GLP-1 Drugs Ozempic and Wegovy Not Linked to Increased Risk of Suicidal Thoughts


A large new study suggests that Ozempic and Wegovy don’t increase the risk of suicidal thoughts, a potential side effect that has prompted regulatory investigations in the United States and Europe.

Both drugs contain the same active ingredient, semaglutide, and are in a family of medicines known as GLP-1 receptor agonists, which can help control blood sugar levels and reduce hunger. Regulators in the United States, Europe, and the United Kingdom have said they’re investigating cases of suicidal thoughts (also called suicidal ideation) reported in some people who took Ozempic, Wegovy, and other GLP-1 drugs.

In the new study of more than 1.8 million U.S. patients, however, people on Wegovy and Ozempic had a 49 percent to 73 percent lower risk of suicidal thoughts than individuals who were taking other medicines for weight loss or type 2 diabetes, according to results published January 5 in Nature Medicine.

“These findings signal preliminary evidence for the safety of semaglutide for those with mental health conditions, who may be at greater risk of experiencing harm from side effects that cause suicidal thoughts,” says the senior study author, Rong Xu, PhD, the director of the center for artificial intelligence in drug discovery at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.


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