Generic Name: Semaglutide (sem a GLOO tide)
Brand Name: Ozempic
Medically reviewed on September 5, 2018
- This medicine has been shown to cause thyroid cancer in some animals. It is not known if this happens in humans. If thyroid cancer happens, it may be deadly if not found and treated early. Call your doctor right away if you have a neck mass, trouble breathing, trouble swallowing, or have hoarseness that will not go away.
- Do not use semaglutide if you have a health problem called Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN 2), or if you or a family member have had thyroid cancer.
Uses of Semaglutide:
- It is used to lower blood sugar in patients with high blood sugar (diabetes).
What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Semaglutide?
- If you have an allergy to semaglutide or any part of semaglutide.
- If you are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
- If you have any of these health problems: Acidic blood problem or type 1 diabetes.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with semaglutide.
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take semaglutide with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.
What are some things I need to know or do while I take Semaglutide?
- Tell all of your health care providers that you take semaglutide. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
- Wear disease medical alert ID (identification).
- Check your blood sugar as you have been told by your doctor.
- Do not drive if your blood sugar has been low. There is a greater chance of you having a crash.
- It may be harder to control your blood sugar during times of stress like when you have a fever, an infection, an injury, or surgery. A change in level of physical activity or exercise and a change in diet may also affect your blood sugar. Talk with your doctor.
- Have blood work checked as you have been told by the doctor. Talk with the doctor.
- Talk with your doctor before you drink alcohol.
- Kidney problems have happened with semaglutide. Sometimes, kidney problems may need to be treated in the hospital. Dialysis may also be needed. Talk with your doctor.
- If you cannot drink liquids by mouth or if you have upset stomach, throwing up, or diarrhea that does not go away, you need to avoid getting dehydrated. Contact your doctor to find out what to do. Dehydration may lead to new or worse kidney problems.
- Do not share pen or cartridge devices with another person even if the needle has been changed. Sharing these devices may pass infections from one person to another. This includes infections you may not know you have.
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using semaglutide while you are pregnant.
- Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about any risks to your baby.
How is this medicine (Semaglutide) best taken?
Use semaglutide as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
- It is given as a shot into the fatty part of the skin on the top of the thigh, belly area, or upper arm.
- If you will be giving yourself the shot, your doctor or nurse will teach you how to give the shot.
- Follow how to use as you have been told by the doctor or read the package insert.
- Take with or without food.
- Move the site where you give the shot with each shot.
- Do not use if the solution is cloudy, leaking, or has particles.
- Do not use if solution changes color.
- Wash your hands before and after use.
- Keep taking semaglutide as you have been told by your doctor or other health care provider, even if you feel well.
- Throw away needles in a needle/sharp disposal box. Do not reuse needles or other items. When the box is full, follow all local rules for getting rid of it. Talk with a doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
- Attach new needle before each dose.
- Take off the needle after each shot. Do not store this device with the needle on it.
- Put the cap back on after you are done using your dose.
- Drink lots of noncaffeine liquids unless told to drink less liquid by your doctor.
- Follow the diet and workout plan that your doctor told you about.
- Do not mix semaglutide in the same syringe with insulin.
- Give semaglutide at some other site from where you gave your insulin if you are also getting insulin.
What do I do if I miss a dose?
- Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it and go back to your normal time.
- If it has been more than 5 days since the missed dose, skip the missed and go back to your normal time.
- Do not take 2 doses within 48 hours of each other.
See also: Dosage Information (in more detail)
What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?
WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
- Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- Signs of a pancreas problem (pancreatitis) like very bad stomach pain, very bad back pain, or very bad upset stomach or throwing up.
- Signs of kidney problems like unable to pass urine, change in how much urine is passed, blood in the urine, or a big weight gain.
- Change in eyesight.
- Low blood sugar can happen. The chance of low blood sugar may be raised when semaglutide is used with other drugs for high blood sugar (diabetes). Signs may be dizziness, headache, feeling sleepy, feeling weak, shaking, a fast heartbeat, confusion, hunger, or sweating. Call your doctor right away if you have any of these signs. Follow what you have been told to do if you get low blood sugar. This may include taking glucose tablets, liquid glucose, or some fruit juices.
What are some other side effects of Semaglutide?
All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:
- Loose stools (diarrhea).
- Hard stools (constipation).
- Upset stomach or throwing up.
- Belly pain.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
How do I store and/or throw out Semaglutide?
- Store unopened pens in a refrigerator. Do not freeze.
- Do not use if it has been frozen.
- After opening, store in the refrigerator or at room temperature. Throw away any part not used after 56 days.
- Protect from light.
- Protect from heat.
- Keep the cap on the pen when not in use.
- Do not use if semaglutide is out of date.
- Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
- Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.
Consumer information use
- If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
- Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
- Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
- Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
- This medicine comes with an extra patient fact sheet called a Medication Guide. Read it with care. Read it again each time semaglutide is refilled. If you have any questions about semaglutide, please talk with the doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
More about semaglutide
- Semaglutide Side Effects
- During Pregnancy
- Dosage Information
- Drug Interactions
- En Español
- 14 Reviews
- Drug class: incretin mimetics
Other brands: Ozempic