Everything you need to know about Ozempic

I share what it's like to be on Ozempic and common questions about side effects and Ozempic injections.
I share what it's like to be on Ozempic and common questions about side effects and Ozempic injections.
I share what it's like to be on Ozempic and common questions about side effects and Ozempic injections.
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Everything you need to know about Ozempic

I share what it's like to be on Ozempic and common questions about side effects and Ozempic injections.

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As a patient with diabetes, I have had experience using Ozempic. 

After I made a YouTube video about Ozempic, I had many great questions about what it’s like to use.

People also wanted to know from other patients what the experience was like to ease their own fears about taking the medication. 

Many articles will tell you about potential side effects, and what to look for, but it’s important to get the perspective of someone who had taken the medication and experienced it first hand. 

What is Ozempic?

Ozempic is a medication called semaglutide, and is used as an anti-diabetic medication for the treatment of type 2 diabetes

The Ozempic is also used off-label as a treatment for people with polycystic ovarian syndrome, as well as other types of diabetes, such as lada or type 1.5 diabetes.

Ozempic was first approved for use in the USA in December of 2017.

Ozempic should be used in conjunction with diet and exercise to improve glycemic control. 

It can also help reduce the risk of major cardiovascular events in adults with type 2 diabetes you have established cardiovascular disease. 

Ozempic is not insulin, or a substitute for insulin. 

How does Ozempic Work?

Ozempic, and other semaglutide medications act like human glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), which increases insulin secretion and sugar metabolism.

While we are talking about Ozempic, it is not the only GLP-! on the market. You may have also heard of Trulicity, Rybelsus, Victoza, Saxenda, Symlini, Bydureon, or Byetta.

How do you take ozempic?

Ozempic is taken once-weekly in injectable pen form. it is taken subcutaneously, in a fatty area just under your skin.

Ozempic injection: how to use | The Hangry Woman

Is there an oral version of Ozempic?

Ozempic as a label does not have an oral version, however there are GLP-1 medications that can be taken orally like Rybelsus.

What are the doses for Ozempic?

The beginning dose is 0.25 mg once a week for the first 4 weeks. 

This will help give your body a chance to get used to the medicine, and lower your chance of uncomfortable side effects like dizziness, diarrhea and vomiting. 

At Week 5, your health care provider will increase the dose to 0.5 mg once a week.

How many doses are in an Ozempic pen?

Each pen contains 2 mg in 1.5 mL. One pen option contains 4 doses of the 0.25 mg per week starting dose and 2 doses of the 0.5 weekly maintenance dose. 

This pen can also be used for 4 doses of the 0.5 mg weekly dose.

Are there any Ozempic side effects?

Some people will experience nausea, vomiting, stomach pains, constipation or dizziness.

I personally experienced nausea, dizziness and fatigue on the lower dose for the first week. When I did move up to the higher dose, my side effects eased. 

There are some other, more serious side effects like: 

  • Thyroid tumors
  • Allergic reactions
  • Pancreatitis
  • Changes in your vision
  • Low blood glucose
  • Kidney issues, or kidney failure

How long can Ozempic side effects last?

Ozempic 6 month update - everything to know from a patient on weight loss, nausea, dosage

It varies from person to person. I personally experienced side effects for a week and a half. 

Does Ozempic need to be refrigerated?

If Ozempic was exposed to non-refrigerated temperatures (any temperature above 46ºF), the product must be used or discarded within 56 days.

Your pen should be inspected for changes such as precipitation, or change in color or clarity that may indicate a loss in potency.

It should be stored in a refrigerator when not in use.

Will Ozempic help with weight loss?

Ozempic can help with weight loss. Because GLP-1 medications help you digest food much slower. 

You may notice that you feel fuller, faster and for longer. Or, you may notice that your appetite is significantly reduced. 

Ozempic weight loss before and after pictures

I’m still taking Ozempic, so these are more like my before and during photos, but I wanted to show off the difference within my first 6 months of taking Ozempic.

I personally dropped about 30 pounds in the first six months.

I still feel like I have a prominent double chin, but I’m wearing the same shirt and all three pics, and it’s much looser from one to the next!

What is it like taking Ozempic?

Ozempic injections are relatively simple.

They are once a week, the needle is very fine and small, and it doesn’t hurt. You inject it under the skin, hold it for 6 seconds and pull it out. 

Compared to insulin, there is no pain or burning with the injection, and it’s an easy pen to use and store. 

What time should I take Ozempic?

Time doesn’t matter. Choose a day that you’ll remember the weekly injection. When I was on Ozempic, I used to take my dose in the evenings and on a weekend.

