Ozempic Can 'Potentially' Change Your Personality — and Sex Life, Expert Says

The diabetes drug, which has become a popular weight-loss tool, works on pleasure receptors in the brain — which may impact the desire to drink alcohol or have sex

<p>SEBASTIEN BOZON/AFP via Getty Images</p> Stock image of Ozempic


Stock image of Ozempic

The very thing that makes the diabetes drug Ozempic such an effective tool for weight loss may also cause it to impact someone’s libido, limit their desire for alcohol or even change their personality.

Ozempic and other prescription drug in its class — such as glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists — work in the brain to impact satiety. Per the Food and Drug Administration, the medication “interacts with the parts of the brain that reduce appetite and signal a feeling of fullness.”

But there are other parts of the brain that may be affected. 

“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,” Dr. Steven Batash, board-certified gastroenterologist and weight-loss expert at Batash Endoscopic Weight Loss, tells PEOPLE.

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

<p>Mario Tama/Getty Images</p> Stock image of Ozempic

Mario Tama/Getty Images

Stock image of Ozempic

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Recent reports highlight the potential of GLP-1s to help alcohol addiction — but people may also see a decrease in their libido.

As Batash tells PEOPLE, “Studies have shown that GLP-1 receptor agonists, including semaglutide, may have an impact on testosterone levels in men. Testosterone is a hormone that plays a crucial role in male sexual function. Reduced testosterone levels can result in a decrease in libido, as well as other sexual concerns such as [erectile dysfunction].”

But, he says, 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.”

But there may be changes beyond libido in men and women. "Beyond regulating hunger and satiety, GLP-1 receptors are also found in areas of the brain involved in mood regulation, potentially changing one’s personality,” Batash says.

Related: Costco's $179 Weight-Loss Program May Help You Get an Ozempic Prescription

<p>Michael Siluk/UCG/Universal Images Group via Getty Images</p> Stock image of Wegovy

Michael Siluk/UCG/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Stock image of Wegovy

Although “personality changes associated with GLP-1s are not commonly reported side effects,” Batash adds that going off the drug is likely to restore previous personality characteristics.

But, he says, there are potential benefits to the medications when it comes to 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," he explains. "These drugs are revealing diverse body responses to medications (beyond weight loss) – and it’s important to recognize the potential benefits.”

Of course, it makes sense that some personality changes my occur just due to the weight loss itself. "As a user sheds weight, their self-esteem might increase, changing the way they interact with those around them," Batash says.

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Read the original article on People.