Home Drugs Ozempic Side Effects

Ozempic Side Effects

The most common Ozempic side effects are nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain and constipation. Serious Ozempic side effects include allergic reactions, changes in vision and pancreatitis. Ozempic has an FDA boxed warning for the risk of thyroid C-cell tumors.

Last Modified: September 7, 2023
Fact Checked

Editors carefully fact-check all Drugwatch content for accuracy and quality.

Drugwatch has a stringent fact-checking process. It starts with our strict sourcing guidelines.

We only gather information from credible sources. This includes peer-reviewed medical journals, reputable media outlets, government reports, court records and interviews with qualified experts.

Why Trust DrugWatch?

Drugwatch.com has been empowering patients for more than a decade

Drugwatch.com has provided reliable, trusted information about medications, medical devices and general health since 2008. We’ve also connected thousands of people injured by drugs and medical devices with top-ranked national law firms to take action against negligent corporations.

Our team includes experienced medical writers, award-winning journalists, researchers and certified medical and legal experts. Drugwatch.com is HONCode (Health On the Net Foundation) certified. This means the high-quality information we provide comes from credible sources, such as peer-reviewed medical journals and expert interviews.

The information on Drugwatch.com has been medically and legally reviewed by more than 30 expert contributors, including doctors, pharmacists, lawyers, patient advocates and other health care professionals. Our writers are members of professional associations, including American Medical Writers Association, American Bar Association, The Alliance of Professional Health Advocates and International Society for Medical Publication Professionals.

About Drugwatch.com

  • Assisting patients and their families since 2008.
  • Helped more than 12,000 people find legal help.
  • A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.
  • 5-star reviewed medical and legal information site.
Learn More About Us


"Drugwatch opened my eyes to the realities of big pharmacy. Having a family member with major depression and anxiety, I was looking for information on her medications. I found information that was very helpful, that her psychiatrist never told her."
Marianne Zahren Patient’s Family Member
  • Google Business Rating
  • BBB A+ Rating Logo

Is Ozempic Safe?

For most people, Ozempic is generally safe when taken as directed for Type 2 diabetes. In clinical trials, the most common side effects were mild. The most reported side effect was nausea.

Ozempic has few drug interactions, but because it slows digestion, it may affect the way other medications are absorbed. When taken with insulin or sulfonylureas, it could increase the risk of hypoglycemia.

You shouldn’t take Ozempic if:
  • You are allergic to any of the ingredients in Ozempic
  • You have a personal or family risk of medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC)
  • You have multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN 2)

In animal studies, Ozempic caused abnormalities in fetuses. There isn’t enough data on pregnant women to show if Ozempic can harm an unborn baby. If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, make sure you tell your doctor.

Weight loss from Ozempic is also a side effect. Though the drug is not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for weight loss, some doctors have prescribed it in overweight and obese people without Type 2 diabetes to help them lose weight.

What Are the Common Side Effects of Ozempic?

Common side effects of Ozempic are gastrointestinal side effects such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, according to the drug’s prescribing information. Nausea was the most reported side effect in all patients taking Ozempic.

Most people experienced side effects during dose escalation. Dose escalation means increasing the dose of a drug until the maximum dose is reached.

Reactions reported in 5% or more of patients in Ozempic clinical trials:
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
In clinical trials, researchers studied Ozempic in the following numbers of people with Type 2 diabetes:
  • 262 on placebo
  • 260 people on a 0.5 mg dose
  • 261 on a 1 mg dose

Some side effects occurred more often in people who took a 1 mg dose of Ozempic versus those who took the 0.5 mg dose, suggesting that side effects are dose dependent. For example, nausea occurred in 15.8% of people on the 0.5 mg dose, while it occurred in 20.3% of those on the 1 mg dose.

People who experienced Ozempic weight loss side effects lost an average of 9.3 to 14.1 pounds over the course of 40 weeks on Ozempic.

How Long Do Side Effects Last?

Mild, common side effects typically go away after a few days, though some may last a few weeks. In rare cases, Ozempic side effects may not go away. If side effects are bothersome or last for months, speak to your health care provider.

After stopping Ozempic, it may take a few weeks for the drug to leave the body, especially at the highest dose of 2 mg. In clinical trials, it took about five weeks after the last dose. So even after stopping the medication, you may feel side effects.

Serious Ozempic Side Effects

Ozempic can cause rare but serious side effects such as allergic reactions, pancreatitis and kidney issues. The drug has a boxed warning for thyroid C-cell tumors, medullary thyroid carcinoma and multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN 2).

