It is used to in Type 2 Diabetes to help control blood sugars. It also helps many people lose weight. It is one of the few diabetes medications that has actually been proven to reduce cardiovascular (i.e. heart and stroke) complications.
How does it work?
Ozempic is called a “GLP-1 agonist”, but you don’t need to remember that.
Just know that it works on ‘stomach and sugar hormones’ to help:
Reduce Appetite and it makes you feel full.
Our liver stores sugar (glucose). Ozempic lowers how much sugar is released from the liver.
It slows food form leaving the stomach, so that lowers the speed at which blood sugar rises after eating.
It can cause your pancreas to release more insulin when it is needed, which lowers blood sugar.
Note: Because it is using your body’s own hormone pathways, Ozempic will not cause your blood sugar to go low.
Possible Side Effects
Many people can take Ozempic without any problems at all.
The main side effect that people will get is nausea. It can also cause some diarrhea or even vomiting. For most people these symptoms are mild and tolerable, and the go away after a few weeks as your body gets used to the medication.
There are some people who need to stop the medication because the side effects are too strong and they don’t improve, but this is rare.
How to take this medication
The medication comes in an “pen” that is very simple to use. It has very tiny, short needle that you inject into the skin around your belly. It is near painless! Ask your pharmacist for more detailed instructions on this.
You inject this medication ONCE PER WEEK.
You will start by dialing the pen to just 0.25mg each weekly dose for the FIRST FOUR WEEKS.
After that, you increase the dose to 0.5mg each week.
As noted above in the side effects, you may feel some nausea after the first injection, and then that tends to gradually improve through the week.
Then, you may get mild nausea again after the second injection, but it tends to be less than the first week.
Then by the third or fourth week, people tend to be tolerating the medication fine without any side effects.
This pattern may repeat again once you increase the dose to 0.5mg.
Disclaimer: this is just the general and common advice regarding this medication that Dr. Stewart tells his patients. It is not intended to be a complete list of all the information about this medication. For complete information, please click on the product monograph here, or contact your pharmacist.