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European agency probes weight loss drugs’ link to suicidal thoughts

The European Medicines Agency is investigating various weight loss and diabetes drugs after it was reported that some patients had experienced thoughts of suicide or self harm while using a semaglutide – (Ozempic, Wegovy) – or liraglutide (Saxenda).

“The review is being carried out in the context of a signal procedure raised by the Icelandic Medicines Agency after three case reports,” the EMA said. “A signal is information on a new or known adverse event that is potentially caused by a medicine and that warrants further investigation.”

CNBC notes that the reports “included two cases of suicidal thoughts, one after the use of Saxenda and one after Ozempic. One additional case reported thoughts of self-injury with Saxenda”.

Ozempic is used to treat type 2 diabetes, and its active ingredient is semaglutide. All drugs are manufactured by Danish firm Novo Nordisk.

“Suicidal behaviour is not currently listed as a side effect in the EU product information of these medicines,” the EMA said. “The review will consider whether the investigation should be extended to also include other medicines of the same class (‘GLP-1 receptor agonist’).”

In a statement sent to CNBC, Novo Nordisk said: “Patient safety is a top priority, and we take all reports about adverse events from use of our medicines very seriously.

“GLP-1 receptor agonists have been used to treat type 2 diabetes for more than 15 years and for treatment of obesity for eight years, including Novo Nordisk products such as semaglutide and liraglutide that have been on the market for more than 10 years.

“The safety data collected from large clinical trial programs and post marketing surveillance have not demonstrated a causal association between semaglutide or liraglutide and suicidal and self-harming thoughts.”


CNBC article – European drugs regulator to review Wegovy, Ozempic following reports of suicidal thoughts (Open access)


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Doctors warn about ageing side-effects of diabetes weight-loss drugs


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