Ozempic (semaglutide) is not recommended to be used in women during pregnancy or at least two months before a planned pregnancy. The drug may cause severe damage to a fetus.
In studies with rodents, semaglutide increased the risk of thyroid C-cell tumors, including medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC). Out of precaution, doctors do not recommend using Ozempic if you have a personal or family history of MTC or an endocrine system condition called multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN 2).
If you get pregnant while taking Ozempic, your baby is at risk for health problems. These can include low birth weight, premature delivery, fetal growth restriction and a number of other health issues.
You may need to have a doctor monitor your pregnancy closely and refer you to a maternal-fetal medicine specialist for special care. These specialists have experience with high-risk pregnancies and can help you keep your pregnancy as healthy as possible.
Many pregnancy risks are the result of medical conditions or lifestyle choices you make before you become pregnant. For example, smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol and using illegal drugs can all increase your risk of having a baby with a health problem. You should also avoid certain medications and supplements if you are pregnant.
Some pregnancy risks are caused by a genetic condition in your baby, which can affect how they grow and develop. You can learn more about the genetic conditions that cause these issues by talking with a maternal-fetal medicine specialist.
Other pregnancy risks are based on your age and health. For instance, you’re at higher risk for a high-risk pregnancy if you are older than 35 years old or if you have diabetes or obesity. You’re also at greater risk if you have certain heart or blood disorders, high blood pressure or epilepsy.
In addition, you’re at higher risk for delivering an infant with a health problem like a heart defect, kidney disease or a blood clot. You’re also at risk if you have asthma or other respiratory issues, or if you have a condition that makes it difficult to keep your body healthy (like Crohn’s disease).
Your doctor can talk to you about the risks associated with getting pregnant while taking Ozempic. They can also tell you what steps to take if you do become pregnant while taking the drug.
You can lower your risk of getting pregnant by avoiding risky substances such as tobacco and alcohol, and by eating a well-balanced diet. This includes foods rich in heart-healthy fats, such as nuts, which don’t raise your blood sugar levels. You can also eat more fiber, which slows the rise of your blood sugar after you eat.
Ozempic (semaglutide) is used to help control blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. It can be combined with diet and exercise to improve glycemic control. It can also be used along with insulin to lower blood sugar in patients who have been diagnosed with insulin-dependent diabetes.
This medication comes in a prefilled pen that is injected just under the skin once weekly on the same day. It can be injected with or without food. Your healthcare professional may tell you to change the time of your injections if needed. It’s important to inject Ozempic at about the same time each week so that it can stay in your system for as long as possible.
You should stop using Ozempic and call your doctor right away if you have a serious allergic reaction to it, including swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat; problems breathing or swallowing; severe rash or itching; or feeling dizzy, lightheaded, or very fast. You should also call your doctor if you experience symptoms of a gallbladder problem such as abdominal pain, fever, yellowing of the eyes or skin (jaundice), or clay-colored stools.
The most common side effects of Ozempic include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. These may go away within a few days or weeks. Other side effects that may be more serious or don’t go away include a slow heartbeat, muscle pain, and swelling of your legs or feet.
In addition, semaglutide can cause low blood sugar in some people who have type 2 diabetes and take it along with another medication to lower their blood glucose (such as insulin). This can lead to feeling very tired, having a headache, blurred vision, or feeling sick.
You or a caregiver should carefully monitor you for these side effects, especially during the first few months of treatment and with dose changes. The following conditions increase your risk for these side effects: kidney injury or worsening of kidney failure; inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis); and diabetic retinopathy which is an eye complication associated with diabetes that can lead to vision loss.
If you get pregnant while taking ozempic, it could result in the death of your baby. This isn’t known for sure, but the drug’s manufacturer says it should be stopped 2 months before you become pregnant and should never be taken while breastfeeding.
Ozempic is a prescription injectable medicine that works by stimulating the GLP-1 receptors in your stomach and small intestine. These receptors help control blood sugar levels and can reduce hunger. In addition, the medication can also reduce weight gain in people with type 2 diabetes.
Before you take Ozempic, tell your doctor if you have any medical conditions, including a history of gallstones or kidney problems. If you have these conditions, your doctor may prescribe a lower dose of the medication.
You’ll start with a 0.5-milligram (mg) dose once weekly. Your doctor will increase the dose if you need to lower your blood sugar even more. Your doctor will monitor your blood sugar levels regularly while you’re taking Ozempic to make sure they are controlled.
For most patients, a 0.5-mg dose of Ozempic will be enough to lower their blood sugar. If you need to lower your blood sugar more, your doctor may recommend a 1 or 2-mg dose once a week.
Your doctor will check your blood glucose levels and talk to you about your diet before you begin using Ozempic. You may need to change the times you eat and how much food you eat while taking this medication.
The recommended starting dose of Ozempic is 0.5 mg once a week for at least 4 weeks. Your doctor may then increase the dose to 1 or 2 mg once a week, depending on your blood sugar levels and how you respond to the medication.
During the first few weeks of treatment, you might have side effects like gas or burping. These side effects usually last a few days or weeks, but if they happen often or bother you, call your doctor right away.
You should also tell your doctor if you have any allergies or if you have taken medicines called GLP-1 agonists in the past. These drugs can cause an allergic reaction if you take them together with Ozempic.