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Is There a Risk for Semaglutide Misuse? Focus on the Food and Drug Administration’s FDA Adverse Events Reporting System (FAERS) Pharmacovigilance Dataset

Stefania Chiappini Orcid Logo, Rachel Vickers-Smith Orcid Logo, Daniel Harris, G. Duccio Papanti Pelletier, John Martin Corkery Orcid Logo, Amira Guirguis Orcid Logo, Giovanni Martinotti Orcid Logo, Stefano L. Sensi, Fabrizio Schifano

Pharmaceuticals, Volume: 16, Issue: 7, Start page: 994

Swansea University Author: Amira Guirguis Orcid Logo

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DOI (Published version): 10.3390/ph16070994

Abstract

Recent media reports commented about a possible issue of the misuse of antidiabetics related to molecules promoted as a weight-loss treatment in non-obese people. We evaluated here available pharmacovigilance misuse/abuse signals related to semaglutide, a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) analogue, in...

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Published in: Pharmaceuticals
ISSN: 1424-8247
Published: UK MDPI AG 2023
Online Access: Check full text

URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa63918
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Abstract: Recent media reports commented about a possible issue of the misuse of antidiabetics related to molecules promoted as a weight-loss treatment in non-obese people. We evaluated here available pharmacovigilance misuse/abuse signals related to semaglutide, a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) analogue, in comparison to other GLP-1 receptor agonists (albiglutide, dulaglutide, exenatide, liraglutide, lixisenatide, and tirzepatide) and the phentermine–topiramate combination. To acheieve that aim, we analyzed the Food and Drug Administration’s FDA Adverse Events Reporting System (FAERS) dataset, performing a descriptive analysis of adverse event reports (AERs) and calculating related pharmacovigilance measures, including the reporting odds ratio (ROR) and the proportional reporting ratio (PRR). During January 2018–December 2022, a total of 31,542 AERs involving the selected molecules were submitted to FAERS; most involved dulaglutide (n = 11,858; 37.6%) and semaglutide (n = 8249; 26.1%). In comparing semaglutide vs. the remaining molecules, the respective PRR values of the AERs ‘drug abuse’, ‘drug withdrawal syndrome’, ‘prescription drug used without a prescription’, and ‘intentional product use issue’ were 4.05, 4.05, 3.60, and 1.80 (all < 0.01). The same comparisons of semaglutide vs. the phentermine–topiramate combination were not associated with any significant differences. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study documenting the misuse/abuse potential of semaglutide in comparison with other GLP1 analogues and the phentermine–topiramate combination. The current findings will need to be confirmed by further empirical investigations to fully understand the safety profile of those molecules.
Keywords: Semaglutide, drug misuse, drug abuse, pharmacovigilance, image- and performance enhancing drugs (IPEDs), glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) agonists
College: Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences
Issue: 7
Start Page: 994