If you’re one of those diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, then you’ve probably heard of the drug called Semaglutide or more commonly known in its brand name Ozempic. Like any other prescription medication, Ozempic has its own set of side effects that anyone who’s going to take it should know about. Before you make a trip down the local pharmacy, read on to learn more about Ozempic as a drug.

What is Ozempic?

Ozempic is the brand name of Semaglutide, a prescription medication used to improve blood sugar levels in adults with type 2 diabetes. It is usually used in conjunction with diet and exercise as well as other diabetes medications such as metformin or insulin. Ozempic has also been approved to reduce the risk of major cardiovascular events, such as heart attack and stroke in adults with type 2 diabetes and known heart disease.

How Does Ozempic Work?

According to its classification, Ozempic belongs to a class of drugs known as glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) agonists. The drug works by binding to GLP-1 receptors and stimulates insulin release from the pancreas when you need it. It helps to lower your blood sugar levels and A1C. It also helps to reduce the amount of sugar released by your liver and slows down food leaving your stomach to help prevent blood sugar spikes.

How is Ozempic Used?

Typically, Ozempic comes in pre-filled pens that deliver a 0.25 mg, 0.5 mg, or 1mg dose per injection, depending on your doctor’s prescription. It is a once-weekly medicine and should be used on a regular basis. 

After purchasing your Ozempic pens from the local pharmacy, you need to first inspect the injector visually before use. It should appear clear and colourless. Next, you need to administer it subcutaneously to the abdomen, thigh, or upper arm. Doctors usually advise patients to use a different injection site each week.

What are the Common Side Effects of Ozempic?

Ozempic side effects are known to be mild, but serious side effects have also been observed on some patients. The following list shows the more common side effects of the drug:

Common Side Effects

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach Pain
  • Constipation
  • Flatulence

These side effects are known to go away within a few days or even up to a couple of weeks. However, some of the more severe side effects could warrant some medical attention from a doctor.

Serious Side Effects

  • Pancreatitis
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Diabetic Retinopathy
  • Kidney Damage
  • Thyroid Cancer
  • Allergic Reactions

Side Effect Details

Like any other drug, some people may experience an allergic reaction to Ozempic, leading to some skin rash and itchiness. The other severe symptoms like thyroid cancer mean that people taking Ozempic could have higher risks of developing the disease. This is why doctors don’t recommend Ozempic to people with a history of cancer or an immediate family with medullary thyroid carcinoma. If you’re taking Ozempic and showing signs of a thyroid tumour, you should contact your doctor immediately.

Conclusion

Ozempic is one of the many injectable diabetes medications on the market today. While they are deemed quite effective in battling diabetes and preventing certain heart conditions, patients need to be informed of some of their side effects. Knowing how the drug works and what it can do can help you avoid any serious medical emergencies where Ozempic is involved.

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