New Side Effects Reported for GLP-1 RA Weight-Loss Drugs

FDA is investigating reports of hair loss, aspiration, and suicidal thoughts among people taking the medications
New Side Effects Reported for GLP-1 RA Weight-Loss Drugs
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THURSDAY, Jan. 4, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- In a quarterly report issued this week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said it is investigating cases of hair loss, aspiration, and suicidal ideation in people who used several popular weight-loss drugs. Some of the drugs in this class (glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists [GLP-1 RAs]) include Ozempic, Wegovy, Mounjaro, and Zepbound.

While these reports can turn out to be false alarms, previous investigations have prompted the FDA to update a drug's labeling or call for additional study on the issue.

This is not the first time the agency has looked into potential complications with these weight-loss drugs: Last year, the agency investigated reports of intestinal obstructions linked to the medications. The Ozempic labeling was subsequently updated to acknowledge that risk, CBS News reported.

"We are aware that, as part of those monitoring efforts, [the] FDA is evaluating several potential signals related to GLP-1 RA medicines and has posted information about those ongoing assessments on its website," a spokesperson for Novo Nordisk, which makes Ozempic and Wegovy, told CBS News. "Novo Nordisk stands behind the safety and efficacy of all of our GLP-1 RA medicines when they are used as indicated and when they are taken under the care of a licensed health care professional."

A spokesperson for Eli Lilly, which produces Zepbound and Mounjaro, told CBS News the "FDA is reviewing data on certain potential risks for GLP-1 receptor agonist medicines. Patient safety is our priority, and we are collaborating with the FDA on these potential signals."

Through September, there have been 201 reports of suicide or suicidal ideation among patients taking medications with semaglutide, the key ingredient in Ozempic and Wegovy, or tirzepatide, the key ingredient for Zepbound and Mounjaro. Meanwhile, there have been at least 422 reports of hair loss, according to CBS News. A less common danger has also been reported to the FDA: There were 18 cases of patients taking semaglutide or tirzepatide that mention aspiration.

CBS News Article

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