Are you one of those patients who use Ozempic as part of diabetes treatment? Be cautious as an overdose of Ozempic can lead to serious health issues. According to America’s Poison Centers, starting from Jan 1st to November 30th of 2023, there were at least 2,941 cases of Americans reporting overdose exposures to Semaglutide, the active ingredient in Ozempic.
Of these 350 of the reports or nearly 12% are from California, says Raymond Ho, the Managing Director of the California Poison Control System. For your information, the US Food and Drug Administration approved Semaglutide in 2017 and it is sold under the name Ozempic for diabetes treatment and Wegovy for weight loss.
What happens if you take too much Ozempic?
Ozempic can be an effective solution for shedding your body weight. However, as with the case of any other medication, speak with your healthcare provider for a prescription that keeps you safe from potential risks and complications.
An overdose of Ozempic can cause adverse effects such as:
- Severe nausea
- Abdominal pain
Another possibility is frequent Hypoglycemia i.e. low blood sugar levels if you take Ozempic in combination with other medicines to lower the blood sugar levels. The same scenario may happen if you consume the drug above the recommended dose.
Symptoms of Ozempic overdose
When you overdose on Ozempic, you may go through symptoms of Hypoglycemia. These symptoms may be minor to severe. However, never make the mistake of ignoring it. In case, you experience any of these symptoms, reach out to your healthcare provider.
Some symptoms of Ozempic overdose include feeling lightheaded or dizzy and feeling shaky or jittery. The other symptoms range from sweating, chills, clamminess, headache, irritability or impatience, fatigue, weakness, confusion, nausea and vomiting, seizures, confusion, and passing out.
There is no specific antidote for an overdose of Semaglutide. The medication has a half-life of nearly a week. To keep it simple, it will take one week to clear half of the medicine from your body. The only option left with emergency departments and hospitals is to provide patients with intravenous fluids and anti-nausea drugs so that the medication works its way out of their bodies.
Things to keep in mind while using Ozempic
1. Abstain from sharing
Never share your Ozempic pen with others, even if you have changed the needle. There are chances that you may give others a serious infection or get a serious infection from them.
2. Serious side effects
There are chances of possible thyroid tumors, including cancer. Reach out to your healthcare provider if there is a lump or swelling in your neck, difficulty in swallowing, hoarseness, or shortness of breath as they may be symptoms of thyroid cancer.
Also, never use Ozempic if you or any of your family members have been diagnosed with medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC). The same rule applies if you have Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN 2), an endocrine system condition. Stay away from Ozempic if you are allergic to semaglutide or any of the ingredients used in the drug.
3. Keep your healthcare provider informed
Before you start using Ozempic, discuss with your healthcare provider if you have any other medical conditions such as having or had problems with your kidneys or pancreas in the past. The other health issues about which you need to inform your healthcare provider include a history of diabetic retinopathy, having conceived or breastfeeding, or planning to conceive or breastfeed.
Also, stop using Ozempic 2 months before your plans to become pregnant. Last but not least, keep your healthcare provider informed about all the medications you are taking such as prescription and over-the-counter medicines, herbal supplements, vitamins, and other medications used in the treatment of diabetes, such as insulin or sulfonylureas.
Can Ozempic help in weight loss?
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved Ozempic for weight loss. However, losing weight is a potential effect of the medication. Always keep in mind that only a healthcare professional can decide on the correct dosage based on each person’s specific health condition and needs.
The main objective of Ozempic is to help individuals achieve sustainable weight loss by curbing appetite and intake of calories. The medication works in such a way that it can mimic a natural hormone in your body that communicates to your brain that you are full. One more way Ozempic works is by increasing the time taken by the food to leave your body, slowing the pace of digestion.
Beware of compounded versions of Semaglutide
Due to its enormous popularity as a weight loss drug, the demand for Ozempic went through the roof. This paved the way for some of the qualified pharmacies to make compounded versions of Ozempic.
However, the problem with the compounded versions of semaglutide is that they are often different from the patented drug. Many of these compounded versions contain semaglutide salts known as semaglutide sodium and semaglutide acetate.
According to the FDA, the salt forms of the drug have not been tested and certified as safe as in the case of the patented version. One more danger is that these compounded versions are sold in unapproved dosages.
However, these compounded versions have gained more popularity as consumers have to spend only less money out-of-pocket, especially in cases where the treatment is not covered by insurance.
In June 2023, FDA warned the public against taking compounded versions of the medicine, if it is available in prescription form. According to the federal agency, adverse events have been reported after people consumed compounded versions of the medication.
Hope now you are well informed about the dangers of taking too much Ozempic. Though the medication is promising as a weight loss aid, make sure that you use it responsibly and follow the dosage instructions directed by the healthcare professional. After all, your safety and well-being take precedence over losing weight.