A deep dive into the side effects of Ozempic
At Simple Online Pharmacy, we’re committed to helping you every step of the way of your weight loss journey. This includes providing all the information you need about what to expect while using weight loss treatments.
It’s possible that you might experience some side effects while using Ozempic or one of our other weight loss treatments. As is the case with any medication, side effects are generally anticipate. It’s important to know what’s considered normal and what isn’t.
That’s why we’ve put together a useful guide to help you understand all about side effects, so you can learn how to prevent or, at perhaps reduce their impact.
What is Ozempic?
Starting with the basics! Ozempic is a prescription medication that contains the active ingredient semaglutide. This can be prescribed to people living with obesity to aid in weight loss.
Ozempic was originally developed to manage high blood sugar in type 2 diabetes. It comes in as a injetion pen and is usually taken once a week to control blood sugar, or as part of a weight loss reigme.
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What are the odds of experiencing Ozempic side effects?
Generally around 10% of patients will experience side effects from Ozempic. Like most medications, Ozempic can cause mild or more serious side effects or allergic reactions. Of those patients who experience side effects, most are usually mild and temporary. As your body adapts to the medication, most of them should go away. They are expected to occur in just 1 in 10 (or 10%) of Ozempic users.
As with any other medication you take, it’s crucial to discuss potential Ozempic side effects with your prescriber before you begin taking it. If a side effect is causing you problems you are not comfortable with, or it’s doesn’t improve over time, seek advice from your prescriber or a pharmacist.
Common Ozempic side effects
Like all medications, Ozempic may cause side effects in some individuals. These side effects are generally mild, temporary, and can be managed or minimized. However, if you continue to experience side effects, consult your GP or pharmacist for advice.
It’s important to be aware that some side effects of Ozempic can be serious—although rare, there is still a risk involved.
If you show signs of a serious allergic reaction—such as facial, lip, or throat swelling, breathing difficulties, trouble swallowing, or a rapid heartbeat—please seek immediate emergency medical help from your GP or the nearest A&E service.
Ozempic may affect some people’s sense of taste. Current clinical studies are investigating this phenomenon. Generally, only a small number of individuals report experiencing slightly altered taste perception while taking the medication.
The exact reason for this rare side effect in some people remains unknown. Our Simple Online Pharmacy community has suggested that trying new or unusual foods might help enhance your taste perception.
Digestive Side Effects
Some side effects of Ozempic may involve your stomach and digestive system. These side effects are typically mild and subside as you progress through your treatment and your body adjusts to the medication.
So your digestive system is able to adjust to the treatment, we advise eating small, bland meals. Staying well-hydrated during this period, can also help.
Gas and Burping
Gas and burping typically result from small amounts of air building up in your digestive system, which is a completely normal aspect of digestion.
This air is released by burping, or passing wind. Because Ozempic slows down the rate at which you can digest food, it may cause a slight increase in gas buildup. Again, this will usually subside over time.
These symptoms are generally mild and reduce as your body adjusts to the medication. If they persist or if you’d like to prevent them, your prescriber can recommend over-the-counter remedies, such as anti-flatulents and antacids.
Nausea was the most frequently reported side effect in Ozempic clinical trials. Often described as an unsettled or upset stomach, it may feel like you need to vomit but doesn’t always lead to vomiting.
This nauseous feeling may be present for a while at the beginning of treatment, but for most people, it dissipates within the first few days, as the body adjusts to the medication.
Severe nausea is rare, and we advise contacting your GP or healthcare professional if you experience it.
To alleviate nausea, try these simple lifestyle changes:
- Take sips of a cold drink
- Get fresh air
- Try peppermint tea
- Try some ginger tea or ginger containing foods
- Consume smaller, more frequent meals
- Avoid high-acidity fruit juices
If nausea becomes too troublesome, your pharmacist can recommend over-the-counter medicines.
Vomiting is another possible side effect of Ozempic. However, as your body adjusts to the medication, this usually resolves on its own.
If you experience severe vomiting and/or stomach pain, contact your GP as soon as possible for advice.
If you’re experiencing vomiting, it’s important to stay hydrated by taking frequent sips of water throughout the day.
Eating bland, low-fat foods like toast or rice, as well as high water content foods such as soups, can also help. Avoid greasy meals and sugary foods.
