Ozempic side effects
Ozempic is the brand name for semaglutide injections, which can sometimes cause some unpleasant side effects at first. Unfortunately, there’s no way of knowing if you’ll experience side effects until you try the medication, but there’s good news! Even if you do experience side effects, there are often medications or remedies that can help to ease them.
In fact, if you experience side effects that you need medication for, please contact us, as supporting treatments are included in the cost of your consultation. We believe that you should receive as much support as possible to achieve your weight management goals, and at myBMI, treatments to help you to cope with side effects are part of the support that we offer.
If you’re wondering how you can ease your side effects in the meantime, read on to find out what you can do!
Do side effects of Ozempic go away?
Most people that do experience side effects with Ozempic say that they go away within a few weeks once the body has become used to the medication. In order to reduce side effects as much as possible, you’ll be started on a low dose of semaglutide and gradually increased up to a therapeutic dose. However, some people still experience unpleasant symptoms from early on.
If you’re still struggling with side effects for a few weeks after you’ve reached the therapeutic dose, you should speak to your prescriber, as they may want to offer a supporting treatment, or they may even suggest reducing your dose for a while until the side effects of semaglutide wear off.
Even though you might feel a bit unpleasant when you first start taking Ozempic, please remember that for most people, it isn’t permanent, and you should start to feel better as the weeks go on.
How long does it take to get used to Ozempic?
How long it takes to get used to semaglutide depends on each individual. Some people never experience any adverse effects, whilst others can’t tolerate the medication and may need to switch to an alternative. However, we would generally say to give it a few weeks after starting on the therapeutic dose (1.0mg weekly for semaglutide injections) to see if the side effects go away. If not, you should contact your prescriber to talk about your options.
Semaglutide Side Effects
Semaglutide side effects mostly involve the bowels and gut, due to the way it works in the body. Because semaglutide slows down the digestive process, it can cause gastrointestinal side effects that you might not be used to.
Some of the most common side effects of semaglutide include:
- Acid reflux
- Stomach cramps
Luckily, most of these fade within a few weeks of taking medication, but they’re also fairly easy to treat whilst you’re waiting for your body to adjust to the semaglutide.
Nobody likes feeling or being sick, but unfortunately, new medicines can sometimes cause nausea and vomiting. However, there are various things that you can do to try and reduce the sensation of feeling nauseous.
One of the most well-known remedies for nausea is ginger – with many people using ginger tea, cordials, or even ginger beer to make a bout of sickness disappear. You should be able to find all of the above in most supermarkets, as well as fresh ginger root, which should be peeled before use.
If you find that you feel sick on Ozmepic after eating, then you may be eating too much. One of the best things you can do in this situation is to eat smaller meals, and eat only as frequently as the medication allows but trying to avoid long periods of fasting that can result in rebound hunger. This should make sure that your stomach is never too full, but also that you shouldn’t feel hungry between meals. Often, eating too much food can make us feel sick even without an appetite suppressant, so it’s even more important when taking semaglutide to keep an eye on your portion sizes. You should also make sure not to eat too close to bed time, and not to be too active after eating a meal. Try to let yourself digest your food before doing anything strenuous, as this can also contribute to nausea.
If you find that no home remedies help with your sickness, you should contact your myBMI prescriber, as they might be able to give you a supporting treatment to relieve nausea. There are various medications available, such as Pepto Bismol or Buccastem, but if you need treatment, your prescriber will make sure that you receive something that’s safe for you to take.
Diarrhoea happens to most people at some point in their lives, and whilst it can be painful, frustrating and embarrassing, it’s also treatable.
Any bowel issues that you experience when you start taking semaglutide should die down within a few weeks, but until then, you should try to eat more soluble fibre, as this can help to bulk out your poo by absorbing excess water. It’s important to know the difference between soluble fibre and insoluble fibre, as whilst soluble fibre is great for diarrhoea, insoluble fibre is better for constipation – so you really don’t want to get the two mixed up! Soluble fibre can be found in foods such as:
- Whole grains
Many more examples of soluble fibre can be found online. However, you should make sure that you aren’t eating too much fibre, as this can have the opposite effect and worsen your diarrhoea.
If you’re already eating plenty of fibre (and not too much), you may have to look at how to stop diarrhoea in other ways. For example, if you’re losing a lot of fluid through diarrhoea, you may need to use oral rehydration sachets (similar to Dioralyte) in order to replace the lost minerals from your body. You may also need to use these if you’ve been vomiting a lot. To stop the diarrhoea, your prescriber might recommend that you take loperamide – a medicine that helps to slow down the movement of food as it travels through your gut. This helps your body to absorb more water from your stools, making your poo firmer. This should reduce the frequency and urgency of needing to go to the toilet.
Although these conditions are different, the three terms are often used interchangeably due to the fact that they share similar symptoms and can often be treated in the same way. Acid reflux often felt in the chest or the back of the throat, and can feel like a burning sensation.
A lot of people who suffer with it regularly find that their symptoms are often worse at night when lying down. This is because your stomach acid is more likely to flow into the oesophagus than if you’re upright. One way of relieving heartburn is to raise the head of your bed slightly, and sleep in a reclined position rather than lying down flat. This helps to keep any excess acid as far into your stomach as possible, and should hopefully reduce any irritation in your chest or throat.
If this doesn’t help, or you experience indigestion during the day, there are other things you can try, such as eating smaller portions, or grazing throughout the day instead of having set mealtimes. This might help to reduce the amount of food in your stomach, so it doesn’t have to produce as much acid to digest it.
If you still find that you struggle with heartburn, please contact your prescriber, as they may be able to offer antacids or even a prescription-strength medicine such as omeprazole or lansoprazole to help to ease your symptoms.
Constipation can be just as bad as diarrhoea, and often causes pain and discomfort. Because semaglutide slows down the digestive process, it means that food stays in your gut for longer, so your body absorbs more water from your poo. This can mean that it becomes hard, dry and difficult to pass, causing constipation.
There are a range of things you can do to help constipation caused by Ozmepic, such as eating more insoluble fibre (found in almost all fruit and vegetables), and drinking more water in order to try and make your stools softer and easier to pass.
If adding more fibre to your diet doesn’t help to reduce constipation, you should contact myBMI and ask about any supporting treatments that you might be able to take. There are various laxatives that are available to treat constipation, and they’re available in a range of different forms. Your prescriber will have a discussion with you about which would be the best laxative for you to take. In the meantime, you should be able to find Senna or an alternative medicine at your nearest supermarket.
Bloating, Gas & Stomach Cramps
Although these three side effects aren’t all the same, they can often be treated in the same way. All of the above symptoms are often caused by excess gas, and can be incredibly painful to deal with at times.
These are more issued that can sometimes be solved with eating smaller meals more frequently, as well as taking your time whilst eating and drinking.
Exercise can also help to relieve gas, as physical activity can help to move some of the gas that’s built up – though remember – it has to come out somehow! You might experience flatulence or burping whilst trying to get rid of the built-up gas.
If home methods such as the ones mentioned above don’t help to relieve your gas, you should contact us and ask your prescriber if there are any treatments that could help with your symptoms.
There are a range of medicines that are available to help relieve trapped wind, bloating and gas, but your prescriber will have a discussion with you about these and which one might be most suitable for you.
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