A surprising side effect has been reported by some patients taking the diabetes drug Ozempic (semaglutide) off-label for weight loss. They find they lose their desire to drink alcohol, sometimes completely, and may even feel nauseated when they try. Although the reason for the effect is not yet fully understood, semaglutide belongs to a class of drugs called glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor agonists, which are thought to mimic a hormone that makes us feel full and may affect the brain areas that regulate our desire for food. GLP-1 receptor agonists have been shown in animal studies to reduce alcohol consumption, but human studies are still underway.
Doctors say many patients are reporting a decreased desire to drink alcohol after taking Ozempic, which can be positive for those with diabetes or weight loss goals, and could even help those with alcohol use disorder. However, as human studies are still ongoing, definitive scientific guidance is not yet available on how Ozempic affects alcohol consumption. Until then, patients taking Ozempic are left to navigate the unexpected ways the drug may affect them.