Revealed: Weight loss jabs like Ozempic have been linked to TWENTY deaths in Britain – including person in their 30s – as experts issue new warning

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Slimming jabs like Ozempic and Wegovy have been linked to 20 deaths in Britain, MailOnline can reveal.

None of the fatalities, which have all occurred since 2019, are proven to have been caused directly by the game-changing weight loss injections.

But health chiefs tasked with policing the safety of the jabs admit there is ‘a suspicion’ they may have been to blame. 

One of the deaths was in someone in their 30s.

Experts today warned Brits against buying semaglutide — the powerful ingredient behind the jabs’ weight loss effects — online.

Trish Webster, 56, pictured above with husband Roy, died after using Ozempic to lose some weight before her daughter’s wedding. The mother, from Australia, suffered side effects from the drug

She dropped 35lbs (16kg) over five months as she was trying to slim down for a dress for her daughter's wedding

She dropped 35lbs (16kg) over five months as she was trying to slim down for a dress for her daughter’s wedding

Mrs Webster, pictured above, should still be alive, her husband said. He wants an investigation into her cause of death

Mrs Webster, pictured above, should still be alive, her husband said. He wants an investigation into her cause of death

Fake versions sold for up to £280 a pack have left patients fighting for their lives in comas.

Tam Fry, chairman of the National Obesity Forum, told MailOnline: ‘The latest generation of powerful new obesity drugs are wonderful when used as recommended.

‘Misuse of them by people who buy them either over-the-counter or online simply to lose weight and without a specialist’s prescription, are putting themselves at risk – and that risk could be fatal.’

He added: ‘If you just want to lose a few pounds, either stay on your preferred diet or just don’t eat so much. That will be far safer.’

Causes for eight of the deaths reported to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) were unspecified.

Causes for eight of the deaths reported to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) were unspecified. Four were listed as cardiac arrests. Others included overdoses, cancer and even suicide

Causes for eight of the deaths reported to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) were unspecified. Four were listed as cardiac arrests. Others included overdoses, cancer and even suicide

Four were listed as cardiac arrests. Others included overdoses, cancer and even suicide. 

Another was put down to acetonaemia, also known as ketosis, when the body burns fat for energy instead of glucose.

Men accounted for the majority (13) of the 20 fatalities. Five victims were in their 70s

As well as not being proven to be caused by semaglutide itself, none of the victims were identified.

Last year, however, a 56-year-old mother from Australia was feared to have died from a fatal side effect linked to Ozempic.

Trish Webster was not diabetic but was prescribed the drug off-label to help her lose weight ahead of her daughter’s wedding. 

She lost 35lbs (16kg) on Ozempic and another weight loss drug, while suffering from constant nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.

In January 2023, she collapsed at home with a ‘brown substance’ foaming from her mouth. She died later that evening.

Doctors recorded her cause of death as ‘acute gastrointestinal illness,’ noting Ozempic has been linked to fatal intestine blockages.

Separately, last year the family of an American man, known only as Anthony, also blamed the weight loss jab on his suicide and called for it to carry a warning label for ‘putting these thoughts in his mind’.

His sister said he became uncharacteristically quiet when he started taking Ozempic in February 2023 to manage his type 2 diabetes.

Game-changing injections such as Ozempic and Wegovy, hailed by the likes of Elon Musk and Jeremy Clarkson, are proven to help people lose up to 2st.

Ministers plan to dole the drug to millions of overweight Brits to trim the country’s bulging benefits bill. Children could eventually be given the jabs, too.

Novo Nordisk’s semaglutide – also branded as Rybelsus – tricks the brain into thinking its full, consequently slashing appetite and stopping users from overeating.

Wegovy and Ozempic, which both contain semaglutide, work by triggering the body to produce a hormone called glucagon-like peptide-1 that is released naturally from the intestines after meals

Wegovy and Ozempic, which both contain semaglutide, work by triggering the body to produce a hormone called glucagon-like peptide-1 that is released naturally from the intestines after meals

Despite being hailed as one of the most powerful pharmaceutical tools to date, experts have warned it is not a 'magic pill' or miracle fix all. Trials have shown that users can rapidly pile pounds back on once they stop taking the drug and it can trigger a variety of nasty side effects. Users commonly complain of nausea, constipation and diarrhoea

Despite being hailed as one of the most powerful pharmaceutical tools to date, experts have warned it is not a ‘magic pill’ or miracle fix all. Trials have shown that users can rapidly pile pounds back on once they stop taking the drug and it can trigger a variety of nasty side effects. Users commonly complain of nausea, constipation and diarrhoea

Like any medication, the jabs can have known side effects that vary in both frequency and severity, including nausea, constipation, diarrhoea, fatigue, stomach pain, headaches and dizziness. Some patients have also suffered hair loss while on them.

Some rival pharma companies have also labelled the jabs as indiscriminate drugs because people not only lose weight on them but muscle mass as well.

