What Are The Side Effects of Ozempic and Other GLP-1s?

Published on 
January 30, 2024
January 25, 2024
Virta Health
Virta Health
Virta Health

GLP-1 drugs are increasingly prescribed for weight loss and glucose management, but taking them can come with a steep cost.

You’ve probably seen a number of stories in the news lately about GLP–1 “weight loss” drugs like Ozempic and Wegovy, and thought: “That seems too good to be true. What are the side effects of Ozempic?” Or maybe you’re just distrustful of using a medication to lose weight, and wondering if there’s a natural alternative to Ozempic and other GLP–1 drugs.

You’re right to be cautious. Though GLP–1 drugs like Ozempic and Wegovy can sometimes be effective in helping patients lose weight or manage their glucose levels, they come with many potential downsides and side effects, without even taking into consideration their cost.

Many of our members like Dan and Barbara struggled on Ozempic before successfully regaining control of their metabolic health through Virta. Virta is a data-and science-based alternative to GLP–1s that can help you manage your glucose levels and lose weight. Here’s what you need to know.

Common Side Effects of Ozempic and Other GLP–1s

Although Ozempic, Wegovy and other GLP–1s are increasingly prescribed to help manage glucose levels in people with Type 2 diabetes and treat obesity, there are a number of common side effects you should be aware of, including:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach Pain
  • Constipation
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Mild tachycardia, or higher heart rate
  • Temporary itchiness at the site of injection

These side effects are most common when you first begin treatment, or up your dose. If you experience any of these side effects, contact your doctor. They may be the first sign that a GLP–1 like Ozempic is not the right fit for you.

More Serious Side Effects of Ozempic

Though most side effects for GLP–1s are minor and usually fade within a couple weeks, there are several much more severe side effects that can occur. These include:

  • Pancreatitis
  • Medullary thyroid cancer
  • Sudden and acute kidney injury
  • Worsened diabetes-related retinopathy
  • Low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia.

You should also be on the lookout for signs of anaphylaxis, especially if you experience itchiness alongside treatment. Symptoms of anaphylaxis include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing
  • Hives or rashes
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Abdominal pain
  • Chest tightness

If you experience any of the above side effects, contact your doctor immediately.

How Long Do Ozempic Side Effects Last?

Nausea, headaches, dizziness, and other minor side effects of taking Ozempic, Wegovy and other GLP–1s often resolve themselves within a couple weeks. Even so, you can never know when a minor side effect of taking a GLP–1 might become more serious. That’s why it is critical to consult your doctor immediately if you experience side effects after beginning treatment.

Is There A Natural Alternative To Ozempic and Other GLP–1s?

There is! Virta Health offers comparable weight loss to GLP–1s at a fraction of the cost.If you don’t want to risk the above side effects, or are feeling queasy about the possibility of injecting yourself with a GLP–1, our company can help.

By making healthy lifestyle changes in a medical setting with supportive resources like 1:1 virtual coaching, you can lose weight and potentially reverse your diabetes without relying on Ozempic or other GLP–1s. 

See if you’re eligible for Virta Health here.

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