Medically Reviewed by Elizabeth Gomez MSN, FNP-BC
Ozempic is the buzziest diabetes drug in reminiscence. It’s been an enormous hit each inside and outdoors the diabetes neighborhood, notably for its virtually unprecedented impact on weight reduction. It’s been so standard, in actual fact, that the producer has reported shortages, partly pushed by demand from individuals with out diabetes. There are even new studies that Ozempic can assist you drink much less alcohol.
However Ozempic has some uncomfortable side effects, and sure sufferers even discover the drugs insupportable. It’s most strongly related to gastrointestinal misery, together with diarrhea and vomiting.
This text will focus on the uncomfortable side effects of Ozempic and associated medication, and what individuals within the diabetes neighborhood are doing about them.
Ozempic, in Temporary
Ozempic is a model identify for semaglutide, a member of a household of medicine referred to as GLP-1 receptor agonists. These drugs are among the many strongest glucose-lowering brokers ever developed, and diabetes authorities are very enthusiastic about their potential for kind 2 diabetes. Some clinicians are additionally wanting to prescribe these medication off-label for sufferers with kind 1 diabetes.
Glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) is a hormone that stimulates insulin secretion after you eat; it helps you are feeling full and regulates your blood sugar. GLP-1 receptor agonists are medication that mimic the impact of GLP-1. They assist your physique use GLP-1 and insulin correctly, and can even assist you to really feel full after consuming. Individuals usually discover themselves effortlessly slicing energy, resulting in straightforward weight reduction.
Ozempic is just not the one drug available on the market that works this manner:
- Wegovy is semaglutide marketed for weight reduction moderately than diabetes.
- Rybelsus is an oral model of Ozempic.
- Mounjaro is a more recent drug that mimics two hormones, GLP-1 and glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP). The mix seems to be much more efficient for weight reduction.
Whereas this text concentrates on Ozempic, probably the most well-known of those associated medication, a few of this recommendation could work for others in the identical household, in the event that they trigger the identical uncomfortable side effects.
Ozempic’s Gastrointestinal Aspect Results
Whereas many individuals really feel completely wholesome on Ozempic, the uncomfortable side effects might be fairly nasty for others. As a blogger for New York journal’s “The Minimize” put it, “You may undergo Hell to your post-Ozempic physique.” The creator spoke to a 42-year-old lady with diabetes who endured “fixed nausea” and “power-puking” for weeks, earlier than lastly weaning herself off the drug.
In response to the U.S. Meals and Drug Administration (PDF), placebo-controlled trials of Ozempic discovered the next charges of uncomfortable side effects from the 1 milligram (mg) dose:
- Nausea: 20.3 p.c
- Vomiting: 9.2 p.c
- Diarrhea: 8.8 p.c
- Stomach ache: 5.7 p.c
- Constipation: 3.1 p.c
Smaller numbers reported signs resembling acid reflux disorder and extreme belching or flatulence.
All informed, 30.8 p.c of adults reported a gastrointestinal symptom. However that was solely the 1 mg dose. The numbers have been a lot larger in a trial of semaglutide (Wegovy) at 2.4 mg:
- Nausea: 44.2 p.c
- Vomiting: 24.8 p.c
- Diarrhea: 31.5 p.c
- Stomach ache: 10.0 p.c
- Constipation: 23.4 p.c
Studies from the Diabetes Each day discussion board counsel that these unlucky results are strongest within the days instantly after injecting the once-weekly remedy.
Semaglutide is mostly titrated: You start on a really small dosage and regularly work your means as much as larger doses. Ozempic begins with a 0.25 mg dose, ideally for 4 weeks, and proceeds as much as 0.5 mg, 1 mg, and at last 2 mg. Wegovy, the semaglutide formulation marketed particularly for weight reduction, has 5 steps and a full dosage of two.4 mg. Tirzepatide (Mounjaro) has an extra sixth step; it takes 5 months of patiently rising the dosage earlier than you get to the full-strength injection.
If you happen to’re having gastrointestinal points, it is perhaps smart to decelerate and even take a step again. You possibly can keep at one of many low or intermediate doses for longer than 4 weeks.
In fact, you gained’t resolve your individual titration schedule. That’s as much as the physician who prescribed your remedy. If you happen to’re bothered by the uncomfortable side effects, let your healthcare supplier know. They could suggest laying aside that subsequent dosage enhance or going again to a decrease dosage.
Simply Stick With It
More often than not, Ozempic’s nasty uncomfortable side effects go away. In case your uncomfortable side effects are uncomfortable however tolerable, it is perhaps finest to only keep on with the drug and proceed to learn from its constructive metabolic results. Many members of the Diabetes Each day neighborhood have endured these tummy troubles for weeks however have come out on the opposite aspect feeling excellent.
