Ozempic can potentially alter personality and decrease alcohol cravings

The FDA notes that the diabetes medication "interacts with the parts of the brain that reduce appetite and signal a feeling of fullness" and can also impact other areas.

Not only can the diabetes medication Ozempic trigger weight loss, but it can also lead to a reduced desire for alcohol, alterations in personality and libido changes.

How the brain processes Ozempic and other prescription medications in its class – such as glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists – influences satiety. According to People magazine, the Food and Drug Administration notes that the medication “interacts with the parts of the brain that reduce appetite and signal a feeling of fullness,” but it may also impact other brain areas.

Ozempic weight loss
Diabetes medication Ozempic can cause libido swings, reduced desire for alcohol, and alterations in personality. (Photo: Adobe Stock)

“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,” said board-certified gastroenterologist and weight-loss expert Dr. Steven Batash.

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

Batash said studies have indicated that semaglutide, a GLP-1 receptor agonist, may affect men’s testosterone levels. The testosterone hormone plays a crucial part in male sexual function. Reduced testosterone levels can cause a decline in libido, as well as other sexual issues, such as erectile dysfunction.

However, the doctor contended, a “reduced libido can be influenced by various factors, including stress, anxiety, depression, relationship issues, hormonal imbalances and other health conditions, all of which can cause personality changes.”

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Batash noted that the changes in men and women can go beyond libido. He explained that GLP-1 receptors are located in parts of the brain related to mood regulation, which may change an individual’s personality in addition to controlling appetite and satiety.

While personality alterations linked to GLP-1s are not frequently documented adverse effects, Batash said stopping the medication will probably restore prior personality traits.

Potential benefits also include limiting addictive behaviors.

“Increasing medical studies suggest that weight loss drugs, such as Ozempic and Wegovy, may reduce addictive tendencies in users like smoking and drinking which may cause a personality change,” said Batash, People reported. “These drugs are revealing diverse body responses to medications (beyond weight loss) – and it’s important to recognize the potential benefits.”