Ozempic controls sugar in people with type 2 diabetes. Ozempic is a once-weekly injection.
Ozempic belongs to a group of drugs called glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists. These control blood glucose (sugar) in people with type 2 diabetes by causing the pancreas to release insulin when blood sugar levels are high.
This medication comes in an injectable form in a prefilled pen. Ozempic is given just under the skin (subcutaneously), once weekly.
Common side effects of Ozempic include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
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Ozempic Cautionary Labels
Uses of Ozempic
Ozempic Drug Class
Ozempic is part of the drug class:
Side Effects of Ozempic
Serious side effects have been reported with Ozempic. See the “Ozempic Precautions” section.
Common side effects of Ozempic include the following:
- abdominal or stomach pain
This is not a complete list of Ozempic side effects. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Tell your doctor if you have any side effects that bother you or that do not go away.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Especially tell your doctor if you take:
- any type of insulin
- chlorpropamide (Diabinese)
- glimepiride (Amaryl), glimepiride/pioglitazone (Duetact), and glimepiride/rosiglitazone (Avandaryl)
- glipizide (Glucotrol, Glucotrol XL) and glipizide/metformin (Metaglip)
- glyburide ( DiaBeta, Micronase, Glynase) and glyburide/metformin (Glucovance)
This is not a complete list of Ozempic drug interactions. Ozempic can potentially interact with oral medicines as it slows gastric (stomach) emptying. This can impact the absorption of oral medications that are taken at the same time. Ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist for more information.
Serious side effects have been reported with Ozempic including the following:
- possible thyroid tumors, including cancer. During the drug testing process, the medicine in Ozempic caused rats and mice to develop tumors of the thyroid gland. Some of these tumors were cancers. It is not known if Ozempic will cause thyroid tumors or a type of thyroid cancer called medullary thyroid cancer in people. If medullary thyroid cancer occurs, it may lead to death if not detected and treated early. If you develop tumors or cancer of the thyroid, your thyroid may have to be surgically removed.
- Before you start taking Ozempic, tell your healthcare provider if you or any of your family members have had thyroid cancer, especially medullary thyroid cancer, or Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia syndrome type 2. Do not take Ozempic if you or any of your family members have medullary thyroid cancer, or if you have Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia syndrome type 2. People with these conditions already have a higher chance of developing medullary thyroid cancer in general and should not take Ozempic.
- While taking Ozempic, tell your healthcare provider if you get a lump or swelling in your neck, hoarseness, trouble swallowing, or shortness of breath. These may be symptoms of thyroid cancer.
- inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis). Tell your healthcare provider if you have symptoms of pancreatitis including severe abdominal or stomach pain, back pain, and vomiting.
- diabetic retinopathy which is an eye complication associated with diabetes that can lead to vision loss.
- low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have some or all of the following symptoms of low blood sugar including hunger, shakiness, dizziness, confusion, difficulty speaking, or feeling anxious or weak
- infections when pens are shared between people. Do not share Ozempic pens between people.
- kidney injury or worsening of kidney failure. Tell your healthcare provider if you experience any side effects that can lead to kidney injury including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or dehydration.
Do not take Ozempic if you:
- are allergic to Ozempic or to any of its ingredients
- or any of your family has ever had a thyroid cancer called medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC)
- or any of your family has ever had multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN 2).
Ozempic Food Interactions
Medications can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods. In the case of Ozempic, there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet when receiving this medication.
Before taking Ozempic, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions. Especially tell your doctor if you:
- are allergic to Ozempic or to any of its ingredients
- have or have had diabetic retinopathy
- have kidney problems
- have pancreas problems
- are pregnant or plan to become pregnant
- are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed
Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Ozempic and Pregnancy
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
In animal studies, pregnant animals were given this medication and had some babies born with problems. No well-controlled studies have been done in humans. Therefore, this medication may be used if the potential benefits to the mother outweigh the potential risks to the unborn child.
Ozempic and Lactation
Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed.
