Important Safety Information for Ozempic (semaglutide) injection
Warning: Risk of Thyroid C-Cell Tumors
Ozempic® may cause serious side effects, including: Possible thyroid tumors, including cancer. Tell your health care provider if you get a lump or swelling in your neck, hoarseness, trouble swallowing, or shortness of breath. These may be symptoms of thyroid cancer. In studies with rodents, Ozempic and medicines that work like Ozempic caused thyroid tumors, including thyroid cancer. It is not known if Ozempic will cause thyroid tumors or a type of thyroid cancer called medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) in people.
Do not use Ozempic if you or any of your family have ever had MTC, or if you have an endocrine system condition called Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN 2).
What is the FDA-approved use of Ozempic?
Ozempic (semaglutide) injection 0.5 mg, 1 mg, or 2 mg is an injectable prescription medicine used:
- along with diet and exercise to improve blood sugar (glucose) in adults with type 2 diabetes.
- to reduce the risk of major cardiovascular events such as heart attack, stroke, or death in adults with type 2 diabetes with known heart disease.
Limitations of Use:
It is not known if Ozempic can be used in people who have had pancreatitis. Ozempic is not for use in people with type 1 diabetes. It is not known if Ozempic is safe and effective for use in children under 18 years of age.
Who should not use Ozempic?
Do not use Ozempic if:
- you or any of your family have ever had MTC or if you have MEN 2.
- you are allergic to semaglutide or any of the ingredients in Ozempic. See symptoms of serious allergic reaction in “What are the possible side effects of Ozempic?”.
How should I take Ozempic?
You can take Ozempic with or without food. The pre-filled injector pen is self-administered as a subcutaneous injection in the stomach, thigh, or upper arm once a week on the same day every week. You should change your injection site each week. Do not use the same site for each injection. Your Ivím provider will guide you on a treatment regimen that may include an increase in dose every four weeks.
You should not change your dosing regimen or stop taking Ozempic as prescribed without discussing with your provider first. If you take too much Ozempic, call your healthcare provider or seek medical advice promptly.
What should I discuss with my Ivím provider before using Ozempic?
- Ozempic has certain drug interactions. It’s important to tell your Ivím provider all of the medications you are currently taking, including prescription, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and herbal and dietary supplements.
- Your healthcare provider should show you how to use Ozempic before you use it for the first time.
- Talk to your healthcare provider about low blood sugar and how to manage it.
- have or have had problems with your pancreas or kidneys.
- have a history of diabetic retinopathy.
- are pregnant or breastfeeding or plan to become pregnant or breastfeed. It is not known if Ozempic will harm your unborn baby or passes into your breast milk. You should stop using Ozempic 2 months before you plan to become pregnant.
Some medications to watch out for include:
- Medications for diabetes: Other medications used to treat type 1 or type 2 diabetes, including insulin or sulfonylureas (such as Amaryl or Glucotrol XL)
- Other oral medications: Ozempic causes a delay in gastric emptying, so it has the potential to impact the absorption of medications that are taken by mouth at the same time. Your provider can guide you on how to schedule your medications.
- Hormonal birth control: Other GLP-1 medications have been shown to potentially decrease the efficacy of oral birth control pills. If you are using an oral hormonal contraceptive (birth control), Ozempic may decrease its efficacy, especially after the first dose. Switch to a non-oral contraceptive method or use a barrier method of contraception for 4 weeks after starting Ozempic and for 4 weeks after each dose escalation, until you reach a maintenance dose.
- Other GLP-1 medications: Including Zepbound, Mounjaro, Wegovy, Saxenda, Victoza, Byetta, Bydureon, or compound GLP-1 formularies. These medications should not be taken with Ozempic.
- Other products for weight loss: Including dietary supplements
- It’s important to share your entire medical history with your provider. In particular, tell your provider if you have a past history of:
- Type 1 or type 2 diabetes
- Thyroid cancer
- Gastrointestinal disease
- Kidney disease
- Diabetic retinopathy
- Suicidal thoughts or behavior
- Tell your provider if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding.
- If you are pregnant: Ozempic should not be used during pregnancy. Based on animal studies, there may be potential risks to an unborn baby from exposure to Ozempic during pregnancy. There is no benefit to weight loss during pregnancy and it may cause harm to the unborn baby.
- If you are a female reproductive potential: Ozempic may reduce the efficacy of oral hormonal contraceptives. Switch to a non-oral contraceptive method, or add a barrier method of contraception for 4 weeks after starting medication and for 4 weeks after each dose escalation until you reach a maintenance dose.
- If you are breastfeeding: It is not known if Ozempic passes into breast milk. Talk to your provider first about the benefits and risks of using Ozempic while breastfeeding.
Withholding or providing inaccurate information about your health and medical history in order to obtain treatment may result in harm, including, in some cases, death.
What are the most serious side effects that I or a caregiver should monitor for when taking Ozempic?
If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 911 or seek immediate medical attention.
These serious side effects are rare, but can occur with Ozempic. You or a caregiver should carefully monitor for these side effects, especially in the beginning of treatment and with dose changes.
- Thyroid C-Cell Tumors: In rats, Ozempic caused a dose-dependent and treatment-duration-dependent increase in thyroid C-cell tumors. It is unknown whether Ozempic causes thyroid C-cell tumors in humans. Ozempic is contraindicated in patients with a family history of medullary thyroid cancer (MTC) or in patients with Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN 2). Tell your provider if you get a lump or swelling in your neck, hoarseness, trouble swallowing, or shortness of breath. These may be symptoms of thyroid cancer.
- Severe Gastrointestinal Disease: Ozempic is associated with gastrointestinal side effects, such as nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, constipation, and stomach pain, and can sometimes be severe. It hasn’t been studied in patients with severe gastrointestinal disease and isn’t recommended in these patients. The majority of nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea events occurred during a dose increase and decreased over time.
- 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.
- Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia): 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 sulfonylurea 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, diarrhea, 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 of dehydration.
- Serious allergic reactions: Stop using Ozempic and get medical help right away if you have any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat; problems breathing or swallowing; severe rash or itching; fainting or feeling dizzy; or very rapid heartbeat.
- Gallbladder problems: Gallbladder problems have happened in some people who take Ozempic. Tell your health care provider right away if you get symptoms which may include: pain in your upper stomach (abdomen), fever, yellowing of the skin or eyes (jaundice), or clay-colored stools.
- Severe stomach problems. Stomach problems, sometimes severe, have been reported in people who use Ozempic. Tell your healthcare provider if you have stomach problems that are severe or will not go away.
- Changes in vision. Tell your healthcare provider if you have changes in vision during treatment with Ozempic.
- Diabetic Retinopathy Complications in Patients with a History of Diabetic Retinopathy: Rapid improvement of glucose control has been associated with temporary worsening of diabetic retinopathy. Tell your provider right away if you experience changes in vision.
- Suicidal Behavior and Ideation: You should pay attention to any mental health changes, especially sudden changes in your mood, behaviors, thoughts, or feelings. Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any mental changes that are new, worse, or worry you.
- Never Share a Pen: Pen-sharing poses a risk of infection.
What are the most common side effects of Ozempic?
- Stomach pain
- Injection site reactions
- Feeling tired
- Allergic reactions
- Hair loss
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (heartburn)
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription products to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
This information is not comprehensive. Please see the full Prescribing Information for complete safety information.