I did this because I would sometimes experience side effects, and the weekend gave me ample time to feel better. Plus, I could sleep off any discomfort when I took it at night versus the morning.

Who shouldn’t take Ozempic?

  • People under age 18
  • If you have a history of pancreatitis
  • People with a history of thyroid tumors, or thyroid cancer
  • People with Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia Type 2 or MTC. 

What does Ozempic Cost?

Retail price for Ozempic depends on the pharmacy you’re shopping at. It can range from $975-$1,100. 

Ozempic is often covered by insurance. You may be able to pay a portion of the price depending on your insurance. I have paid anywhere from $90 for a 3-month supply to $160 for a 3-month supply. 

Can I get an Ozempic Coupon or savings card?

Yes. Ozempic’s website shares savings and resources that you can use to save on your co-pay. Per usual, there are some restrictions for eligibility. 

The Bottom Line on Ozempic

Ask your doctor about Ozempic if you’re interested in a once-weekly injectable option, but you’re also looking to lose weight, get your blood sugars in range, and you have risk factors for heart disease.

2 Months on Ozempic: weight loss before and after, side effects, injections from a patient's view

 

52 Responses

  1. Hi, I have Chronic Pancreatitis and diabetes. After discussing it with my doctor we decided to try Ozempic. Today was my first dose. I’m just wondering how quickly I could get an acute pancreatitis attack? If someone were to experience side effects as quickly as the same day would that also be true for pancreatitis? I realize your no doctor but perhaps you know of someone that this has happened to or have a general guestament?

  2. Been on Ozempic for 4 weeks .25, just went up to .5 and so nauseated, and burping constantly. I also take glipizide, as the doctor did not want me to stop it just yet. I am hoping the nausea subsides soon! I have lost 6 pounds so far.

  3. I wonder if the side effects are worse for ppl using it to lose weight only without type 2 diabetes…I am asking my doc today for it.

  4. After 4 injections at .25 and another 4 at .5 I now had a truly horriffic 3 days (24 hours after the last 0,5 injection). Watery explosive diarrea with no notice. Soiling my bed in my sleep 1-2 times a night plus about once a day during my day rest. Fire in my stomach. Terrbile constant burping that’s made me gag and throw up once so far. Unable to eat. On the verge of calling the ER. This is no way to live, sorry. Discontinuing this medication. I can’t leave my house to go to the hospital. Had to cancel two appointments.

  5. This informational dialogue is great! I just had my first shot .25 last Thursday. Slight short duration headache 3X, no diarrhea, 10 second muscle cramps in my neck and hand yesterday.
    My appetite is curbed. I hope this continues because I have been overeating for 6 mos. I have lost 2 lbs so far.

  6. I have been using the Ozempic Injection for goin on 6 months and i have lost over 60 pounds since November 16th A1C went from 11 to 6. 3 yayyy me 🙂 🙂

  7. Hi from Australia,

    ❤️Love your Web posts Mila @hangrywoman – very informative & interesting content‼️

    I was started on Ozempic in October or November 2021, 4 weeks on starting dose of 0.25ml/week, Then tried 0.5ml which my body didn’t like too much.

    The Ozempic along with a Low Carb High healthy Fat (or Keto) lifestyle has been incredible at bringing BGL numbers down!! Consistently in the 4 – 6mmol/L range (72 – 108 mg/dl US)

    Based on evidence I read from another user in a Low Carb Facebook Group – I am trying 0.25ml x 2 doses/week (every 3.5 days) – It is still as effective as 0.5ml/week without the side effects.

  8. Anybody switch to 1mg while still having the 0.5mg pen? Doctor said I could just take 2 doses of 0.5mg to achieve 1mg. Makes sense. A bit nervous to try it. Did you inject on 2 different sides of abdomen? I’ve been good on 0.5 but he thinks 1mg will be better for weight loss. I’ve lost 16 lbs in 9 months but could use another 10. Thx

  9. I’ve been on it 6 months. I’ve lost 42 lbs, and I’m off all medications, including blood pressure and cholesterol, except Ozempic. A1c went from 7.9 to 5.7 and all my fasting blood sugars are normal. My Dr suggested a multivitamin since I feel like I’m not eating much. This medication is a lifesaver!

    1. Have you noticed any weight loss plateau? I’ve been on it for 3 months and have lost an average of 2 pounds per week but I am noticing that the past 2 weeks I havent lost anything? I am currently on 1 mg per week.

