What happens if you take too much semaglutide?

There's a healthier way to lose weight with weight-loss medication. Discover the Mayo Clinic Diet for Weight-Loss Medications.

Semaglutide, commonly labelled under the brand names Ozempic, Rybelsus, Wegovy has emerged as a promising treatment option. Semaglutide is a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist designed to help individuals with type 2 diabetes. When used properly, semaglutide injections can help manage their blood sugar levels effectively. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recently approved Wegovy as a weight-loss medication. 

Common side effects of semaglutide

Like any medication, semaglutide may come with side effects. Common side effects include nausea, vomiting, and gastric upsets such as diarrhea or constipation. Many of the effects are mild and temporary and can be avoided or minimized by working closely with your prescribing provider to ensure you take the correct dose of medication, are eating a well-balanced diet, and drinking enough water.     

However, if taken in excessive amounts, semaglutide can lead to adverse effects. It’s crucial to follow the prescribed dosage and administration instructions provided by your healthcare professional to prevent this from happening. 

Symptoms of semaglutide overdose

The following symptoms may indicate you have taken too much semaglutide. 

  1. Hypoglycemia: Semaglutide, like other diabetes medications, can lower blood sugar levels. Inappropriate dosing on semaglutide can lead to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar levels). Symptoms of low blood sugar may include shakiness, sweating, irritability, confusion, dizziness, headache, blurred vision, and in severe cases, loss of consciousness or seizures. 
  2. Gastrointestinal distress: Semaglutide can cause gastrointestinal side effects such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. An overdose might exacerbate these symptoms and lead to more severe gastrointestinal distress. 
  3. Dehydration: Excessive vomiting or diarrhea resulting from an overdose can lead to dehydration. Symptoms of dehydration include extreme thirst, dark urine, dry skin, and dizziness. 
  4. Pancreatitis: In rare cases, semaglutide has been associated with pancreatitis. An overdose might increase the risk of developing pancreatitis, which can cause severe abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting. 
  5. Injection site reactions: Increased doses of semaglutide may also heighten the risk of injection site reactions. These reactions can manifest as redness, swelling, or itching at the injection site. Users must adhere to the prescribed dosage to minimize the likelihood of such adverse effects. 

You must follow the prescribed dosage and instructions for semaglutide provided by your healthcare provider. Be sure to inform them of any concerns or side effects you may be experiencing.

Correct dosing of semaglutide

It is important to follow your doctor's advice or the directions on the label, since the dose of semaglutide will be different for different patients. The following information includes only the average doses of semaglutide. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The FDA ensures that medications are thoroughly evaluated for efficacy and safety. However, deviating from recommended doses can lead to adverse effects and accidental overdoses. If you suspect you are experiencing signs and symptoms of an overdose it's crucial to seek prompt medical attention. 

Semaglutide injections like Ozempic hold promise in managing type 2 diabetes. However, injections alone do not provide sustainable results. A balanced nutrition and healthy habits program, like the Mayo Clinic Diet, is essential for sustainable healthy living. Specifically, the  The Mayo Clinic Diet for Weight-Loss Medications program helps people on weight-loss medications like semaglutide with guidance and support.

Need a prescription for GLP-1s? The Mayo Clinic Diet platform now offers access to clinical care for members seeking a prescription to weight-loss medication such as GLP-1s. Check if you're eligible for weight-loss medication.

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