ozempic weight loss

Ozempic Weight Loss Injections: Everything You Need To Know

Jodie Theia

Jodie Theia

ANutr, GDipNut, BSc, BA, Nutrition

The moto of my first and most beloved university summarizes beautifully my philosophy of education: ‘Ancora Imparo’ (I am always learning). I do my best to stay up-to-date with the latest happenings within the constantly evolving health and wellness industry, as well as emerging nutrition science. Still, I am just a human being and a new mum with new responsibilities, so am limited by time and resources… but I always remain humble with my level of knowledge and embrace the opportunity to learn together.
By 
, reviewed by
– Updated August 4, 2022
Written by April Galt, BSc, MBA on August 4, 2022 — Qualified nutritionist reviewed by Jodie Theia ANutr, GDipNut, BSc, BA, Nutrition

BRAND INFORMATION

Brand name: Ozempic [‘əʊzɛ:mpɪk]
Active ingredients: Semaglutide
Schedule: 4
Manufacturer: Novo Nordisk Pharmaceuticals Pty Ltd

Consumer Medicine Information (CMI) summary

The full CMI on the next page has more details. If you are worried about using this medicine, speak to your doctor or pharmacist.

FDA warning: Thyroid cancer

This drug has a boxed warning about the possible risk of thyroid cancer. This is the most serious Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warning. A boxed warning alerts doctors and patients about drug effects that may be dangerous.

Contents

Ozempic may raise the risk of thyroid tumours in animals. It is unknown if Ozempic has this effect on people. If you or a close family member has had thyroid cancer in the past, or if you have multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2, you should not take Ozempic.

If you are taking Ozempic and experiencing thyroid tumour symptoms, call your doctor immediately. A tumour or lump in your neck, difficulty swallowing or breathing, and a raspy voice are all alarming symptoms.

What is Ozempic? What it is used for

Ozempic is often prescribed for type 2 diabetes.
Ozempic is a prescription drug that’s used to:

 Manage blood sugar levels in adults with type 2 diabetes, along with lifestyle improvements in diet and exercise.

✓ Lower certain risks in adults who have both heart disease and diabetes. These risks include heart attack and stroke.

Ozempic isn’t used for type 1 diabetes, diabetic ketoacidosis, or in people who’ve had pancreatitis. See the “What is Ozempic used for?” section below for more information.

Ozempic comes as a liquid solution inside prefilled, disposable pens. You’ll inject the drug under your skin.

Ozempic’s active ingredient is semaglutide. It belongs to a class of drugs called glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1 RAs). Semaglutide comes only as the brand-name drug Ozempic. There isn’t a generic form of it available.

FDA approval

Ozempic was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in December 2017.
Note: Ozempic is not currently available in an oral pill form.

Ozempic generic

There is no generic version of Ozempic. These pills include a medication called semaglutide, which is not yet accessible in generic form.

Do I need a prescription?

A prescription is required to get this medication from a pharmacy. It is Schedule 4 : Prescription Only Medicine.

Is this medicine subsidised?

This medicine was verified as available on the PBS (Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme) on July 1, 2022. Visit the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) website to learn more about this subsidy.

Precautions

See warnings.

If you’re allergic to semaglutide, notify your doctor or pharmacist. Inactive chemicals in this product may cause allergic reactions or other issues. Your pharmacist can help.

Tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, particularly of: diabetic retinopathy, pancreatitis, gallbladder disease, renal difficulties, and stomach/intestinal diseases (such as gastroparesis and digestion problems).

Low or high blood sugar may cause blurred vision, dizziness, and sleepiness. Do not drive, operate equipment, or undertake any activity requiring alertness or clear eyesight until you can do so safely.

Alcohol might increase your risk of low blood sugar when taking this medicine.

Stress might make blood sugar control tougher (such as due to fever, infection, injury, or surgery). This may affect your treatment strategy, medicines, or blood sugar tests.

Always tell your doctor about all your medications before surgery (including prescription, nonprescription, and herbal products).

Discuss with your doctor the advantages and dangers of taking this medicine during pregnancy if you intend, become, or suspect pregnancy. The manufacturer suggests ceasing usage 2 months before pregnancy.

What should be considered before taking Ozempic?

Before starting Ozempic, talk with your doctor about all the benefits and risks of using it. You should also discuss your overall health and any health conditions you may have. Ask your doctor if Ozempic is safe for you to take if you:

✓ have a family history of thyroid cancer
✓ have problems with your kidneys
✓ have diabetic retinopathy (damage to your eyes that’s caused by diabetes)
✓ are pregnant or plan to become pregnant
✓ are breastfeeding

Interactions

Using medications, vaccines, foods, and other things with a certain drug can affect how the drug works. These effects are called interactions.

