Fat jabs should be used only to treat obesity or diabetes and not abused by holidaymakers trying to get ‘beach-body ready’, the nation’s top doctor has said.

Professor Sir Stephen Powis, medical director at NHS England, warned the drugs can be dangerous and were not a ‘quick fix’ for people who ‘just want to lose a few pounds’.

His intervention comes amid growing concern about the number of normal weight and underweight patients seeking care at A&E after the jabs caused serious side-effects.

In some cases, the users are even thought to have eating disorders. Many are young girls.

It is understood Britons are obtaining jabs from private beauty clinics or online pharmacies after completing a simple questionnaire with few checks.

Professor Sir Stephen Powis (pictured), medical director at NHS England, warned the drugs can be dangerous and were not a ¿quick fix¿ for people who ¿just want to lose a few pounds¿

Professor Sir Stephen Powis (pictured), medical director at NHS England, warned the drugs can be dangerous and were not a ‘quick fix’ for people who ‘just want to lose a few pounds’

An Ozempic injection pen. The jabs are available on the NHS for patients who meet strict criteria but can also be bought privately on prescription, along with other brands

An Ozempic injection pen. The jabs are available on the NHS for patients who meet strict criteria but can also be bought privately on prescription, along with other brands

The drug semaglutide, which suppresses appetite, was initially used to treat diabetes under the brand name Ozempic. But a higher-dose version, sold as Wegovy, has been marketed as a treatment for obesity after studies showed it could help people lose 15 per cent of their body weight in 68 weeks. The jabs are available on the NHS for patients who meet strict criteria but can also be bought privately on prescription, along with other brands.

Speaking at the NHS ConfedExpo conference in Manchester yesterday, Sir Stephen said: ‘We know these new drugs will be a powerful part of our arsenal dealing with obesity – but they should not be abused.

‘Buying medication online without a doctor’s supervision can lead to complications and dangerous consequences. Drugs including Ozempic and Wegovy should only be used by people prescribed them for obesity or diabetes. I’m worried about reports that people are misusing them – they are not intended as a quick fix for people trying to get “beach-body ready”.’

Dr Vicky Price, a consultant in acute medicine and president-elect of the Society for Acute Medicine, said she had seen an influx of young girls in A&E suffering side-effects from the drugs. She added: ‘Almost every shift I’ve done recently has seen a complication from a young girl taking the new weight-loss drugs that they’ve bought from an online pharmacy. None have been overweight.’

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