What Are The Side Effects of Ozempic & Wegovy?

What Are The Side Effects of Ozempic & Wegovy?

Weight loss injections are a hot topic of conversation right now. With claims of rapid weight loss with minimal effort and no need for exercise or following a specific diet, injections like Ozempic have captured the attention of many individuals struggling with their weight. However, as with any popular trend, it’s important to take a closer look at the science behind these medications. Are they truly an effective, safe, and sustainable weight loss treatment? Here, we explore whether weight loss injections are safe, and what the side effects of Ozempic and other popular weight loss jabs are.

We are a team of qualified, experienced nutritionists who specialise in weight loss. If you’d like to find out how we can help you overcome your weight challenges naturally, achieve your desired weight and maintain it long term, we invite you to book a complimentary call with a member of our team to learn more.

ARE WEIGHT LOSS INJECTIONS SAFE?

As with any medication, it’s important to remember that these injections carry risks. Prescription drugs are the third leading cause of death after heart disease and cancer in the United States and Europe.

The safety of weight loss injections will depend on a number of factors. These include the specific medication, the dosage, your unique health status and proper administration and monitoring by a healthcare professional.

The bottom line? Weight loss injections are not guaranteed to be safe. If you decide to take them, it’s important to know the risks you’re taking. So what are the potential side effects?

WHAT ARE COMMON SIDE EFFECTS OF WEIGHT LOSS JABS?

The most common side effects people experience are varying types of gastrointestinal distress. Below we’ll outline the most common side effects listed for each of these medications.

OZEMPIC SIDE EFFECTS

The most common side effects of the Ozempic weight loss injection are:

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach (abdominal) pain
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation

SAXENDA SIDE EFFECTS

Common side effects of the Saxenda weight loss injection include:

  • Heartburn
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Constipation
  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased risk of gallstones
  • Hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar)
  • Lightheadedness
  • Feeling of intense hunger
  • Feeling sick and shaky

WEGOVY SIDE EFFECTS

The most common side effects of the Wegovy weight loss injection are: 

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Constipation
  • Fatigue 
  • Headaches
  • Feeling lightheaded
  • Excess wind (flatulence)
  • Development of gallstones
  • Gastroesophageal reflux
  • Injection site reactions
  • Hair loss and hypoglycemia in patients with type 2 diabetes

While these side effects are undoubtedly unpleasant, most of them are likely to resolve themselves in a few days after an individual stops taking their medication. However, there are more serious side effects to be aware of too.

SERIOUS SIDE EFFECTS OF WEIGHT LOSS INJECTIONS

Manufacturers websites also state that in rare cases, there can be serious side effects of their weight loss injections, such as pancreatitis or anaphylaxis. They may also cause cancer. Wegovy’s website states: “Wegovy™ may cause serious side effects, including: Possible thyroid tumours, including cancer. Tell your healthcare provider if you get a lump or swelling in your neck, hoarseness, trouble swallowing, or shortness of breath. These may be symptoms of thyroid cancer. In studies with rodents, Wegovy™ and medicines that work like Wegovy™ caused thyroid tumors, including thyroid cancer. It is not known if Wegovy™ will cause thyroid tumours or a type of thyroid cancer called medullary thyroid carcinoma in people.

When speaking to your doctor about weight loss injections, make sure they discuss the potential side effects with you in detail. You can also find side effects listed on the manufacturers website and on onlinedoctor.boots.com.

It is virtually impossible to predict whether you’re likely to experience side effects or not. Only you can make the decision as to whether it’s worth taking the risk.

On the other hand, a personalised weight loss plan from a qualified nutritionist comes only with positive side effects. You’ll not only lose weight. You’ll likely also experience better energy, a clearer head, improved digestion and better health long term.

