Semaglutide is a medication used in conjunction with diet and physical activity to improve blood glucose control in persons with type 2 diabetes. Some of the most common forms of semaglutide are Ozempic, Rybelsus and Wegovy. It may be prescribed in combination with other diabetic medications, such as metformin or insulin, depending on your doctor’s recommendations.

In plain terms, semaglutide is an antidiabetic medication that is used to treat type 2 diabetes while also helping people lose weight over the long run. Semaglutide, is a human glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), works by increasing insulin production while simultaneously decreasing blood glucose levels.

Why is Semaglutide Prescribed?

When taken in conjunction with diet and exercise, semaglutide (Rybelsus and Ozempic) may help persons with type 2 diabetes mellitus improve their blood sugar management (not for type 1 diabetes). It has become more popular for those folks looking to shed some pounds. I am sure we all have heard the Ozempic jingle during the commercial breaks of the Olympics this year.

Semaglutide is also used outside the real of diabetes. It is used in conjunction with healthy eating and physical activity to help overweight individuals who may have weight-related health problems (such as high blood pressure, or elevated cholesterol).

As an additional treatment option for adults with type 2 diabetes (a disease in which the body does not use insulin properly and therefore cannot regulate blood glucose concentration), semaglutide injection is used in conjunction with a diet and exercise program to help control blood sugar levels. Adults with both type 2 diabetes and heart or blood vessel problems may benefit from semaglutide injections.

Diabetes type 1 and diabetic ketoacidosis are not treated with it (a serious ailment that might occur if high glucose is not dealt with). Patients with type 1 diabetes, who require constant insulin, cannot be treated with semaglutide injection instead of insulin.

To aid in weight reduction, overweight individuals who have high blood pressure, have diabetes, or have high cholesterol may benefit from a low-calorie, low-fat diet and activity plan that includes semaglutide injection. Incretin mimetics, semaglutide injection is a member are a class of drugs.

When blood sugar levels are high, semaglutide helps the pancreas produce the correct quantity of insulin. Insulin is a hormone that facilitates the transportation of sugar from the bloodstream to various bodily tissues. It is converted into energy—injecting semaglutide slows down the stomach’s absorption of food, which may help people lose weight.

Over time, diabetics and those with high blood sugar levels are at risk of developing life-threatening consequences such as heart disease, strokes, kidney damage, nerve damage, vision issues, etc. Diabetes may be better controlled, and your health can be improved with medication, lifestyle modifications (such as diet, exercise, and quitting smoking), and frequent blood sugar checks.

A heart attack, stroke, renal failure, nerve damage (such as tingling or numbness in the legs or feet; diminished sexual desire in men and women), changes in or loss of eyesight, or gum disease may be less likely with this treatment. When it comes to diabetes management, you need to consult your health practitioner or other healthcare experts for a better understanding.

How Does Semaglutide Work?

It is administered subcutaneously as a solution (liquid) in a dosage pen that has been prefilled with the medication (under the skin). It is typically injected once a week, regardless of whether or not a meal is consumed. Each week, it is often prescribed to use semaglutide on the same day and at any hour of the day. You may vary the day of the week on which you take semaglutide, as long as it has been two days or more since you took your last medication dosage. Ozempic is available in 2mg and 4mg injectable pens.

Continue to carefully read and follow the recommendations on your prescription label and talk to your health care provider to clarify any parts of the instructions that you do not understand. Follow the directions for semaglutide injection in accordance to advice provided by your healthcare advisor. Avoid exceeding or decreasing the recommended dosage or using it more often than your doctor has instructed.

It is likely that your doctor will begin with a low dosage of semaglutide injection and gradually raise your dose over the course of four weeks. Based on your body’s reaction to the drug, your doctor may decide to raise your dosage again after another four weeks of treatment.

