Semaglutide Side Effects: Common & Rare

When taking any medication, whether it be prescribed or over the counter, it’s important to be aware of the side effects. Semaglutide is no exception. 

There are several potential side effects of semaglutide to be aware of, from an upset stomach to more severe, long-term effects. 

In this blog post, we’ll break down these side effects for you. Let’s explore some of the most common and some of the more rare side effects of Semaglutide. 

What is Semaglutide? 

Before we delve into the side effects, let’s explore what semaglutide actually is. Often prescribed as Wegovy or Ozempic, this medication is used to treat type 2 diabetes. It is a GLP-1 receptor agonist (glucagon-like peptide-1). 

Ultimately, this medication can help you to control high blood sugar. In turn, this can help to reduce the risk of stroke, heart attack and even death in those with type 2 diabetes. It can also be beneficial for those with heart or blood vessel disease and obesity. 

The semaglutide injection, combined with diet and exercise, can help you to lose weight - and keep the weight off. However, it’s not for everybody - it is only recommended for those with at least one weight-related condition. Semaglutide/ Ozempic/ Wegovy should not be taken lightly, which is why it is only available via prescription in the UK. 

Ozempic vs Wegovy

Ozempic controls blood glucose in those with type 2 diabetes - it’s a great option when other medications aren’t working enough. It isn’t suitable for the treatment of type 1 diabetes or those with diabetic ketoacidosis, and can not and should not be used instead of insulin. 

Wegovy can help to reduce the risk of stroke, heart attack and death. It’s used alongside a low-calorie diet and exercise in order to promote weight loss. This is a great option if you are obese and are experiencing weight-related complications. 

Both are effective medications with the active ingredient Semaglutide. They work by helping the pancreas create sufficient insulin and control blood sugar levels. The medication can also reduce the speed at which food travels through the stomach, ultimately decreasing your appetite and aiding weight loss.  

You can learn all about Wegovy vs Saxenda in this blog post. 

Common Semaglutide Side Effects

Not everyone who takes semaglutide will experience side effects. However, some appear to be more common than others. Let’s explore some of the more common side effects of this weight loss medication: 

More Common:

  • Hypoglycaemia or low blood sugar levels (seen when used in people with Type 2 diabetes who are already on treatment with insulin or a group of tablets called sulfonylureas)
  • Nausea +less often vomiting (usually due to non-adherence to portion size or triggered by carbohydrate-rich food)
  • Diarrhoea (often caused by certain types of foods high carb or high fat)
  • Reduced appetite ( this is listed as a side effect but is often the beneficial effect that most people are looking for!)
  • Dizziness (can often be due to a lowering of blood pressure and can be managed with increased fluid intake and obviously reducing and blood pressure lowering medications if being used)
  • Diabetic retinopathy complications (in patients who have poor diabetes control and have advanced retinopathy at a level referred to as pre-proliferative or proliferative retinopathy which is often treated with laser or injections into the ey)
  • Abdominal pain (usually caused by some increase in heartburn or constipation)
  • Dyspepsia
  • Gastritis
  • Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease
  • Gas - frequent burping and/ or flatulence
  • Cholelithiasis
  • Abdominal distension
  • Constipation
  • Fatigue (can be down to missing meals, reduced hydration and a decrease in vitamins and minerals 
  • Increased lipase and amylase (these are blood tests that go up when pancreatitis or inflammation of the pancreas occurs but the levels can increase by a small amount without any actual inflammation or symptoms due to the medication itself.)

Rare Semaglutide Side Effects

Now we’ve established the more common side effects, let’s explore some of the rarer effects you may experience after taking semaglutide:

  • Allergic reactions
  • Hypersensitivity
  • Dysgeusia (alteration or loss of the sense of taste)
  • Increased heart rate
  • Pancreatitis
  • Slower gastric emptying
  • Reactions near the injection site

Potential Semaglutide Contraindications

Semaglutide could clash with other medications. If you’re currently taking any medications, be sure to inform your doctor or semaglutide provider. In some cases, your doctor may change your dose, or recommend another medication. 

