Weighing the Benefits of Off-Label Weight Loss Medicine and Weight Loss Surgery

Mar 10, 2023

Doctors are increasingly prescribing diabetes drugs off-label to help people lose weight. The drugs, under the brand names Ozempic®, Wegovy® and Mounjaro®, cost about $1,000 per month for fast weight loss by curbing appetites. They are especially popular among celebrities and social media influencers. Off-label prescribing is legal.

An immediate downside is, according to reports, people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes who are prescribed these medicines are having a harder time finding them since they have become more mainstream. There are also reports of people who stop taking the drug for weight loss normally gain weight back, and in some cases, more weight than they had originally.

For someone overweight, losing weight has immediate health benefits. It leads to a longer life, lowers blood pressure, lowers the chance of heart disease, lowers cholesterol, lowers the chance of being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and for stroke, among other benefits.

For someone struggling with weight loss and considering weight loss surgery - is taking these drugs recommended?

abraham-betancourt-200x300“I think the new medications (like Ozempic®) are promising and add a new resource to the already available tools to treat obesity, saying that it should be used under supervision by a multidisciplinary team to assess the patient who does not respond and benefit from other approaches. Obesity is a disease like cancer and as such sometimes needs a comprehensive approach that include sometimes surgery, medication and lifestyle changes (dietary and physical activity),” said Dr. Abraham Betancourt, a general and bariatric surgeon, on-staff at Good Samaritan Medical Center.

Dr. Abraham Betancourt is a gastrointestinal and bariatric surgeon with nearly 20-years of experience in practicing patient-centered medicine. His practice has focused on people who sometimes feel most vulnerable in the healthcare world, including patients facing chronic morbid obesity. Dr. Abraham Betancourt is a bariatric and general surgeon with the Palm Beach Digital Surgery Institute, a general surgery and robotic surgery practice focused on providing minimally invasive treatment options and care for patients suffering from colorectal disease, endometriosis, hernia and life-threatening obesity. Dr. Betancourt is on-staff at Good Samaritan Medical Center in West Palm Beach.

In addition, Dr. Betancourt is fluent in Spanish, his native language and English. At Palm Beach Digital Surgery Institute, Dr. Betancourt is available to discuss weight-loss surgery options. Both the gastric bypass and gastric sleeve, weight loss surgeries, as well as revision lap-band surgery are available at Good Samaritan Medical Center in West Palm Beach.

Palm Beach Digital Surgery Institute is located in the Victor Farris Building adjacent to Good Samaritan Medical Center at 1411 N. Flagler Drive, Suite 8900, West Palm Beach, FL 33401. For more information visit palmbeachdigitalsurgeryinstitute.com or call 561-227-9238. Find information on bariatric surgery at Good Samaritan Medical Center by visiting goodsamaritanmc.com/services/bariatric-surgery or call (866)-306-2225.

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