`THE MOST COMMON WEIGHT LOSS INJECTION SIDE EFFECTS: IN MORE DETAIL

NAUSEA

Weight loss injections like semaglutide (Ozempic, Wegovy) and liraglutide (Saxenda) commonly cause nausea, which can be severe for some patients. Nausea typically occurs early in treatment and may improve over time, but can lead to patients stopping their course of treatment early. Strategies to manage nausea include starting at a low dose and gradually increasing, staying hydrated, and taking the injection with food. Working with a qualified nutritionist to establish a nutritionally optimal diet that complements your treatment and ensures long-term results is advisable.

VOMITING AND DIARRHOEA

Alongisde nausea, other gastroenterological symptoms are common with weight loss injections. To manage vomiting, stay hydrated, avoid oily and deep fried foods, and try ginger or peppermint tea. For diarrhoea, over-the-counter medications like loperamide can help. It’s also important to maintain your fluid and electrolyte balance, keep drinking water and use rehydration salts if needed. If severe or persistent, you should always inform your healthcare provider.

FATIGUE

Ozempic and other weight loss jabs commonly cause fatigue as a side effect. This can be one of the more difficult side effects to overcome, especially early in treatment. To manage fatigue, prioritise sleep ensuring you get eight hours a night, stay hydrated, and try light exercise during the first half of the day if possible. Fatigue can be worsened by common nutrient deficiencies like low iron, vitamin D and vitamin B12. You may wish to run blood tests to ensure deficiencies aren’t worsening your tiredness. The fatigue may improve over time as the body adjusts to the medication.

DOES OZEMPIC AFFECT MENTAL HEALTH?

Weight loss injections like semaglutide (Ozempic and Wegovy) have been associated with potential psychological side effects, including depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts or ideation, with the FDA’s adverse event reporting system has received 489 reports of patients experiencing anxiety, depression, or suicidal thoughts. While Wegovy’s label warns about the risk of suicidal thoughts, Ozempic’s label does not. Case reports have documented instances of depression occurring or recurring around one month after starting semaglutide treatment, with improvement after discontinuation.The European Medicines Agency (EMA) and UK’s drug regulator are investigating the potential link between semaglutide/GLP-1 drugs and mental health issues and the FDA is monitoring the situation but has not opened a formal investigation. Higher doses of semaglutide in Wegovy compared to Ozempic may contribute to more reported mental health effects.

Gastrointestinal side effects discussed above like nausea, vomiting, and dehydration could potentially trigger or worsen mental health issues and patients with pre-existing mental health conditions may be more susceptible to adverse psychological effects. Significant weight loss itself could potentially play a role in mental health changes. Those who suffer with mental health issues should seek professional advise before using weight loss injections.

DO THE SIDE EFFECTS IMPACT ON SUCCESS RATE?

A recent study made headlines over the impact of weight loss jab side effects on its success rate, finding that over 30% of patients discontinued GLP-1 treatment within four weeks, before reaching the target dose. Younger patients (18-34) were more likely to drop out early, while those treated by specialists or with frequent provider visits were more likely to persist for 12 weeks, though nearly 60% quit after three months, too.

WHAT IS ‘OZEMPIC FACE’?

Ozempic face refers to the sagging, gaunt appearance of the facial skin that can occur as a side effect of rapid weight loss from using the diabetes drug Ozempic (semaglutide) off-label for weight loss. The loss of facial fat can make the skin appear more wrinkled and aged. This is common with any significant rapid weight loss, as fat loss occurs across the body, not just in the face. Dermal fillers can be a common treatment to restore facial volume and smooth the appearance, however, working with a professional, qualified nutritionist will encourage a steady and more sustainable weight loss programme.

BORIS JOHNSON AND THE WEIGHT LOSS INJECTION

Former Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke of having to come off the weight loss injection because of side effects. Writing in his Daily Mail column he shared his experiences using the jab. He wrote that despite initial positive results (‘For weeks I jabbed my stomach, and for weeks it worked’) he was forced to stop taking the medication. He wrote: ‘I must have been losing four or five pounds a week — maybe more — when all at once it started to go wrong. I don’t know why, exactly. Maybe it was something to do with constantly flying around the world, and changing time zones, but I started to dread the injections, because they were making me feel ill.’

