Celebrities who have used buzzy drugs like Ozempic for weight loss — and who's denied it

Celebrities who have used buzzy drugs like Ozempic for weight loss — and who's denied it
  • In recent years, rumors have swirled around which celebrities may be taking weight loss drugs.

  • Celebrities such as Elon Musk and Whoopi Goldberg have said they have taken the medications.

  • Others, such as Khloe Kardashian, have denied it.

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 2021. Tirzepatide, marketed as Mounjaro for diabetes, is a similar "game-changer" drug, and has been approved for weight loss under the name Zepbound.

Ozempic has become the byword for semaglutide and similar drugs that cause weight loss (known as GLP-1s), regardless of which brand a person is taking or why.

They work by suppressing appetite, but side effects such as muscle loss, nausea, 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.

"Botched" star Terry Dubrow tried Ozempic but said it took "all the joy of eating away."

Terry Dubrow discusses the book "The Dubrow Diet" during Build Brunch at Build Studio on January 21, 2019 in New York City.
"Botched" star Terry Dubrow said he tried Ozempic but gave it up because it "took all the joy of eating away."Roy Rochlin/Getty Images

"Botched" star and plastic surgeon Terry Dubrow told Page Six that he wanted to see what the weight loss drug was like, even though he didn't have much weight to lose.

"So many of my patients were on it, and I wanted to see what it was like when you're not diabetic and you only have 10-15 pounds to lose," he said.

Dubrow called Ozempic "amazing" and "a miracle" but stopped taking it because he wanted to enjoy food again: "I want to be able to eat again because it really took my appetite and all the joy of eating away," Dubrow said.

Former UK prime minister Boris Johnson stopped taking semaglutide because he said it made him feel ill.

Former UK prime minister Boris Johnson walking.
Former British prime minister Boris Johnson.Charles McQuillan-Pool/Getty Images

Former UK prime minister Boris Johnson wrote in the Daily Mail that he asked his doctor about taking semaglutide after he noticed some colleagues were suddenly thinner, who told him he was an "ideal candidate."

"I must have been losing four or five pounds a week — maybe more — when all at once it started to go wrong. I don't know why, exactly. Maybe it was something to do with constantly flying around the world, and changing time zones, but I started to dread the injections, because they were making me feel ill," he wrote.

Johnson decided to stop taking the drugs.

"For now I am back to exercise and willpower, but I look at my colleagues — leaner but not hungrier — and I hope that if science can do it for them, maybe one day it can help me, and everyone else."

Amy Schumer said she took Ozempic but it made her sick.

Amy smiling in a red halter dress in front of a backdrop.
Amy Schumer.Tinseltown/Shutterstock

During an appearance on "Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen" in June 2023, Amy Schumer said she was on Ozempic "like a year ago."

She said she lost weight but it made her so sick that she couldn't play ball with her then 3-year-old son, Gene.

"You're like, 'OK, this isn't livable for me,' but I immediately invested because I'm like, 'Everyone and their mom is gonna try it,'" she said.

Schumer then criticized celebrities who aren't honest about taking weight-loss drugs.

"Everybody (is) lying, everyone's like, 'Oh, smaller portions,' like shut the fuck up, you're on Ozempic or one of those things," she said. "Just be real with the people."

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."

Remi Bader said she tried semaglutide but gained the weight back when she stopped using it.

Remi Bader is seen arriving to the Boohoo X Kourtney Kardashian fashion show during New York Fashion Week
Remi BaderGilbert Carrasquillo/GC Images

Model and TikTok creator Remi Bader said she was prescribed semaglutide because she was pre-diabetic, but began binge-eating again after coming off the drug.

Speaking on the podcast "Not Skinny But Not Fat" in January 2023, Bader said she gained back more weight than she'd lost, Insider's Allan Akhtar reported.

"I was like 'I bet the second I go off I'm going to get starving again,' and I did," Bader said. "My bingeing got so much worse, so then I kind of blamed Ozempic."

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 MuskGilbert 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'DonnellBruce 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."

Kyle Richards said she's not taking semaglutide and finds the rumors "frustrating."

Kyle Richards
Kyle Richards at BravoCon 2022.Cindy Ord/Bravo

Kyle Richards said outright that she is not on weight-loss drugs.

After posting a photo in workout clothes on Instagram on January 5 2023, "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" star received many comments from people speculating she was taking semaglutide.

In response to one person who said she was on Ozempic, Richards said: "do not spread lies. I'm not on ozempic."

Speaking to Extra in February, Richards said she finds the accusations "frustrating."

"I cannot stand people saying that because people that know me know that I'm up every day at like 5, 6 a.m. at the latest… I'm in the gym for two hours," she said. "I really put a lot of effort into my diet and exercise and taking care of myself, so when people like to think I took the easy way out, it's frustrating."

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 as she didn't want to look bigger than her Real Housewives co-stars.

Dolores Catania at a screening of "A Good Person"
Dolores CataniaEvan 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 JosephsAndy 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 FoxRachpoot/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.

Sharon Osbourne felt nauseous while taking the drug.

Sharon Osbourne
Sharon OsbourneMEGA / Contributor/Getty Images

Sharon Osbourne, ex-host of The Talk and wife of Ozzy Osbourne said she took weight loss injections for four months which helped her lose 30 pounds.

Speaking on the UK version of the Talk, Osbourne said that during the first couple of months of taking the drug, she felt nauseous and her stomach was upset.

No longer on the drug, she said she now "eats normally" and hasn't put the weight back on.

Oprah Winfrey said she used weight loss medication but not which type.

Oprah Winfrey attends the 2024 Golden Globes.
Oprah Winfrey attends the 2024 Golden Globes.Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/Getty Images

In December 2023, Oprah said she used weight loss medication, but declined to name which one.

The TV host said she wants to remove the stigma around the drugs.

"I'm absolutely done with the shaming from other people and particularly myself," Winfrey told People. "The fact that there's a medically approved prescription for managing weight and staying healthier, in my lifetime, feels like relief, like redemption, like a gift, and not something to hide behind and once again be ridiculed for."

Whoopi Goldberg said she took Mounjaro after her weight crept up to nearly 300 pounds.

Whoopi Goldberg poses for photos in a striped shirt dress.
Whoopi Goldberg in 2023.Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Tribeca Festival

In March 2024, Whoopi Goldberg told The View that she took Mounjaro after her weight reached nearly 300 pounds while filming the 2022 movie Till.

"One of the things that's helped me drop the weight is Mounjaro, that's what I use," she said.

Goldberg said she hadn't realized how much weight she had gained as it has always yo-yoed.

"I just always felt like me, and then I saw me, and I thought, 'Oh, that's a lot of me,'" Goldberg said.

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