Weight loss drugs increase risk of stomach issues

  • 2 Min To Read
  • 9 months ago

A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association has found that individuals taking popular weight loss medications such as Ozempic, Wegovy, and Rybelsus are at a higher risk for experiencing stomach and intestinal issues compared to those taking a weight loss drug approved in 2014 called Contrave. The study reveals that individuals taking glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists, which include the aforementioned medications, were nine times more likely to develop pancreatitis, a painful inflammation of the pancreas, when compared to individuals taking Contrave.

Furthermore, the study found that individuals taking GLP-1 receptor agonists were over four times more likely to experience a bowel obstruction, which can cause symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, cramping, and bloating. They were also more than three-and-a-half times more likely to develop stomach paresis, a condition where food becomes blocked in the stomach, leading to symptoms like nausea, vomiting, and stomach pain.

The researchers behind the study emphasize that their findings are not intended to discourage individuals from using these weight loss medications, but rather to increase awareness of the potential risks associated with them. By understanding these risks, individuals can make informed decisions about whether the benefits of these medications outweigh the potential adverse outcomes.

The study also highlights the relatively low occurrence of these adverse events, with individuals taking these medications having a 1% to 2% chance of experiencing them. Despite the rarity of these events, the authors argue that individuals considering the use of GLP-1 receptor agonists for weight loss should still take these risks into account.

It is worth noting that individuals using GLP-1 receptor agonists for diabetes treatment may be more willing to accept these risks due to the potential advantages these medications offer in terms of reducing the risk of heart problems. However, individuals who are otherwise healthy and solely using these medications for weight loss may want to be more cautious when weighing the risk-benefit equation.

While this is not the first report of gastrointestinal issues associated with these weight loss medications, it is one of the largest studies conducted on the topic. The FDA also recently announced that it would require drugmakers to include a warning about intestinal blockages on the label of Ozempic, one of the medications included in the study.

Overall, the study provides valuable information about the potential risks associated with GLP-1 receptor agonists used for weight loss. However, it is important for individuals to consult with their healthcare providers to fully understand the risks and benefits of these medications based on their individual circumstances.


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