GLP-1 Side Effects? GNC Launches New Support Program

GLP-1 agonists — or glucagon-like peptide 1 agonists — are medications used to treat type 2 diabetes, obesity, and, most recently, to reduce the risk of major cardiovascular events. They are all the rage in the United States, causing shortages of several drugs as demand continues to increase.

Now, a popular health and wellness company, GNC, is jumping on the train to bolster sales. Instead of selling weight loss drugs, however, GNC is assisting those on medications, including Ozempic, Wegovy, and Zepbound, with the common side effects caused by these drugs.

The company announced Monday that it is the world's first major retailer to establish an entire section dedicated to assisting GLP-1 users in managing the common side effects and challenges associated with the treatment.

Estimates suggest that roughly 130 million Americans currently live with a condition eligible to be treated with a GLP-1 agonist and that up to 70 million Americans may use these drugs by 2028. However, more than 50% of GLP-1 users discontinue treatment within the first year, and side effects are one of the main reasons.

As a result, going forward, GNC stores will include a section that features products to support gastrointestinal health, given that some of the most common side effects of GLP-1 drugs include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation.

The loss of muscle mass and bone density is also a noted side effect, so GNC stores will offer products to help improve nutritional supplements and protein intake.

One of the main effects of taking GLP-1 drugs is reduced appetite, which can result in a decrease in nutrient intake. GNC says it is, therefore, providing a vast selection of multivitamins that can help fill in the gaps.

The company says its coaches have also completed training related to the common side effects experienced by GLP-1 agonist users. They’ll receive ongoing training from GNC's team of in-house Registered Dietitians and science experts.

The retailer is also offering online advice for those taking these drugs. GNC says it has also engaged researchers and practicing clinicians with expertise in this consumer need to help offer the most benefits to GLP-1 users. It is also conducting regular consultations with medical experts at Revive Health, which powers GNC Health, to “remain ahead of the curve and reach GLP-1 users with the information they need.”

GNC’s new “support section” will be featured in all 2,300-plus GNC locations across the U.S.

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