natasha robinson she has long struggled with high glucose, insulin, and A1C levels, which caused her to gain weight and become extremely fatigued. For several years, the 37-year-old man from Dallas was on diabetes medication. metformin but i didn’t see any progress. So, as someone who works in higher education and has in-laws who are pharmacists, Robinson took matters into her own hands and researched better alternatives.
He eventually came across Ozempic and suggested it to his doctor.
Ozempic is an FDA-approved prescription medication, which is injected into the thigh, stomach, or arm, and is typically used to help lower blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes. It is the brand name for semaglutide , which stimulates insulin production and also targets areas of the brain that regulate appetite, according to the FDA.
With his doctor’s approval, Robinson began taking Ozempic in January 2022 and is now opening up to PEOPLE about the reality of taking the drug for the past year.
“I was a little nervous, to be honest, because I don’t like needles. So the idea of giving myself a shot was pretty scary,” she tells PEOPLE. “But I started taking the medication to try to get my body to do what it was supposed to do: correctly use the insulin that my body was making.”
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Taking the medication was quite an adjustment for Robinson. At first, he dealt with a lot of nausea, a common side effect of Ozempic. However, the side effects lessened over the months.
“The nausea was pretty strong at first,” he explains. “I always inject at night and around noon the next day I would start to feel very tired and nauseous. That would last for maybe two days and then I would feel much better and actually have a little more energy than before. “. I had it before.”
“Now, I’ll have a few bouts of nausea, but it’s certainly not at all like it was for the first month where I would constantly feel nauseous for several days,” she adds.
Robinson also noted that although the number on the scale did not concern her, she began to lose weight after about a month on the drug.
“I noticed right away that my cheekbones were showing through a bit more,” she explains. “One morning I woke up and said to my husband, ‘Do I have bruises?’ Because he had this little area that showed on my cheeks and looked like little bruises. That was really my first indication that something was changing.”
Robinson’s change in his face could be the result of another common side effect, called “Ozempic Face”, where weight loss reduces inflammation in key areas of the face and volume is lost.
By October, the mother of two dropped 52 pounds. and her health had improved significantly in the areas her doctor expected.
“My blood work really shows a major change in inflammation markers and my insulin and glucose,” he says, noting that he has much more energy. “I feel so much better than before and I just didn’t realize how difficult life was getting before.”
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Despite the progress in his health, there is one lingering factor that worries Robinson: the cost of Ozempic.
Robinson currently spends $24.99 per month on Ozempic, which he says he doesn’t have a problem with. However, without his monthly coupon, his prescription would cost $175 per month, and without his insurance coverage, he would be spending more than $1,000 per month.
There are currently no generic forms of Ozempic and the average retail cost without insurance it can range from $1,205 to $1,368.
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Robinson says she is “terrified” that she might not be able to get her drug anymore, as her insurance company will soon require prior authorization for Ozempic, a problem faced by many others as well.
“It’s a lifelong medication. Your body suddenly doesn’t remember how to use insulin correctly or how to become more sensitive to insulin. So I expected to be on a lower dose for my entire life,” he says, noting that it’s already there. thinking of ways to get her medication if something happens.
“I would probably order it from Canada if my doctor was willing to write me a prescription,” he admits. “Because $250 or $300 is much more reasonable than $2,000, or any high amount without the coverage.”
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Robinson explains that while there are people who have taken Ozempic due to an online fad, she and many others are heavily dependent on the drug.
“I think the more we talk about obesity, diabetes, insulin resistance, and PCOS, the more people learn that it’s not always about laziness,” he says. “There’s a misconception that you’re being lazy if you have health problems and can’t lose weight. But sometimes it’s a lot more complicated than people think.”
Robinson, who has also been sharing his experience in social mediatells PEOPLE that it’s important that fans know about the options available for their medical needs and feel comfortable creating a plan with their doctors that will improve their health.
She adds that despite some misinformation that may come from recent trends involving Ozempic, she’s glad these talks are happening because they can help other people like her. Ozempic, and other similar injections like Wegovy Y nun – has recently been trending on social media and in Hollywood circles, as some people have used it to lose weight, even when not medically necessary.
“Celebrities aren’t really helping when they talk about drugs they took for a short period of time or accidentally took (misinformation is not good), but the fact that we can have more conversations about these drugs, I don’t think that’s a bad thing,” says Robinson.
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