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Thyroid C-Cell Tumors

Thyroid C-Cell Tumors

The association between the use of Ozempic, a GLP-1 receptor agonist (RA), and the risk of developing thyroid C-cell tumors, particularly medullary thyroid cancer, has garnered attention within the medical community. A study highlighted in Diabetes Care revealed that individuals using GLP-1 RAs for a duration of 1-3 years exhibited an increased risk for all types of thyroid cancer, including medullary thyroid cancer, with adjusted hazard ratios of 1.58 for all thyroid cancers and 1.78 specifically for medullary thyroid cancer .

This finding aligns with the broader concerns raised by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), which has called for additional information from drug manufacturers about the potential link between semaglutide — the active ingredient in Ozempic — and thyroid cancer.

It’s important to note that while semaglutide is believed to cause thyroid C-cell tumors in rodent models, the direct applicability of these findings to humans remains uncertain. However, the potential risk has led to a boxed warning in the US for thyroid C-cell tumors with the use of semaglutide and other GLP-1RAs. Patients with a personal or family history of medullary thyroid cancer and multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2 are advised against the use of these medications.

The emergence of these findings underscores the importance of vigilance and thorough patient screening by healthcare providers when prescribing Ozempic. Patients are encouraged to report any symptoms such as lumps or swelling in the neck, hoarseness, trouble swallowing, or shortness of breath, which could indicate thyroid issues. The ongoing research and regulatory scrutiny aim to clarify the safety profile of GLP-1 RAs and ensure patient safety.

Source: Diabetes Care (Study)

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