Mental Health

Patients on Ozempic are reporting reductions in anxiety and depression

Patients on Ozempic are reporting reductions
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Patients on Ozempic are reporting reductions in anxiety and depression

 

Patients on successful weight-loss drugs are reporting an unusual added benefit: They are free from the anxiety and depression that used to rule their lives.

Users across the country say their feelings of jitters became less intense when they started taking Ozempic. Others say their depression is gone too.

The drug helps people lose weight by mimicking the hormone GLP-1, which curbs hunger and slows the rate at which a person’s stomach empties, leaving them fuller for longer.

Experts acknowledge it may also help reduce anxiety, though they admit it’s unclear whether this is due to the drug’s triggered weight loss or another factor.

An estimated one in 60 US adults now has a prescription for Ozempic, its higher-dose version Wegovy, and another weight-loss drug called Mounjaro.

Ozempic works by mimicking the hormone GLP-1, which curbs hunger and slows the rate at which a person's stomach empties, leaving them fuller for longer

Ozempic works by mimicking the hormone GLP-1, which curbs hunger and slows the rate at which a person’s stomach empties, leaving them fuller for longer

Taiwan researchers found that diabetic patients taking GLP-1 drugs were less likely to receive an anxiety disorder diagnosis than diabetics not taking GLP-1 drugs

Taiwan researchers found that diabetic patients taking GLP-1 drugs were less likely to receive an anxiety disorder diagnosis than diabetics not taking GLP-1 drugs

A 2020 review of studies on the hormone GLP-1’s ability to relieve depression found that “GLP-1 is a useful therapeutic modulator of depression.”

Dr. Mary Jacobson, chief medical officer of the Palo Alto, California-based telemedicine company Hello Alpha, told DailyMail.com that her patients on Ozempic have reported a decrease in anxiety.

She said: “About 20 percent of our patients who see us for excess weight also see us for mental health symptoms.

“Patients taking Ozempic appear to have improving symptoms on their validated depression and anxiety questionnaire score.”

But Dr. Jacobson admitted it’s unknown why this might be the case, as some users may feel better because they’ve lost weight and, as a side effect, their anxiety is reduced.

She said, “Do they feel better because of the weight loss, so they have less anxiety in terms of stigma, in terms of going out in public, for example, in terms of self-awareness?”

She added: “Some studies show a decrease in social anxiety or social phobia, as well as binge eating disorder and panic attacks.

It could be that they feel better about themselves, but [there’s] there’s no way to tell if that’s how they feel versus actual weight loss and the effect Ozempic has on the neural circuitry in the brain.

“We haven’t anticipated it yet, but it certainly seems possible and likely.”

A 2020 study conducted at the China Medical University Hospital in Taiwan looked at diabetic patients who were on GLP-1 medications and those who weren’t.

They found that those taking GLP-1 drugs had a reduced likelihood of receiving an anxiety disorder diagnosis.

But some users report an increase in anxiety.

Dr. Jacobson said, “When you think about people who have severe obesity, how does their life change once they lose all that weight?” Are they prepared for this?

“That’s why behavior modification is so important, and working with coaches and others is so important because it’s a really big change in your life.”

Users on TikTok have reported significant decreases in anxiety.

One user commented: ‘I’ve had so much relief from my anxiety and from Ozempic. It’s amazing how remarkable it is.’

Another said: ‘The pain and anxiety are gone on Mounjaro. I’m inside [a] Facebook group of over 90,000 members. Many many say anxiety is better.’

There have also been a number of negative side effects of taking Ozempic and Wegovy.

More recently, a growing number of patients have been describing embarrassing and debilitating stomach and toilet symptoms, from severe constipation to loss of bowel control.

The problems have become so common that a Reddit group with over 30,000 members has been created where users share their most embarrassing stories.

One user wrote in a thread: ‘Literally fucked myself while I was sleeping. This is the first. It was a tough few days of diarrhea after my first injection of semaglutide.’

Meanwhile, an anonymous 43-year-old man taking Wegovy said, “I feel SO embarrassed to be a grown adult who messed up his pants!”

The drugs slow down the digestive process, making people feel full for longer periods of time. This can lead to constipation. However, it can also signal the brain that stomach contents need to be emptied first, resulting in diarrhea.

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