  10. My Doc doesn’t want me to increased .5 as I only have 10kg to lose and I’m down 3.2 after a month at .25. I noticed my hunger is returning a little but I’m not starving when I get home from work. Is it possible to co to us losing weight at the lower dose?

  11. Just had first .25 injection. I’ve been told 4 weeks at that dosage then 2 weeks at .5 and then a further 4 weeks at .5 before going up if I feel the need. Will monitor symptoms. It’s a shame so many people report the negative side effects, I’d love to read reports from those who’ve not had such terrible symptoms. Would help not feel so anxious about it.

    1. I just started I am on week two no side affects at the moment other than feeling full. I put it in my thigh heard it lessens the side affects I switch thighs every week. I cannot wait to start 1.0 dosage.

  12. Just took my first 1.0 shot at four weeks. I don’t even feel less hungry from it. I only feel like eating less as my habits have changed to shrink my stomach. Wish I had the problem other people are having of no appetite as it would make losing easier.

  13. I’m curious…my doctor started me on Ozempic in September and I’ve been taking it every week since. In the 4 months I’ve lost 40lbs, which is great except it’s because I have NO appetite at all since I started taking it. Because of that I’ve also lost a lot of muscle mass (didn’t have a lot to start with! *L*) My blood sugar was never that bad, but because of my weight too, I guess that’s why the doctor put me on it. Now he’s happy because I’m losing weight, but not really listening to the fact that I’m usually eating 600 calories or less a day…and that’s with me taking a meal replacement for nutrients generally once a day (200 – 250 calories). Now I want to come off Ozempic…know I’ll likely gain at least some weight back, but will be happy to have an appetite again. I’m just wondering who has come off Ozempic and how it went for them. Hopefully there aren’t any unusual side effects when you come off of it. I’m already not eating, a bit gassy, etc….

    1. I actually just posted a video about what happens when you come off of it! Basically, my appetite hasn’t returned much (but it is better). I haven’t gained back any of the weight I lost, and my blood sugars actually have stayed well within range.

      Here are some more details om that: https://youtu.be/iVWRJpKlFcI

    2. I’m a physician who put myself on Ozempic. There was a study showing that you do end up gaining weight again once you come off. I’ll post the link to the study below, you can get a good summary of the results by looking at the graphs on the 8th page. But you’re right, 600 calories per day is not ideal- you should aim for at least 1000 calories (ideally 1200) per day if possible. You could try decreasing your dose rather than completely coming off of it. I plan on decreasing my dose once I reach my goal weight. I also had trouble with not being able to eat enough calories but I eventually was able to force myself to eat more.

      https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2777886

    3. I’m a physician who asked my PCP to start me on Ozempic. There was a study showing that you do end up gaining weight again once you come off. I’ll post the link to the study below, you can get a good summary of the results by looking at the graphs on the 8th page. But you’re right, 600 calories per day is not ideal- you should aim for at least 1000 calories (ideally 1200) per day if possible. You could try decreasing your dose rather than completely coming off of it. I plan on decreasing my dose once I reach my goal weight. I also had trouble with not being able to eat enough calories but I eventually was able to force myself to eat more.

      https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2777886

  14. I am now on my first .50 injection. At first I was nervous about this new med. The side effects I had on .25 was fatigue, nausea & diarrhea. I have lost seven pounds. It has seemed to subside towards the end of the first four weeks. Looking forward to my new future with Diabetes & Ozempic.

  15. I’m going on week 6.. my first dose I felt like I had a new found energy. I’m on my 6th and I have no energy, sulfer burps, horrible stomach farts, and fireworks exploding in my stomach. Last night I made a bad choice with food and thought I was going to die, the pain was so severe, and the puking that came with it. Ugh! Today I’m back to silfer burbs, no energy and pain in my stomach. Is the .5 too high for me?,

    1. Are you on Phentermine as well? It offsets the fatigue. Also, Pepcid complete is wonderful for sulfur burps. Has to be the complete one though.

    1. Actually at .5mg per week. I never made it to the 1mg dose. It ended up giving me too many side effects.

  16. I took my first injection of ozempic a week a go have had diarrhea the whole time do have an illostomy could it just take longer for the diarrhea to go away because I have the illostomy help please

    1. I’m a physician who also takes ozempic. Yes your diarrhea could definitely be worse with ozempic. I’d focus on eating a fiber-rich diet and take fiber supplements if needed. If none of that works you can try Imodium. A lot of diarrhea through the ileostomy can be dangerous because it can cause dehydration and electrolyte disturbances.

