Understanding the Risks of Ozempic and Semaglutide

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Two injections of Ozempic next to measuring tape.

Anderson Bariatric Physicians is dedicated to providing our patients with the most up-to-date information regarding weight loss medications. Today, we’re focusing on two popular medications, Ozempic and Semaglutide, which are commonly prescribed for weight management. While these medications can be effective tools in the journey to weight loss, it’s crucial to understand their risks and potential side effects, especially considering the limited knowledge of their long-term effects.

Ozempic

Ozempic is a brand name for the medication Semaglutide. It belongs to a class of medications known as GLP-1 receptor agonists, which work by mimicking the effects of a hormone called glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1). GLP-1 is released in response to food intake and helps regulate blood sugar levels and reduce appetite.

Risks and Side Effects of Ozempic

Gastrointestinal Issues: Common side effects of Ozempic include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach pain. These symptoms typically improve over time but can be bothersome initially.

Pancreatitis: There have been rare reports of pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) with the use of Ozempic. Symptoms include severe abdominal pain that may radiate to the back, nausea, and vomiting. If you experience these symptoms, contact your healthcare provider immediately.

Hypoglycemia: Ozempic can lower blood sugar levels, leading to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Symptoms of hypoglycemia include shakiness, dizziness, sweating, hunger, and confusion. It’s essential to monitor your blood sugar levels regularly while taking Ozempic.

Thyroid C-Cell Tumors: In animal studies, Ozempic has been shown to increase the risk of thyroid C-cell tumors. It’s unclear if this risk applies to humans, but it’s something to be aware of and discuss with your healthcare provider.

Ozempic has gained significant popularity recently and is being used by many celebrities as part of their weight loss regimen. While this may contribute to its popularity, it’s important to remember that what works for one person may not work for another, and individual results may vary. 

Semaglutide

Semaglutide is the active ingredient in Ozempic and is also available in a higher dose formulation for weight management under the brand name Wegovy. Like Ozempic, Semaglutide works by mimicking the effects of GLP-1 to help regulate blood sugar levels and reduce appetite.

Risks and Side Effects of Semaglutide

Gastrointestinal Issues: Similar to Ozempic, Semaglutide can cause gastrointestinal side effects such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach pain.

Hypoglycemia: Semaglutide can also lower blood sugar levels, increasing the risk of hypoglycemia.

Thyroid C-Cell Tumors: As with Ozempic, there is a potential risk of thyroid C-cell tumors with Semaglutide, although the risk in humans is not yet established.

While Ozempic and Semaglutide are commonly used tools in weight loss management, it’s important to understand that their long-term effects are not fully known. It’s crucial to discuss these risks with a healthcare provider or bariatric physician and weigh them against the potential benefits of the medication. If you experience any concerning symptoms while taking Ozempic or Semaglutide, contact your healthcare provider immediately. At Anderson Bariatric Physicians, we offer a range of safer alternatives that can be tailored to your individual needs. These include Lipo B-12 Injections, HCG Injections, and Phentermine, which can help you achieve your weight loss goals safely and effectively.

At Anderson Bariatric Physicians, we’re here to support you on your weight loss journey. Contact us today to create a safe, personalized weight-loss plan that meets your needs and helps you achieve your goals.