New FDA investigation into Semaglutide side effects

Semaglutide is the active ingredient in popular weight loss drugs Ozempic® and Wegovy®. These powerful pharmaceuticals have taken the media, internet and pharmacies by storm. However, there are increasing numbers of reports on the side effects of Semaglutide that have not been previously warned about. It is important to remember that we are still learning how these drugs work and of potentially dangerous side effects that patients may experience. 

In January 2024, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said that it is investigating cases of hair loss, aspiration (when food or other objects get into airways), and suicidal ideation in people who use Semaglutide medications. This is not the first investigation the FDA has made into these drugs, and we believe it will not be the last. 

One Semaglutide side effect that has not garnered a lot of attention yet is deep vein thrombosis (DVT) which is a medical condition that occurs when a blood clot forms in a deep vein. Symptoms of DVT can include leg swelling, leg pain, a feeling of warmth, or a change of skin color on the leg. However, deep vein thrombosis can also occur without noticeable symptoms. These clots can be extremely dangerous if they break off and travel to the lungs, which is called a pulmonary embolism. Alarmingly, a 2021 study revealed that using Ozempic and Wegovy can substantially increase the risk of DVTs

Patients with type-2 diabetes and who are obese are already at an increased risk of deep vein thrombosis which makes this study that much more concerning. Also, if a patient is taking hormonal birth control that could also lead to an increased risk. 

How long do Semaglutide side effects last?

There is a possibility of Semaglutide long-term side effects and short-term ones. It may take months for a blood clot to dissolve on its own without medical intervention. In addition to deep vein thrombosis (DVT), multiple studies reveal the potential for serious long-term gastrointestinal events associated with Ozempic and Wegovy use including:

  • Gastroparesis
  • Stomach Paralysis
  • Intestinal Obstruction
  • Intraoperative Pulmonary Aspiration

Semaglutide risks and side effects

The data being presented by these FDA investigations suggests the risk benefit profile of Semaglutide medications like Ozempic and Wegovy need to be reevaluated. While the FDA does its best to keep up with side effects being reported, it is limited on the information it receives from providers and patients. Motley Rice is continuing to monitor the medical literature and FDA reports to keep up with any new side effects that manufacturers have failed to warn patients about. If you are considering these diabetes and weight loss medications, it is very important to talk to your health care provider about these potential effects. We believe it is also very important that those taking these medicines also report any adverse reactions that they experience.

*Do not stop taking a prescribed medication without first consulting with your doctor. Discontinuing a prescribed medication without your doctor's advice can result in injury or death.