Semaglutide Reduces Alcohol Use

We always urge caution when adding new medications to your daily routine. You don’t know how the drug and its side effects will impact you. It’s essential to discuss all your options with your doctor.  

Newer medications can be concerning because we are still learning about them. We don’t know everything they do yet. It’s a reason not to jump in with both feet immediately. Semaglutide, sold under the names Ozempic and Wegovy, is incredibly popular. But it’s still being studied, and we are constantly learning more about it.

Last week, we wrote about how semaglutide may change taste buds and help people taste sweet flavors more clearly. Today, we are looking at a new study that found the drug may help prevent alcohol-use disorder (AUD). AUD is the medical term for alcoholism.

A study looked at people who were using semaglutide for weight loss. The researchers looked at the health records of almost 84,000 people. They compared people taking semaglutide to those using other anti-obesity medications. People taking semaglutide were 50 percent less likely to develop AUD and 56 percent less likely to relapse if they already had a problem.  

The team replicated the study by looking at people who used semaglutide for blood sugar concerns. They looked at the health records of 600,000 blood sugar patients taking semaglutide and found consistent reductions in AUD.

These results are being seen in real-world settings, not in a lab. While they are promising, randomized controlled trials would be needed to prescribe semaglutide to treat AUD. But the results are promising. Over a year later, people were still sober and not using alcohol.

This is very promising news in that we may have a new therapeutic method to treat AUD,” said lead researcher Rong Xu. She’s a professor at Case Western Univ.’s School of Medicine.

It’s amazing that one drug can treat so many different conditions. However, there is some logic to it. One of the ways semaglutide aids weight loss and blood sugar is by cutting down on food cravings. It’s not hard to believe that it would also cut down on other forms of cravings. However, more research is needed before it would be prescribed for AUD.

We always urge caution before making any changes to your healthy routine. Before trying a new diet or exercise routine, we recommend discussing it with your doctor to be sure it’s safe and a good fit for your needs. Before adding a supplement, we recommend reviewing it to be sure it fits your medications and goals. And before adding a medication, we recommend reviewing all the pros and cons to be sure it’s right for you. Research about semaglutide seems very promising, but we still don’t know many things about it. Making informed choices about what you put into your body is essential.

Banner image: Case Western Univ.

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