Semaglutide: A Possible Solution to Combat Weight Gain from Medications

Published on 24 February 2024 at 20:47

Source: The New York Times | By Dani Blum | November 3, 2023

Have you ever heard of semaglutide? It's a medication that might help people who take certain medicines for their mental health. Let's explore how this could be a game-changer for those dealing with weight gain.

The Weighty Issue

Meet Joanna Acevedo. She takes medicines to help her with bipolar disorder, and they've been crucial for her well-being. But there's a problem – these medicines made her gain a lot of weight, around 70 pounds. That's a big deal because gaining too much weight can lead to health issues like prediabetes.

Joanna's story isn't unique. Many people face the same challenge – the medicines that help their minds can sometimes make their bodies gain weight. It's like a tough situation where you have to choose between feeling good mentally and worrying about gaining too much weight.

A New Idea: Semaglutide

Joanna's psychiatrist suggested a new approach – a medication called semaglutide, which is usually used to help with diabetes. Some doctors are starting to believe that this medication could be the answer to the weight gain problem caused by certain mental health medicines.

Researchers and doctors are still figuring out if semaglutide is the right fit for everyone, especially for those dealing with depression, bipolar disorder, or other mental health conditions. It's like trying something new and hoping it works, but they want to make sure it's safe and helpful.

Why Does Weight Gain Happen?

Taking medicines for mental health is essential for many people, but some of these medicines can make them gain weight. It's not clear exactly why this happens, but experts think these medicines might increase appetite and slow down metabolism. Not everyone gains weight, and it's tough to figure out why some people do.

Doctors' Dilemma

Some doctors are excited about the possibility of using semaglutide. They see it as a "game-changer" because it could help people avoid the tough choice between mental well-being and gaining too much weight.

But not all doctors are on board. Some worry about the safety of using semaglutide for mental health reasons. They want more research to make sure it's the right choice for everyone.

Patients Speak Up

People like Joanna and Amanda Romero, who faced similar struggles, are speaking up. They've tried different ways to control their weight, but it wasn't easy. Amanda even tried a medication called Wegovy, which has the same compound as semaglutide, and it helped her lose weight.

Patients are pressing their doctors for options like semaglutide because they want to feel good mentally without the worry of gaining too much weight.


Semaglutide is like a new hope for people facing the challenge of weight gain from mental health medicines. While doctors are still figuring out if it's the right choice for everyone, the idea of having an option to fight weight gain is promising. As more research happens, we might find that semaglutide becomes a helpful solution for many.

Source: Dani Blum, November 3, 2023

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