If the drugs you’re taking are making you fat – don’t worry.
We have drugs for that.
U.S. psychiatrists are increasingly prescribing the popular weight-loss drug Wegovy to patients who gain weight from medicines used to treat mental disorders, such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, according to Reuters interviews with ten prescribers across the country.
Many antipsychotic drugs and mood stabilizers can cause patients to gain significant weight and contribute to diabetes and heart disease, the leading cause of death among adults with schizophrenia.
Complicated by other factors such as inadequate access to healthy food and lower physical activity, over half of patients with bipolar depression and schizophrenia are overweight or obese.
Novo Nordisk’s Wegovy is self-injected once a week and has been shown to help patients lose around 15% of their body weight, making it the most effective treatment available.
“It’s been a real welcome addition …. for people who truly have endured significant weight gain because of atypical antipsychotics and have doggedly tried their best to overcome that,” said Dr. Joseph Goldberg, a professor of psychiatry at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York.
Wegovy received U.S. approval as an obesity treatment in June 2021, while Mounjaro, a similar drug from Eli Lilly, is expected to be authorized this year. New rivals are also in development.
The global market for weight-loss drugs is forecast to reach as much as $100 billion within the decade.
Yet the best use of such drugs among patients with psychiatric diagnoses is just beginning to be understood.
Beyond severe mental health disorders, other patients struggling with obesity tend to suffer from mental health issues like depression and anxiety at higher levels than the general population, studies show.
Clinical trials for Wegovy, which belongs to a class of drugs known as GLP-1 agonists that began as diabetes medicines, excluded psychiatric patients, a common practice in drug development.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has cautioned doctors to monitor patients taking the drug for development of depression or suicidal thoughts. Regulators in Europe are now investigating several reports of patients who experienced suicidal thoughts after starting Wegovy.
It is like a science fiction novel.
And if you were an amateur, you’d reference Huxley.
I wouldn’t blame you.
If you were more of a pro, however, you’d probably reference Burgess.
We really need to bring back Burgess.
His criticism is worth more than… well, it’s worth more than anything Julian ever wrote.
I’m not going to insult Aldous.
Julian, however, was much more political, and much more… crappy.
For people trying to learn to read novels, maybe try “The Wanting Seed.”
It made a big impression on me.
I think it’s probably better than…
Well, it’s better than A Clockwork Orange.
I’m not ready to say it is better than Brave New World.
I would have to really go back, as a man pushing 40 years old, and re-examine these novels on a serious level.
Following reports of self-injury and suicidal thoughts among a small number of people who’ve taken Ozempic or Wegovy in Europe and the UK, health regulators are investigating whether the drugs carry a risk of these side effects. https://t.co/vHjgbUeRKy
— NBC News (@NBCNews) August 1, 2023
Elvis Dunderhoff contributed to this article.