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New findings reveal unexpected advantages of the weight-loss medications Ozempic and Wegovy, shedding light on potential benefits beyond their primary purpose. A recent study showcased at a prominent orthopedic surgeons’ conference suggests that these drugs could offer advantages for patients undergoing hip replacement surgeries without increasing the risk of complications.

The study focused on the use of Ozempic, known scientifically as semaglutide and prescribed primarily for managing difficult-to-control diabetes. Researchers found a significant association between Ozempic usage and a 44% decrease in the likelihood of developing infections at the site of the new joint implantation. Additionally, patients taking Ozempic showed a 32% reduction in the likelihood of hospital readmissions post-surgery, with no notable increase in postoperative complications.

Conducted at a major hospital in New York City, the study analyzed data from 9,465 diabetic patients who underwent total hip replacement surgery, including 1,653 individuals who were prescribed Ozempic. Notably, many of these patients also struggled with obesity, further complicating their medical profiles.

A separate study reinforced the safety of semaglutide, also marketed as Wegovy, for patients undergoing hip replacement. Researchers compared postoperative complication rates among 1,232 obese patients who underwent total hip replacement, half of whom were prescribed Wegovy. Despite closely matching the two groups in terms of age, weight, and risk factors, the study found no increase in postoperative issues such as infection, implant dislocation, reoperation, or lung and heart complications among those using Wegovy.

However, it remains unclear how long patients had been taking Ozempic or Wegovy before their surgeries, highlighting the need for further investigation. Notably, neither study received commercial funding, and while they suggest potential benefits, they do not conclusively prove the safety or protective effects of semaglutide or similar drugs, known as GLP-1 agonists, for these patient populations.

Lead researcher Dr. Matthew Magruder of Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York, emphasized the necessity for high-quality, prospective, randomized controlled trials to definitively determine the recommendation of starting GLP-1 agonists like semaglutide prior to total hip replacement surgeries. Until then, cautious consideration should be exercised regarding the use of these medications in this context.

For most patients however, obtaining these new GLP-1 drugs can prove unreachable, even with a valid prescription.  Most insurers are not covering the costs for these medications resulting in patients paying out of pocket to the tune of $1,000-$1500 per month.  This is not affordable for most people.  Obtaining compounded semaglutide from wellness clinics can be a great solution for many.  It is important to be wary when obtaining compounded medications as the compounding pharmacy regulations are not as strict as your regular pharmacies.  It is important to find a reputable provider who you can trust when seeking medications this way due to scams that are happening.

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