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Celebrities who have used buzzy weight loss drug Ozempic — and who's denied it

www.Insider.com | Rachel Hosie and Amber Middleton

Ozempic and Wegovy are both forms of semaglutide, a drug originally developed for diabetes.


Ozempic/Semaglutide

Ozempic (semaglutide) is a once-weekly injection. OEL SAGET/AFP via Getty Images

Ozempic and Wegovy are the brand names used by the drug manufacturer, Novo Nordisk. Semaglutide was FDA-approved to treat obesity in 2021Tirzepatide, marketed as Mounjaro, is a similar "game-changer" drug, and is yet to be approved for weight loss but can be used off-label for this purpose.

Ozempic has become the byword for semaglutide and similar drugs that cause weight loss, regardless of which brand a person is taking or why.

They work by suppressing appetite, but side effects such as muscle lossnausea, and diarrhea have been reported, and it's common to regain the weight after stopping treatment.

There have been shortages of the drugs as people clamor to get their hands on them, and while some celebrities have been open about using the medications, others have denied it amid speculation. 

Charles Barkley said he lost 62 pounds on Mounjaro.


Charles Barkley in November 2022 (left) and May 2023.

Charles Barkley in November 2022 (left) and May 2023. Prince Williams/Wireimage, Megan Briggs/Getty Images

NBA star Charles Barkley said he lost over 60 pounds in six months after taking Ozempic competitor Mounjaro, also known as tirzepatide, while eating healthily and exercising.

Speaking on "The Pat McAfee Show" in May, the 60-year-old said he started at 352 pounds and now weighs 290, and he hopes to reach 270 pounds.

"It's been great, I'm starting to feel like a human being not a fat-ass anymore," Barkley said, adding that his motivation is to live longer.

"It's been amazing," he said. "My doctor, she is amazing. I know a lot of people take Ozempic, but my doctor prefers Mounjaro."

Elon Musk said semaglutide helped him get "fit, ripped, and healthy."


Elon Musk greets onlookers with both hands waving, at the 2022 Met Gala

Elon Musk Gilbert Carrasquillo/GC Images

Business magnate Elon Musk said his weight loss was down to "fasting" and "Wegovy."

In October 2022, Musk wrote on Twitter that he was taking the brand of semaglutide, Insider's Anna Miller reported.

Chelsea Handler said she was on semaglutide without realizing it.


Chelsea in a black lace gown in front of a Grammys backdrop.

Chelsea Handler in 2022. Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Comedian Chelsea Handler said she took semaglutide without knowing what it was.

Speaking on the "Call Her Daddy" podcast in January 2023, Handler said her "anti-aging doctor just hands it out to anybody."

"I didn't even know I was on it," Handler said. "She said, 'If you ever want to drop five pounds, this is good.'"

When Handler told a friend who was also taking the drug that she felt nauseous and was taking something called semaglutide, the friend told her that semaglutide is Ozempic.

Handler said she stopped using the drug.

Khloe Kardashian responded to accusations that she takes weight loss drugs by saying she's been working out for years.


Khloe in an off the shoulder brown dress with a print of faces.

Khloe Kardashian. SHEIN X 100K Challenge 2021/Getty Images

In January 2023, Khloe Kardashian posted an image of herself on the cover of Sorbet magazine on Instagram.

One person commented saying, "The fact she uses dibetic [sic] medication to get this skinny is disturbing," Buzzfeed reported.

Kardashian responded: "Let's not discredit my years of working out. I get up 5 days a week at 6am to train. Please stop with your assumptions. I guess new year still means mean people." 

Rosie O'Donnell said tirzepatide helped her lose 10 pounds and stop thinking about food.


Rosie O'Donnell in a red blazer

Rosie O'Donnell Bruce Glikas/WireImage/Getty

In January 2023, comedian Rosie O'Donnell said she had lost 10 pounds since Christmas by taking tirzepatide and drinking less soda.  

O'Donnell said in a series of TikTok videos that her appetite significantly decreased and she spends less time thinking about food, Insider's Gabby Landsverk reported.

"I'd say it feels like freedom. Freedom from intrusive thoughts about food, about what you're eating," she said. "I think it's fantastic."

Crystal Kung Minkoff said she's thought about taking semaglutide.


Crystal Kung Minkoff poses on the red carpet.

Crystal Kung Minkoff attends the 2022 People's Choice Awards at Barker Hangar on December 06, 2022 in Santa Monica, California. Frazer Harrison/WireImage

Referring to taking semaglutide, Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Crystal Kung Minkoff told Page Six: "Of course I've thought about it."

But she said as someone who has struggled with an eating disorder her whole life "it's not a good place for me, personally for my recovery."

She told Page Six that she'd always looked for things to "fix it" for her, but added that she's currently in a "really good place" with her eating disorder recovery.

Dolores Catania took Mounjaro after didn't want to look bigger than her Real Housewives co-stars.


Dolores Catania at a screening of "A Good Person"

Dolores Catania Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

Real Housewives of New Jersey's Dolores Catania said she took Mounjaro on Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen, saying that she wanted to tell the truth about her experiences.

Catania "got on the bandwagon" as she didn't want to come to the RHONJ reunion looking bigger than any of her castmates. She added she did also have a trainer.

Her only side effect was a lack of hunger, she told Cohen.

RHONJ's Margaret Josephs said she is happy to admit she uses a weight-loss drug.


Margaret Josephs at the Angel Ball in October 2022

Margaret Josephs Andy Kropa/Invision/AP

Real Housewives of New Jersey star Margaret Josephs revealed to Insider in March that she also takes a weight loss drug but didn't specify which GLP-1 agonist she was taking.

She said she lost 22 pounds since starting a new "wellness regime" of peptides, hormone-replacement pellets, and a GLP-1, and now takes the weight loss drug to maintain her current weight.

Josephs maintains that the drug she is taking is not intended for diabetes patients and said it doesn't come from the same company as the diabetes drugs do.

Julia Fox said she's not taking Ozempic and never has been.


Julia Fox

Julia Fox Rachpoot/Bauer-Griffin / Contributor/Getty Images

Actress and model, Julia Fox has denied taking Ozempic during an interview with Entertainment Tonight.

The Uncut Gems star said: "All these people are coming for me saying that I take the weight loss things... people are saying that I'm taking Ozempic or whatever it's called." 

Fox said that she's not on the medication and never has been. "I would never do that. There are diabetics that need it," she said.

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