Deal with Your Signs
Don’t simply permit your self to be depressing: Deal with your signs.
Dehydration is not any joke. Hydration is surprisingly necessary for individuals with diabetes, and the dehydration that reliably outcomes from diarrhea or vomiting could make glucose administration not solely harder but additionally extra harmful. Drink loads of water and in addition think about drinks that may assist substitute electrolytes, like zero-sugar Gatorade or bone broth.
Attain out to your physician immediately and ask them what different drugs you need to be taking to your uncomfortable side effects. They could suggest an over-the-counter diarrhea remedy or could prescribe one thing extra highly effective, resembling prescription-strength antinausea remedy.
Watch Your Weight loss program
The miracle of Ozempic is that it’s going to can help you really feel full whereas consuming much less meals, leading to a virtually easy caloric deficit.
Individuals utilizing Ozempic are sometimes stunned by how shortly they really feel full. If you happen to fill your plate with as a lot meals as you used to, you may simply eat your self to an upset abdomen. Be ready to vary your consuming and snacking habits, maybe quickly.
Some customers additionally report that the sort and high quality of meals that you just eat issues, too. There’s no official steerage on this subject, although the label says that you need to keep on with the wholesome diabetes eating regimen that your physician recommends. Take note of what you’re consuming; you may discover that some meals trigger extra abdomen misery than others.
Ask Your Physician About Switching Medicines
Ozempic is a robust remedy, but it surely’s actually not the one choice for diabetes administration and weight reduction. If the uncomfortable side effects are making your life depressing, it is perhaps time to change.
If you happen to’re fighting Ozempic, an injected remedy, ask your physician about oral semaglutide (Rybelsus). Maybe you’ll tolerate it higher.
Different GLP-1 receptor agonists are good choices, too. Dulaglutide (Trulicity) and liraglutide (Victoza) are additionally related to weight reduction and improved glycemic management. Tirzepatide (Mounjaro), the one GIP/GLP-1 receptor agonist available on the market, seems to be even stronger than Ozempic.
SGLT2 inhibitors, together with canagliflozin (Invokana), dapagliflozin (Farxiga), and empagliflozin (Jardiance), assist flush extra glucose out of the physique by the urine. Although they don’t seem to be related to the identical dramatic weight reduction as semaglutide, they’re identified to drive modest weight reduction and have a number of different main long-term well being advantages.
This can be a determination that can not be made with out the session of an knowledgeable. If Ozempic simply isn’t working for you, discuss to your physician about these different choices.
Different Aspect Results
Elevated Coronary heart Price
In trials, Ozempic elevated coronary heart charges throughout the board by 1 to six beats per minute. We now have learn anecdotes from Ozempic customers who’re nervous about their hearts racing for no good motive.
Evidently, consultants should not a lot involved by this modification, but it surely is perhaps a good suggestion to keep watch over your coronary heart charge, particularly in case your resting coronary heart charge spends a lot time outdoors of the traditional vary of 60 to 100 beats per minute.
Whereas Ozempic is just not itself related to a big danger of low blood sugar, its glucose-lowering impact can sharply enhance the chances that insulin or sulfonylureas trigger hypoglycemia.
It’s very doubtless that you just’ll want to vary the quantity of different diabetes medication that you just use. Your physician could ask you to be further vigilant about checking your blood sugar. If you happen to’re not comfy altering your insulin-dosing practices by your self, you need to be able to contact your physician between visits to get clearance for making changes.
Uncommon, Critical Aspect Results
Ozempic additionally results in a small variety of uncommon however severe uncomfortable side effects:
- Pancreatitis, during which the digestive enzymes assault the pancreas, could really feel like intense abdomen ache that radiates to your again.
- Adjustments in imaginative and prescient: There’s a likelihood that Ozempic will exacerbate diabetic retinopathy.
- Kidney failure. There have been some circumstances of semaglutide contributing to kidney illness. Dehydrating uncomfortable side effects, notably diarrhea and vomiting, could improve this danger.
- Gallbladder illness could current with extreme abdomen ache, yellowing of the eyes or pores and skin, fever, and “clay-colored stools.”
Lastly, the one Ozempic aspect impact that everybody is speaking about: so-called “Ozempic face.”
To place it merely, individuals utilizing Ozempic can lose a lot weight that in addition they lose healthy-looking fats from their faces, which can lead to a saggy, aged look.
There isn’t any proof that Ozempic or every other comparable drug instantly impacts your facial look. Ozempic face is only brought on by weight reduction.