Ozempic (or Semaglutide) is a drug that is usually given – to patients suffering from diabetes. But according to what emerged from a recent investigation by the New York Times, the weight loss it would not be its only effect, on the contrary: many people interviewed by the US newspaper said they had completely lost the desire to drink alcohol, after having undertaken a treatment based on the medicine.
For example, it happened to Eva Monsen, 46, a woman who during the pandemic had drunk up to half a bottle of wine a day. Then, in August 2022, when the endocrinologist prescribed Ozempic to treat her diabetes, something unexpected happened: one day she poured herself a glass, but she felt no pleasure in drinking it. That is, she felt dizzy and nauseous, but she didn’t have the feeling of being “tipped.”
“It’s certainly something I’ve heard from many of my patients, usually in a positive way,” said Dr Robert Gabbaymedical and scientific director of the American Diabetes Association.
According to the investigation, US doctors listened to several other testimonies from diabetic patients, very similar to Monsen’s. People who start taking Ozempic to lose weight and quickly lose the habit of drinking alcohol: some say they feel indifferent at the sight of a glass, others speak of
real disgust for alcohol.
The doctor was asked about the possible side effects of the drug Janice Jin Hwanghead of the division of endocrinology and metabolism at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, according to which GLP-1 receptor agonist drugs – designed to treat obesity – by acting on insulin and blood sugar levels could affect several areas of our brain at the same time, but it is still not entirely clear why the loss of appetite can also extend to the consumption of alcohol.
Luca Pasina, head of the Laboratory of Clinical Pharmacology and Prescriptive Appropriateness of the Mario Negri Irccs Institute, was asked about the case by beraking latest news.
The expert recalled that, at times, the side effects then became the real fortune of the drug itself. As for example in the case of viagra: «Sildenafil had been studied for angina pectoris (pain caused by poor blood flow in the chest, ed), but precisely during the development phase of the drug, it was seen that in male subjects caused an erection”.
From that moment on, the scientific community witnessed the birth of a pharmacological “wild card”: «It was an undesirable effect that was not expected to be observed during the experimentation. Obviously the fact of having discovered it did not immediately lead to a change of indication – Pasina specified – but it did give rise to the hypothesis that sildenafil could also be used for other indications of use. The studies were then conducted which then allowed the use in the dysfunction
erectile. Years later, the indication of sildenafil for pulmonary arterial hypertension also arrived».