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A new observational study on Wednesday reported for the first time a potential link between Novo Nordisk’s GLP-1 drugs Ozempic and Wegovy and an eye condition that can cause vision loss.

After hearing anecdotes of patients on the diabetes and obesity drugs experiencing nonarteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy, or NAION, researchers at Massachusetts Eye and Ear analyzed data from a registry of patients at their institution to see if there was a broad trend.


Among 710 patients with type 2 diabetes, there were 17 cases of NAION in patients prescribed semaglutide (the scientific name of both drugs). This translated to a cumulative rate of 8.9% over three years. That compares with six cases in patients prescribed non-GLP-1 diabetes drugs, calculated as a cumulative rate of 1.8%. Through statistical analyses, the researchers estimate that there was a 4.28 times greater risk of developing the condition in patients prescribed semaglutide, according to the study, published in JAMA Ophthalmology.

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