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15 Surprising Benefits of Ozempic, According to Science

It goes far beyond just weight loss.
FACT CHECKED BY Christopher Roback

Ozempic is already challenging to get a hold of—but is it about to become significantly more difficult? With the drug being trialed to treat a host of serious health conditions, demand could go through the roof. "Despite the promise, it's best to take a cautiously optimistic view because research is in the early stages," says Leena Khaitan, MD, Director of the University Hospitals Bariatric Surgery Program. "There is still much to be learned about these drugs, how they work, and the long-term effects." Here are 15 benefits of Ozempic that could change the way the type 2 diabetes drug is prescribed.

Parkinson's Disease

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A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine shows that Lixisenatide, a drug in the same class of GLP-1 drugs as Ozempic and Wegovy, showed very promising outcomes for slowing down the progression of Parkinson's disease. As with people who take Ozempic for weight loss, many people in the Parkinson's study reported nausea and vomiting.

Alcohol Abuse

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Semaglutide helps make people feel full—and for many users of Ozempic and Wegovy, that "fullness" extends to drugs and alcohol. "Hearing patients, of their own volition, stop drinking was very striking," Joseph Schacht, associate professor of psychiatry and substance dependence at the University of Colorado's medical campus, tells NBC News. "I've been working with alcohol use disorder for a long time, and there just aren't a lot of medications that do that."

RELATED: 20 Incredible Ozempic Success Stories of All Time

Heart Disease


Ozempic is shown to lower the risk of a major cardiac event such as a heart attack. "In addition to having a 20% lower risk overall of major cardiac events, such as heart attack, stroke, or cardiovascular death, participants who took Wegovy had a 28% reduction in heart attacks (for those already taking heart medications, such as statins, to reduce cholesterol), a 7% decrease in non-fatal strokes, and a 15% drop in cardiovascular-related deaths," reports Yale Medicine.


PCOS - Polycystic ovary syndrome, woman hormone sickness lettering on paper in womans hands

Ozempic could help lessen the symptoms of PCOS. According to Dr. Melanie Cree, director of the multidisciplinary PCOS clinic at the University of Colorado, women with PCOS may develop insulin resistance and stubborn weight gain, which semaglutide can help with. "When it works, it works," Cree told NBC News. "[One patient's mother] said, 'You've given me my daughter back,' and then everybody in the room was crying. These medications are life-changing."

Sleep Apnea

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People who took Zepbound (Tirzepatide for type 2 diabetes and weight loss) reported improvements in sleep apnea, according to a sleep study. Eli Lilly, the maker of the drug, is now looking into having the FDA approve it for sleep apnea treatment.

RELATED: 20 Things You Need to Know About Ozempic and Weight Loss

Chronic Inflammation

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GLP-1 drugs such as Ozempic help reduce inflammation in the body by acting on brain cells, research shows. "It was a known effect of these drugs, that they act on inflammation," Ivan Koychev at the University of Oxford tells New Scientist. "This paper is helpful because it's clarifying the underlying mechanism."

Kidney Health

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Studies show Ozempic may actually lower the risk of kidney disease. "In this trial, we're able to show benefits that highlight how transforming semaglutide can be for people with diabetes and kidney disease," Dr. Vlado Perkovic, a nephrologist and provost at the University of New South Wales Sydney, tells CNN.

Cancer Prevention

Doctor talking to patient in office

While the makers of Ozempic warn it may cause thyroid tumors, weight loss is connected to a lower risk of several cancers."The holy grail has always been getting a medication to treat obesity," said Fred Hutch Cancer Center obesity researcher Anne McTiernan, MD, PhD. "There are at least 13 types of cancer-related to obesity including colorectal cancer, post-menopausal breast cancer, endometrial cancer, liver cancer, even some of the lymphomas and leukemias."

RELATED: 20 Possible Ozempic Side Effects

Ozempic Baby Boom

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Losing weight improves fertility, which may partially explain the Ozempic baby boom. "The medications are known to slow down gastric emptying, so it could alter the absorption of oral contraceptives," Dr. Angela Fitch, president of the Obesity Medicine Association and chief medical officer at Knownwell, tells Women's Wear Daily. "There's data that people with obesity tend to have a harder time getting pregnant. When you lose weight, however you lose it, you become more fertile."

Menstrual Cycles

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While Ozempic doesn't directly affect menstrual cycles, severe weight gain does. Some women who take Ozempic say it helped lessen period pain. For example, TikToker Melanie lost 90 pounds on Ozempic and says when she stopped taking the drug, her painful periods returned: "This has to be the most painful period I've had in the past two and a half years."

Weight Loss

Happy young woman on scales at home

Weight loss may not be a surprising effect of Ozempic, but it's not what the drug was designed for. Ozempic was created to help with symptoms of type 2 diabetes, while Wegovy is designed specifically for weight loss (it has a higher dose of semaglutide).

RELATED: What Happens to Your Body When You Stop Taking Ozempic

Stroke Risk

Doctor attentively examines the MRI scan of the patient.

As with the lowered risk of heart attacks, Ozempic may lower the risk of life-threatening stroke even in people without diabetes. "What's really interesting about this drug is the more it's studied, the more we're finding possible other theories," ABC News chief medical correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton said on Good Morning America. "Data has shown in lab animals that semaglutide can reduce inflammation, so … it can promote what's called plaque stability in those arteries, making the plaque less likely to break off and close off that artery, and then it almost works like a blood thinner in lab animals in terms of reducing platelet clumping."

Colorectal Cancer

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Losing weight not only lessens the risk of colorectal cancer, but semaglutide may benefit NK (natural killer) cells, which destroy cancerous cells before they become tumors. "Given the association between obesity and colorectal cancer, it is plausible that GLP-1 mediated weight loss could reduce an individual's risk of colorectal cancer," gastroenterologist and clinical researcher Rachel Issaka, MD, MAS, tells Fred Hutch Cancer Center. "The current data does not support using GLP-1 agents as a colorectal cancer prevention strategy, but future longer-term studies might change this."

Ozempic and Nicotine


As with other addictive substances, Ozempic can lessen the craving for nicotine products. "When we think about the reward centers, it releases dopamine, which is our feel-good hormone," Dr. Tamika Henry, founder of the California-based Unlimited Health Institute, tells CBS News. "So what happens is, when you do a certain activity, dopamine surges — and you're like, 'Oh, I want to keep doing that,' whether that's indulging in alcohol, nicotine or even gambling. How Ozempic works is, it decreases the surge of dopamine, and therefore the desire for that particular activity is decreased."

RELATED: 20 Things to Avoid While on Ozempic

Alzheimer's Disease

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Ozempic may help prevent dementia, promising research suggests. "It has been known for many years that Type 2 diabetes increases the risk for strokes and heart disease. Some studies suggest that diabetes also increases the risk for dementia," says Rose Ann Barajas, project coordinator at The Glenn Biggs Institute for Alzheimer's and Neurodegenerative Diseases at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. "The entire research team takes heed of all the reasons why the eventual findings from the EVOKE studies may have a positive impact here."

💪🔥Body Booster: The foundation of a healthy lifestyle is good nutrition and exercise, with or without medication.

Ferozan Mast
Ferozan Mast is a science, health and wellness writer with a passion for making science and research-backed information accessible to a general audience. Read more