Can Ozempic Cause Panic Attacks and Anxiety?

Learn whether Ozempic can lead to panic attacks and anxiety. Explore our thorough analysis of symptoms and expert recommendations.

Table of Contents
  • Does Ozempic Increase the Risk of Anxiety and Panic Attacks?
  • Why Might Ozempic Cause Anxiety or Panic Attacks?
  • How to Cope with Ozempic-Induced Anxiety
  • Comparing Anxiety Side Effects With Other Weight Loss Drugs
  • More On Managing Side Effects On Ozempic

In the rapidly evolving landscape of medical treatments for weight loss and type 2 diabetes, Ozempic has emerged as a notable contender. However, as with any medication, it’s important to be aware that every person responds differently and can be at risk for specific side effects depending on genetic and lifestyle factors.

Patient reports of increased anxiety and panic attacks while taking Ozempic raised questions about whether this medication impacts psychological well-being. In this article, we will explore whether Ozempic increases the risk of these conditions, why it might contribute to such side effects, and ways to cope if you are experiencing these symptoms.

Does Ozempic Increase the Risk of Anxiety and Panic Attacks?

Current research and patient reports provide a mixed picture. While the official side effect profile of Ozempic, provided by the manufacturer, does not prominently list anxiety and panic attacks, some patients have reported experiencing these symptoms. However, it is crucial to differentiate between direct side effects of the medication and symptoms that may result from other factors, such as the stress of dealing with a chronic condition or changes in diet and lifestyle associated with weight loss efforts.

The EudraVigilance database is a collection of reports dedicated to documenting adverse reactions to medications across Europe. Out of over 30,000 cases of adverse effects on GLP-1 medications, only 1.2% of those were psychiatric-related overall, and only 0.5% specifically mentioned anxiety.

However, it's unclear whether this anxiety directly stems from the use of the medications themselves or if other factors contribute to its occurrence. Therefore, randomized clinical trials are necessary to delineate the potential relationship, if any, between Ozempic and the development of anxiety (1).

Why Might Ozempic Cause Anxiety or Panic Attacks?

The connection between Ozempic and anxiety or panic attacks could be multifaceted. Some potential explanations include:

  • Blood sugar fluctuations: Ozempic regulates insulin, which could lead to changes in blood sugar levels. Sudden changes in blood sugar can sometimes mimic or trigger symptoms of anxiety. (2
  • Psychological responses: Dealing with a chronic illness and significant lifestyle changes can be stressful, possibly exacerbating feelings of anxiety or triggering panic attacks. (3)
  • Bodily sensations: The gastrointestinal side effects of Ozempic, such as nausea and stomach pain, might be distressing and lead to increased anxiety in some individuals.

How to Cope with Ozempic-Induced Anxiety

While the exact impact of GLP-1 medications on anxiety remains uncertain, one thing is clear: individuals dealing with type 2 diabetes and obesity often experience higher rates of anxiety. Some studies suggest that this relationship works both ways, where anxiety can lead to behaviors that contribute to these conditions, and in turn, these conditions can cause anxiety. By promoting weight loss and better control of blood sugar levels in individuals struggling with obesity and diabetes, these medications might offer improvements in mental health (4).

If you believe Ozempic is contributing to feelings of anxiety or triggering panic attacks, consider the following strategies:

  • Consult with healthcare providers: Discuss any side effects with your prescribing doctor. They can adjust your treatment plan, such as dosage changes or alternative medications.
  • Monitor blood sugar levels: Tracking your blood sugar can help determine whether fluctuations correlate with anxiety episodes.
  • Stress management techniques: Engaging in stress-reduction practices like meditation, yoga, or counseling can be beneficial.
  • Healthy lifestyle habits: Ensure a balanced diet, regular physical activity, and adequate sleep to mitigate anxiety.

Comparing Anxiety Side Effects With Other Weight Loss Drugs

Most pharmacological treatments for weight loss and diabetes management come with a spectrum of potential side effects, including psychological ones. Each medication has a unique profile of side effects, which may differ from patient to patient. 

Personalized treatment plans are crucial, taking into account the patient's medical history, including predispositions to anxiety or panic disorders.

Similar GLP-1 medications include:

  1. Mounjaro and Zepbound: Both are formulated from the active ingredient tirzepatide. They result in a higher rate of weight loss and a higher incidence of side effects.
  2. Wegovy: As this uses the same active ingredient as Ozempic, semaglutide, the side effect profile is likely to be similar and depends on the dosage.

Explore other medications and consult your health provider to identify your best option.

More On Managing Side Effects On Ozempic

While the potential link between Ozempic and anxiety warrants further investigation, it's important to understand the interplay between chronic diseases like obesity and diabetes and mental health. Whether anxiety arises as a result of these conditions or exists independently, seeking support from healthcare providers is important. Remember, you're not alone in navigating these challenges; treatment options are available to help manage symptoms and improve your quality of life.

If you want to get started on Ozempic or need more guidance on managing your overall health on weight loss medications, consider Mochi Health as your comprehensive solution. Find out if you are eligible for our program today.

1. Tobaiqy, M., & Elkout, H. (2024). Psychiatric adverse events associated with semaglutide, liraglutide and tirzepatide: a pharmacovigilance analysis of individual case safety reports submitted to the EudraVigilance database. International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy, 46(2), 488–495.
2. Nakhleh, A., & Shehadeh, N. (2021). Hypoglycemia in diabetes: An update on pathophysiology, treatment, and prevention. World Journal of Diabetes, 12(12), 2036–2049.

3. DeJean, D., Giacomini, M., Vanstone, M., & Brundisini, F. (2013). Patient experiences of depression and anxiety with chronic disease: a systematic review and qualitative meta-synthesis. Ontario Health Technology Assessment Series, 13(16), 1–33

4. Chen, X., Zhao, P., Wang, W., Guo, L., & Pan, Q. (2024). The Antidepressant Effects of GLP-1 Receptor Agonists: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 32(1), 117–127.

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