This information from Lexicomp® explains what you need to know about this medication, including what it’s used for, how to take it, its side effects, and when to call your healthcare provider.
Brand Names: US
Ozempic (0.25 or 0.5 MG/DOSE); Ozempic (1 MG/DOSE); Ozempic (2 MG/DOSE); Rybelsus; Wegovy
Brand Names: Canada
Ozempic (0.25 or 0.5 MG/DOSE); Ozempic (1 MG/DOSE); Rybelsus
- This drug has been shown to cause thyroid cancer in some animals. It is not known if this happens in humans. If thyroid cancer happens, it may be deadly if not found and treated early. Call your child’s doctor right away if your child has a neck mass, trouble breathing, trouble swallowing, or has hoarseness that will not go away.
- Do not use this drug if your child has a health problem called Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN 2), or if your child or a family member have had thyroid cancer.
What is this drug used for?
- It is used to help with weight loss in certain people.
- If your child has been given this drug for some other reason, talk with the doctor about the benefits and risks. Talk with the doctor if you have questions or concerns about giving this drug to your child.
What do I need to tell the doctor BEFORE my child takes this drug?
- If your child is allergic to this drug; any part of this drug; or any other drugs, foods, or substances. Tell the doctor about the allergy and what signs your child had.
- If your child has ever had pancreatitis.
- If your child has or has ever had depression or thoughts of suicide.
- If your child is using another drug that has the same drug in it.
- If your child is using another drug like this one. If you are not sure, ask your child’s doctor or pharmacist.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with this drug.
Tell the doctor and pharmacist about all of your child’s drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe to give this drug with all of your child’s other drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug your child takes without checking with the doctor.
What are some things I need to know or do while my child takes this drug?
- Tell all of your child’s health care providers that your child is taking this drug. This includes your child’s doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
- Have your child follow the diet and workout plan your child’s doctor told you about.
- Have blood work checked as you have been told by the doctor. Talk with the doctor.
- Alcohol may interact with this drug. Be sure your child does not drink alcohol.
- Kidney problems have happened. Sometimes, these may need to be treated in the hospital or with dialysis.
- If your child cannot drink liquids by mouth or has upset stomach, throwing up, or diarrhea that does not go away; your child needs to avoid getting dehydrated. Contact your child’s doctor to find out what to do. Dehydration may lead to new or worse kidney problems.
- Do not share pen or cartridge devices with another person even if the needle has been changed. Sharing these devices may pass infections from one person to another. This includes infections you may not know your child has.
- If your child has high blood sugar (diabetes), you will need to watch your child’s blood sugar closely.
- If your child is planning on getting pregnant, talk with your doctor. This drug may need to be stopped at least 2 months before getting pregnant.
If your child is pregnant or breast-feeding a baby:
- Weight loss during pregnancy may harm an unborn baby. If your child gets pregnant while taking this drug or wants to get pregnant, call the doctor right away.
- Tell the doctor if your child is breast-feeding a baby. You will need to talk about any risks to the baby.
What are some side effects that I need to call my child’s doctor about right away?
WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your child’s doctor or get medical help right away if your child has any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
- Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- Signs of kidney problems like unable to pass urine, change in how much urine is passed, blood in the urine, or a big weight gain.
- Signs of gallbladder problems like pain in the upper right belly area, right shoulder area, or between the shoulder blades; change in stools; dark urine or yellow skin or eyes; or fever with chills.
- Severe dizziness or passing out.
- A fast heartbeat.
- Change in eyesight.
- New or worse behavior or mood changes like depression or thoughts of suicide.
- Low blood sugar can happen. The chance may be raised when this drug is used with other drugs for diabetes. Signs may be dizziness, headache, feeling sleepy or weak, shaking, fast heartbeat, confusion, hunger, or sweating. Call the doctor right away if your child has any of these signs. Follow what you have been told to do for low blood sugar. This may include giving your child glucose tablets, liquid glucose, or some fruit juices.
- Severe and sometimes deadly pancreas problems (pancreatitis) have happened with this drug. Call your child’s doctor right away if your child has severe stomach pain, severe back pain, or severe upset stomach or throwing up.
What are some other side effects of this drug?
All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your child’s doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother your child or do not go away:
- Constipation, diarrhea, stomach pain, upset stomach, or throwing up.
- Feeling dizzy, tired, or weak.
- Nose or throat irritation.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your child’s doctor. Call your child’s doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to your national health agency.
How is this drug best given?
Give this drug as ordered by your child’s doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
- It is given as a shot into the fatty part of the skin on the top of the thigh, belly area, or upper arm.
- If you will be giving your child the shot, your child’s doctor or nurse will teach you how to give the shot.
- Give this drug with or without food.
- Give on the same day each week.
- Move the site where you give the shot with each shot.
- Do not use if the solution is cloudy, leaking, or has particles.
- Do not use if solution changes color.
- Wash your hands before and after use.
- Each container is for one use only. Use right after opening. Throw away any part of the opened container after the dose is given.
- Do not use this drug if it has been dropped or if it is broken.
- Do not get this product wet.
- Keep giving this drug to your child as you have been told by your child’s doctor or other health care provider, even if your child feels well.
- Throw away needles in a needle/sharp disposal box. Do not reuse needles or other items. When the box is full, follow all local rules for getting rid of it. Talk with a doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
What do I do if my child misses a dose?
- Give a missed dose as soon as you think about it and go back to your child’s normal time.
- If it is less than 48 hours until your child’s next dose, skip the missed and go back to your child’s normal time.
- Do not give 2 doses within 48 hours of each other.
- If you miss giving your child 2 doses, call the doctor.
How do I store and/or throw out this drug?
- Store unopened pens in a refrigerator. Do not freeze.
- Do not use if it has been frozen.
- You may store unopened containers at room temperature. If you store at room temperature, throw away any part not used after 28 days.
- Store in the outer carton to protect from light.
- Protect from heat.
- Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
- Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.
General drug facts
- If your child’s symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your child’s doctor.
- Do not share your child’s drug with others and do not give anyone else’s drug to your child.
- Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. If you have any questions about this drug, please talk with your child’s doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
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