Interactions can raise or lower the effect of medications taken together.

Before taking Ozempic, be sure to tell your doctor about all medications you take (including prescription and over-the-counter types). Also, describe any vitamins, herbs, or supplements you use. Your doctor or pharmacist can tell you about any interactions these items may cause with Ozempic.

Taking Ozempic with other drugs

Your doctor may prescribe Ozempic with other medications to help manage your blood sugar levels or lower your risk of cardiovascular problems.

Some examples of other diabetes medications that may be prescribed with Ozempic include:

glipizide (Glucotrol)
glyburide (Diabeta, Glynase Prestabs)
metformin (Glucophage, Glumetza, Riomet)

Talk to your doctor if you’d like to know more about taking other drugs with Ozempic.

Note: For information about things that can interact with Ozempic, such as other drugs or foods, see the “What should be considered before taking Ozempic?”.

ASK YOUR DOCTOR
You may have Ozempic and treatment queries. Discuss your worries with your attending physician.
These recommendations may help direct your debate.

What will Ozempic do to my body, mind, and lifestyle?

Bring a friend if it would help you relax.
If you’re new to self-injections, ask your doctor to explain how it’s done. Ask to demonstrate the method again until you understand it.

Never be scared to ask questions or provide feedback on your treatment.

Use with alcohol

Drinking large amounts of alcohol with Ozempic can affect your blood sugar levels. This can also:

✕ affect your liver function
✕ cause dehydration

Ask your doctor for more information about the risks of drinking alcohol while you’re taking Ozempic.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

It’s unknown if Ozempic is safe to use during pregnancy or while breastfeeding.

Talk with your doctor about the benefits and risks of Ozempic if you’re pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding.

Download the consumer medicine information leaflet (pdf) from the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) website

Do not use Ozempic® if:

How to take it

The way to take this medicine is subcutaneous. This medicine is injected into the fat just beneath the skin, usually with a short needle or pen-like device.

The shelf lifetime is 36 Months. You should seek medical advice about medicines and use them only as directed by a healthcare professional.

Always read the label. If symptoms persist, see your healthcare professional.

What should be done in case of overdose?

Don’t take more Ozempic than your doctor prescribes. Doing so can lead to serious side effects.

Because Ozempic is injected once weekly, the effects of an overdose may last for a while. If you take too much Ozempic, your doctor will need to monitor you closely and treat your symptoms until they’ve resolved.

What to do in case you take too much Ozempic

Call your doctor if you think you’ve taken too much Ozempic. If there are no symptoms, but you suspect poisoning, call 13 11 26 (Poisons Information Centre) to speak with a poison expert. You can call 24 hours a day from anywhere in Australia. But if you have severe symptoms, immediately call 000 or go to the nearest emergency room.

Symptoms of overdose

Ozempic overdose can cause severe low blood sugar levels. 
Symptoms include:

Ozempic side effects

Ozempic has moderate to severe adverse effects. Ozempic may cause the adverse effects listed below. Not all adverse effects are included.

Ask your doctor or pharmacist about Ozempic’s adverse effects or how to manage them.

More common side effects

Serious side effectsSymptoms
Thyroid cancer.*
Pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas).
pain in your back and belly; nausea; vomiting; unintended weight loss; fever; swollen belly.
Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).drowsiness; headache; confusion; weakness; hunger; irritability; sweating; feeling jittery; fast heartbeat.
Diabetic retinopathy (diabetes-related eye problems).blurred vision; vision loss; seeing dark spots; poor night vision.
Kidney damagereduced urination; swelling in your legs or ankles; confusion; fatigue; nausea.
Gallbladder diseasegallstones, which can cause pain in your belly; nausea; vomiting; and fever
cholecystitis (inflammation in your gallbladder).

Within a few days or a few weeks, the most common adverse effects disappear. Consult your physician or pharmacist if symptoms worsen or don’t go away

It is possible that Ozempic might cause serious adverse effects; however, they are rare. If you have any severe side effects, you should immediately contact your doctor. 000 should be called in Australia if you have life-threatening symptoms or a medical emergency.

This is not a complete list of side effects, and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Allergic reaction

As with most drugs, some people can have an allergic reaction after taking Ozempic. Symptoms of a mild allergic reaction can include:

A more severe allergic reaction is rare but possible. Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction can include:

It’s unknown how often allergic reactions may have occurred in people taking Ozempic in clinical trials. However, serious allergic reactions to Ozempic have been reported.

