Research shows Ozempic can help curb alcohol abuse

The latest weight loss craze could also help people curb their drinking.

Semaglutide treatments such as Ozempic and Wegovy have been shown to reduce symptoms of alcohol use disorder (AUD), according to a study published Nov. 27 in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.

A collaborative study from the University of Oklahoma (OU) and Oklahoma State University (OSU) found that six patients receiving semaglutide for weight loss experienced “significant and worthwhile” improvements in Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) scores. A decline in attention.”

The study’s lead author, Dr. Jesse Richards, chief of obesity medicine and assistant professor of medicine at OU-TU College of Community Medicine, said the study was inspired by his work with OSU Center for Pharmacology and Physiology professor A conversation with Dr. Kyle Simmons. Health Sciences.

“I’ve heard from many patients that their alcohol intake is between [they were] Richards told Fox Digital News.

As an employee of a bariatric surgery clinic, Richards pointed out the standards it uses to screen patients for alcohol use.

The study found that six patients receiving weight loss treatment had a decrease in Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) scores. Associated Press

At the clinic, some patients tested positive for drinking, sometimes in alarming amounts.

Later, while taking the drug semaglutide, they reported reduced alcohol intake.

One Richards patient, who previously drank large amounts of alcohol, was now unable to drink more than two cans of beer because “it didn’t sound good.”

After taking the drug semaglutide, a patient who used to drink beer began to think alcohol “sounds bad.” Getty Images

This reaction piqued Richards’ interest in learning more about his patients’ aversion to alcohol, which was directly relevant to his research.

Research shows this effect is “mediated through adjustments in the brain’s reward pathways,” he said.

“GLP-1 actually changes dopamine, reducing craving and motivation for things in the compulsive intake category.”

The most surprising conclusion of the study, Richards said, was that the same dramatic therapeutic response was seen even at very low doses.

“We found that even patients taking the lowest dose of semaglutide (a quarter of a milligram) had significant and relatively rapid reductions in alcohol intake,” he said.

All but one of the six patients in the study were given low doses of one-quarter to half a milligram.

“This is very encouraging because we know that lower doses of these drugs are much better tolerated,” Richards said.

While the results look promising, the doctor said he does not currently recommend that patients use semaglutide to treat alcohol use disorder due to supply and safety concerns.

“If the patient has [obesity and diabetes] “They understand the indications for the medication and are also struggling with alcohol intake and may benefit from receiving this treatment,” Richards said.

Due to drug shortages and lack of long-term data, taking Ozempic specifically to treat alcoholism may not be recommended. NurPhoto from Getty Images

“But because of the global shortage of drugs and because we don’t have prospective trials and don’t know what the specific safety profile is compared to the established safety data in obesity and diabetes, [I] It would not be recommended only for patients with AUD. “

Doctors note that three medications approved by the FDA to treat alcohol use disorder are currently underutilized.

Given that 5 million people in the United States are currently taking the drugs semaglutide, if these drugs are shown to have a significant effect on alcohol use disorders, “by default they will become the most widely used drugs to improve these symptoms, simply because A lot of people take them because of diabetes or obesity,” Richards noted.

Trials are ongoing to gather more information about weight loss drugs and their effects on alcohol intake. UCG/Universal Images Group via G

He confirmed that more research is underway in two ongoing trials.

“Because we were able to show clinically meaningful reductions in alcohol intake and AUD symptoms in a real-world setting, this bodes well for this class of drugs,” he said.

Going forward, Richard said higher quality evidence was needed on the drug’s impact on the Australian dollar compared to placebo drugs or environmental factors.

People who struggle with alcohol use should talk to their healthcare provider. Getty Images

While it’s unclear whether GLP-1 manufacturers will market the drug to AUD patients in the future, Richards said “it may become an established medical practice once safety and efficacy are established.”

For patients with AUD, Richards recommends they talk to their health care provider about available treatments.

He also reminds patients that if they have a reduced appetite and typically consume “a lot of calories” through alcohol, it may be necessary to seek a more balanced diet.

Avantika Waring, chief medical officer at 9amHealth and a trained physician and endocrinologist in San Francisco, praised the OU and OSU findings, saying they further support what clinicians “are already seeing in practice,” she told Fox News Digital.

“GLP-1 drugs have many effects that we are still studying, and the ability to reduce cravings and reward signals associated with drinking are just some of the benefits,” she said.

“This is an important starting point for further clinical trials,” she added.

Waring also warned that GLP-1 drugs should not be used specifically to treat AUD because they may cause side effects such as nausea and appetite changes.

“People with alcohol use disorder should talk to their doctor before starting treatment with GLP-1 medications to ensure they can stay hydrated and safely while on treatment,” she said.

Waring noted that if ongoing clinical trials find that semaglutide treatment is effective for AUD, the medical community will “have another tool to help people with alcohol addiction, and we will see widespread use of these already popular drugs.” “

Fox News Digital reached out to Novo Nordisk for comment on the potential link between the drug semaglutide and alcohol use disorder.

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