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Ozempic- Is it the New Tool to Fight Addiction?

Ozempic- Is it the New Tool to Fight Addiction?

People can’t stop talking about Ozempic! It’s being touted as a miracle drug for treating Type 2 diabetes that has exploded in popularity for its side effect - weight loss. But researchers are now refocusing their efforts to better understand the effects Ozempic and similar medications like Mounjaro and Wegovy may have on addiction.

Semaglutide, the key ingredient found in these drugs, is also having a seemingly profound effect on addictive behaviors. Drinking, smoking, shopping, gambling and even nail biting are just a few of the impulsive behaviors that seem to be curbed by these popular medications. 

Semaglutide works to curb addictive behavior by mimicking the GLP-1 hormone responsible for sending signals of fullness, satisfaction and even pleasure to the brain. Scientist found that GLP-1 hormones affect dopamine, the feel-good pathways in the brain. Food, sex, and smoking for example, trigger a release of dopamine in the brain which drives the behavior.

Fewer cravings for caffeine, fast food and sugar are some of the most unexpected side effects being reported in those taking semaglutide medications. The downside, though, is that that when these drugs are no longer available or patients discontinue using them, the cravings and impulsive behaviors may return with a vengeance.

More research needs to be done on semaglutide medications and how they can be used to affectively treat addictive and impulsive behaviors. These new class of drugs are showing promise and will one day offer new insight into the nature of pleasure and addictions.