Is there anything Ozempic can’t do? Now weight-loss drug is said to lower chance of MS and could help sleep apnea

By Luke Andrews, Senior Health Reporter for Dailymail.Com

22:32 April 9, 2024, updated 22:54 April 9, 2024

Already famous for helping thousands of Americans lose weight, Ozempic is now considered a treatment for a myriad of other serious health conditions.

In a new study, doctors found that this blockbuster drug could reduce the risk of developing multiple sclerosis (MS) by up to 80 percent.

At the same time, investigators are also launching research projects to determine whether the drug could relieve sleep apnea.

The researchers behind the MS study have called for immediate investigations to see if Ozempic could be a potential treatment for the neurodegenerative disease.

The results could be even more financially beneficial for the pharmaceutical company behind the drug, Novo Nordisk, whose obesity drug market is worth $80 billion this year.

Doctors have even gone so far as to suggest that semaglutide – the drug used in Ozempic – should be studied as a potential treatment for MS patients.

The latest findings add to previous claims of numerous benefits, such as reduced risk of heart disease, kidney disease and liver problems. Some also suggest they may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease,

In the MS study, researchers at the University of Nebraska compared reports of MS in patients who took 15 weight-loss medications, including semaglutide (the generic name for Ozempic).

The results showed that those who used semaglutide had a 76 percent lower risk of developing MS compared to patients taking the other 14 drugs in the database, while for those who used dulgaglutide, or Trulicity, this risk was 83.5 percent.

Do you want a “natural” Ozempic? Try to eat your vegetables before your meat

This routine, sometimes called nutritional cycling, is known to slow the rate at which food leaves your stomach, keeping you full longer.

Another report also revealed that Eli Lilly, the pharmaceutical company working on tirzepatide, has launched a trial to determine the impact of its drug on people suffering from a common sleeping disorder, sleep apnea. .

This disease, which affects approximately 39 million adults, causes patients to temporarily stop breathing while they sleep.

The study enrolled nearly 500 patients who took the drug Mounjaro once a week. The trial was scheduled to end last month and results are expected to be published in the coming months.

The weight loss triggered by the drug is expected to improve the condition, which can be aggravated by excess fat in the neck area, which increases pressure on the upper airways.

Dr Angela Fitch, current president of the Obesity Medicine Association, said: “We already know it will work, it’s just a question of how well.

“It will be interesting to see if those who lose more weight during the study achieve better remission of sleep apnea and how much weight loss is necessary to put it into remission.”

It comes amid a gold rush in weight loss treatments, with prescriptions for Ozempic and similar drugs increasing by 300% between 2019 and 2022 alone.

They work by stimulating GLP-1 receptors in the brain, which makes a person feel full even after a long period of time without eating anything.

This promise – of losing weight with just one injection per week – is what fueled their popularity.

However, there are concerns that the risks are being overlooked, with a analysis of FDA data revealing 117 drug-related deaths recorded since they were marketed.

Among them were a woman in her 20s who was diagnosed with an “intestinal mass” and another pregnant patient.

None of the deaths have been confirmed to be due to the drugs, but associations have been reported by patients.

In many cases, the claimed benefits are directly related to the drug’s ability to help people lose weight quickly.

Obesity can, over time, damage various tissues in the body, increasing the risk of developing a wide variety of diseases.

However, some research suggests that some of the many benefits could be due to reasons other than weight loss.

The drug stimulated GLP-1 receptors found in other areas of the body, including the blood-brain barrier.

Scientists have suggested that this could have a range of other effects, including protecting nerve cells from damage.

In the MS study, scientists analyzed medical data from more than 600,000 patients using 15 weight-loss drugs since 2003.

They analyzed data from popular drugs like semaglutide and tirzepatide, as well as others linked to weight loss, including metformin and bupropion.

In the article published in Therapeutic Advances in Neurological Disorders, the University of Nebraska team wrote: “Our results suggest that it may be possible to consider the reuse of antidiabetic drugs that induce weight loss, including semaglutide …for MS.

“This warrants validation through rigorous methodologies and prospective studies.”

The study was funded by the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

Estimates show that the weight loss drug market has grown from $3 billion in 2022 to more than $80 billion today.

Novo Nordisk, behind Ozempic, was the first to enter the market. But Eli Lilly is catching up with its own weight-loss drug, tirzepatide, available under the name Mounjaro. Reports last month suggested that its weight loss drug Zepbound had already overtaken Wegovy in terms of prescriptions.

So far, Ozempic has only been approved for type 2 diabetics, but it is often prescribed off-label for weight loss.

Its sister drug Wegovy – which uses the same drug, semaglutide but at a lower dose – was approved to treat weight loss and, earlier this year, also got the green light for patients with heart disease.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, with more than 120 million adults suffering from it.

News Source :
Gn Health

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