Health chiefs are also investigating the drugs over fears they may raise the risk of cancer.

Semaglutide’s effects can also run out after just six weeks, while experts have said patients may need to take them for life otherwise they risk ballooning again as soon as they stop.

Every drug has to go through safety trials before being made available to the public.

The 20 fatalities are logged through the yellow card system, set up in the 1960s in the wake of the thalidomide scandal. Officials use the same database to track the safety of Covid vaccines.

It allows doctors, pharmacists and patients themselves to report adverse reactions believed to be caused by prescription and over-the-counter drugs, implants and alternative medicines.

This can lead to them being reviewed, having warnings added to the label or even being taken off the market.

However, a yellow card report – named after the yellow forms initially used in the 1960s — does not prove the product in question was to blame.

The MHRA, which runs the scheme, says: ‘It may be difficult to tell the difference between something that has occurred naturally and an adverse reaction. Sometimes reactions can be part of the condition being treated rather than being caused by a medicine.

Semaglutide, as well as rival drugs liraglutide and tirzepatide, have been hailed as monumental breakthroughs in the war on obesity. But a spike in demand for the jabs, fuelled by celebrity endorsements, has also seen global stocks run low

Semaglutide, as well as rival drugs liraglutide and tirzepatide, have been hailed as monumental breakthroughs in the war on obesity. But a spike in demand for the jabs, fuelled by celebrity endorsements, has also seen global stocks run low 

A second 2022 study by researchers at the University of Liverpool also found patients who used the drug dropped 18 percent of their body weight after using it for 68 weeks. But, after dropping the weekly injections, users would put back on two-thirds of the weight within the next year

A second 2022 study by researchers at the University of Liverpool also found patients who used the drug dropped 18 percent of their body weight after using it for 68 weeks. But, after dropping the weekly injections, users would put back on two-thirds of the weight within the next year 

‘Many factors have to be considered when assessing whether a medicine has caused a reported adverse drug reaction.’

Authorities track the database closely to spot any ‘potential patterns of concern’.

Similar issues surrounding blood clots caused by AstraZeneca’s Covid vaccine were found months into the historic immunisation drive.

MailOnline found over 7,200 serious adverse reactions to semaglutide have been logged by the MHRA since it burst onto the scene and ushered in a new era in the war on obesity.

According to the drug watchdog’s 41-page document of adverse reactions for semaglutide, 7,254 reports of reactions have been logged since January 1, 2019.

More than half (3,819) cited gastrointestinal disorders, including 1,623 with nausea and vomiting symptoms and 286 with abdominal pain.

Over 700 were for nervous system disorders, while 238 psychiatric disorders, including 36 suicidal behaviours and 33 mood alterations, were also noted.

One report of a miscarriage, known medically as ‘spontaneous abortion’, and four pulmonary embolisms — when a blood clot blocks a blood vessel in the lungs — were also logged.

A Novo Nordisk spokesperson told MailOnline: ‘Patient safety is of the utmost importance to Novo Nordisk. We continuously collect safety data on our marketed GLP-1 RA medicines and work closely with the authorities to ensure patient safety.

‘As part of this work we continue to monitor reports of adverse drug reactions through routine pharmacovigilance.

‘The safety profile of our GLP-1 medicines is supported by data collected from large clinical trial programs and post-marketing surveillance.’

They added: ‘At this time Novo Nordisk assesses that the benefit-risk balance of our GLP-1 RA containing products remains unchanged, and we continue to monitor reports closely.

‘We also recommend patients take these medications for their approved indications and under the supervision of a healthcare professional.’

Professor Naveed Sattar, an expert in cardiometabolic medicine at the University of Glasgow, pointed to clinical trial data involving over 17,000 people that showed semaglutide lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease by around a fifth.

While the trial ‘was not powered to provide definitive evidence of this’, it also saw a ‘lower risk of a number of other complications’, he told MailOnline.

He added: ‘These are the best and more appropriate data that regulators like NICE would wish to see to inform on drugs.

‘Such trials don’t exist for all drugs but where they do, we should use them as the best evidence possible.’

Latest NHS data shows 26 per cent of adults in England are obese and a further 38 per cent are overweight but not obese.

Obesity also takes a massive financial toll in the UK, with the resulting health consequences on loss working years, care costs, and price of NHS treatment costing the economy an estimated £100billion per year.

Experts have pointed to a lack of exercise, and poor diets high in ultra-processed food, as being key drivers in the UK’s obesity epidemic.

Ozempic and Rybelsus are currently only available on the NHS as a treatment for managing blood glucose levels in people with type 2 diabetes.

Ozempic’s dramatic slimming effects saw doctors and pharmacists dish it out ‘off-label’ for people wanting to lose weight. However, officials urged against doing so because of supply issues, warning it put diabetics lives at risk.

Wegovy was approved last year, specifically for weight loss.

A month’s supply is available privately in Boots and Superdrug for around £200. Eligibility criteria for people wanting the get the drug on the NHS is strict.

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