Ozempic is a brand name prescription medication used to:

improve blood sugar levels for adults with type 2 diabetes. with exercise and diet
reduce the risk of developing serious heart issues among adults suffering from cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes

This drug is not used to treat type one diabetes or ketoacidosis due to diabetes and generally isn’t prescribed for patients who’ve suffered from pancreatitis. Please refer to this section below for more details “Ozempic applications” section below for details.

Ozempic comes as a liquid solution that’s given by subcutaneous injection. It’s made up of the drug semaglutide. It’s part a class of drugs called GLP-1 receptor agonists. (GLP-1 antagonists).

Ozempic is a medication that can be taken by alone or in conjunction with other medications for diabetes.

Ozempic is an instrument that you make use of to self-inject the drug. The pen is available at four strength levels:

2 milligrams of semaglutide per 1.5 milliliters in solution (2 mg/1.5 mL)
2 mg/3 mL
4 mg/3 mL
8 mg/3 mL

Each pen delivers a different dose of Ozempic.

FDA approval

Ozempic has been approved by Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in December of 2017.

Note: Ozempic is not currently available in an oral pill form. But, Rybelsus, a similar medication that has semaglutide, the active ingredient is FDA-approved as a Trusted Source in tablet form for oral consumption.

Effectiveness

For more information about the Ozempic’s efficiency look up this “Ozempic uses” section below.

Ozempic is a drug that can reduce appetite. In turn, those with diabetes who are taking the medication reduce weight.

Ozempic cannot be approved by the FDA for weight-management. However, in certain instances, doctors may prescribe this drug off-label for weight management. Off-label use of a drug means that doctors prescribe a drug for a purpose different from what it’s authorized for in the FDA.

Make sure you only take Ozempic as prescribed by your doctor. If you are unsure about using Ozempic for weight management consult your physician.

Ozempic is available only as a brand name medication. It’s got the drug semaglutide that is currently not available in a generic version.

Like other medications The cost of Ozempic is subject to change. The actual price will depend on the coverage of your insurance.

Forms of drugs and strengths

Ozempic is a pen that you use to inject the medicine yourself.

At the time you begin to take Ozempic, you might use the 2 mg/1.5 mL or 2 mg/3 mL pen. If you require a higher dosage of Ozempic to regulate the blood sugar levels in your body, your physician might recommend an increased dosage.

Every Ozempic pen comes with many needles. You’ll use a new needle each time you give yourself an injection.

Ozempic pens may be used multiple times, but not share a pen another person.

Dosage to treat type 2 diabetes

If you’re the first to start taking Ozempic at first, you’ll consume 0.25 mg once weekly for 4 weeks. Then, you’ll start taking 0.5 mg once per week for 4 weeks.

After 4 weeks, if you’re blood sugar levels are well-controlled, you’ll continue to take 0.5 mg every week. If you’re in need of lowering the blood sugar levels more, your doctor could increase your dose to 1 or 2 mg weekly. The recommended maximum dose of Ozempic will be two mg weekly.

It is best to inject your Ozempic injection every single day during the week. You can however administer the injection at any point of day, whether or not you eat.

If you need to, you may change the day you give your injection. If you do, you must have received your last dose at least 48 hours prior to the day on which you are planning to administer the injection.

What happens if I do not take a dose?

If you’ve missed a dose, get it back as soon as you remember, so in the five days of the day of the missed dose. Take your next dose according to its normal schedule.

However, if longer than 5 days have gone by or if the day of your next scheduled dose is only one or two days away, you should not take the missed dose. Instead, take the next dose on its scheduled day.

Do I have to take this drug in the future?

Yes, this drug is usually used for a long time in order to control type 2 diabetes and reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular issues.

Ozempic may trigger minor or severe side effects. The following list provides a selection of the key negative effects you may experience when you take Ozempic. This list does not contain all the possible side effects.

For more information about the possible side effects of Ozempic and tips on how to handle any adverse side effects, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

For the Ozempic patient assistance program click here.

More common side effects

The most commonly reported side effects of Ozempic can include:

nausea*
headache
vomiting
diarrhea
stomach pain
stomach upset
constipation
flatulence (passing gas)

These side effects may be gone within a couple of days or weeks. If they’re more severe , or aren’t going away, consult with your physician or pharmacist.

Serious side effects

Serious side effects from Ozempic don’t happen often, but they do happen. Get your doctor’s attention immediately if you have severe side effects. If your symptoms are life-threatening or there is a suspicion that you’re suffering from a medical emergency.

