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Ozempic (Semaglutide) Injections: What You Need to Know

High blood sugar isn’t an exclusive attribute of being diabetic, it may also act as a catalyst for other diseases by causing kidney damage, cardiovascular disease, nerve issues, and sexual dysfunction. Type 2 diabetes mellitus may seem like an irreversible sentence for poor lifestyle habits, but there are actually many effective treatments to mitigate its impact on your overall health; Ozempic (Semaglutide) injection is one of these treatments.

So what are Ozempic injections? An Ozempic (Semaglutide) pen injector helps control high blood sugar for people with type 2 diabetes. With healthy lifestyle choices such as a healthy diet and regular exercise, Semaglutide can have a profound impact on regulating your blood glucose levels.

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What is Ozempic (Semaglutide) Injection?

Type 2 diabetes mellitus is a condition caused by poor lifestyle habits that results in high blood sugar levels. The body's ability to regulate sugar (glucose) and use it as fuel is impaired in people with type 2 diabetes. Blood sugar levels are too high due to this long-term (chronic) condition, which can eventually develop into disorders of the circulatory, nervous and immune systems.

Ozempic (Semaglutide) injection is an injectable prescription medicine used in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus for enhanced glycemic control. Its known benefits include the following:

  • Reduces the risk of major cardiovascular events (e.g, heart attack, stroke)
  • Reduced the likelihood of death in patients with type 2 diabetes with heart disease
  • Body weight management benefits

In response to high blood sugar (for instance, after eating), Semaglutide triggers insulin release, much like naturally occurring incretin hormones in the body. Additionally, Semaglutide also substantially decreases the amount of glucose produced by your liver.

Features of Ozempic (Semaglutide) Pen Injector

You may have reservations about using pen injectors as a substitute for diabetes pills. Good thing, an Ozempic pen comes with NovoFine® Plus 32G 4 mm needles, which is the shortest and thinnest needle offered by Novo Nordisk.

Additionally, Ozempic pen injections are designed to produce sufficient insulin secretion for the effective management of blood sugar levels while inhibiting glucagon secretion.

Prescribing Information for Ozempic (Semaglutide)

Ozempic (Semaglutide) injections are prescribed in 0.5 mg dose, 1 mg dose, or 2 mg dose. A healthcare provider will prescribe a dose for your Ozempic pen injection, depending on your current medical condition and need for glycemic control. Your body’s responsiveness to the treatment is also considered when recommending a dose of Ozempic pen injection.

Doctors generally prescribe a low-dosage medication at the beginning of your Semaglutide injection treatments to reduce the risk of an adverse event. The dose will gradually increase, depending on your body’s response to the treatment.

A dedicated medication treatment plan, balanced meal plan, and exercise program may be recommended by your provider. Following your healthcare provider’s instructions is crucial to the effectiveness of these injections.

Additionally, Ozempic injectable medication can be used with or without meals. Semaglutide is usually injected once every 7 days; it can be injected as directed by your healthcare provider, or into the following injection sites:

  • Thigh
  • Abdomen
  • Upper Arm

Semaglutide Drug Class

Medications like Semaglutide are known as incretin mimetics. In high blood sugar levels, Semaglutide helps the pancreas release insulin, which aids in moving glucose from the blood into other body tissues where it is used for energy. In addition, Semaglutide slows the movement of food through the stomach.

Ozempic (Semaglutide) Injection Effects

Semaglutide controls high blood pressure, and it regulates high levels of blood glucose. It may also be used in people with type 2 diabetes mellitus and heart diseases to reduce the risk of death from a heart attack or stroke.

Aside from glycemic control, Ozempic pen injections also have significant weight loss benefits. Semaglutide is a GLP 1 analog (i.e, glucagon-like peptide) that can suppress your appetite and delay stomach emptying, which results in body weight reduction.

There are instances when Semaglutide is combined with Cagrilintide for enhanced weight loss treatment and body weight management for individuals who have type 2 diabetes. Ozempic pen injections, on the other hand, are purely Semaglutide.

Ozempic pen injections have numerous positive impacts on patients with type 2 diabetes, but it can also result in adverse events. Before starting the treatment, it’s important to have your healthcare provider run through all of the possible effects and adverse reactions to have sufficient knowledge on how to reduce any given risks while maximizing overall benefit.

When to Be Concerned

It’s essential to make it a habit to check the instruction for use and warning section each time you get a new refill of your Semaglutide injection. Some side effects to be expected are the following:

  • Fatigue
  • Some redness, swelling, or itching in the injection area
  • Nausea or vomiting (as long as it’s not continuous)
  • Diarrhea or constipation

Some side effects generally subside with continuous usage of Semaglutide. Additionally, most people using this medication don’t have serious adverse reactions. There are, however, rare cases in which serious side effects are experienced. Such rare incidents of side effects may include the following:

  • Signs of kidney problems. Keep track of the changes in the amount of your urine when using Semaglutide injections.
  • Signs of vision change. You may experience decreased or blurred vision when using Semaglutide injections.
  • Worsening diabetic retinopathy. Semaglutide has numerous benefits, but it has also been linked to cases of diabetic retinopathy. However, there are studies that contradict the connection between long-term Semaglutide usage and the worsening of diabetic retinopathy. For better management of the risk of diabetic retinopathy, consult your healthcare provider at its first signs and symptoms.
  • Increased risk of thyroid cancer. It is possible that Semaglutide injections can increase the risk of thyroid cancer, especially medullary thyroid carcinoma (a kind of thyroid cancer).