Call your doctor immediately if you have a severe allergic reaction to Ozempic. Call 000 in Australia if your symptoms feel life-threatening or if you think you have a medical emergency.

Dosage Forms & Strengths

injection, prefilled, single-dose pen (Ozempic)

StrengthDose given per injection
2 mg/1.5 mL
(this may also be written as 1.34 mg/mL)
0.25 mg or 0.5 mg
4 mg/3 mL (1.34 mg/mL)1 mg
8 mg/3 mL (2.68 mg/mL)2 mg

FAQ

A short Ozempic dosage guide is below.

When you recall, take Ozempic. Only do this 5 days after your previous dosage. If it’s been more than 5 days, omit the missing dosage. Too many dosages may cause low blood sugar. If you miss a dosage, check your blood sugar levels periodically. Keep track of your weekly injections with Medisafe.

Your doctor may prescribe Ozempic long-term if it helps your problem. Ask your doctor about long-term Ozempic use, including adverse effects.

Ozempic works quickly after injection. Your body may need several weeks to adjust to Ozempic and get its full effect. Your doctor may alter your Ozempic dosage based on your response. Take Ozempic precisely as prescribed.

Images

This medicine is a colourless, clear injection.

Ozempic 0.25 mg
Color: colourless solution
Ozempic dose
Ozempic 0.5 mg
Color: colourless solution
Ozempic 1 mg
Color: colourless solution
How many doses in Ozempic pen
Ozempic 2 mg
Color: colourless solution
ozempic injection

Marketing authorisation holder

Novo Nordisk A/S
Novo Allé

DK-2880 Bagsværd
Denmark

References

  1. Ozempic Important Safety Information. Available from: [URL_Link
  2. Diabetes Australia stands up for people with type 2 as the Ozempic shortage hits Australia. Available from: [URL_Link
  3. Ozempic Pen Injector – Uses, Side Effects, and More. Available from: [URL_Link]
  4. All about Ozempic. Available from: [URL_Link
  5. Novo Nordisk Australia contact form. Available from: [URL_Link]
  6. Joint statement: Prioritisation of semaglutide (Ozempic) supply for people with type 2 diabetes during a shortage. Available from: [URL_Link]
  7. Medical News Today. Ozempic (semaglutide). Available from: [URL_Link]
  8. Ozempic® Selected Important Safety Information. Available from: [URL_Link]
  9. Ahmann, A. J., et al. (2018). Efficacy and safety of once-weekly semaglutide versus exenatide ER in subjects with type 2 diabetes (SUSTAIN 3): A 56-weeks open-label, randomized clinical trial. Available from: [URL_Link]
  10. Approval package for: Application number 209637Orig1s000. (2017). Available from: [URL_Link]
  11. Blundell, J., et al.. (2017). Effects of once-weekly semaglutide on appetite, energy intake, control of eating, food preference and body weight in subjects with obesity. Available from: [URL_Link]
  12. Davies, M., et al.. (2017). Effect of oral semaglutide compared with placebo and subcutaneous semaglutide on glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes.  Available from: [URL_Link]
  13. Dejgaard, T. F., et al.. (2016). Liraglutide for treating type 1 diabetes. Available from: [URL_Link]
  14. Doggrell, S. A. (2018). Do glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor (GLP-1R) agonists have potential as adjuncts in the treatment of type 1 diabetes? Available from: [URL_Link]
  15. FDA approves first oral GLP-1 treatment for type 2 diabetes [Press release]. (2019). Available from: [URL_Link]
  16. Lamos, E. M., et al.. (2017). GLP-1 receptor agonists in the treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome. Available from: [URL_Link
  17. O’Neil, P., et al.. (2018). Efficacy and safety of semaglutide compared with liraglutide and placebo for weight loss in patients with obesity: a randomised, double-blind, placebo and active-controlled dose-ranging, phase 2 trial. Available from: [URL_Link
  18. Ozempic (semaglutide) injection for subcutaneous use. (2022). Available from: [URL_Link]
  19. Pratley, R. E., et al.. (2018). Semaglutide versus dulaglutide once weekly in patients with type 2 diabetes (SUSTAIN 7): A randomised, open-label, phase 3b trial. Available from: [URL_Link]  
Disclaimer

Never Give Up Team  information isn’t for emergencies. Call triple zero (000) if you have an acute sickness, overdose, or emergency.

When created, correct information was provided. This material shouldn’t be used to replace medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please see our T&Cs.

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