Diet and Nutrition

Understanding Ozempic: How it Works and Potential Side Effects

May 31, 2024 R3 Coaching Team 0Comment

Emergence of Ozempic

In recent years, the quest for effective weight loss solutions has brought Ozempic into the spotlight. Originally developed to manage type 2 diabetes, Ozempic (semaglutide) has gained attention for its potential benefits in weight management. This blog explores the ins and outs of Ozempic, and its mechanism. We will also explore the benefits, potential side effects, and what you should consider before using it for weight loss.

But with any medication, it’s crucial to grasp not just its benefits, but also its potential drawbacks. Without a doubt, we will be using data from clinical research and citing those studies at the end.


Understanding Ozempic

Ozempic, scientifically known as semaglutide, belongs to a class of medications called glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists. Unlike insulin, which directly lowers blood sugar levels, Ozempic works by mimicking the actions of GLP-1. GLP-1 is a hormone that regulates blood sugar levels and appetite. By activating GLP-1 receptors, Ozempic stimulates insulin secretion and inhibits glucagon release. Glucagon is a hormone that raises blood sugar levels. It also slows down gastric emptying, thereby reducing blood sugar spikes after meals.

One of the key advantages of Ozempic is its long-acting nature. Administered once weekly via injection, it provides sustained blood sugar control throughout the week. This offers convenience and stability for individuals managing diabetes.

How Does Ozempic Aid in Weight Loss?

While Ozempic is primarily prescribed for diabetes, its ability to promote weight loss has peaked significant interest.

Here’s how it works:

Appetite Suppression: Ozempic slows down gastric emptying, meaning food stays in the stomach longer. This prolongs the feeling of fullness, reducing overall food intake.

Regulating Blood Sugar Levels: By keeping blood sugar levels stable, Ozempic reduces the likelihood of high blood sugar-induced hunger.

Caloric Intake Reduction: With decreased appetite and fewer cravings, users typically consume fewer calories, leading to weight loss.

Tips for Using Ozempic

Here are six important factors to consider before taking Ozempic, supported by three citation sources:

Discuss with Your Healthcare Provider: Before starting Ozempic, have a thorough discussion with your healthcare provider. They can assess your medical history, current medications, and overall health to determine if Ozempic is suitable for you. (Source: Mayo Clinic, WebMD)

Understand Potential Side Effects: Educate yourself about the potential side effects of Ozempic. These can be nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and the rare but serious risk of pancreatitis. Being aware of these side effects can help you monitor your body’s response and seek medical attention if needed. (Source: American Diabetes Association, FDA)

Monitor Blood Sugar Levels: Regularly monitor your blood sugar levels as directed by your healthcare provider. This is most important during the initial weeks of Ozempic treatment. This helps ensure that your blood sugar levels remain within the target range and reduces the risk of hypoglycemia. (Source: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK))

Be Mindful of Injection Technique: Learn the proper technique for administering Ozempic injections. This will ensure optimal absorption and minimize the risk of injection site reactions. Rotate injection sites with each dose as recommended by your healthcare provider. (Source: Ozempic Prescribing Information)

Assess Personal Risk Factors: Evaluate your personal risk factors for conditions such as pancreatitis and thyroid tumors. These both have been associated with long-term use of GLP-1 receptor agonists like Ozempic. Your healthcare provider can help assess your individual risk and determine the most appropriate course of treatment. (Source: Endocrine Society, PubMed)

Consider Lifestyle Changes: Alongside medication, consider incorporating lifestyle changes such as adopting a healthy diet. Try engaging in regular physical activity, and managing stress effectively. These lifestyle modifications can complement Ozempic treatment and improve overall diabetes management. (Source: American Diabetes Association)

Long-Term Negative Side Effects of Ozempic

While Ozempic (semaglutide) has shown promising results in the management of type 2 diabetes and weight loss long-term use may be associated with certain negative side effects. It’s crucial for patients and healthcare providers to be aware of these potential risks.

Thyroid Cancer Risk: Studies have suggested a potential link between long-term use of Ozempic and an increased risk of thyroid tumors in rodents. While the relevance of these findings to humans is still uncertain, it’s a concern that warrants further investigation and monitoring.

Pancreatitis: Chronic use of Ozempic may also increase the risk of pancreatitis, an inflammation of the pancreas. Although rare, pancreatitis can lead to serious complications and may require hospitalization. Patients should be aware of symptoms such as severe abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting. You should seek medical attention promptly if they occur.

Bone Fracture Risk: Some research suggests that long-term use of Ozempic may be associated with a slightly increased risk of bone fractures. This risk may be more pronounced in individuals with pre-existing osteoporosis. Regular monitoring of bone density and correct supplementation or lifestyle modifications may be necessary to lower this risk.

Hypoglycemia: Since Ozempic stimulates insulin release, it can sometimes cause blood sugar levels to drop too low. This often leads to hypoglycemia. Symptoms of hypoglycemia include shakiness, sweating, and confusion. In severe cases, loss of consciousness can occur and passing out is common. It’s crucial to monitor blood sugar levels regularly, especially when starting Ozempic or changing the dosage.

Injection Site Reactions: Ozempic may cause reactions at the injection site, such as redness, itching, or swelling. Rotating injection sites and applying ice or a warm compress before injections can help minimize these reactions.

Ozempic Face: The latest scary side effect of Ozempic

The term “Ozempic face” refers to a phenomenon observed by some individuals who use Ozempic. This is where they experience changes in facial appearance, often described as a reduction in facial fullness or fat.

The phenomenon of Ozempic face appears to be related to the redistribution of fat in the body rather than overall fat loss. Ozempic can lead to weight loss, including reduction in visceral fat (fat surrounding organs). It may also result in a decrease in subcutaneous fat (fat under the skin), including facial fat. As a result, some individuals may notice a change in their facial appearance, with a perceived reduction in fullness.

It’s important to note that not everyone who takes Ozempic will experience changes in facial appearance. And for those who do notice, it will be varying degrees of effect. Additionally, the changes may be temporary and reversible upon discontinuation of the medication.


Overall Ozempic offers a valuable addition to the arsenal of medications available for managing diabetes. It provides sustained blood sugar control with once-weekly dosing.

While it comes with potential side effects, awareness and proactive management can help individuals navigate their treatment journey successfully. Above all, it starts by following proper dosage instructions & monitoring blood sugar levels diligently. Everyone should be adopting a healthy lifestyle which can optimize the benefits of Ozempic while minimizing its risks. By doing this it will empower a person to take control of their weight or diabetes and live a healthier more fulfilled life.

One of the best ways to begin a healthy lifestyle is to hire a coach from R3 Fitness. When you have a custom strength training program designed for your specific body you will help to reduce the risk of the potential negative side effects of Ozempic. Above all, you will see results and build habits that will magnify your results.

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  1. FDA. (2021). Ozempic Prescribing Information. Retrieved from
  2. Aroda, V. R., & Ahmann, A. (2018). Cardiovascular outcomes with semaglutide in subjects with type 2 diabetes mellitus: SUSTAIN 6. Endocrine Practice, 24(6), 589–598.
  3. Nauck, M. A., Petrie, J. R., & Sesti, G. (2018). A phase 2, randomized, dose-finding study of the novel once-weekly human GLP-1 analog, semaglutide, compared with placebo and open-label liraglutide in patients with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care, 41(2), 258–266.