Severe side effects and symptoms could include:

Thyroid cancer. *
Pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas). Signs and symptoms may include:
the back or the belly
nausea
vomiting
unintended weight loss
febrile
swollen belly
A condition known as hypoglycemia (low levels of blood sugar). Signs and symptoms include:
Drowsiness
headache
confusion
Insufficiency
hunger
irritability
sweating
feeling jittery
fast heartbeat
Diabetic Retinopathy (diabetes-related eye problems). Symptoms can include:
blurred vision
vision loss
seeing dark spots
poor night vision
Kidney damage. It can be a sign of:
diminished urine production
swelling in your ankles or legs
confusion
fatigue
nausea
Gallbladder disease. Symptoms can include:
gallstones that can cause pain in your belly nausea, vomiting, and fever
cholecystitis (inflammation in your gallbladder)
Allergy reaction. *

* For more details on the side effects, see “Side effect details” below.

Side effect details

You may wonder how often certain side effects occur with this medication. Here’s an overview of the potential side effects this drug can cause.

Allergic reaction

As with most drugs certain people may experience an allergic reaction following taking Ozempic. Signs of a mild allergic reaction could include:

skin rash
itchiness
flushing

A more severe allergic reaction is extremely rare, but possible. The signs of a severe allergic reaction could include:

inflammation under your skin usually in your eyelids, hands, lips, or feet
swelling of your tongue, mouth or your throat
Trouble breathing

It’s unclear how often allergic reactions might occur in patients taking Ozempic in clinical trials. However, serious allergies related to Ozempic have been described.

Get your doctor’s attention immediately should you suffer from an allergic reaction to Ozempic. Contact 911 or your nearest emergency line if you’re symptoms seem to be life-threatening, or if you think you’re having an medical emergency.

Nausea

Nausea is the most commonly reported negative side effect that Ozempic can cause. It’s likely to happen the moment you begin taking Ozempic, and when the dosage is increased.

Nausea can diminish or disappear with continued use of Ozempic. If it isn’t going away or it gets worse speak to your physician.

Heartburn

Some people who are taking Ozempic may experience heartburn, but this isn’t common.

This effect can diminish or go away with regular use of the medication. If it does not go away or becomes more severe speak to your doctor.
Headache

Headaches are a frequent side effect of Ozempic. This effect could diminish or disappear with continued use of the drug. If it isn’t going away or becomes more severe speak to your physician.

Thyroid cancer

Ozempic is a boxed caution From the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) about possible risk of thyroid cancer. A boxed warning is considered to be the most effective warning the FDA requires.

In studies on animals Ozempic has been linked to increased likelihood of developing thyroid tumors. But, it’s unclear whether Ozempic causes thyroid tumors in humans.

There have been reports of thyroid cancer in individuals taking Liraglutide (Victoza), a medication within the same drug class as Ozempic. However, it’s not clear whether these cases were caused by liraglutide , or some other cause.

Because of the possible risk of thyroid cancer The risk of developing thyroid cancer is high. You should not take Ozempic if you or your immediate family members have ever had a form of cancer called medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) or a rare endocrine condition known as multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2.

If you’re using Ozempic and notice signs of a thyroid cancer, consult your physician immediately. The symptoms could include:

a mass or lump in your neck
Trouble with swallowing
trouble breathing
a hoarse voice

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is the agency that approves prescription medicines such as Ozempic to treat certain ailments. Ozempic is also used in conjunction with other conditions. Off-label use occurs when a medication that’s approved for treating a specific condition is used to treat another condition.

Ozempic to improve blood sugar levels for people suffering from type 2 diabetes

Ozempic is FDA-approved to increase blood sugar levels for adults with type 2 diabetes and also to improve lifestyles through fitness and diet. (Ozempic can also be used to lower the risk of cardiovascular problems and is described just below.)

Ozempic may be prescribed on its own or in conjunction with other diabetes medications.

It’s important to note that Ozempic is not used to treat type 1 ketoacidosis or diabetes. And it’s not typically prescribed for patients who’ve had pancreatitis in the past.

Effectiveness for Type 2 diabetes

Ozempic has proven to be effective for the treatment of diabetes type 2. For information on how Ozempic performed in clinical trials, refer to Ozempic’s prescribing instructions.

Guidelines from the American Diabetes Association (ADA) suggest using a GLP-1 antagonist like Ozempic for adults suffering from Type-2 diabetes and who also have one of the following conditions:

heart disease (CVD) or a high risk of developing CVD
kidney disease
heart failure

The same guidelines recommend using another medication, such as GLP-1 agonists such as Ozempic as an alternative to treat people suffering from type 2 diabetes for whom metformin doesn’t adequately lower their blood sugar.

