Why is abdominal obesity so dangerous - and what to do with it?/Walla System
The safety committee of the EMA, the European Medicines Agency, requires diabetes drug manufacturers, which have become popular in recent years for weight loss, research information on the risk of suicidal thoughts among some users of drugs taking them to lose weight. "Although at this stage it is not possible to draw a conclusion about a causal relationship, there are a number of issues that still need to be clarified," the EMA said in a statement.
The EMA review began following reports from the Icelandic Medicines Agency, based on two suicides after treatment with Saxanda and one case involving the active ingredient semaglutide found in the popular drugs Vigobi and Ozempic. In addition, at least 170 reports of suicidal thoughts have accumulated in the drug side effect logging system.
The FDA has also recently begun an investigation into the link between diabetes medications used for weight loss and suicidal thoughts and suicides. Since 2010, the FDA has received 265 reports of suicidal thoughts in patients taking GLP-1 treatments, marketed for diabetes or weight loss. Thirty-six of the FDA reports included deaths due to suicide or suspected suicide.
The FDA has also begun investigating the mental effects of weight loss/ShutterStock drugs
Of those reports, Novo Nordisk, maker of Ozempic, Wigovy, Saxanda and Victose, was responsible for filing 180 of those reports with U.S. regulators. Other reports also came from users of Eli Lilly's drug Mongero.
Already, the FDA requires the manufacturer of Wigobi to include information in the consumer leaflet that clinical trials for similar drugs have reported suicidal thoughts or attempts. In addition, the FDA recommends that patients who begin taking Vigovi be closely monitored for such behaviors and recommends that people with a history of suicide attempts or suicidal thinking avoid the drug.
Novo Nordisk's Saxanda, which was approved in 2014 for weight loss, also carries an FDA warning because some patients in the company's clinical trials also exhibited suicidal behaviors. Ozempic, which was approved to treat diabetes in 2017, has no such warning on its drug leaflet.
Back in 2008, Sanofi's weight loss drug Acomplia, which had not received marketing approval in the United States, was removed from European shelves altogether in 2008 after it too was linked to suicidal thoughts.
Despite these warnings, obesity experts say that in general, reduced calorie intake as a result of a strict diet or gastric surgery can lead to depression in rare cases, so it could very well be the cause of reported suicidal thoughts and cases, rather than the active ingredients in medications.
GLP-1 treatments have become popular in recent years among those looking to lose weight, as they trigger a feeling of fullness after eating and slow gastric emptying.
- More on the subject:
- Weight loss