More rare but serious Ozempic side effects include:
  • Acute gallbladder disease
  • Acute kidney injury
  • Allergic reactions
  • Diabetic retinopathy
  • Hypoglycemia (when used with insulin or sulfonylurea)
  • Increased risk of thyroid tumors
  • Pancreatitis

Some people may develop immunity to Ozempic. In clinical trials, about 1% of patients treated with Ozempic developed anti-semaglutide antibodies, according to the drug’s prescribing information. Anti-semaglutide antibodies will cause the effectiveness of Ozempic to decrease over time.

Effects of Long-Term Ozempic Use

Some people may suffer chronic side effects from taking Ozempic, especially gastrointestinal effects. At least 10% of patients who start Ozempic or Wegovy have to stop taking the medication because the side effects don’t improve, Dr. Meera Shah, an endocrinologist at the Mayo Clinic, told CBS News.

For some people, nausea and vomiting lead to undereating or malabsorption of nutrients. These side effects may also affect mood and energy levels.

Some evidence suggests Ozempic may lead to suicidal thoughts. In July 2023, the European Medicines Agency announced it would investigate reports of suicidal thoughts and self-harm in people using semaglutide and liraglutide medications such as Ozempic, Wegovy and Saxenda.

Fast weight loss from Ozempic may lead to sagging, loose skin all over the body, a phenomenon referred to on the internet as “Ozempic face.” Weight loss can lead to loss of facial fat, leaving the face looking older or gaunt.

Are you suffering from severe gastroparesis, or stomach paralysis, after taking Ozempic?

Ozempic Side Effects Lead to Hospitalization, Lawsuits

In August 2023, some patients who experienced serious side effects began filing Ozempic and Mounjaro lawsuits against Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly. One such patient was Jaclyn Bjorklund, who filed a lawsuit after she experienced severe gastroparesis, also called a paralyzed stomach.

Gastroparesis is a condition that causes food to move too slowly or even stop in the stomach. Bjorklund, who took Ozempic and Mounjaro, had severe vomiting and abdominal pain that led her to be hospitalized. Her lawsuit claims Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly didn’t properly warn patients about the risk of gastroparesis.

Bjorklund’s lawyer, Paul Pennock at Morgan & Morgan, said the firm is investigating more than 500 other semaglutide gastroparesis claims from 45 states.

How Can I Prevent or Manage Ozempic Side Effects?

Some people may be able to prevent Ozempic side effects, such as nausea, by watching what they eat, eating slowly or taking an anti-nausea medication. For most people, these side effects occur during the first few weeks after they begin taking the drug and slowly stop over time.

Tips for avoiding or managing Ozempic side effects include:
  • Start with a smaller dose and slowly increase it over time
  • Avoid large, fatty meals and greasy or fried foods
  • Carefully monitor blood sugar levels to avoid hypoglycemia
  • Eat bland foods such as rice, crackers or toast
  • Eat meals that have a high water content, such as soup
  • Eat more frequent, light, smaller meals
  • Eat slowly
  • Monitor for signs of pancreatitis, retinopathy or thyroid problems
  • Stay hydrated by drinking cold drinks such as water or unsweetened iced tea
  • Take anti-nausea medication
  • Take the medicine at the same time each day with a meal

If you are concerned about sagging skin, or “Ozempic face,” avoid losing weight too fast. For most people, a healthy weight loss is one to two pounds a week. Talk to your health care provider or a nutritionist about managing your Ozempic weight loss to avoid loose skin.

When Should I See a Doctor for My Ozempic Side Effects?

You should see a doctor for Ozempic side effects if they persist and are bothersome or if you are having a serious allergic reaction. Allergic reactions, especially if you have problems breathing, are medical emergencies.

Ozempic may also cause side effects that are signs of a more serious problem that requires medical attention.

When to see a doctor right away for Ozempic side effects:
  • Hypoglycemia with symptoms such as shaking, fast heartbeat, sweating, nervousness, hunger, dizziness, irritability or confusion.
  • Serious allergic reactions with symptoms that include swelling of the throat, tongue, lips or face. This may include problems breathing, a rash, rapid heartbeat or dizziness.
  • Signs of pancreatitis, including severe pain in the abdominal area that won’t go away. This pain may occur with or without vomiting and may radiate from the abdomen to the back.

Ozempic has an FDA boxed warning for potential thyroid tumors or cancers. If you develop swelling in your neck, feel a lump in your neck, develop hoarseness, have trouble swallowing or experience shortness of breath, see your doctor right away. These symptoms may be signs of thyroid issues.

Please seek the advice of a medical professional before making health care decisions.