Ozempic contains the active ingredient 'Semaglutide' which mimics the action of one of your bodies natural hormones (GLP1).
This hormone (GLP1) is responsible for making you feel full and as a result, reducing your appetite. GLP1/Semaglutide also delays the emptying of your stomach which again goes toward making you feel fuller for longer.
Ozempic stimulates the secretion of insulin and reduces glucagon - both hormones made by your pancreas. This helps reduce your risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes and also helps prevent heart disease and stroke.
The use of Ozempic for weight loss is an unlicensed indication and extra safety measures and precautions must be taken to ensure it is safe for you - this is why the pharmacist must have a personalised consultation with you.
Ozempic has been used extensively in the USA for many years for weight loss and has also been studied to better understand its effects on weight loss. Primarily used to reduce HbA1C, many studies looked at weight loss as a secondary endpoint.
If you have any concerns or queries - get in touch with us and one of our pharmacists will be happy to help.
The licensed indication for Ozempic is in the management of Type 2 Diabetes - either as monotherapy or in combination with other treatments.
Weight loss as a secondary outcome has been, and continues to be extensively studied.
Please be mindful of the below warnings and be sure to familiarise yourself with the patient information leaflet included with your medication.
Patients who have a BMI of at least 28 with medical conditions or above 30 without, or have high blood pressure or high blood glucose can take this medication - our pharmacist will discuss further.
This medication is NOT suitable for the following patient groups:
- Patients with a history of thyroid or pancreatic cancer
- Patients with a BMI below 28
- Patients who are pregnant, breast feeding, under the age of 18
- Patients taking certain medications - our pharmacist will take a thorough medical history.
- Risk of Thyroid C-Cell Tumors: Patients should be referred to an endocrinologist for further evaluation if serum calcitonin is measured and found to be elevated or thyroid nodules are noted on physical examination or neck imaging.
- Pancreatitis: Acute and chronic pancreatitis have been reported in clinical studies. You should be mindful of the signs and symptoms of pancreatitis (persistent severe abdominal pain, sometimes radiating to the back with or without vomiting). If pancreatitis is suspected, discontinue Ozempic® promptly, and if pancreatitis is confirmed, do not restart.
- Diabetic Retinopathy Complications: In a 2-year trial involving patients with type 2 diabetes and high cardiovascular risk, more events of diabetic retinopathy complications occurred in patients treated with Ozempic® (3.0%) compared with placebo (1.8%). The absolute risk increase for diabetic retinopathy complications was larger among patients with a history of diabetic retinopathy at baseline than among patients without a known history of diabetic retinopathy.
Rapid improvement in glucose control has been associated with a temporary worsening of diabetic retinopathy. The effect of long-term glycaemic control with semaglutide on diabetic retinopathy complications has not been studied. Patients with a history of diabetic retinopathy should be monitored for progression of diabetic retinopathy.
- Never Share an Ozempic® Pen Between Patients: Ozempic® pens must never be shared between patients, even if the needle is changed. Pen-sharing poses a risk for transmission of blood-borne pathogens.
- Hypoglycaemia: The risk of hypoglycaemia is increased when Ozempic® is used in combination with insulin secretagogues (eg, sulphonylureas) or insulin.
- Acute Kidney Injury: There have been postmarketing reports of acute kidney injury and worsening of chronic renal failure, which may sometimes require haemodialysis, in patients treated with GLP-1 receptor agonists. Some of these events have been reported in patients without known underlying renal disease. A majority of the reported events occurred in patients who had experienced nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, or dehydration. Monitor renal function when initiating or escalating doses of Ozempic® in patients reporting severe adverse gastrointestinal reactions. - You may be invited to undertake a blood test, our pharmacist will let you know what the procedure will be.
- Hypersensitivity: Serious hypersensitivity reactions (eg, anaphylaxis, angioedema) have been reported with GLP-1 receptor agonists. If hypersensitivity reactions occur, discontinue use of Ozempic®; treat promptly per standard of care, and monitor until signs and symptoms resolve. Use caution in a patient with a history of angioedema or anaphylaxis with another GLP-1 receptor agonist.
How do I take it?
Administer Ozempic® once weekly on the same day each week, at any time of the day, with or without meals
The day of weekly administration can be changed if necessary as long as the time between 2 doses is at least 2 days (>48 hours)
If a dose is missed, administer Ozempic® as soon as possible within 5 days after the missed dose. If more than 5 days have passed, skip the missed dose and administer the next dose on the regularly scheduled day. In each case, you can then resume your regular once-weekly dosing schedule.
Inject into the abdominal fat, thigh or upper arm - our pharmacist will go through this in detail with you.
Are there any side effects?
Ozempic® may cause serious side effects, including:
• inflammation of your pancreas (pancreatitis). Stop using Ozempic® and call your health care provider right away if you have
severe pain in your stomach area (abdomen) that will not go away, with or without vomiting. You may feel the pain from your
abdomen to your back.
• changes in vision. Tell your health care provider if you have changes in vision during treatment with Ozempic®.
• low blood sugar (hypoglycaemia). Your risk for getting low blood sugar may be higher if you use Ozempic® with another medicine
that can cause low blood sugar, such as a sulphonylurea or insulin. Signs and symptoms of low blood sugar may include: dizziness
or lightheadedness, blurred vision, anxiety, irritability or mood changes, sweating, slurred speech, hunger, confusion or drowsiness,
shakiness, weakness, headache, fast heartbeat, and feeling jittery.
• kidney problems (kidney failure). In people who have kidney problems, diarrhoea, nausea, and vomiting may cause a loss of fluids
(dehydration), which may cause kidney problems to get worse. It is important for you to drink fluids to help reduce your chance
• serious allergic reactions. Stop using Ozempic® and get medical help right away if you have any symptoms of a serious allergic
reaction, including itching, rash, or difficulty breathing.
The most common side effects of Ozempic® may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, stomach (abdominal) pain, and constipation.
Patient information leaflet
You can find the patient information leaflet here