It was developed to help regulate blood sugar in diabetics and pre-diabetics. It’s widely (though unofficially) used for weight loss. Now semaglutide (brand name Ozempic) is showing promise for SUD sufferers as well.
It’s important to say at the outset what Ozempic is not. It is not a silver bullet, ready to end the SUD sufferer’s need for alcohol, opioids, nicotine, or other substances without complications. Like any prescription drug—and especially those approved for use with entirely diferent conditions—it should be approached with caution.
That said, the article we link to below points to some very encouraging findings. Ozempic, the brand name for the drug semaglutide, is widely prescribed for diabetes and weight loss interventions. Now Ozempic is showing promise as a medicine that could help with substance abuse. In a variety of trials (animal and human), Ozempic is associated with reductions in use and cravings for nicotine, alcohol, cocaine, and opioids like fentanyl.
These results make a certain medical sense. Semaglutide affects a part of the brain (the nucleus tractus solitarius) associated with regulating addictive behavior. Our brains even produce a near-equivalent chemical for this purpose. Compared to the naturally-produced chemical, however, semaglutide persists much longer in the brain, making it more effective for diabetes care, weight management—and potential for addiction.
Not everyone who has used Ozempic has seen reductions in their substance use, and it’s still too early to tell why. But this much is clear: the medicine is one worth keeping an eye on.