Ozempic for lowering chance of having cardiovascular problems

Ozempic is approved by the FDA to lower the risk of serious cardiovascular problems in adults with heart disease and type 2 diabetes. These risks include stroke, heart attack, and death from cardiovascular disease.

(Ozempic was also approved for improving blood sugar levels in people who suffer from the type 2 form of diabetes. This usage is described above.)

It’s important to know that Ozempic is not used to treat type one diabetes or ketoacidosis due to diabetes. And it’s not typically prescribed for people who have had pancreatitis in the past.

The effectiveness of heart disease

In clinical trials, Ozempic was found to reduce the risk of having cardiovascular issues in some adults. Read Ozempic’s prescribing instructions for details on the effectiveness of the drug in clinical studies.

Guidelines by the American Diabetes Association (ADA) suggest using a GLP-1 antagonist such as Ozempic in people with the type 2 form of diabetes, who have an increased risk of developing cardiovascular diseases.
Off-label use

Ozempic has not been approved by FDA for treatment of type 1 diabetes, and has not been studied in people with this condition. In certain cases, Ozempic may be used off-label to treat type I diabetes.

A drug in the same category as Ozempic, Liraglutide (Victoza) has been studied in people with type 1 diabetes. The results of research have revealed that liraglutide might lower blood sugar levels and also reduce body weight, however it hasn’t been shown to improve HbA1c.

Certain experts believe that Ozempic and other medications in the same class should not be used in patients with type 1 diabetes. They say that the risk of adverse reactions from these drugs outweighs the potential advantages of using them for people who suffer from type 1 diabetes.

Other medications are available that can help combat type 2 diabetes and reduce the risk of having serious cardiovascular problems. Some may be better suited to you over other. If you’re looking for an alternative to Ozempic consult your doctor about other drugs that might work for you.

A few examples of drugs that could serve as alternatives to Ozempic for type 2 diabetes are the below-listed drugs.

Alternatives to improve blood sugar levels and reducing the risk of developing cardiovascular issues

glucagon-like receptor agonists (GLP-1 agonists) such as:
dulaglutide (Trulicity)
exenatide (Bydureon, Byetta)
liraglutide (Victoza)
lixisenatide (Adlyxin)
sodium-glucose co-transporter 2. (SGLT2) inhibitors, for example:
canagliflozin (Invokana)
dapagliflozin (Farxiga)
empagliflozin (Jardiance)
ertugliflozin (Steglatro)
metformin (Glucophage, Glumetza, Riomet), which is a majoruanide
dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors such as:
alogliptin (Nesina)
linagliptin (Tradjenta)
saxagliptin (Onglyza)
sitagliptin (Januvia)
thiazolidinediones such as:
pioglitazone (Actos)
rosiglitazone (Avandia)

Furthermore to the above drugs, they are other options to boost the levels of blood sugar:

Alpha-glucosidase inhibitors include:
acarbose
miglitol (Glyset)
sulfonylureas such as:
chlorpropamide
glimepiride (Amaryl)
glipizide (Glucotrol)
glyburide (Diabeta, Glynase Prestabs)

It’s possible that you are wondering what Ozempic compares to other medications that are prescribed for similar reasons. Here we look at the ways that Ozempic as well as Trulicity are alike and different. Also, check out this detailed article that discusses the two drugs.

Uses

Ozempic and Trulicity have been approved by FDA to:

blood sugar levels of individuals with type 2 diabetes, along with diet and exercise
cardiovascular problems in adults with heart disease as well as type 2 diabetes

Ozempic as well as Trulicity (dulaglutide) are both in the same category of medications called glucagon-like-peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1 antagonists). This means that they function in the same way to improve blood sugar levels for people with type 2 diabetes.

Forms for drugs and administration

Ozempic and Trulicity both come as liquid solutions, which are sold in pen. Both are self-injected once per week.

Costs

The price for either Ozempic or Victoza may vary depending on your treatment plan. The price you’ll have to pay for either depend on your insurance policy, your location, and the pharmacy you use.

You may be wondering what Wegovy compares with Ozempic. These medications contain the same active ingredient, semaglutide. However, they are different in their authorized uses.

Wegovy has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to help with weight loss together with exercises and a low-calorie diet.

Ozempic cannot be approved by the FDA for weight-management. However, in certain situations doctors can prescribe this drug off-label in weight management. Off-label drugs are those that prescribe any drug to serve a purpose that is not what it’s authorized by the FDA.

Ozempic can be FDA-approved for:

manage blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes, along with diet and exercise
lower the risk of having serious cardiovascular problems in adults with cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.

