Surprising aspect impact from in style weight reduction medicine studied for assist with dependancy remedy

As medicine like Wegovy and Ozempic have turn out to be in style weight reduction instruments, some docs and sufferers are additionally seeing a shocking aspect impact: diminished cravings for alcohol. 

Megan Johnston began taking semaglutide, the lively ingredient in a number of manufacturers of weight reduction medicine, final yr to attempt to drop a few pounds. The 38-year-old Arlington, Virginia, actual property agent mentioned she gained 30 kilos through the pandemic, and was consuming extra too.

“At my check-up final yr I bear in mind telling my physician I used to be consuming upwards of 15 drinks per week,” Johnston informed CBS Information.

She’s severely in the reduction of since then.

“Some weeks, none,” she mentioned of her consuming habits as of late. “Final week was one. Perhaps common three.”

Johnston is amongst many sufferers who’ve reported fewer cravings for alcohol whereas taking semaglutide for weight reduction.

“If it seems that this medicine is protected and efficient for treating dependancy, simply by dint of how many individuals are already taking these medicines for different functions, this could turn out to be actually the biggest and most generally used pharmacotherapy for dependancy drugs that is ever been developed,” mentioned Kyle Simmons, the director of Oklahoma State College’s Biomedical Imaging Middle and a professor of pharmacology and physiology.

Simmons is operating considered one of a number of scientific trials at the moment underway to look at whether or not semaglutide reduces cravings for alcohol.

He says the drug impacts the mind and seems to take away the pleasure obtained from consuming alcohol. However he additionally made it clear, “We simply do not know but whether or not or not the medicine is protected and efficient for the remedy of alcohol use dysfunction.”

As with most medicines, Wegovy and Ozempic additionally include the danger of uncomfortable side effects. The most typical, in line with Ozempic’s web site, are nausea, abdomen ache, constipation, diarrhea and vomiting.

“Continual stomach ache and unpredictable digestive signs similar to nausea, diarrhea, fullness or constipation can take a big toll in your temper and power ranges,” Laurie A. Keefer, a tutorial well being psychologist and the Director for Psychobehavioral Analysis at Mount Sinai’s Division of Gastroenterology, beforehand informed CBS Information.

Rarer however extra severe uncomfortable side effects of Ozempic might embody thyroid tumors, pancreatitis, modifications in imaginative and prescient, hypoglycemia, gallbladder points, kidney failure and most cancers.

It is also unclear how these medicine would possibly have an effect on individuals after long-term use.

The medicine are additionally not low-cost. In 2023, Wegovy was briefly provide and value round $1,300 a month.

Johnston, nonetheless, has been proud of the outcomes.

“I went into it optimistic. Low expectations, and it definitely panned out for me,” she mentioned.

Johnston mentioned she misplaced 45 kilos over seven months and lower her consuming by 75%.

Sara Moniuszko and Cara Korte contributed reporting.  


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