Weight-loss drugs scrutinized over reports of suicide risk – News21USA

STORY: Dawn Heidlebaugh is a 53-year-old real estate agent in Ohio who took Ozempic to help control her blood sugar.

She told Reuters that after increasing the dose of the drug, a worrying pattern emerged. She would take the medicine on Sunday night. On Tuesday she would feel lethargic, depressed and at times suicidal.

(Voice of Dawn Heidlebaugh)

“I remember thinking to myself, my family would be so much better off without me because I was so just so depressed, like I was just within myself. I wouldn’t even talk.”

Dawn says she hasn’t struggled with depression in the past. So these feelings of hers seemed unusual to him. And if she skipped the medication for a week, she didn’t experience the symptoms.

Our reporting found that she Dawn is not alone.

We collected more than 250 reports submitted to the FDA describing patients who experienced suicidal thoughts or behaviors while taking these or similar medications since 2010.

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We took a closer look at many of these reports, and they often describe symptoms that appeared after starting the medication or increasing the dose and stopped after stopping it.

weight-loss-drugs-scrutinized-over-reports-of-suicide-risk-news21usa

In interviews, three patients, including Heidlebaugh, told us they became frightened after experiencing urges to commit suicide by crashing their cars.

Reports like these caught the attention of experts we spoke to, who say they deserve greater scrutiny.

These drugs are part of an explosive new market for weight loss drugs, capturing public attention and a lot of interest on social media.

In July, health regulators in Europe and the United Kingdom announced that they had begun reviews of the safety of these drugs and the risk of suicide.

In a statement to Reuters, Novo Nordisk, the maker of Ozempic and Wegovy, told us that the company takes these reports seriously and remains confident in the benefit-risk profile of these products.

Novo’s own safety monitoring has found no causal association between these medications and thoughts of self-harm.

(Voice of Dawn Heidlebaugh)

“I think that we need to have some sort of warning labels. I think people need to be made aware that this can have it doesn’t happen to everybody. Right. Like it only happened, I don’t know how many it’s happening to, but I know it happened to me.”

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The FDA told Reuters the agency is evaluating such reports and will decide what action, if any, to take after a thorough review.

#WeightLoss #WeightLossDrugs #SuicideRisk #MedicationSafety #MentalHealth #HealthConcerns #Ozempic

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