Although there are risks in using Semaglutide injections, the benefit of using such may have outweighed any risks as diagnosed by your healthcare provider. If you experienced any of the rare side effects while using Semaglutide injection, consult your healthcare provider right away. But seek immediate medical attention if you experience extremely serious adverse reactions such as:

  • Continuous nausea or vomiting
  • Severe stomach or abdominal pain

The side effects mentioned are signs of pancreas or gallbladder disease, so it’s important to be vigilant and to seek qualified medical help as soon as possible. Immediately ask for help from a poison control center if someone has overdosed or experienced the following symptoms:

  • Serious allergic reaction
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Passing out

Precautions on the Use of Ozempic (Semaglutide) Injection

a man injects ozempic pen injection unto his belly

Ozempic (Semaglutide) injection isn’t used in people who have type 1 diabetes, and it’s unknown whether it’s effective for use on people who are under the age of 18. Always read instructions and medication guides provided by a pharmacist each time you get your Semaglutide refill.

It’s important to also take time to review the instructions before use so that you can ask your healthcare provider if you have any concerns or questions regarding the usage of Ozempic pen injection. You can also ensure the safety of using this pen device through the following:

  • Ensure product quality. Check the product visually for any particles or signs of discoloration. Do not use the liquid if any of those mentioned are present.
  • Ensure correct dosage. Check the packaging of the product to ensure that the correct dose is given to you.
  • Keep sanitation around the injection site. Clean the injection area with rubbing alcohol.
  • Reduce injury inflicted on the injection site. Change the injection area to reduce bruising or injury on a specific site of the skin.
  • Proper storage. Store the injection pen in the refrigerator (not in the freezer).
  • Be vigilant about the developments of your condition. Track your progress and keep your healthcare provider updated on the improvement (or worsening) of your condition.
  • Know what to do in case of a missed dose. Avoid double dose intake to catch up on a missed dose. Use a Semaglutide injection as soon as you remember it within the next 5 days. If your missed dose exceeded 5 days, simply skip the missed dose and take it on a regular day.

Another thing that you also need to beware of is drug interactions, which can have an impact on the effectiveness of your Semaglutide use. Additionally, there are also certain drugs that may put you at risk for serious adverse reactions when it interacts with Semaglutide injections. Some medications may cause hypoglycemia while other drugs may offset the effect of your Semaglutide injections.

It’s important to provide your healthcare provider with a complete list of the current drugs that you are taking alongside your Semaglutide injections. This prevents the occurrence of any adverse effects when you self-medicate and identify which medications to stop or change, without prior consultation with your provider.

Lastly, using Semaglutide injections with other products and medications that contain Semaglutide is strictly prohibited.

Safety of Semaglutide Insulin Combination Injection

Semaglutide can produce an insulin secretion response to high blood sugar. If you’re already using insulin, then do note that Semaglutide can’t be used as a substitute insulin treatment to regulate blood sugar.

There are cases when oral Semaglutide is combined with insulin, which leads to a superior weight loss effect and reduction of HbA1c. Additionally, the safety profile of using Semaglutide in combination with insulin is consistent with other GLP 1 receptor agonist types. However, take note that using Semaglutide alongside other diabetes medication may lead to certain adverse reactions such as hypoglycemia (i.e, low blood sugar).

Risk of Semaglutide Injection Hypoglycemia

A hypoglycemic condition occurs when your blood sugar level is lower than normal. If you’re wondering if there’s any possibility of overdoing your Semaglutide treatment, using Semaglutide as the sole treatment for diabetes usually wouldn’t cause hypoglycemia.

However, it’s important to inform your healthcare provider if another diabetes medication is prescribed when you’re already using Semaglutide injections. Using Semaglutide simultaneously with other diabetes medications can result in low blood glucose.

So unless your Semaglutide injections are recommended with other medications to treat diabetes, you shouldn’t worry about the dose prescribed by your doctor. Your medical history and responsiveness to the treatment are both thoroughly reviewed by your healthcare provider so the recommended Semaglutide treatment may be what fits you.

Semaglutide Pregnancy Category

Pregnant women are prone to gestational diabetes, which is a type of diabetes that usually develops during pregnancy.

Gestational diabetes is a condition that develops in women who didn’t initially have diabetes prior to pregnancy, and managing it is important to ensure a healthy pregnancy. Thus, gestational diabetes may be the source of the need for pregnant women to use Semaglutide during pregnancy.

Semaglutide is usually used to facilitate enhanced insulin production and weight loss treatment. Pregnant women, on the other hand, have no benefit from using Semaglutide for weight loss. There are other cases, however, when healthcare providers recommend Semaglutide for pregnant women, but only for a better lack of options.

To date, there are insufficient studies supporting the risk of Semaglutide medication during pregnancy. A study recommendation states that pregnant women should avoid exposing the fetus to potential risks and fetal harm by consulting their healthcare providers for other low-risk options in managing gestational diabetes.

Additionally, manufacturer recommendations indicate that this medication should be stopped for at least 2 months before a planned pregnancy. For breastfeeding women who will be prescribed this treatment, it’s best to clarify with your healthcare provider whether Semaglutide will have any effect on breast milk.

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Dr. V

Using Ozempic (Semaglutide) injection enhances glycemic control and weight management in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Additionally, Ozempic pen injections enhance insulin secretion without the adverse event of hypoglycemia (i.e, low blood sugar) from glucagon secretion.

If you’re looking for a healthcare provider that can provide an effective treatment plan or qualified medical advice on body weight and blood glucose management in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus, reach out to us. We also provide other advice for body weight management or effective weight loss.

Consult with our healthcare providers for more medical advice on weight management and glycemic control for patients with type 2 diabetes.

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