The medical and pharmaceutical industries are looking into whether glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1)-based diabetes treatment can relieve symptoms of drug or alcohol addiction after obesity treatment.
On the 28th (local time), the international academic journal Science reported, “There are indications that GLP-1 analogue drugs for diabetes, also known as diet pills, are effective in combating addiction.” can help contain it.”
GLP-1 is a hormone secreted by the stomach and small intestine during ingestion. A similar form of diabetes treatment was first introduced to the market in 2005. Since then, the effect of treating obesity has also been confirmed and approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Currently, despite its explosive popularity as a cure for diabetes and diet, there is even a shortage of drugs.
Meanwhile, cravings for substances such as alcohol and nicotine were reduced in some patients who took GLP-1 analogs for diabetes or weight loss. It’s like opening a clue that it can be effective in fighting addiction. Experts predict that a more powerful compound, semaglutide and its analogs, could help curb tobacco, alcohol and cocaine use, although most early clinical trials have failed. At least nine Phase 2 clinical trials are currently underway or planned.
W. Kyle Simmons, director of the Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences, said: “If the results of the new study are positive, it could create a phenomenon similar to Prozac that has revolutionized psychiatry and increased the use of antidepressants to the point where it has become part of the popular culture,” he said. Because even an FDA-approved treatment for alcohol dependence has proven effective in only a small number of people, the efficacy of a GLP-1 analog in the treatment of addiction is expected to have a significant impact on the market.
At the same time, research is being done to find out how GLP-1 analogues are associated with addiction. The researchers predict that the GLP-1 analogue promotes weight loss by suppressing reward pathways that lead to eating delicious food or participating in activities with friends. Patricia Grixon, a professor at the Pennsylvania State University School of Medicine in the United States, predicted the link between GLP-1 analogs and addiction, stating, “Addiction is related to reward pathway hijacking in the brain.”