It’s bad enough that you feel tired, urinate often, your wounds don’t heal, and your vision becomes blurry when you have Type 2 diabetes, but you also become more prone to obesity and developing other health complications like cardiovascular disease.
According to the CDC, diabetes makes you twice as likely to develop heart disease or get a stroke, and at an earlier age as well. Because of this, many diabetes treatments aim to address blood sugar as well as minimize the risk for cardiovascular complications.
What Is Ozempic?
Insulin therapy is not the only treatment available for Type 2 diabetes patients. There are other diabetes medications available for you to choose from, like Ozempic.
Ozempic is a semaglutide. It’s a type of glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) agonist which can be used alone or with other diabetes medications to help improve blood sugar levels in adults diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.
As a GLP-1, Ozempic is a long acting medication that slows down food breakdown, reduces sugar released from your liver, and works with your body’s own insulin production ability.
Ozempic works to control blood sugar in 2 ways. First, it keeps food in your stomach for longer which consequently, reduces the sugar released from the liver. This lowers your blood sugar. Second, it stimulates insulin production when your blood sugar is high to improve conversion of blood sugar into usable energy for your cells. This also lowers your blood sugar and A1C.
What Is Ozempic Used For?
With insulin medication readily available, doctors prescribe Ozempic, a GLP-1 brand-name diabetic medication because unlike Insulin, it does not only improve blood sugar but it also reduces risk of cardiovascular issues.
Because of the way Ozempic functions, it is able to prevent cardiovascular diseases like stroke, heart attack, and so on, which are comorbid with Type 2 diabetes.
Do note that Ozempic is not the same as insulin medication, and therefore, should never be used by people with Type 1 diabetes for diabetes treatment. Moreover, Ozempic is prescribed only to patients who are 18 and older.
How to Take Ozempic?
Ozempic is a prescription-only diabetes medication. Only use it when your doctor recommended you to take it. And when you take it, make sure to follow your doctor’s instructions clearly, from how you take it and when you take it to how much you should take.
Each patient’s condition is unique and their treatment largely varies depending on their doctor’s assessment of their situation, therefore never self-medicate or make changes to your treatment without advice from your doctor.
But if you or your family have a history of MTC or MEN 2, don’t take Ozempic. Also, if you have an allergy to semaglutide or any other ingredients in Ozempic, don’t take Ozempic. Should you develop any serious allergic reactions after taking Ozempic like rash, itching/ swelling, severe dizziness, or trouble breathing, stop taking Ozempic and seek immediate medical attention.
If your doctor prescribed you Ozempic, follow the below guide to properly take Ozempic.
How Often You Should Take Ozempic
Ozempic should be taken once a week, ideally, at the same day every week and at roughly the same time, following the advice of your doctor.
Ozempic can be injected with or without food. You can also change the day you inject Ozempic however you must take care to have at least 2 days gap between your doses.
Should you happen to miss a dose of Ozempic, take it as soon as you remember. Just make sure it’s within 5 days of your last dose and will not be within 2 days of your next dose. If it’s too near to your next scheduled dose, skip that dose and proceed with your next scheduled dose.
Ozempic injections come in easy-to-use pens. But make sure you read the instructions carefully and receive training from your doctor before you start self-administering Ozempic.
To self-administer Ozempic, remove the cap, and attach a new needle for every use. Set your dose based on your prescription. Place the pen needle side down on the skin of your abdomen, thighs, or upper arms, inserting the needle into your skin. Press and hold down the dose button. Wait for the dose counter to reach “0”, after which, count 6 seconds before pulling the needle out from your skin.
Ozempic should be injected subcutaneously. Make sure you don’t inject it to veins or muscles and change up the site of injection every time.
Also, don’t ever mix Ozempic with other diabetic medications as these may cause reactions and impact the effectiveness of the medicine.
After using your Ozempic pen, remove the needle and dispose of it in a sharps container. Then, put the protective cap back on your Ozempic pen.
Side Effects of Ozempic
Like any medication, Ozempic can cause side effects ranging from minor to serious. If you start taking Ozempic, you may experience nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and constipation. These usually go away in a few days and are not cause for concern.
However, if these symptoms or any other symptom you experience don’t go away in a few days or worsen, consult your doctor for medical advice.
Meanwhile you should watch out for the following symptoms which may indicate a serious side effect — lump or swelling in the neck, hoarseness, difficulty swallowing, and shortness of breath. If you experience any of these, immediately let your doctor know. You may have a thyroid tumor or cancer and may need to stop taking Ozempic.
And if you take Ozempic with other diabetic medication, watch out for dizziness, lightheadedness, blurred vision, anxiety, irritability, mood changes, sweating, slurred speech, hunger, confusion, drowsiness, shakiness, weakness, headaches, or fast heartbeat.
These are symptoms of hypoglycemia or low blood sugar. Call your doctor to determine how you should treat hypoglycemia.
Meanwhile, if you have existing kidney problems, watch out for diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting as Ozempic could potentially exacerbate kidney problems and cause kidney failure.
Lastly, if you experience swelling, rashes, have difficulty breathing or swallowing, feel dizzy or faint, or have a fast heartbeat, you may have a serious allergic reaction to Ozempic. Call emergency healthcare service immediately.
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