Weight-loss drug Ozempic could help treat alcoholism

the drug Ozempic (semaglutida) It is on everyone’s lips and its demand continues to skyrocket, since in addition to being used to treat type 2 diabetes, it has also proven effective in combating obesity. But it seems that its advantages do not end there, since a new study in rats has verified that it could help reduce alcohol dependency. In fact, patients with obesity or diabetes treated with this drug have already reported that their desire to drink alcohol had decreased since they started taking it.

Currently, the alcoholism It is treated with a combination of psychological and pharmacological therapies, but since it is a disease with very diverse causes, the efficacy of the drugs is highly variable and it is necessary to find new therapeutic alternatives. The new research has been carried out by scientists from the University of Gothenburg (Sweden) who have discovered that by administering Ozempic to dependent rats their alcohol consumption was cut by more than half.

The work has been published in eBioMedicine and demonstrates the surprising good effects of Ozempic to treat alcohol dependence, and although it has only been tested in rats, its authors are confident that these results can be transferred to patients, since the results of other studies with drugs for alcohol dependence alcohol studies performed with the same research model have shown a similar effect in humans and rats.

Ozempic affected the brain’s reward system

Alcohol-dependent rats were treated with semaglutide and this not only significantly decreased their intake of this substance –by half compared to animals that received no treatment–, but also the relapseswhich are a major problem in the case of people with alcohol addiction, since, if they drink alcohol again after a period of abstinence, the relapse causes an increase in consumption, that is, their condition worsens even more .

“Alcohol activates the brain’s reward system, resulting in the release of dopamine, a process blocked by medication in mice that could cause a reduction in alcohol-induced reward.”

The researchers also looked at why the drug reduces alcohol consumption and found that semaglutide affected the reward system in the mice’s brains, specifically the area of ​​the brain. nucleus accumbens of the brain which is part of the limbic system, suggesting that the reduction in reward induced by alcohol could be a key factor in mitigating cravings for ingesting this drug. An interesting finding from the study was that the drug reduced alcohol intake equally in male and female rats.

“Alcohol activates the brain’s reward system, resulting in the release of dopamine, something that is seen in both humans and animals. This process is blocked by medication in mice and, based on our interpretation, this could cause a reduction in alcohol-induced reward.” Cajsa AranäsPhD student at the Sahlgrenska Academy of the University of Gothenburg, and responsible for much of the work.

“Of course, there are differences in conducting animal and human studies, and they should always be taken into account. However, in this case there is a previous human study that found that an earlier version of diabetes drugs that act on GLP-1 [como semaglutida] reduces alcohol intake in people with overweight and alcohol dependence”, said Elisabet Jerlhag, professor of pharmacology at the Sahlgrenska Academy of the University of Gothenburg.

A few weeks ago, the newspaper The Atlantic echoed the testimonials of several Ozempic users who stated that along with the weight loss sought after taking the drug, they had noticed how other addictive behaviors had unexpectedly decreased, from stopping biting their nails to smoking or seeing their addiction reduced by shopping. For now, as WebMd points out, these reports are merely anecdotal, so they are subjective and have not yet been clinically verified. But there is also some preliminary research that supports these observations. For example, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a clinical trial is underway in 48 people with AUD who are also smokers led by psychiatrist Christian Hender. It seems that the Ozempic era has only just begun.

Source: www.webconsultas.com

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