss was recorded in clinical trials of this drug but that it was generally short-lived.
Among patients who reported hair loss on Ozempic was Becca, from the US, who had lost 40lbs while on the drug.
She said in a TikTok video: ‘I feel like my hairline has definitely receded a little bit or just gotten like a little bit thinned out.’
She said that she now fills out her hairline before going out to obscure the fact that it has receded slightly.
Other patients affected include a woman on Mounjaro who uses the moniker ‘theegeriatricmillennial’ and is based in the US.
In a TikTok video, she said: ‘We need to talk about hair loss.
‘My whole life I had a thick and luxurious head of hair.
‘[But over] the last month I have lost so much hair.’
She added: ‘I know it’s to be expected when you have a rapid weight loss… um… but the rate at which it’s falling out is terrifying.’
‘I would rather be fat and be able to hide behind my beautiful hair than be skinny and have bald spots.’
Another patient called Becca, from the US, revealed on TikTok that she had lost 60lbs while on Ozempic.
Amanda Staffor, from Kentucky, who is also using Mounjaro, posted a video online where she held up a clump of hair saying that this had fallen out of her hair while she was in the shower. She said this keeps happening, which ‘adds up’ over time
Becca, from the US, also said that she has suffered from hair loss after losing 60lbs while on Ozempic. She said it had caused her hairline to recede
Amanda Staffor, from Kentucky, who is also using Mounjaro, similarly posted pictures of herself online holding clumps of her own hair.
She said: ‘But, this, yeah, that is how much hair I’m losing every time I shower, and you can imagine that adds up.
‘I need to know, does anyone else have this problem? Do you take any supplements for it? Do you have any suggestions? Somebody help me, I don’t wanna lose all my hair.’
More than five million Americans received a prescription for Ozempic in 2022, data shows, compared to 230,000 in 2019.
And the number is only growing, with more than 373,000 prescriptions filed in the last week of February alone, double the number from the same time last year. Analysts say more than half of these were new.
Texas, Florida, California, New York and Georgia are the states where it is most common for patients to receive a new prescription to the drugs.
In clinical trials for Wegovy, results showed that about three percent of patients said they had experienced hair loss.
For comparison, in the group receiving the placebo, this was as low as one percent.
Eli Lilly, the pharmaceutical company behind Mounjaro, said in a statement to NBC News that hair loss was recorded in clinical trials of Mounjaro but that it was generally short-lived.
‘Hair loss is a side effect that has been associated with significant weight loss in many previous clinical trials for obesity treatment,’ a spokesman said.
Novo Nordisk, behind Ozempic and Wegovy, did not respond to requests for comment.
Dr Susan Massick, a dermatologist at Ohio State University who has prescribed the drugs to patients, said: ‘What is really striking for folks is that there are no scalp symptoms.
‘It doesn’t hurt, there’s no itching, but you can run your hands through your hair and you have a handful of hair. It can be really disconcerting to see that.’
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