The injection of semaglutide helps regulate diabetes and weight reduction, but it is not a cure for the disease. Even if you are feeling well, you should continue to take semaglutide injections. Do not discontinue the use of semaglutide injection without first consulting your doctor.

Read the manufacturer’s directions for usage, which should be included with the drug, very carefully. The following instructions will show you how to administer a dosage of semaglutide injection. If you have any doubts about administering this drug, be sure to consult your physician or doctor for clarification.

Before injecting the semaglutide solution, be sure you inspect it thoroughly. When finished, it should be clear, colorless, and devoid of any particles. It should not be used if the semaglutide is coloured, hazy, thickened, or includes solid particles. It should also not be used if the expiry date on the container has passed.

Never reuse needles or exchange needles or pens with anybody else. Always detach the needle as soon as you have finished injecting your dosage. Needles should be disposed of away in a puncture-resistant box. Inquire with your doctor or pharmacist about the proper way to discard the container.

You may administer semaglutide by injecting it into your forearm, thigh, or stomach. With each injection, the injection site should be changed (rotated). Even though you may administer both semaglutide and insulin in the same body location, you should avoid administering the injections adjacent to one another. Ensure that the pen has reached room temperature before using it if kept in the refrigerator.

Precautions to Follow for Semaglutide

  • Only prepare an injection when you are prepared to administer it. Call your pharmacist right away if your medication is foggy, has changed colours, or has particles in it.

  • Your healthcare professional will teach you how to administer semaglutide in the proper location. Do not inject into the same location more than once in a single session.

  • After at least two days have elapsed since the previous injection you administered, begin your new weekly injectable plan if you have picked a different administration day.

  • There is no generic for Ozempic. 

  • It is not recommended to utilize several kinds of semaglutide together.

  • Rybelsus should be kept in its original packaging at room temperature, in a dry place, and away from sunlight.

  • Unsealed Ozempic or Wegovy injectable pens should be stored in their original box in a refrigerator away from direct sunlight. Please do not use it after the expiry date has passed. If you have an injectable pen that has frozen, throw it away.

  • If necessary, you may keep an unopened Wegovy pen at room temperature if it has not been used. Wait until you are prepared to use the injectable pen before removing the cap from the pen. A single dosage is included inside the pen. Remove the pen from your possession after one usage, even if there is still medication inside.

  • One dosage of Ozempic injectable pen is included inside the pen’s container. After the initial usage, place the pen in the fridge or at room temperature with the needle removed. Keep away from direct sunlight and heat. When not in use, make sure the cap is on. Immediately discard the pen 56 days after the first use or if the dosage counter displays less than 0.25 mg on the first usage.

  • It is not recommended to reuse a needle. Please place it in a sharps container that is impervious to punctures and dispose of it in accordance with state and municipal regulations. Keep out of reach of kids and animals at all times.

  • You would require a valid prescription in order to purchase Ozempic. It is not available over-the-counter in the United States. 

What to do When you miss a Dose of Semaglutide

If you are taking Rybelsus, skip the missed dosage and take your next medication at the scheduled time.

For Ozempic, take the medication as soon as possible and then return to your normal regimen. The missing dosage should be skipped when you’re more than five days late for the injection. Otherwise, continue with your normal schedule.

For Wegovy, you should omit the missed dosage if your next dosage is due within two days (48 hours). Otherwise, it would be best if you continued on your normal schedule. It is not recommended to take two doses of semaglutide simultaneously.

You should consult your health practitioner if you have missed more than two doses of Wegovy in a row. You may need to continue the medication at a lesser dosage to prevent gastrointestinal troubles.

Side Effects of Semaglutide

  • Blurry vision

  • Thoughts of self-harm and mood changes that are out of character or other symptoms of depression.

  • The pounding or flashing of your heartbeats.

  • An overwhelming feeling of dizziness and the sense of being on the point of passing out.

  • Infections of the gallbladder – Gallbladder diseases may include upper stomach pain, fever, black stools, and jaundice.