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Ozempic Nausea

Semaglutide medications like Ozempic® have become extremely popular for treating Type 2 diabetes and obesity. However, risks still exist. Many people suffer nausea with Ozempic use. Other severe gastrointestinal side effects have also been reported while taking the drug. Contact your health care provider to discuss any side effects, including severe nausea that does not go away.

Ozempic overview

Ozempic, known generically as semaglutide, is part of a class of GLP-1 receptor agonists that can help lower blood sugar levels and promote weight loss. These medications help manage blood sugar by triggering the pancreas to release more insulin, slowing digestion and helping decrease blood sugar spikes. GLP-1 receptor agonists also reduce food intake, appetite and hunger. Weight loss often results from the combination of these effects.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Ozempic in 2017 to treat adults with Type 2 diabetes. One year later, Ozempic maker Novo Nordisk started a clinical trial to study the drug’s effects on weight loss. Although Ozempic has never been approved for weight loss, Novo Nordisk began marketing Ozempic off-label for that use.

In 2018, Novo Nordisk launched its first television ad for Ozempic, claiming that “adults lost on average up to 12 pounds” while taking the medication. As a result of the company’s widespread advertising and promotion efforts, Ozempic rapidly rose in popularity for weight loss. As of August 10, 2023, Novo Nordisk reported that in the first six months of 2023, sales of Ozempic jumped 50% to more than $3.7 billion.

Ozempic side effects

Despite its popularity, Ozempic causes many side effects. Some are disclosed on the label, but others are not. Side effects include:

  • Cyclical vomiting
  • Gastroenteritis (not on warning label)
  • Gastroparesis (not on warning label)
  • Intestinal blockage or obstruction (added to warning label in September 2023)
  • Malnutrition
  • Pancreatitis

Novo Nordisk has stated that Ozempic had a “safe and well tolerated profile in clinical trials with the most common adverse effect being nausea.”

Does Ozempic cause nausea?

Many patients experience nausea with Ozempic use. The Ozempic label lists the nausea-related side effects of the medication under “common adverse reactions.” Increased dosages are more likely to lead to new or worsening nausea. In addition to nausea, at least 5% of the patients taking Ozempic experience vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain and constipation, according to the drug’s label.

According to the Ozempic label, nausea was reported by:

  • 20.3% of people taking 1 mg of Ozempic
  • 15.8% among patients taking 0.5 mg of the medication
  • 6.1% of those receiving a placebo

How long does Ozempic nausea last and does it go away?

Ozempic nausea is most common when someone first starts the medication or when their doctor increases the dosage. For most people, nausea on Ozempic was mild and temporary, lasting a few days or weeks as the body adjusts to the medication.

A 2021 case report involving a patient treated with a GLP-1 agonist like Ozempic for 15 months. The report indicated that the individual experienced nausea and vomiting for 12 of those months. The symptoms improved when the medication was stopped.

Why does Ozempic cause nausea?

Ozempic slows the process of food leaving the stomach. Because of this, food stays in the stomach longer than usual instead of moving into the small intestine to be digested. This delay can interfere with normal digestion and lead to side effects like nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and other gastrointestinal issues.

How serious is nausea on Ozempic?

Although nausea from Ozempic use may be common, it could be a sign of more serious conditions. Ozempic has been linked to severe side effects. Some are advertised on the label, but others are omitted. Consumers of Ozempic are reporting major health problems, including pancreatitis, gastroparesis, stomach paralysis, gastroenteritis and intestinal blockage or obstruction.

Nausea and severe on-label Ozempic side effects

Nausea may be a warning sign of several conditions advertised on the Ozempic label, including:

  • Hypoglycemia: Low blood sugar. Symptoms include dizziness or lightheadedness, sweating, fast heartbeat and mood changes.
  • Kidney failure: One or both kidneys no longer function well on their own. In patients with kidney problems the diarrhea, nausea and vomiting they experience may cause dehydration and worsening kidney problems.
  • Pancreatitis: Inflammation of the pancreas. Symptoms include severe abdominal pain that won’t go away, whether or not vomiting occurs. Abdominal pain may radiate to the back. Patients should always seek a doctor’s advice before beginning Ozempic, as pancreatitis is a severe risk.
  • Intestinal blockages: A blockage that prevents food or liquid from moving through either the small intestine or the large intestine. Intestinal obstruction may be caused by adhesions, hernias, colon cancer and certain medications. Symptoms may include abdominal pain, loss of appetite, constipation and vomiting. In June 2022, the FDA posted an alert that Ozempic “had potential safety signals for intestinal blockage.”

Nausea and serious off-label Ozempic side effects

Ozempic nausea may be a warning sign of unadvertised conditions like gastroenteritis and gastroparesis.

  • Gastroenteritis: Inflammation of the stomach and intestines. While viral gastroenteritis is commonly known as the stomach flu, it can also be caused by ingesting medications. Its symptoms include vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, stomach cramps, muscle aches, headaches, fever, dehydration and death.
  • Gastroparesis: An incurable condition that affects normal muscle movement in the stomach and interferes with normal digestion. Its symptoms include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, severe dehydration and decreased quality of life.

People are filing lawsuits against Novo Nordisk alleging failure to warn them of these dangerous conditions that may be linked to Ozempic use.

Contact an Ozempic attorney

Have you been harmed by Ozempic? Complete this webform or call 1.800.768.4026 to contact attorneys Sara Couch and Jonathan Orent for more information or to discuss a potential Ozempic claim.

Ozempic lawsuits

People are suing Novo Nordisk alleging failure to warn of several conditions, many of which may include nausea as a symptom. If you or a loved one have used Ozempic and are experiencing nausea, you should seek a doctor’s help first and then pursue your legal options to determine if you’re eligible to file an Ozempic lawsuit.

Our medical drug litigation experience

Our medical attorneys have represented thousands of patients harmed by dangerous over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription drugs like Ozempic. We understand that as a patient or family member, what you know about your or a loved one’s medications may be limited.

If you took semaglutide that led to serious conditions like gastroenteritis and intestinal blockage or obstruction, gastroparesis, pancreatitis, or stomach paralysis, our attorneys have the resources needed to:

  • Review potentially dangerous medications like Ozempic
  • Investigate if Ozempic side effects harmed you
  • Review Ozempic manufacturer Novo Nordisk’s compliance with FDA regulations
  • Review the adequacy of Novo Nordisk’s warning to you about potential side effects associated with Ozempic use
  • Discuss other issues that might affect your potential injury claim

Read more on our medical drug litigation 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. Ozempic remains approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

  1. Cleveland Clinic. GLP-1 Agonists.
  2. Cleveland Clinic. Kidney Failure.
  3. Global Newswire. Company Announcement.
  4. Ozempic TV Spot, ‘Oh!’
  5. Kalas MA, Galura GM, McCallum RW. Medication-Induced Gastroparesis: A Case Report. J Investig Med High Impact Case Rep. 2021 Jan-Dec; 9:23247096211051919.
  6. Mayo Clinic. Gastroparesis.
  7. Mayo Clinic. Intestinal Obstruction.
  8. Mayo Clinic. Pancreatitis.
  9. The New York Times. We Know Where New Weight Loss Drugs Came From, but Not Why They Work.
  10. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. HIGHLIGHTS OF PRESCRIBING INFORMATION: OZEMPIC (semaglutide) injection, for subcutaneous use.

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