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May 16, 2024

Weight Loss

Is Ozempic Linked to Suicidal Thoughts?

Could Ozempic lead to suicidal thoughts? While the risk of suicidal ideation isn't listed as a side effect of GLP-1 drugs like Ozempic and Wegovy, the FDA is taking a closer look.

In the United States, medications designed for weight management that affect the central nervous system are generally required by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to carry warnings about the potential risk of suicidal thoughts. The concern arises because medications that affect the central nervous system, especially those involved in weight management or diabetes treatment, can sometimes influence mood and mental health.

However, Ozempic, which is also used for weight management, does not currently include such a warning. Despite this, the FDA's Adverse Event Reporting System (FAERS) has documented 57 reports of adverse events related to Ozempic, including depression, suicidal thoughts, and suicide attempts. This highlights the importance of monitoring and reporting any concerning symptoms while using such medications.

Study Overview

A comprehensive study, funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and published in Nature Medicine, has provided new insights into the effects of semaglutide, an active ingredient in Ozempic, particularly concerning its impact on mental health.

Contrary to some anecdotal reports, the study found that semaglutide is associated with a reduced risk of suicidal thoughts, specifically showing a 49-73% lower risk of initial suicidal ideation compared to other medications used for obesity or type 2 diabetes. This groundbreaking research is the first of its kind to investigate the potential link between semaglutide and suicidal thoughts.

The researchers used an extensive database containing de-identified electronic health records from 100.8 million patients to conduct their analysis. They focused on two specific groups: one group of 240,618 patients prescribed Wegovy or similar weight-loss medications, and a second group of 1,589,855 patients prescribed Ozempic or other diabetes treatments. By documenting and monitoring suicidal thoughts recorded in these patients' health records, the study aimed to provide a robust assessment of semaglutide's safety profile.

The timeline of the study included a detailed comparison of suicidal ideation incidents within six months of starting the medication. Researchers also extended their analysis to later periods to assess any potential long-term effects. The vast scale of the database allowed for a detailed examination across various subgroups, including different sexes, races, and ages, enhancing the reliability of the findings.

Study Findings

The researchers then examined records for over 1.5 million patients diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Similar to the group with overweight or obesity, patients using semaglutide had a lower risk of experiencing suicidal thoughts compared to those using non-GLP-1 receptor agonist medications. These findings remained consistent regardless of factors such as sex, age, or ethnicity, and whether patients had a history of suicidal thoughts or not.

The study results indicated no support for the concerns about an increased risk of suicide associated with semaglutide. Researchers highlighted that earlier reports suggesting a potential link might have been anecdotal and recommended further investigation to fully understand the relationship between semaglutide and mental health.


The FDA has stated that after reviewing these clinical trials, including the large outcome studies and observational research, no association was found between the use of GLP-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1 RAs) and the occurrence of suicidal thoughts or actions.

However, due to the relatively small number of reported cases of suicidal thoughts or actions among users of GLP-1 RAs and control groups, the FDA acknowledges that a minor risk cannot be entirely excluded. As a result, the agency continues to monitor the situation closely.

The FDA advises patients not to stop taking GLP-1 RAs without consulting their healthcare provider, as this could potentially worsen their medical condition. Patients are encouraged to communicate openly with their healthcare providers about any new or worsening symptoms of depression, suicidal thoughts, or unusual changes in mood or behavior.

For immediate support regarding mental health issues, individuals can access the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by calling or texting 988 or visiting their website at This service provides 24/7 support for those in need.

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