If vomiting is particularly bothersome as you adjust to the treatment, please get in touch. We may be able to recommend over-the-counter medications available at most pharmacies.
Dizziness and Lightheadedness
Although infrequently reported in clinical studies, Ozempic may cause dizziness or lightheadedness when you first start taking the medication.
Fortunately, this is usually a minor, short-term issue that resolves once your body adjusts to the medication.
Dizziness can be a secondary symptom caused by dehydration. If you’re experiencing severe dizziness, speak to your doctor as soon as you can.
To manage dizziness, try the following:
- Move carefully and deliberately
- Ensure you get enough rest
- Lie down until the dizziness passes
- Stay well-hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids, especially water
- Try eating a biscuit or dry sugary snack
- Avoid coffee, cigarettes, alcohol, and drugs
Fatigue can manifest in various ways, from tiredness and sore muscles to dizziness and headaches. This is usually a secondary symptom caused by another side effect.
For instance, if you’re vomiting or consuming too few calories, your body might not receive enough energy, resulting in tiredness.
To combat fatigue, try these strategies:
- Eat healthily and provide your body with sufficient fuel
- Practice relaxation techniques
- Stay hydrated by drinking enough fluids
- Ensure you get adequate rest and maintain good sleep habits
- Engage in physical exercise to alleviate sore muscles
Headaches are a common side effect of Ozempic. They often subside after taking the first few doses and are frequently caused by dehydration.
If headaches persist, contact your Simple Online Pharmacy prescriber.
To manage headaches, try the following:
- Increase your water intake to stay hydrated, aiming for at least 2L of fluid daily
- Relax and ensure you get enough rest
- Take pain relief as needed
Abdominal Pain or Constipation
Stomach pain can result from various factors, such as cramping, constipation, bloating, or even diarrhea. Like many Ozempic side effects, these usually resolve on their own after a short time.
If you experience severe stomach pain, please contact your doctor immediately. If you are unable to contact them, you should seek assistance from your nearest accident and emergency service.
Abdominal pain can be uncomfortable, but there are ways to alleviate it! Here are a few top tips;
- Start by eating smaller meals to help reduce any painful bloating sensations.
- Incorporate high-fiber foods like apples, beans, or dried fruits to help relieve constipation.
- Remember to keep hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids during the day.
If these strategies don’t provide relief, speak to your GP or pharmacist, who can recommend over-the-counter medication from your local pharmacy to help manage abdominal pain symptoms.
Reducing Ozempic Side Effects
Rest assured, side effects are only expected in 10% of patients. Your prescriber will aim to minimise side effects by gradually increasing your Ozempic dosage over several weeks.
Starting with a low dose of 0.25 mg allows your body to adjust to the medication before increasing the dose to 0.5 mg.
Remember, never take more than one dose at a time and always follow your prescriber’s dosing instructions for any prescription drugs.
Serious Ozempic Side Effects
These rare side effects can affect a small group of patients, typically fewer than 1 in 100. If they occur, you should contact your doctor immediately to advise them.
Most people who suffer from acute pancreatitis will start feeling better within a week. They usually then don’t experience any further complications. Watch for pain in the center of your stomach, vomiting, and fever.
In trials, approximately 1 in 300 patients developed pancreatitis while taking Ozempic. If you experience these symptoms, speak to your GP immediately.
Retinopathy is a disease of the eye’s retina. This can results in blurred or patchy vision, eye pain, or even sudden vision loss.
Diabetic patients are more likely to develop this condition because of their high sugar levels. These high sugar levels can result in damage to the retina. You should aim to maintain steady blood sugar levels by eating a healthy, balanced diet. Scheduling regular eye checks is also important.
Proper use of the Ozempic treatment
If you drink, talk to your doctor about what is a safe amount to have while on the program.
Ozempic is not known to have interactions with alcohol. However, both can cause a drop in blood sugar, so it’s important to discuss your drinking habits with your prescriber.
If you have severe symptoms such as persistent vomiting or abdominal pain, it’s important to contact your GP as soon as possible.
It is crucial to use Ozempic according to the dosage, usage, and instructions provided by your prescriber.
Misusing prescription medicines, such as taking them contrary to your prescriber’s instructions or sharing them with someone they were not prescribed for, can lead to serious side effects and potential harm.
Always follow the dosage and injection schedule provided by your prescriber, and store the medication safely.