Ingredient in Wegovy and Ozempic linked to rare stomach paralysis cases

  • 2 Min To Read
  • 8 months ago

A recent study involving 16 million people in the US has found a potential link between GLP-1 agonists, such as Ozempic and Wegovy, and serious gastrointestinal conditions. GLP-1 agonists are medications commonly used for weight loss and work by mimicking a hormone that promotes satiety. While these drugs have been used to treat type 2 diabetes for some time, they were only recently approved for obesity treatment, so there is limited knowledge about their long-term side effects.

Researchers at the University of British Columbia analyzed a health database that included 16 million people in the US between 2006 and 2020. They identified 4757 participants with obesity who were prescribed semaglutide or liraglutide, both GLP-1 agonists, for off-label use. These participants were compared to a second group of 654 people prescribed a different weight loss medication.

After adjusting for variables like age, sex, and alcohol use, the researchers found that those using semaglutide or liraglutide had a significantly higher risk of developing rare but serious gastrointestinal conditions compared to those using the other weight loss medication. They had more than double the risk of gastroparesis, also known as stomach paralysis, and triple the risk of intestinal blockage. Additionally, their risk of pancreatitis was eight times higher.

These findings highlight the potential risks associated with GLP-1 agonists for weight loss. While the risks are rare, it is important for people to be aware of them, especially considering the widespread use of these medications. However, it is worth noting that the benefits of these drugs in terms of weight loss and reducing complications of obesity are significant, so a personalized approach with each patient may be necessary.

Novo Nordisk, the pharmaceutical company that manufactures some GLP-1 agonists, including Ozempic and Wegovy, emphasizes patient safety as a top priority. They work closely with the US Food and Drug Administration to monitor the safety profile of their medicines. Gastroparesis and pancreatitis are already listed as potential side effects of these medications.

In conclusion, while GLP-1 agonists have shown effectiveness in weight loss, there may be potential risks of serious gastrointestinal conditions associated with their use. Patients should be informed of these risks, and healthcare professionals should consider a personalized approach when prescribing these medications. Continued monitoring and research are necessary to fully understand the long-term effects of GLP-1 agonists for weight loss.


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