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Obesity drug could help alcohol use disorder

Recently, attention has turned to the possibility that semaglutide may have broader applications, including its potential positive impact on addictive behaviors such as reducing drug craving and alcohol consumption. 

There is some really interesting preclinical research in rodents and monkeys that shows that GLP-1 agonist molecules, like semaglutide, have the effect of reducing the consumption of not just food, but also alcohol, nicotine, cocaine and amphetamines

Some of that early research was conducted by Elisabet Jerlhag Holm, PhD, and colleagues at University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

“We have worked on GLP-1 and alcohol since 2012, and observe promising effects,” Holm told Medscape Medical News

Her team published two studies earlier this year — one in Frontiers in Pharmacology and the other in eBioMedicine — demonstrating that semaglutide, in low doses, reduces alcohol intake in male and female rats. 

“We have shown that semaglutide binds to the nucleus accumbens — an area of the brain associated with reward. We have also shown that semaglutide alters the dopamine metabolism when alcohol is onboard. This provides a tentative mechanism,” Holm said. 

Source: Medscape

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