Ozempic: patients report side effects such as erectile dysfunction

On social networks, Some patients have shared their experiences with Ozempic, pointing out a concerning side effect: erectile dysfunction. This drug, widely known for its effectiveness in controlling type 2 diabetes and weight loss, now faces questions about its safety and tolerability.

Although experts claim that weight loss can increase testosterone levels, there is no solid evidence directly linking Ozempic to impotence. However, one study reveals that 1 in 75 men reported experiencing this symptom, raising important questions about the safety of the medication.

Science Magazine has designated these drugs against obesity, and the discovery that they can mitigate the health problems of the pathology, as the breakthrough of the year 2023. In this way, they have gone from “being on the covers of the tabloid press” for their use by Hollywood stars “to be on the cover of an impact scientific magazine.”

It is a statement of endocrine of the Spanish Society for the Study of Obesity (SEEDO) and the Vithas hospital in Seville, Christopher Moralesin an interview with EFEsalud in which he gives the keys to why these drugs have been a whole revolution if they are accompanied by an adequate diet and physical activity.

How do they work

They are drugs that They began to be used in 2005 to treat type 2 diabetes because they improve glucose control, but the different studies that researchers were carrying out revealed how beneficial they were for controlling appetite and, therefore, weight.

These are molecules that imitate the hormone GLP-1 secreted by the small intestine in response to food intake and which increases the feeling of fullness and satiety. The one produced by the human body disappears quickly from the blood, however, the modified ones (the drug) cause a feeling of satiety for a longer time.

Drugs for obesity

The most “famous” drug and the one that has been on everyone's lips the most is Ozempic (from Novo Nordisk), whose active ingredient is semaglutide. In Spain it is authorized for type 2 diabetes and obesity. Public Health finances it for people with type 2 diabetes (T2DM).

For the exclusive indication of obesity in Spain, it is currently authorized only Saxenda (also from Novo Nordisk), which contains the active substance liraglutide. The technical sheet specifies that “It acts on the brain receptors that control appetite and make you feel fuller and less hungry. In this way, it can help you eat less and reduce your body weight.”. It is not financed by Public Health.

He will join them wegovy (from the same laboratory) that is not yet in Spain due to stock problems. It is the same molecule but the approval is specific for obesity, so having type 2 diabetes will no longer be a requirement for its indication.

Although the molecule being tested is the same, “there is a clinical development program for type 2 diabetes and another program for people without it,” explains Morales.

“In Europe it is approved for obesity, which happens that it has not yet been marketed in Spain because we are waiting for there to be enough stock in 2023, since we have talked so much about specific shortages,” indicates the SEEDO endocrinologist.

Supply problems

And the popularity of these drugs has caused shortage problems.

In Spain, according to the latest communication from the Spanish Agency for Medicines and Health Products (Aemps) the rise of The demand in recent months for GLP-1 analogue drugs “continues to produce tensions in the supply”.

Furthermore, it specified thatThe incumbent laboratories have established measures to increase their manufacturing globally and meet needs, but while this is taking place, tensions in its supply may continue to occur.

Its effects beyond weight loss

Another drug that will break into Spain in 2024 will be the antidiabetic Mounjaro (from Lilly). The active ingredient is tirzepatide. And it would have approval by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for type 2 diabetes but also for obesity.

They are drugs that this year several clinical trials have discovered that reduce symptoms of heart failure and the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Science magazine notes that the reach of these drugs is expanding “in ways their inventors could not imagine” and trials are underway to investigate why people with obesity and diabetes reported less craving for wine and tobacco during treatment. .

And others try these drugs to Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, because it has been shown that they act on brain inflammation.

However, Science points out, like almost all medications “These best sellers have side effects and unknowns”. Among the first, possible intestinal problems or pancreatitis.

The stigma

For Morales, the fact that Science has chosen these drugs as the breakthrough of the year highlights “all the science behind obesity.”

For Morales, obesity is a disease “with capital letters, with multiple and deep roots that begin in schools, in daycare, in the womb” and With these drugs “some color” has been added to a disease in which “until now we had failed” and the only thing available was surgery.

“Another issue would be financing, which we still don't know because in Spain unfortunately we have never obtained financing for any obesity medication,” highlights the endodrino.

Ozempic Side Effects

Novo Nordisk refuted a Louisiana woman's claim that her doctors were not adequately warned about the side effects of the company's blockbuster drug, Ozempicsaying that the vomiting and pain he allegedly experienced are documented side effects listed on the medication's label.

Danish pharmaceutical company filed a motion to dismiss, opens a new tab

Jaclyn Bjorklund filed a lawsuit against the company on Friday in federal court in Louisiana. Bjorklund said that while taking the type 2 diabetes medication she developed gastroparesisa slowdown in the emptying of the stomach into the small intestine, which caused vomiting and pain.

The company in its motion to dismiss said the delay is actually part of how the drug works to improve blood sugar control. He also said that its symptoms were “widely discussed” in the drug's approved labeling by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Novo further argued that the Louisiana law Bjorklund cites in her lawsuit does not require doctors to be warned “about known risks, such as the well-known side effects of Ozempic and Mounjaro that she claims to have experienced.”

Bjorklund's lawyers at Morgan & Morgan did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Novo Nordisk's filing. Lawyers for Novo Nordisk requested comment from the company, which did not respond.

Court records show that Bjorklund was one of the first people to sue Novo Nordisk over side effects associated with Ozempic, which It is among several medications originally developed to help treat diabetes and that have gained popularity due to their effectiveness in aiding weight loss. At least two similar lawsuits are pending, one in federal court in Louisiana and another in federal court in Pennsylvania, records show.

Morgan & Morgan, which represents Bjorklund, and several other plaintiff firms said they are investigating other consumer complaints alleging adverse effects from the medications.

Novo makes Ozempic and Wegovy, a version of the specific weight-loss drug, and Eli Lilly makes the diabetes drug Mounjaro.

Bjorklund, who filed her lawsuit in August alleging that the companies downplayed the severity of the side effects, sued both Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly, saying she took Ozempic and Mounjaro before experiencing severe vomiting and pain that sent her to the hospital and also caused her to lose her teeth.

Eli Lilly's motion to dismiss, filed in October, claims that the serious problems Bjorklund said she experienced began before taking Mounjaro. The company also argues that The symptoms she described are known and described on the medication label.

An Eli Lilly spokesman said the lawsuit is meritless.

The case is Jaclyn Bjorklund v. Novo Nordisk, U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, No. 2:23-cv-01020.

By Bjorklund: René Rocha, Mike Morgan, Jonathan Sedgh, Josh Autry and Paul Pennock of Morgan & Morgan

By Novo Nordisk: Paige Sensenbrenner and Diana Cole Surprenant of Adams and Reese; and Loren Brown of DLA Piper

(With information from EFE and Reuters)