WHICH OTHER CELEBRITIES HAVE USED WEIGHT LOSS INJECTIONS?

Several celebrities have spoken publicly about using weight loss injections such as Ozempic and Wegovy. Sharon Osbourne has highlighted positives and negatives from the drug, saying: “I don’t regret it. Everything with weight with me was, ‘I want it now.'” However, she also said: “I’m too gaunt, and I can’t put any weight on. I want to because I feel I’m too skinny.” Meanwhile, Stephen Fry also shared his experience, saying: “I threw up five times a day” while using Ozempic. Whoopi Goldberg and Rob Lowe have also discussed using similar weight loss medications.

DO WEIGHT LOSS INJECTIONS CAUSE HAIR LOSS?

People have reported losing their hair after taking weight loss jabs. Hair loss isn’t listed as a side effect of taking the most popular weight loss injection, semaglutide. However, in clinical trials 3% of people reported hair loss.

Another diabetes injection used for weight loss, Tirzepatide, sold under the brand name Mounjaro, has also 6% of patients taking a higher dose reported alopecia.

The longer these medications are used for, the more we become aware of their potential side effects and just how many people they’re likely to affect.

WHAT IS THE SAFEST WEIGHT LOSS JAB?

No weight loss injection is risk-free. It’s difficult to determine the safest weight loss injection as each medication carries its own set of potential risks. The safety of each medication can depend on individual health factors and proper administration. If you do decide to start treatment, it’s very important that you do so under the close monitoring of an experienced medical professional. It’s important to remember that, unless lifestyle changes are made, weight will likely be regained once injections are discontinued. For this reason, we strongly recommend seeking out the support of a qualified, experienced weight loss expert who can guide you around making the nutrition and lifestyle changes required for long term weight loss.

WHAT IS THE SAFEST WEIGHT LOSS METHOD?

In our opinion, the safest and most effective weight loss method is a balanced diet that has been tailored to your unique needs, goals and lifestyle. Optimising your nutrition will not only help you lose weight. It will aid and support your wider health, wellbeing, energy levels, sleep quality and much more.

It’s also important to address the factors that led to your weight gain in the first place. Common reasons why clients who come to see us have struggled in the past include lack of clarity as to the best ‘diet’ for them, an underlying health issue, lack of self prioritisation or a dysfunctional relationship with food and eating (including non-hunger or emotional eating).

We work with our clients to ensure they overcome their weight challenges and establish healthy habits as part achieve their lifestyle so that they can achieve their goal weight and maintain it long term. This is what’s required for safe, effective and long term weight loss.

HOW CAN YOU SAFELY LOSE WEIGHT WITHOUT AN INJECTION?

The key to successful, long term weight loss is overcoming the challenges that led you to weight gain in the first place. Our Intelligent Weight Loss Method is designed to help you overcome your weight challenges and achieve your desired weight in a healthy and sustainable way.

Our programmes include ongoing support and accountability through regular check-ins with your dedicated nutritionist. We take a comprehensive and personalised approach to weight loss that focuses on sustainable lifestyle changes and individualised recommendations for optimal success.

We are a team of qualified nutritionists who specialise in weight loss. If you’re ready to overcome your weight challenges, achieve your goal weight and maintain it long term, we can help. You can use this link to book in for a complimentary call. This is an opportunity to talk through your challenges with a member of our team and decide together whether one of our Intelligent Weight Loss programmes is right for you. Or contact us to request a copy of our brochure and we will get back to you soon.

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SARAH LAW

Sarah has worked with hundreds of clients over the past decade to help them live in a healthy body that they feel confident in.


Sarah spent a large part of her teens and 20’s as a professional dancer battling with orthorexia and an unhealthy relationship with food and her body. This created a desire to understand the human body more so she could finally cut through the confusion and end the cycle of yoyo dieting. This fuelled her passion to help other women do the same.

