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Can You Take Semaglutide if you Have Retinopathy?

Semaglutide has been linked to worsening retinopathy in studies. We discuss the complicated relationship between Semaglutide & retinopathy.
close up of an eye

Retinopathy is a disease of the eye that’s often caused by diabetes.

Some living with the condition often wonder if Semaglutide is safe for them to take as a treatment for diabetes

Unfortunately, Semaglutide might not be the best treatment for people that have already been diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy, especially some stages of more advanced retinopathy.  

The patient information leaflet for Semaglutide lists complications of diabetic eye disease (retinopathy) as a common and serious side effect.

This is because of data gathered from clinical trials.

It was shown in studies that patients taking Semaglutide were more likely to report worsening symptoms of retinopathy. 

Because of this, people that have already been diagnosed with it are usually advised to avoid taking Semaglutide.

Alternatively, they may be closely monitored by a GP or diabetic specialist whilst taking Semaglutide to make sure that their vision doesn’t deteriorate.  

Can You Take Ozempic if you Have Retinopathy

Semaglutide is more likely to worsen pre-existing retinopathy rather than cause the onset of it.

However, if you experience any changes in your vision whilst taking Semaglutide, you should make an appointment with your doctor or an ophthalmologist.  

It’s possible that the worsening of retinopathy is temporary.

This is because it’s possible for a rapid improvement in blood glucose to temporarily exacerbate symptoms of the condition.

However, as no long-term studies have been carried out yet, we don’t know whether or not the retinopathy would improve over time.  

There’s currently no information about taking Semaglutide with non-diabetic retinopathy.

However, because of the known complications, we would always recommend speaking to your doctor. 

You can also let our prescribers know about your medical history during your consultation so that they can advise you on whether or not Semaglutide would be safe for you.  

Symptoms of retinopathy include: 

  • Gradually worsening vision
  • Sudden loss of vision
  • Floaters in your eye
  • Patchy or blurry vision
  • Eye pain
  • Eye redness

These can also be symptoms of other conditions such as conjunctivitis or an eye injury.

However, because of the links between Semaglutide and retinopathy, we would always recommend getting checked out if you experience any of these symptoms whilst taking your medication.  

ozempic and diabetic retinopathy

Those with retinopathy or other eye conditions should take Semaglutide under the supervision of their own GP.

This is so that regular monitoring can be arranged in the best interests of your overall health.

For more information, please make an appointment with your GP’s surgery. 

Content Written By

Laura Henderson

Laura Henderson

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James O'Loan

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