Alarming Study Reveals Dangers of Popular Medication Ozempic

Alarming Study Reveals Dangers of Popular Medication Ozempic

( – Researchers studying the diabetes drug Ozempic, which manages appetite and the level of blood sugar in a patient, have found that its off-label use for weight loss may be causing severe side effects.

The pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk developed Ozempic using a hormone present in the human body, GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide 1). The active molecule in GLP-1, semaglutide, stimulates the secretion of insulin to give a sense of being full after eating a smaller-than-usual portion. The patient no longer feels hungry and, most often, will discontinue eating.

According to Trillian Health, an analytics company, since the FDA approved Ozempic (2017) and Wegovy (2021), another drug using semaglutide, used for weight loss in the U.S. has increased by 300 percent between 2020 and 2022.

As the use for weight loss has increased, researchers have identified several possible side effects that are very concerning. Studies have described stomach issues including diarrhea, vomiting, and heartburn, as seen on the drug labels. More severe problems have also shown cases of biliary disease, gastroparesis, pancreatitis, bowel obstructions, or stomach paralysis.

The International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy published a study that revealed a concern regarding the psychiatric side effects of semaglutide, which include suicidal thoughts, anxiety, and depression. The Saudi Arabian University of Jeddah associate professor, Mansour Tobaiqy, an author of the study, said that doctors must assess their patients’ mental issues prior to prescribing these drugs.

Hajer Elkout, co-author, and Tobaiqy investigated the side effects reported by EudraVigilance, the European Medicines Agency’s medical reporting system. They analyzed all the reported cases of side effects that were associated with semaglutide during the two and a half years between 2021 and 2023.

During this time, there were over 31,000 adverse side effects, with 481 cases of severe psychiatric issues. Women’s cases were 65 percent, and men were 29 percent. But the fatalities for men, eight of nine, were from successful suicides and depression. Tobaiqy stated that more research should be completed, but doctors must take into account the patient’s mental health before using these drugs.

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