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Insights into Ozempic’s effect on mental health

1 min Read

People taking Ozempic have reported mental health side effects, including anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts. Here’s what the evidence supports, what is not known, and how Noom can help.

What you’ll learn:

  • People prescribed Ozempic have reported anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts. 
  • Studies have found no evidence that Ozempic causes suicidal thoughts directly. 
  • Wegovy, which contains the same active ingredient as Ozempic, does carry a warning for potential mental health effects.

You’ve likely heard of Ozempic, a GLP-1 receptor agonist that has been FDA-approved for regulating blood sugar in diabetics and is prescribed off-label for weight loss. While it can be highly effective at managing those conditions, some people who’ve been prescribed Ozempic have reported experiencing mental health issues. Worsening anxiety, depression, and even suicidal thoughts have been associated with the medication. Those are some pretty scary side effects. It might make you question, whether the risks, particularly for off-label uses like weight loss, are truly worth it. 

Ozempic’s potential psychological side effects

While side effects are always a risk when taking a medication, it’s important to balance the benefits with the potential drawbacks. Here are common questions you might have about the psychological side effects of Ozempic and what we know so far.

What specific psychological side effects have been reported with Ozempic use?

All GLP-1s, including Ozempic, have a special alert for depression and suicidal thoughts as a potential side effect: The FDA has been evaluating reports of suicidal thoughts or actions in patients treated with GLP-1s. A preliminary evaluation has not found evidence that the use of these medicines causes suicidal thoughts or actions, but the investigation is ongoing. 

People should not stop taking Ozempic without consulting their healthcare provider. Your doctor will monitor you for any new or worsening depression, suicidal thoughts, or unusual changes in mood or behavior. 

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How does Ozempic potentially influence mood and mental health?

Ozempic might affect your mood and mental health because it interacts with the brain and gut. Basically, your brain and gut can send signals to each other, affecting how you feel, think, and stay healthy. Ozempic actives GLP-1 receptors in the stomach, reducing hunger, but it can also affect those in the brain. These receptors help regulate mood, emotions, and how we think. When Ozempic activates these receptors, it can change how neurotransmitters signal, which might lead to shifts in mood and behavior. 

Also when you aren’t eating as much as you used to, your habits are forced to change. This difference in behavior can have an impact on your mood. Also if you are vomiting or feel nauseous it can be hard to concentrate.

How common are mental health side effects in people taking Ozempic?

While these potential side effects are concerning, they do not affect all people who take Ozempic. Regular check-ins with your healthcare provider and open communication about any changes in mood or mental well-being are crucial for managing these risks. Noom offers comprehensive support for individuals using Ozempic, addressing the physical and psychological aspects of treatment.

Exploring the link between Ozempic and mental health

While some people taking Ozempic have reported experiencing mental health issues, including symptoms of depression, no research has established a definitive link. A study by the FDA and one by the European Medicines Agency found no evidence that Ozempic causes suicidal thoughts directly.

However, the relationship between physical and mental health is complex. That makes it challenging to link symptoms solely to medication use. You should connect with your doctor about your individual risk factors. Here are some questions to consider:

Are certain people more at risk of experiencing psychiatric side effects from Ozempic?

If you have a history of mental health issues like depression or anxiety, you might be more likely to experience mental side effects from Ozempic. Also, if you’re sensitive to changes in hormones or blood sugar levels, you could be at higher risk. It’s important to talk to your doctor to see if Ozempic is right for you and to make a plan to keep an eye on your mental health while using it. 

If I’m at risk, how will my doctor monitor potential psychological effects?

If you are at high risk for negative psychological effects, your doctor should take a proactive approach. Regular check-ins, both in-person and through digital platforms, can help identify concerns early on. If severe symptoms arise, your doctor should work collaboratively with a mental health professional to develop a treatment plan that addresses both your physical and mental well-being. Your doctor may also adjust medication doses or explore alternative treatments in order to manage side effects.

How should I track or report mental health symptoms while using Ozempic?

To keep track of your mental health while using Ozempic, try writing in a journal or using Noom Mood to note any changes in your mood, behavior, or sleep. If you see any worrying signs or big changes in how you feel, tell your doctor right away. They can help figure out if these changes are because of Ozempic and adjust your treatment if needed. Your mental health is just as important as your physical health, so make sure to speak up and get help when you need it. 

What immediate steps should someone take if they experience severe psychological symptoms?

If you experience severe psychological symptoms, such as persistent feelings of depression or thoughts of self-harm, it’s crucial to reach out for help immediately and call 988. Contact your healthcare provider, a mental health professional, or a local crisis support service. Remember, your well-being is a top priority, and resources are available to support you.

How Ozempic can influence your mood

Ozempic can affect your body in both good and bad ways. Sometimes, this may surface as mood changes. If these are generally mild, you can use a few strategies to manage them.

Can changes in blood sugar levels while taking Ozempic affect mental health?
There is some evidence that changes in blood sugar levels, which can happen when taking Ozempic, might affect mood and mental health. People with diabetes are more likely to have mood disorders, and changes in blood sugar can impact mental health. But, the link between blood sugar and mental health is complicated, and more research is needed to understand how Ozempic might impact mental well-being. If you’re worried about how Ozempic could affect your mental health, talk to your doctor. They can help you create a care plan that looks after both your body and mind. 

How can I tell the difference between normal mood changes and potential side effects?
It can be hard to tell if mood changes are just normal ups and downs or side effects of Ozempic. If you have serious or unusual mood swings that disrupt your daily life, talk to your doctor. They can help figure out if Ozempic or something else, like stress or mental health issues, is causing the changes. 

What strategies can I use to manage mood swings caused by Ozempic?

If you have mood swings while taking Ozempic, Dr. Linda Anegawa says the following lifestyle changes might help:

  • Eating balanced meals
  • Getting adequate sleep
  • Exercising regularly 
  • Practicing gratitude
  • Staying hydrated
  • Connecting with others
  • Limiting your caffeine intake
  • Doing an activity that relaxes you

You can also receive personalized advice from a professional therapist or counselor. Read Dr. Anegawa’s insightful article for additional information about Ozempic’s connection to mood and depression.

Is there anything I can do to minimize mood swings before starting Ozempic?

Before starting Ozempic, discuss your medical history and any pre-existing mental health conditions with your doctor. Together, you can weigh the potential benefits and risks and develop a plan to monitor your mental health. Also, maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help support your overall mental well-being and potentially minimize the risk of mood swings associated with Ozempic. 

How to balance physical and mental health while taking Ozempic with Noom

Ozempic’s potential mental health side effects are still being researched. From what we know so far, some patients may experience mild mood changes or report more severe symptoms but no connection has been determined. It’s essential for anyone taking Ozempic to closely monitor their mental health and report any concerning symptoms to their doctor.

Noom recognizes the importance of addressing both the physical and mental aspects of health when managing chronic conditions like diabetes and obesity. By integrating personalized solutions with psychological support, Noom aims to provide comprehensive care that empowers individuals to achieve long-term, sustainable health improvements. If you’re considering Ozempic, explore how Noom Med’s supportive approach can help you navigate potential side effects and optimize your overall well-being. If you’re already using Ozempic, make sure you’re taking advantage of the GLP-1 Companion experience to maximize your experience holistically. 

Remember, your mental health is just as important as your physical health, and seeking support when needed is a sign of strength.

Note: Ozempic is not FDA-approved to treat obesity or for weight loss.