It is not known if Ozempic crosses into human milk. Because many medications can cross into human milk and because of the possibility for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants with use of this medication, a choice should be made whether to stop nursing or stop the use of this medication. Your doctor and you will decide if the benefits outweigh the risk of using Ozempic.
- Take Ozempic exactly as prescribed.
- This medication comes in an injectable form in a prefilled pen. Ozempic is given just under the skin (subcutaneously), once weekly on the same day.
- Your healthcare provider must teach you how to inject Ozempic before you use it for the first time. If you have questions or do not understand the instructions, talk to your healthcare provider or pharmacist.
- Ozempic is injected just under the skin (subcutaneously) in the stomach area, upper leg (thigh), or upper arm.
- Do not inject yourself in the exact same spot as your last injection. Move at least 1 inch away from your last injection.
- If you also give yourself insulin injections in addition to Ozempic, never mix insulin and Ozempic together. Give yourself 2 separate injections. You may give both injections in the same body area (for example, your stomach area), but you should not give the injections right next to each other.
- Follow your healthcare provider’s instructions for diet, exercise, how often to test your blood sugar, and when to get your HbA1c checked. If you stop using Ozempic your blood sugar levels may increase. First talk to your healthcare provider if you want to stop taking Ozempic.
- If you miss a dose, take the missed dose as soon as you remember within 5 days after the missed dose. If it is has been more than 5 days since the missed dose, skip the missed dose and take your next dose at the regular time. Do not take two doses of Ozempic at the same time.
- Never share your Ozempic pens or needles with another person. You may give an infection to them, or get an infection from them.
For all patients, the recommended initial dose of Ozempic is 0.25 mg per week for 4 weeks. After 4 weeks, the dose is increased to 0.5 mg once weekly. The maximum recommended dose is 1 mg once weekly.
If you take too much Ozempic, call your healthcare provider or local Poison Control Center, or seek emergency medical attention right away.
- Store your new, unused Ozempic pen in the refrigerator at 36ºF to 46ºF (2ºC to 8ºC).
- Do not freeze Ozempic or use Ozempic if it has been frozen. Do not store Ozempic near the refrigerator cooling element.
Pen in use:
- Store your Ozempic pen for 56 days either at room temperature between 59ºF to 86ºF (15ºC to 30ºC), or in a refrigerator at 36ºF to 46ºF (2°C to 8°C).
- When carrying the pen away from home, store the pen at a temperature between 59ºF to 86ºF (15ºC to 30ºC) and keep it dry.
- If Ozempic has been exposed to temperatures above 86ºF (30ºC), it should be thrown away.
- Protect your Ozempic pen from heat and sunlight.
- Keep the pen cap on when your Ozempic pen is not in use.
- Use your Victoza pen within 56 days after the first day it used. After these 56 days, throw away your Ozempic pen even if some medicine is left in the pen.
- Do not use Ozempic after the expiration date printed on the carton.
Do not store the Ozempic pen with the needle attached. Always safely remove and safely throw away the needle after each injection. This may help prevent contamination, infection, and leakage. It also helps to make sure that you get the correct dose of Ozempic.
Keep your Ozempic pen, pen needles, and all medicines out of the reach of children.
Ozempic FDA Warning
WARNING: RISK OF THYROID C-CELL TUMORS
- In rodents, semaglutide causes dose-dependent and treatment-duration-dependent thyroid C-cell tumors at clinically relevant exposures. It is unknown whether Ozempic causes thyroid C-cell tumors, including medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC), in humans as human relevance of semaglutide-induced rodent thyroid C-cell tumors has not been determined.
- OZEMPIC is contraindicated in patients with a personal or family history of MTC or in patients with Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN 2). Counsel patients regarding the potential risk for MTC with the use of Ozempic and inform them of symptoms of thyroid tumors (e.g. a mass in the neck, dysphagia, dyspnea, persistent hoarseness). Routine monitoring of serum calcitonin or using thyroid ultrasound is of uncertain value for early detection of MTC in patients treated with Ozempic.