    1. Yes Nelsy I have heard that from others they had fewer side effects with thigh injections. I wonder how it works with arm injections. I mainly have had constipation and rotate between my left and right thigh. Keeping my water intake up and making sure I get 25g of fiber a day helps with the constipation.

  17. Amazing blog ! Thanks for sharing !

    I just started taking 0.25. I don’t have any side effects , still have an appetite too, it is not reduced.

    How did you feel on your first injection? Did you feel that you had side effects straight away ? How long until your appetite reduced ?

    Thanks !

    Jay

  18. I just took my 4th weekly starting dose of.25mg. I have had diarhea the whole time. Will it get better, eventually? Should I ask my doctor to stay at .25mg another 4 weeks?

    1. You can certainly ask to stay on the lower dose long. I did, and I felt much better when I finally moved up.

  19. I started Ozempic 1.5 weeks ago. First shot in the morning. that night had some chills. Gone by morning. Diarrhea that first week but took Imodium and it helped. Second shot and major issues. During the day I felt cold. Night of second shot had severe chills most of the night. Woke up to horrible nausea. Didn’t eat most of the day. So weak and tired could hardly move. Finally vomited late afternoon and stomach felt better. Diarrhea. Let me say throwing up with diarrhea is an awful thing. Next day nausea off and on. Severe diarrhea. It’s now day 4 since second shot and finally have a little energy. No nausea but diarrhea continues. Can’t leave home even to grocery shop cause risk of blow out. Help! Anyone else been thru this? I’m worried about shot 3.

    1. hi, i am coming off this injection. I was the same, i couldn’t go anywhere because of the risk of Blowouts… perfect description by the way. The quality of life was down to zero with my bodies reaction to Ozempic. I went up to 1mg and have never been so sick in my life, down to .5mg and a bit better BUT fainting stomach out of control and because i was so sick i had no energy and my body was craving sugar just so i could stand up. Still overweight and sugars are a mess so i am going off this injection and going back to exercise and eating better. I haven’t been able to even walk around the clock -just in case – and i am done. I gave it about a year i think but i want my life back. I figured during lockdown it would be ok because no one was going out anyway but with things lifting and me still not being able to leave my house, i think my mental health is struggling as well. Time for a break for me. i wish it had worked for me!

      1. Try going to the 2.5 lower dose w Dr supervision it might be too much medicine as I have found for myself. I’ve been in ozempic for 6 months and it has been a challenge. I just went back to the lower dose. Don’t give up too soon. If your sugars are a mess (yes mine too- however I use the freestyle meter and it makes everything easier-I go below the normal range in the red zone and now that I lessened my med dose I’m a lot better.
        I lost 15 lbs.over time and it’s way worth working through the adjustment. Better than food and exercise bc I did that for 13 yrs in denial about type 2 and did it my way and I looked overweight (I was!) face and stomach the worst inflammation (diabetes) and once I started ozempic I felt the change within 24 hours like it was a relief. Hang in there good wellness to you!

  20. Curious to know if you have ever taken Trulicity? I’ve been on Trulicity for years now and I am finally making a switch to Ozempic. I overall unhappy with Trulicity because of the gastro side effects it has been giving me for awhile now. I’d love to hear back! Thank you! So glad I found your you tube videos and this website!

    1. Hi April! I’ve never taken Trulicity, Ozempic is my first GLP-1 class medication I’ve tried!

  21. Been on ozempic for 8 days now’s nauseated today and have to throw up.
    Started on .25 went up to
    .50 yesterday no problems until then.

    1. I am no expert But I believe you’re supposed to be on that low dose for at least 4 weeks before increasing. Curious because you said you’ve only been on at 8 days and that could be a significant reason for it and for the side effects. Everything I’ve read and been told is That you go up slowly not so quickly and definitely not in 8 days

    1. I’ve had a bleed in each eye since taking it. However, neither Dr. Believes it is Ozempic.i am wondering if anyone else has experienced this.

      1. Hi, I have been on Ozempic for 2 months. Started out fine, but the last week or two I’m having stomach cramps , diarrhea and blurred vision, especially in my right eye. I had cataract surgery 2 years ago and have been seeing fine until the blurred vision started.

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Mila Clarke sits on a couch and smiles at camera

Hi! I'm Mila.

I’m a millennial living with LADA (Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults, a slow-progressing form of autoimmune Type 1 diabetes) I love food, travel, and my kitchen!

Hangry Woman is for anyone with diabetes – regardless of type.

I’m here to help you live your best life possible diabetes by showing you how to create simple, blood-sugar friendly and delicious meals. Plus, you get video cooking demos, essays on life with diabetes, and lots of weekly joy.

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