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Fox News: Ozempic, the happy drug? Study suggests weight-loss medications could reduce depression, anxiety

Doctors share expertise on how GLP-1 drugs could trigger a ‘more positive outlook’ By Melissa Rudy . Fox News

Published February 17, 2024 6:25am EST

Fox News recently interviewed Dr. Osborn for his take on a new study that suggests weight-loss medications like Ozempic and Wegovy may reduce depression and anxiety in addition to aiding weight loss. The study was done by Epic Research.

"The likelihood of anxiety in diabetic patients is lower for those on all five GLP-1 medications studied," the researchers wrote in a release on Epic’s website.

For those without diabetes, semaglutide was linked to a lower likelihood of depression and anxiety, while liraglutide did not show any statistically significant benefit.

Dr. Brett Osborn noted that weight loss often leads to improved mood and a more positive outlook.

He stated, "Losing weight can significantly impact an individual's self-esteem and overall mood, leading to a more positive outlook on life."

"Ozempic’s potential antidepressive effects are garnering interest, both from the scientific community and those seeking holistic ways to manage their mental health alongside physical conditions," he told Fox News Digital.

Osborn pointed out previous research indicating that GLP-1 drugs may have direct effects on brain chemistry and connectivity, potentially influencing mood through neurotransmitter release. However, medical professionals also highlighted the importance of considering other lifestyle factors such as physical activity and diet in improving mental health.

Novo Nordisk, the manufacturer of Ozempic and Wegovy, stated that their medications are intended for diabetes control and weight management, with no current clinical trials focusing on depression.

While the Epic data shows promise, health officials stressed the need for further research to determine the medication's role in reducing depression and anxiety. Osborn concluded by emphasizing the interconnectedness of physical and mental health, suggesting that while Ozempic may not become a primary treatment for depression, it underscores the importance of holistic health management.

The full version of this article was originally published in Fox News digital on February 17, 2023 and was authored by Melissa Rudy.