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Ozempic is a medication used in the treatment of type 2 diabetes.

Last Modified: 07 May 2024

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What is Ozempic? 

Ozempic is a medication used in the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Its active ingredient, semaglutide, is a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist that aids in blood sugar control and insulin regulation. 

The drug is synthesized to mimic the natural hormone incretin GLP-1, which is involved in enhancing the growth of pancreatic beta cells (that secrete insulin) and inhibiting the action of glucagon (a hormone that promotes production and release of glucose from body stores). Ozempic is produced through recombinant DNA technology using a yeast fermentation process. 

Global Name

Generic name:  Semaglutide
Brand names: Ozempic, Rybelsus, Wegovy


What is Ozempic used for? 

Ozempic is utilized primarily for the management of type 2 diabetes. It serves to improve blood sugar levels in adults when used alongside diet and exercise. It is not used for type 1 diabetes or diabetic ketoacidosis. 

How do you use Ozempic? 


Ozempic is available as a pre-filled, disposable, single-patient-use injection pen.

Dosage information: 

  • Adults: Starting dose is 0.25 mg once weekly for one month, then increased to 0.5 mg once weekly. The dose can be further increased to 1 mg once weekly if needed for blood sugar control


  • Children: Not recommended for individuals under 18 years of age. 
  • Adults: Suitable for adults with type 2 diabetes. 
  • Elderlies: Can be used, with caution especially with individuals on multiple medications 
  • Pregnancy: Should be used only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk. 
  • Lactation: Not recommended; potential effects on breastfed children are unknown. 

Allergies: Individuals allergic to semaglutide or any of the ingredients in Ozempic should not use it.

Any warnings and precautions : 

  • As Ozempic causes delayed gastric emptying, absorption of medications is affected and possible additive (side) effects may be experienced, hence medical supervision is advised. 

Interactions and contraindications: 

  • Use caution with medications that require rapid gastrointestinal absorption as Ozempic may slow gastric emptying. 
  • Contraindicated in patients with a history of pancreatitis, Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia Syndrome type 2 (MEN 2), medullary thyroid carcinoma, progressive retinopathy or congestive heart failure. 

Side Effects

Common side effects include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and constipation. Serious side effects may include pancreatitis, changes in vision, or kidney failure. 

Pharmacist Tips

Storage Information 

  • Store unused Ozempic injection pens in the refrigerator. After first use, the pen can be kept at room temperature or refrigerated for up to 56 days. 

Handling Instructions 

  • Follow the instructions on the pen label for attaching a new needle before each injection. Inject Ozempic under the skin (subcutaneously) of your stomach area (abdomen), thigh, or upper arm as instructed by your healthcare provider. 


Where is Ozempic available in Hong Kong?

Ozempic is a prescription medication that can be prescribed by healthcare providers. 


Can Ozempic be used for weight loss? 

Ozempic is not approved for weight loss, but it may have weight loss effects as a side effect.

How long does it take for Ozempic to work?

Ozempic starts to work right away, but it may take several weeks to see a significant effect on your blood sugar levels.

Is Ozempic insulin?

No, Ozempic is not insulin. It is a GLP-1 receptor agonist that helps your body increase insulin production when needed.

Can you use Ozempic with other diabetes medications?

Yes, Ozempic can be used with other diabetes medications, but it is important to monitor your blood sugar levels closely to avoid hypoglycemia. Always consult your healthcare provider before combining medications.

How does Ozempic work?

Ozempic works by mimicking the effects of the hormone incretin GLP-1, which enhances glucose-dependent insulin secretion, suppresses glucagon secretion when glucose levels are high, slows gastric emptying, and reduces appetite and food intake. 

This website provides content related to drug use and medicine for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Do not use the information on this website to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting a qualified healthcare provider. The website's owners and contributors are not liable for any repercussions, adverse effects, or consequences resulting from the use of any medication or information provided herein.

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