UCI Health physician suggests closer monitoring of patients using Ozempic and Saxenda

Drugs to treat obesity and diabetes could increase risk of suicidal ideation

July 17, 2023

IN THE NEWS: European health officials are investigating the possible risk of suicidal thoughts and self-harm when taking drugs used to treat obesity and diabetes, specifically Ozempic and Saxenda.

Healthline logo blue letters on white backgroundUCI Health physician Dr. Kishore M. Gadde told Healthline that doctors need to closely monitor weight-management patients.

“Rapid and significant weight loss might, itself, increase the risk of suicide ideation, although it is not entirely clear why. People with a history of major depression, anxiety disorders and substance abuse problems are also at higher risk for suicide and should be carefully monitored during weight-management treatment.

Gadde adds that this has been seen in people who have had bariatric surgery. If patients feel that [suicidal] thoughts are more frequent or are affecting them, they should talk to their doctor or seek help at an emergency department, he added.

Gadde, who specializes in clinical research in obesity, type 2 diabetes and other weight-related disorders, is part of the UCI Health Bariatric Surgery Program at the UCI Health Chao Family Comprehensive Digestive Disease Center in Orange.

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