Ozempic and Wegovy each comes with pen that you utilize to inject yourself with the medication. They may cause a lot of the same side effects, and each has a warning labeled on the box about the possible risk of thyroid cancer. Check out for details in the “Ozempic Side Effects” section above for details.

Your physician or pharmacist will be able to provide you with more information about the ways these drugs compare.

Ozempic can be prescribed either by on its own or along with other medications to help improve blood sugar levels in people who suffer from kind 2 diabetes. When treating diabetes the use of two or more drugs could be combined when one medication doesn’t improve blood sugar levels in a sufficient way.

Some of the diabetes medications that can be used in conjunction alongside Ozempic include:

canagliflozin (Invokana)
dapagliflozin (Farxiga)
glimepiride (Amaryl)
glipizide (Glucotrol)
glyburide (Diabeta, Glynase Prestabs)

insulin glargine (Lantus, Toujeo)
metformin (Glucophage, Glumetza, Riomet)
pioglitazone (Actos)

Be aware that Ozempic may be prescribed in conjunction with an exercise and diet plan that’s suitable for your health. Follow your diabetes treatment plan according to the guidelines prescribed by your doctor.

It is recommended to take Ozempic precisely as directed by your doctor.

How do I inject

Ozempic comes as a pen that is self-injected subcutaneously. There are a variety of steps in administering the injection. For full instructions on how to utilize your Ozempic pen, go to the official website for the drug. Here are the basic steps:

Step 1. Get your pen ready.

First, wash your hands.
Remove the cap from the pen. Set aside.
Examine the pen’s window to be sure the solution isn’t muddy and opaque. (If you don’t find it to be it, then you shouldn’t use the pen.)
Put a new needle on the pen. (A new needle must be used every time you use the pen.)
Then, remove the outer needle cap. Then, pull off the needle cap that is inside. Both caps can be put away in the garbage.

Step 2. Verify your Ozempic flow.

This should be done before the first injection you do with each new pen. If you’ve completed this procedure for prior injections with the pen you’re currently using, you may skip step 3.

Pen the pen while keeping the needle pointing up.
The dose counter should be turned on until it displays the flow check symbol. (It looks like two dots with a line.)
Press and hold the button to dose until the dose counter displays 0. One drop of Ozempic is likely to appear at the needle tip.
If you’re not able to observe drops, repeat the process, up to six times. If you are unable to see a drop after six tries, replace the needle and try again.
If there isn’t a drop you shouldn’t be using the pen. Throw it away in the sharps container. (You can get sharps containers from your local pharmacy.)

Step 3. Select your dose.

Make sure to turn the dose selector on until you see your dose (either 0.25, 0.5, 1 or 2).

Step 4. Take the dose.

Make sure you clean your skin at the injection site using the alcohol wipe.
Insert the needle into your skin and secure it the needle in place.
Hold your dose button until the counter displays 0.
When the dose counter is showing 0, you should count slowly up to six before you remove this needle. This ensures that you are getting the full dose.

5. Remove the needle.

Take the needle out of the pen.
Place the used needle inside a sharps container.
Put the pen cap back on the pen.

Important: Once you’ve used the Ozempic pen, you may keep using it for at least 56 days. Within 56 days of use, the prescription expires and it is time to dispose of the pen.

Where can I inject

Ozempic can be injected in your abdomen (belly) or thigh or upper arm. The same location can be used each time you inject the drug, however, you should alter the injection site within that area.

Timing

Ozempic is a drug that can be administered at any time during the daytime. The injections should be administered every day each week. If required, you can alter the day on which you give yourself Ozempic injections. If you choose to change the date ensure that you keep at least 2 more days in between the injections.

Ideally, take the medication around the same time every day, regardless of whether you shift the day. If you’re worried about altering the timing of your injection, speak with your physician.

Taking Ozempic with food

Ozempic can be injected either with food or not.

Utilizing Ozempic with insulin

Your doctor may recommend Ozempic to be taken along together with insulin. Ozempic and insulin are given at the same time of day. They can also be injected into the same part of the body, for instance, the abdomen. But it is not recommended to inject them into the same location.

Beware of drinking too much alcohol while taking Ozempic. Alcohol can alter blood sugar levels and increase your risk of suffering from low blood sugar.

If you drink alcohol, discuss with your physician regarding how much alcohol is safe for you.

Ozempic can interact with a variety of other medications. It may also interfere with certain supplements.

Different interactions can cause different effects. For instance, certain interactions can cause problems with how a drug works and others may cause an increase in side effects.