Ozempic Maker Plans to Study the Drug’s Effects on Alcohol Consumption

Novo Nordisk's trial is slated to begin on Monday, May 20

<p>George Frey/Bloomberg via Getty</p> Ozempic

George Frey/Bloomberg via Getty


Novo Nordisk, the maker of Ozempic, says it plans to study how the drug lowers a user's desire to drink alcohol.

The company announced earlier this month that it will orchestrate a study over a period of 28 weeks that will assess the effects of semaglutide, the active ingredient in Ozempic and other medicines, on alcohol consumption.

Novo Nordisk told CNN in a statement that this new trial will look at whether the drug can improve liver health through its effects on enhanced liver fibrosis or scarring, rather than alcohol addiction specifically.

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<p>Getty</p> A person on a scale


A person on a scale

Related: Ozempic Can 'Potentially' Change Your Personality — and Sex Life, Expert Says

“Secondary endpoints include safety and tolerability and changes in alcohol consumption,” a spokesperson for Novo Nordisk said in a statement to the outlet. “There is a significant unmet medical need in alcohol-related liver disease, and the first line of treatment for the condition is lifestyle intervention to refrain from drinking alcohol.”

They added, “Even though not all patients in the trial will have alcohol use disorder, it is natural to include alcohol consumption as a secondary endpoint,”

The trial is aiming to gather 240 participants and is slated to begin on Monday, May 20, according to a government database, CNN reported.

<p>Getty</p> A set of semaglutide injection pens


A set of semaglutide injection pens

Ania Jastreboff, M.D., PhD., an obesity medicine physician scientist at Yale University, spoke to PEOPLE last year about how some patients notice a reduced craving for alcohol while using Ozempic.

“Clinically, I've seen this. Some patients report that they have less desire to drink alcohol. For example, they used to drink a couple of glasses of wine, now they'll drink a half a glass of wine and they don't think to drink the rest of the glass,” she explained.

“So it's as if they have the reward, or whatever it is that they were getting from drinking that wine, they have it from a smaller amount. Or they're just not inclined to have a glass of wine," Jastreboff added.

<p>Getty</p> A woman injecting a weight loss pen into her stomach (stock image)


A woman injecting a weight loss pen into her stomach (stock image)

Related: Stars Who've Spoken About Ozempic — and What They've Said

Dr. Steven Batash, a board-certified gastroenterologist and weight-loss expert at Batash Endoscopic Weight Loss, told PEOPLE in April that weight-loss drugs have also been found to impact someone’s libido and even change their personality.

“GLP-1s specifically decrease the amount of dopamine the brain releases after people indulge in behaviors like drinking, smoking or even eating a sweet dessert,” he explained.

“Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that ‘reinforces the pleasure’ of doing those activities.” Batash added. “When GLP-1s take away that pleasure, they also eliminate the motivation to do those activities.”

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