The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns against going to compounding pharmacies for generic versions of semaglutide, the active ingredient in Wegovy and Ozempic.

Compound drugs can mix, combine, or alter ingredients to create drugs that are tailored to the needs of individual patients. Medicines can be compounded when there is a shortage of FDA-approved drugs, as is the case with Wegovy and Ozempic, the FDA said.

But the FDA has raised concerns that patients may experience unexpected side effects with compound semaglutide, which can be made with salt-based forms of semaglutide other than the active ingredient in Wegovy and Ozempic.

Patients should be aware that some products sold as semaglutide may not contain the same active ingredient as FDA-approved semaglutide products and may be saline formulations, the FDA said in a statement. Products containing these salts, such as semaglutide sodium and semaglutide acetate, have not been shown to be safe and effective.

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