New study ties weight-loss drugs Wegovy, Ozempic to serious gastrointestinal conditions – CBC

Issues like pancreatitis, stomach paralysis higher among patients using GLP-1 inhibitor medications

Oct 05, 2023

Medicines in the same class as Novo Nordisk’s popular weight-loss therapy Wegovy may carry an increased risk of pancreatitis, intestinal blockage and stomach paralysis compared to an older obesity drug, according to a study published on Thursday.

The study focused on two drugs from the class known as GLP-1 inhibitors, which help lower blood sugar levels for people with Type 2 diabetes: semaglutide is the active ingredient in Wegovy as well as Novo’s diabetes drugs Ozempic and Rybelsus; liraglutide is the active ingredient in the company’s earlier obesity medicine Saxenda and diabetes drug Victoza.

Nearly five in every 1,000 users of semaglutide drugs developed pancreatitis, compared to one of every 1,000 users of bupropion-naltrexone, the active ingredients in the weight-loss drug Contrave, according to a report in the JAMA medical journal. Contrave was approved in the U.S. in 2014 and in Canada in 2018.

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