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Heightened Regulatory Scrutiny on Weight Loss Drugs Linked to Suicidal Thoughts

Sunday, January 14th 2024 10:00am 3 min read
Dr. Jessica Peatross dr.jess.md @drjessmd

Hospitalist & top functional MD who gets to the root cause. Stealth infection & environmental toxicity keynote speaker.

Rising Concerns Over Mental Health Side Effects of Popular Diabetes and Obesity Medications

The increasing popularity of medications like Ozempic, Wegovy, and Mounjaro has led to intensified regulatory attention due to concerns about suicidal thoughts in users. According to a recent Reuters analysis, more than half of the adverse events reported to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) involved suicidal ideation shortly after starting these injectable medications or increasing their dosage. Notably, approximately 40% of patients experienced symptom relief either by discontinuing the drugs or reducing the dosage.

Regulatory Actions and Adverse Event Reports: A Closer Look

These drugs, which include Novo Nordisk’s Ozempic for type 2 diabetes and Wegovy for weight management, as well as Eli Lilly’s Mounjaro for diabetes control, belong to a class known as glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists. Regulatory bodies have been closely monitoring these drugs since mid-year, following the initiation of a review by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) to assess the risk of suicidal thoughts and self-harm.

In the U.S., the FDA’s Adverse Events Reporting System (FAERS) has documented thousands of serious adverse reports related to these medications, including hundreds of fatalities, since their respective introductions to the market.

Mental Health Risks: A Persistent Issue with Weight Management Drugs

The labels of drugs like Wegovy and liraglutide (a component of Saxenda) carry explicit warnings about severe mental health side effects, including depression and suicidal ideation. This issue is further highlighted by individual cases, such as a report from The Epoch Times detailing the tragic experience of a man who committed suicide after starting Ozempic.

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