 

Sarah specialises in supporting women who are struggling to lose weight due to underlying health issues. She’s helped many women manage their weight during and after the menopause, as well as clients with thyroid disease and immune system dysfunction. Sarah loves food and sharing healthy recipes with her clients. Her aim is to ensure that clients don’t feel deprived and instead, achieve their weight loss and health goals in a positive and sustainable way.

 

To enquire about working with Sarah, please contact us.

AILSA HICHENS

 

Ailsa is one of our most experienced practitioners. She specialises in helping clients to lose weight, develop a healthy relationship with food and finally feel comfortable in their skin. Ailsa’s mission is for everyone she works with to enjoy the journey and that working with a nutritionist should not be a punishment, but your access to a new possibility.

 

Ailsa is not only an experienced weight loss nutritionist, she is also a skilled coach. She helps our clients overcome emotional eating, destructive habits and self-sabotaging behaviours that have prevented successful weight loss in the past. Ailsa has spent years in clinic working with clients who have experienced yo-yo dieting and have discovered that long term weight loss is not just about eating less until you can stand it no longer.

 

Working with Ailsa you will be comprehensively supported, not only in improving your nutrition and lifestyle, but also your eating habits and your relationship with food. When you work on all these elements together, the results can be truly astonishing.

 

To enquire about working with Ailsa, please contact us.

Test Nikki is our Practice Manager, managing our team of practitioners and heading up the day-to-day running of the business. Nikki is involved in the strategic development of our practice, coming from a strong business background in town planning. A Florida girl, Nikki relocated to the UK in 2014 with her husband and two children.

NIKKI ANDRIANI

 

Nikki is our Practice Manager, managing our team of practitioners and heading up the day-to-day running of th clinic.

 

Nikki is involved in the strategic development of our practice, coming from a strong business background in town planning.

 

A Florida girl, Nikki relocated to the UK in 2014 with her husband and two children.

STÉPHANIE ACHAR

Stéphanie is a skilled nutritional therapist and functional medicine practitioner with additional training in eating disorders, disordered eating and obesity. She believes that working towards both physiological and mental health is key in achieving optimum wellbeing.

 

Stéphanie’s personal experience of emotional eating and the ongoing struggle to find the right support led her to combine the science of nutrition with behavioural coaching to motivate and empower her clients. She specialises in helping people who struggle with their weight and their relationship with food. She helps them develop a healthier and more peaceful relationship with food and their bodies.

 

To enquire about working with Stéphanie, please contact us.

INNA WEARN

Inna is passionate about supporting women on their journey to improved health and wellbeing. She believes that the solution to effective weight loss does not lie in ever more restrictive diets, but a more sophisticated approach that optimises health and vitality, as well as promoting effective weight loss.

 

Working with Inna you will benefit from her in-depth knowledge of female health and hormones. She will support you in developing a healthy diet, lifestyle and mindset that ensures you reach your ideal weight and maintain it in the years to come.

 

Inna is passionate about food with a wide repertoire of delicious healthy recipes and meal ideas to ensure your weight loss journey is as enjoyable as possible!

 

To enquire about working with Inna, please contact us.

ANIA MASON

 

Ania is a firm believer that improving your health and losing weight should be a positive, empowering journey, not one centred around deprivation.

 

After being diagnosed with two autoimmune conditions in her twenties, Ania spent several years educating herself on the power of food and nutrition. She put it all into practise and changed her diet and lifestyle, reversing her endometriosis and thyroid disease. After experiencing such a significant improvement in her health, Ania had a big desire to help others. She embarked on a four year journey to study nutrition, graduating from the Institute for Optimum Nutrition with distinction.

 

Ania specialises in autoimmunity and works with clients who have underlying health issues preventing successful weight loss. Her expertise enables her to successfully support our clients with conditions such as hypothyroidsm (underactive thyroid), PCOS and diabetes. 

 

To enquire about working with Ania, please contact us.

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