Semaglutide Injection

What is this medication?

SEMAGLUTIDE (SEM a GLOO tide) treats type 2 diabetes. It works by increasing insulin levels in your body, which decreases your blood sugar (glucose). It also reduces the amount of sugar released into the blood and slows down your digestion. It can also be used to lower the risk of heart attack and stroke in people with type 2 diabetes. Changes to diet and exercise are often combined with this medication.

This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.

COMMON BRAND NAME(S): OZEMPIC

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What should I tell my care team before I take this medication?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • Endocrine tumors (MEN 2) or if someone in your family had these tumors
  • Eye disease, vision problems
  • History of pancreatitis
  • Kidney disease
  • Stomach problems
  • Thyroid cancer or if someone in your family had thyroid cancer
  • An unusual or allergic reaction to semaglutide, other medications, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • Pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • Breast-feeding

How should I use this medication?

This medication is for injection under the skin of your upper leg (thigh), stomach area, or upper arm. It is given once every week (every 7 days). You will be taught how to prepare and give this medication. Use exactly as directed. Take your medication at regular intervals. Do not take it more often than directed.

If you use this medication with insulin, you should inject this medication and the insulin separately. Do not mix them together. Do not give the injections right next to each other. Change (rotate) injection sites with each injection.

It is important that you put your used needles and syringes in a special sharps container. Do not put them in a trash can. If you do not have a sharps container, call your pharmacist or care team to get one.

A special MedGuide will be given to you by the pharmacist with each prescription and refill. Be sure to read this information carefully each time.

This medication comes with INSTRUCTIONS FOR USE. Ask your pharmacist for directions on how to use this medication. Read the information carefully. Talk to your pharmacist or care team if you have questions.

Talk to your care team about the use of this medication in children. Special care may be needed.

Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.

NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.

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What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can within 5 days after the missed dose. Then take your next dose at your regular weekly time. If it has been longer than 5 days after the missed dose, do not take the missed dose. Take the next dose at your regular time. Do not take double or extra doses. If you have questions about a missed dose, contact your care team for advice.

What may interact with this medication?

  • Other medications for diabetes

Many medications may cause changes in blood sugar, these include:

  • Alcohol containing beverages
  • Antiviral medications for HIV or AIDS
  • Aspirin and aspirin-like medications
  • Certain medications for blood pressure, heart disease, irregular heart beat
  • Chromium
  • Diuretics
  • Female hormones, such as estrogens or progestins, birth control pills
  • Fenofibrate
  • Gemfibrozil
  • Isoniazid
  • Lanreotide
  • Male hormones or anabolic steroids
  • MAOIs like Carbex, Eldepryl, Marplan, Nardil, and Parnate
  • Medications for weight loss
  • Medications for allergies, asthma, cold, or cough
  • Medications for depression, anxiety, or psychotic disturbances
  • Niacin
  • Nicotine
  • NSAIDs, medications for pain and inflammation, like ibuprofen or naproxen
  • Octreotide
  • Pasireotide
  • Pentamidine
  • Phenytoin
  • Probenecid
  • Quinolone antibiotics such as ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin, ofloxacin
  • Some herbal dietary supplements
  • Steroid medications such as prednisone or cortisone
  • Sulfamethoxazole; trimethoprim
  • Thyroid hormones

Some medications can hide the warning symptoms of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). You may need to monitor your blood sugar more closely if you are taking one of these medications. These include:

  • Beta-blockers, often used for high blood pressure or heart problems (examples include atenolol, metoprolol, propranolol)
  • Clonidine
  • Guanethidine
  • Reserpine

This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.

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What should I watch for while using this medication?

Visit your care team for regular checks on your progress.

Drink plenty of fluids while taking this medication. Check with your care team if you get an attack of severe diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. The loss of too much body fluid can make it dangerous for you to take this medication.

A test called the HbA1C (A1C) will be monitored. This is a simple blood test. It measures your blood sugar control over the last 2 to 3 months. You will receive this test every 3 to 6 months.

Learn how to check your blood sugar. Learn the symptoms of low and high blood sugar and how to manage them.

Always carry a quick-source of sugar with you in case you have symptoms of low blood sugar. Examples include hard sugar candy or glucose tablets. Make sure others know that you can choke if you eat or drink when you develop serious symptoms of low blood sugar, such as seizures or unconsciousness. They must get medical help at once.

Tell your care team if you have high blood sugar. You might need to change the dose of your medication. If you are sick or exercising more than usual, you might need to change the dose of your medication.

Do not skip meals. Ask your care team if you should avoid alcohol. Many nonprescription cough and cold products contain sugar or alcohol. These can affect blood sugar.

Pens should never be shared. Even if the needle is changed, sharing may result in passing of viruses like hepatitis or HIV.

Wear a medical ID bracelet or chain, and carry a card that describes your disease and details of your medication and dosage times.

Do not become pregnant while taking this medication. Women should inform their care team if they wish to become pregnant or think they might be pregnant. There is a potential for serious side effects to an unborn child. Talk to your care team for more information.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medication?

Side effects that you should report to your care team as soon as possible:

  • Allergic reactions—skin rash, itching, hives, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat
  • Change in vision
  • Dehydration—increased thirst, dry mouth, feeling faint or lightheaded, headache, dark yellow or brown urine
  • Gallbladder problems—severe stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, fever
  • Heart palpitations—rapid, pounding, or irregular heartbeat
  • Kidney injury—decrease in the amount of urine, swelling of the ankles, hands, or feet
  • Pancreatitis—severe stomach pain that spreads to your back or gets worse after eating or when touched, fever, nausea, vomiting
  • Thyroid cancer—new mass or lump in the neck, pain or trouble swallowing, trouble breathing, hoarseness

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your care team if they continue or are bothersome):

  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Stomach pain
  • Vomiting

This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Where should I keep my medication?

Keep out of the reach of children.

Store unopened pens in a refrigerator between 2 and 8 degrees C (36 and 46 degrees F). Do not freeze. Protect from light and heat. After you first use the pen, it can be stored for 56 days at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F) or in a refrigerator. Throw away your used pen after 56 days or after the expiration date, whichever comes first.

Do not store your pen with the needle attached. If the needle is left on, medication may leak from the pen.

NOTE: This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.

Copyright ©2023 Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Terms of use.

Note: Introduction and Additional Common Questions written and medically approved by Cleveland Clinic professionals.

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