If you are currently taking any of the following medications for your diabetes, your doctor may amend the dose or recommend an alternative: 

  • Any Insulin including:some text
    • Insulin Aspart, (Novorapid)
    • Insulin Glargine (Lantus or Toujeo)
    • Insulin Degludec (Tresiba)
    • Insulin Detemir (Levemir)
    • Insulin Glulisine (Apidra)
    • Insulin Lispro, Recombinant (Humalog)
    • NovoMix 30
    • Humalog Mix 25
    • Humalog Mix 50
    • Humulin I
    • Insulin Bovine
  • Abiraterone Acetate
  • Acarbose
  • Chloroquine
  • Chlorpropamide
  • Ciprofloxacin
  • Delafloxacin
  • Enoxacin
  • Gatifloxacin
  • Gemifloxacin
  • Glimepiride
  • Glipizide
  • Glyburide
  • Grepafloxacin
  • Hydroxychloroquine
  • Levofloxacin
  • Lomefloxacin
  • Metformin
  • Moxifloxacin
  • Nateglinide
  • Norfloxacin
  • Ofloxacin
  • Repaglinide
  • Somatrogon-ghla
  • Sparfloxacin
  • Tolazamide
  • Tolbutamide
  • Trovafloxacin

Mounjaro

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Mounjaro

GIP & GLP-1 Medication

Prices start from:

£205.00

£149.00/month

£56 off when you sign-up to our newsletter
Free Shipping
Lose up to 15% in the first year
Cancel anytime
Dose escalation available
Start Assessment

How Can I Minimise Semaglutide Side Effects?

Side effects can be unpleasant, but there are ways to reduce the risk of side effects. First of all, you should avoid taking this medication if you have a history of chronic pancreatitis or a recent episode of acute pancreatitis, active gallbladder disease, or medullary thyroid cancer/ thyroid tumours. 

Secondly, always follow your doctor’s advice and the medication guides - and never take more than the recommended amount. Your doctor will assess your suitability based on factors such as allergies, age, and whether you are breastfeeding. 

Be sure to alert your doctor if you have any allergies, or if you have had an allergic reaction to this drug. Whether you’re allergic to animals, foods, preservatives or dyes, be sure to let your doctor know. 

Your doctor will also assess your age. This medication may not be suitable for children under the age of 12, and more research needs to be conducted in this area. If you are elderly, your doctor may take precautions, as you may be more sensitive to the effects of this medication. 

If you are breastfeeding, your doctor may not recommend semaglutide. This is because not enough studies have been conducted to ensure the safety. Your doctor will weigh up the pros and cons before prescribing this drug if you are currently breastfeeding. 

Where Can I Find Weight Loss Medication?

If you are looking for effective weight loss medication, look no further than Dr Frank’s Weight Loss Clinic. We are here to support you along your weight loss journey. We not only provide you with medication, but offer ongoing support to help you stay on track with your wellness goals. 

We will recommend the best choice for you, your circumstances and your needs, whether it be Ozempic, Mounjaro or Wegovy. 

As our team have consultant endocrinologists and diabetes specialist nurses, we will assist you in navigating your type 2 diabetes management with the most effective therapies to improve your diabetes control and lose weight at the same time. If you have type 1 diabetes and are struggling with your weight, we can also help. 

Our affordable plans start at just just £149 per month, and you can expect to lose up to 20% of your body weight in the first year!  

With our science-backed approach, 1:1 coaching and ongoing support, you’re in a better position than ever to achieve your weight loss goals and maintain a healthy weight. Begin your journey today with Dr Frank’s Weight Loss Clinic. 

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Susan lost 5 Stone in just 12 months

“For the first time, losing weight has been both easy and successful in my life.”

Cadi lost 3 Stone in just 12 months

“If you're aiming to lose weight or manage polycystic ovaries, go for this program. It's undoubtedly the best decision.”

Ethan lost 5 Stone in just 5 months

“I’ve never felt so comfortable in my own skin. It's a newfound sense of confidence and well-being that has positively impacted every aspect of my life.”

Dimitra lost 4 Stone in just 8 months

“I cannot recommend this programme enough; it truly works! It's the sole solution that has been effective after my long struggle.”

Lauren lost 5 Stone in just 8 months

“I would advise anyone considering this programme that it's a transformative experience. It has allowed me to embrace life and fully enjoy my twenties.”

Susan lost 5 Stone in just 12 months

“For the first time, losing weight has been both easy and successful in my life.”

Cadi lost 3 Stone in just 12 months

“If you're aiming to lose weight or manage polycystic ovaries, go for this program. It's undoubtedly the best decision.”

Ethan lost 5 Stone in just 5 months

“I’ve never felt so comfortable in my own skin. It's a newfound sense of confidence and well-being that has positively impacted every aspect of my life.”

Dimitra lost 4 Stone in just 8 months

“I cannot recommend this programme enough; it truly works! It's the sole solution that has been effective after my long struggle.”

Lauren lost 5 Stone in just 8 months

“I would advise anyone considering this programme that it's a transformative experience. It has allowed me to embrace life and fully enjoy my twenties.”