In recent years, Ozempic (semaglutide) has gained significant attention for its effectiveness in promoting weight loss alongside its primary use in managing type 2 diabetes. As with any medication, concerns about its safety and potential for overdose arise. In this blog post, we will explore the safety profile of Ozempic in the context of weight loss, its recommended dosage, and the potential risks associated with overdose.
What is Ozempic?
Ozempic is a medication that belongs to the class of glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists. It is designed to mimic the effects of the GLP-1 hormone, which regulates blood sugar levels, appetite, and digestion. Originally developed for treating type 2 diabetes, it has shown an unexpected but beneficial side effect: significant weight loss. This has led to its off-label use as a weight loss aid.
Ozempic for weight loss
Ozempic is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for weight loss, but weight loss is a potential effect of the medication. It is crucial to note that only a healthcare professional can determine the appropriate dosage based on an individual’s specific health condition and needs.
The primary goal is to help individuals achieve sustainable weight loss by reducing appetite and calorie intake. One way Ozempic works is that it can mimic a natural hormone in your body that tells your brain you are full. Another way it works is by increasing the time it takes for food to leave your body, slowing down digestion.
Is Ozempic safe for non-diabetics?
As Ozempic gains attention and approval from some healthcare providers for weight loss purposes, there are still many factors to take into consideration before taking the medication.
- FDA Approval for Non-Diabetics: Currently, the FDA has not approved Ozempic for obesity, although some healthcare providers may prescribe it off-label for this use. A similar medication called Wegovy with the same active ingredient, semaglutide, is approved for weight loss and obesity.
- Safety Concerns for Non-Diabetics: As with any medication, taking Ozempic is not without risks. Potential side effects include gastrointestinal disturbances, low blood sugar, and kidney injury. Before prescribing, a healthcare professional can assess a patient’s overall health condition to make sure their risks are low when taking the medicine. A healthcare professional will review current medications and assess a person’s well-being, especially their kidney function, to minimize potential health risks.
- Consultation with a Healthcare Provider: Anyone, diabetic or not, considering Ozempic for weight loss should consult a qualified healthcare provider. They can evaluate the individual’s overall health, discuss potential risks, and monitor for any adverse reactions during the course of the treatment.
While Ozempic can be effective for weight loss, like any medication, you need to talk with your healthcare provider for a prescription that avoids potential risks and complications. Overdosing on this medication could lead to adverse effects, such as severe nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and constipation. Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar levels) is more frequent if used in combination with other medicines to lower the blood sugar or if taken in excess of the recommended dose.
Overdosing on Ozempic can cause a person to experience symptoms of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). These symptoms range from minor to severe and should not be ignored. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, call your healthcare provider or the Missouri Poison Center right away at 1-800-222-1222.
Ozempic overdose symptoms include:
- Feeling lightheaded or dizzy
- Feeling shaky or jittery
- Sweating, chills, and clamminess
- Irritability or impatience
- Nausea and or vomiting
- Passing out
How do you treat Ozempic overdose?
If you think you have overdosed on semaglutide, call your healthcare provider right away and the Missouri Poison Center. Monitor for signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) using a glucometer if one is available. If you have severe symptoms such as confusion, passing out, and or seizures, call 911.
More questions? Call us!
Ozempic has shown promise as a weight loss aid. But it must be used responsibly and as directed by a healthcare professional. If you’re considering using Ozempic for weight loss, consult your doctor to determine the appropriate dosage and to ensure that it aligns with your health goals. Always prioritize your safety and well-being when embarking on any weight loss journey involving medications.
Still have questions about Ozempic or are worried you may have accidentally taken more than what was prescribed? Give the Missouri Poison Center a call 1-800-222-1222. We are open every day of the year 24/7, and ready to answer your questions and concerns.