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 firsthand.
What is Ozempic?
Ozempic is the brand name of 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.
Check out this article on foods to eat and avoid while taking Ozempic.
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.
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
- Changes in your vision
- Low blood glucose
- Kidney issues, or kidney failure
How long can Ozempic side effects last?
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.