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New FDA Approval for Patients with Type 2 Diabetes

by The GoodRx Pharmacist on December 27, 2017 at 2:52 pm

Not all injectable diabetes medications contain insulin.  A newer class of medications used for people with type 2 diabetes are considered non-insulin injectables and include drugs like Byetta, Victoza, Bydureon, and Trulicity.

Recently the FDA approved, Ozempic, a new non-insulin injectable for people with type 2 diabetes.

What is Ozempic indicated for?

Ozempic is a medication to be used in addition to a healthy diet and exercise to improve blood sugar control in adults with type 2 diabetes.   

How is Ozempic to be used?

Ozempic will be available as a pre-filled, disposable, single-patient-use pen injector to be injected into the stomach, thigh, or upper arm. Your doctor will determine your specific dose of Ozempic as it may vary from person-to-person. The starting dose of Ozempic is 0.25 mg once weekly. After 4 weeks, increase the dose to 0.5 mg once weekly.

If after at least 4 weeks additional blood sugar control is needed, increase to a maximum dose of 1 mg once weekly.

Are there any other supplies I will need for injecting Ozempic?

Yes.  You will need the following supplies for injecting Ozempic:

  • Sharps container to be used for safe disposal of the used pen needles. You can use a hard plastic container like an empty bleach jug or laundry detergent container. You can also use an FDA-cleared sharps container.
  • Alcohol swabs to wipe the area of skin where you will be injecting Ozempic

What are the common side effects associated with Ozempic?

Common side effects include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, and constipation.

Ozempic also has a black boxed warning, the strongest warning given by the FDA, for the possibility of causing thyroid tumors.  

Is there anything unique about Ozempic?

Yes.  The main ingredient of Ozempic, semaglutide, is currently undergoing 2 global clinical trials for an oral formulation that can be taken by mouth rather than injected.  If it proves to be successful, semaglutide would be the first oral formulation in this class of medications.  

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