Reports of Ozempic’s personality are surfacing on social media What to Know

  • Some people who take medications that lead to weight loss, such as Ozempic, say that the medication affects their mood.
  • This gave rise to the term, Ozempic personality, which points out that these drugs can make some feel depressed and anxious.
  • Doctors say they see it often in people who lose weight.

Over the last year there has been a lot of talk about Ozempic and its impact on the body. Although the drug semaglutide (the main active ingredient in Ozempic) is technically designed for blood sugar management in people with type 2 diabetes, it is also used off-label for weight loss and this has only fueled its popularity.

With that, reports of people having unexpected side effects from taking Ozempic have been circulating online. The latest: Some say they are experiencing mood swings in what is now called the Ozempic personality.

Several people online have opened up about going through personality changes. I have minimal passion for anything, very dull and unenthusiastic, one person wrote on Reddit. I hear good news, I agree. The things I like seem like a chore. But another said they feel calmer now that they are in Ozempic. I am more optimistic about my future. More happy with my present. But I know I feel and seem calmer to others, they said. This might come across as my state of mind to some, but I’m not living it that way.

Meet the experts: Dina Peralta-Reich, MD, director of New York Weight Wellness Medicine; Mir Ali, MD, bariatric surgeon and medical director of the MemorialCare Surgical Weight Center at Orange Coast Medical Center in Fountain Valley, CA; Steven Batash, MD, gastroenterologist and lead physician of Batash Endoscopic Weight Loss

Like all drugs, Ozempic has known side effects, some anecdotal (like Ozempic face and Ozempic butt) and others documented on the drug website, such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. However, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not list personality changes as one. Is Ozempic’s personality real? Doctors break it down.

What is Ozempic and how does it work?

Ozempic is part of a class of medications known as GLP-1 agonists and is FDA-approved for blood sugar management in people with type 2 diabetes.

Ozempic mimics the hormone GLP-1 that is released in the gastrointestinal tract when you eat, the FDA explains. GLP-1 causes the body to produce more insulin, which lowers blood glucose. In higher amounts, GLP-1 interacts with the parts of the brain that reduce appetite and signal a feeling of fullness.

What is the Ozempic personality?

Ozempic personality is not a medical term, and with that, it can be difficult to pin down a definition. And again, this is not a documented side effect. Still, many people who say their personality has changed since taking Ozempic, or weight-loss drugs, report more feelings of anxiety and depression, a calmer overall mood, aren’t as interested in the activities they used to enjoy and have less interest. – sexual desire than usual.

Common side effects of Ozempic

Here are the most common side effects of taking Ozempic, according to the FDA:

  • Nausea
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • A stomachache
  • Constipation

How Ozempic affects the brain

Ozempic does a few different things in the brain. The drug works at the level of the brain in the amygdala, which is the reward system, says Dina Peralta-Reich, MD, director of New York Weight Wellness Medicine. This helps control food cravings, he explains.

It may also affect other neurotransmitters like dopamine (which plays a role in pleasure, motivation, and learning), but that’s not clear right now, says Christoph Buettner, MD, Ph.D., head of the division of endocrinology from Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson. School of Medicine. Eating and drinking signals to dopamine reward systems, but semaglutide can make people less responsive to those signals, notes Dr. Buettner, which is not entirely clear at the moment.

GLP-1 drugs suppress appetite, but there could be some cross-reactivity with other receptors that affect pleasure, says Mir Ali, MD, a bariatric surgeon and medical director of the MemorialCare Surgical Weight Center at Orange Coast Medical Center in Fountain Valley. . ca.

Jamie Alan, Ph.D., associate professor of pharmacology and toxicology at Michigan State University, agrees that more research is needed. We don’t understand all the neurological effects this drug has, he says.

Can Ozempic cause personality changes?

Alan says Ozempic can cause personality changes. Personality changes, as defined by alterations in behavior, mood, or cognition, are not common side effects of GLP-1 agonists, says Dr. Buettner. However, weight loss by itself can make people grumpy and less happy as it drains energy.

If the weight loss is extreme, it can increase someone’s risk of developing anxiety and depression temporarily, says Dr. Buettner. This usually goes away once weight loss is stable and a person is no longer losing weight, he says.

Dr. Ali agrees. It’s very common with any type of weight loss to experience changes in mood and preferences, she says. We see this in our surgical patients. As you lose weight, your body’s hormones change. This can make you feel different and have different highs and lows.

But this impact can also be positive. As weight is lost, increased self-esteem and confidence can alter the way people relate to others and perceive themselves, says Steven Batash, MD, gastroenterologist and lead physician at Batash Endoscopic Weight Loss.

Does semaglutide affect mood?

Semaglutide medications like Ozempic can influence someone’s mood, says Dr. Peralta-Reich, although it’s not entirely clear at this point whether these changes are a side effect of the weight loss or the medication. She links this phenomenon to emotional eating. When people eat emotionally, this is their coping mechanism, he says. When you take a GLP-1 drug, that noise goes away, but then people no longer have that coping mechanism and they deal with their emotions.

Dr. Peralta-Reich says she’s seen patients with different reactions to it. In some people, it makes them calmer because the noise of food is removed and they are able to channel that energy into other things, he says. But other people may struggle because they no longer have a coping mechanism they’ve often relied on for years, he says.

Many of my patients will work hand-in-hand with a therapist and have better results, she says. But for those who say they feel down or depressed and it interferes with their quality of life, I will change the medication.

Ultimately, doctors say it’s important to listen to your body while you’re taking a drug like this. Although personality changes are not a recognized class effect of GLP-1 agonists, people who experience unusual or worrisome changes in mood or behavior while taking these medications should consult their healthcare provider. ‘medical care,’ he says. If the weight loss is extreme, the doctor may decide to reduce the dose of semaglutide.

The bottom line

If you are concerned about mood or personality changes, it is best to talk to your health care provider and/or a licensed mental health counselor. They can help get to the bottom of these changes and adjust medications accordingly.

Korin Miller is a freelance writer specializing in general wellness, health and sex, and lifestyle trends, with work appearing in Mens Health, Womens Health, Self, Glamor and more. He has a master’s degree from American University, lives on the beach and hopes to own a teacup pig and a taco truck one day.

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