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Ozempic Patient Shares "Psychological Effects" That Made Him Want to Quit

It was "the one risk that I didn’t see coming," he cautions.

Ozempic has had a monumental impact in the fight against obesity—but that doesn't mean the off-label weight loss drug doesn't have its share of concerning side effects. We've heard horror stories from celebrities who have taken the GLP-1 medication, relating to debilitating constipation and extreme gastric issues. And there's even been cases in which patients have experienced a low sex drive or aesthetic changes like "Ozempic face." As prescriptions for Ozempic continue to surge, one patient is speaking out about the "psychological effects" of the semaglutide injection.

RELATED: Women Report New Surprising Ozempic Side Effects: "Your Body Is Going to Change."

Johann Hari didn't have diabetes when he was prescribed Ozempic for weight loss. However, his family's history of heart disease prompted his doctor to take action. Over the course of a year, Hari would go on to lose 42 pounds with the help of Ozempic and Wegovy (while the two aren't interchangeable, they do contain the same active ingredient: semaglutide, per GoodRx).

"I'm part of two experiments, not just one. I was part of the experiment that made us so much more obese. And now I'm part of the experiment that's reversing that using drugs," Hari explained during an interview with

Like many other Ozempic patients, Hari was caught off guard by the side effects. In his case, it was his body's psychological response to the drug that he wasn't prepared for.

"I woke up and I thought, 'There's something weird. What is it?' I couldn't figure out what it was. And then I suddenly realized I had woken up and I wasn't hungry. That had never happened to me," Hari recalled.

"All sorts of good things happened," said Hari of his first six months on Ozempic. He lost a significant amount of weight and, as a result, was relieved of the crippling back pain he had been experiencing. However, Hari said the shift in his mindset concerning hunger was "the one risk that I didn't see coming."

When asked what bothers him about Ozempic, Hari answered, "I didn't actually feel better in my emotions. If anything, I felt slightly worse. I realized it was about my inability to comfort eat, and how bad that was making me feel."

"I went to KFC in Las Vegas and I did what I would have done before I was taking Ozempic—I ordered a bucket of fried chicken. I had one of the chicken drumsticks, and I suddenly thought, 'I can't eat this,'" admitted Hari. "On Ozempic, you can't overeat. You would vomit. I remember a voice in my head going, 'You're just going to have to feel bad, then.'"

RELATED: Ex-Ozempic Patient Shares the Side Effect That Won't Go Away.

Hari said the inability to use food as a coping mechanism was "a bumpy adjustment process." In fact, he almost quit the weight loss drug altogether.

"It can bring to the surface the deep underlying emotional reasons why you ate in the first place," he explained. "I realized how much of my eating was about the need to comfort myself—stuffing myself to calm myself. And I couldn't do that when I was on Ozempic."

Ultimately, the experience forced Hari to look inward: "One of my friends said to me, 'You can find a better way to deal with your emotions than overeating.'"

While the psychological effects were enough to make Hari reconsider his stance on Ozempic, the 45-year-old journalist said he plans to stay on the weight loss drug indefinitely due to his risk of developing heart disease. That said, he isn't brushing his side effects under the rug.

"Semaglutide has only been used for a bit more than two years now for people with obesity. We don't know the long-term effects of taking them. There's a concern that maybe they'll have some effect that we just don't know in the long term," he noted.

We offer the most up-to-date information from top experts, new research, and health agencies, but our content is not meant to be a substitute for professional guidance. When it comes to the medication you're taking or any other health questions you have, always consult your healthcare provider directly.

Emily Weaver
Emily is a NYC-based freelance entertainment and lifestyle writer — though, she’ll never pass up the opportunity to talk about women’s health and sports (she thrives during the Olympics). Read more
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