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Ozempic is a treatment which works to reduce appetite and boost insulin productivity levels. This can help treat people with type 2 diabetes. Because it has appetite reducing properties, it can also serve as a treatment for weight loss and obesity. It hasn’t been licensed for this purpose yet but it seems likely that it will be soon. 

Ozempic for weight loss and type 2 diabetes will soon be available from our online UK pharmacy. We work with real medical professionals who, pending questionnaire approval, will send your order to our UK based pharmacy where it will be shipped and tracked in discreet packaging. 

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PLEASE NOTE: This treatment is not available through our online pharmacy service. This page is for information only. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms related to the condition(s) this medication treats, we strongly recommend that you see your GP in person.

This content was reviewed by a clinician on

24 June 2021
dr daniel

Dr Daniel Atkinson

(GP Clinical Lead - GMC No. 4624794) 24 June 2021
Product information

Ozempic is a once-a-week treatment manufactured by Novo-Nordisk. It contains the active ingredient Semaglutide. It was first introduced as a treatment for people with type 2 diabetes, as it reduces appetite and increases insulin productivity. It is likely that is will soon be used as a treatment for weight loss for those who are overweight or obese, because of its appetite-reducing properties. 

Semaglutide, the active ingredient found in Ozempic, is almost identical to GLP-1, a hormone which regulates appetite and insulin secretion. It also slows down the emptying of the stomach so people who take it have a longer sensation of feeling full which, in turn, reduces the amount of food eaten. This is both good for type 2 diabetes and those seeking to lose weight. 

It’s been proven to be very safe because it can lower sugar levels when they are high, but doesn’t lower them when they’re too low.

Type 2 diabetes: Key stats

Type 2 diabetes is a common medical condition that makes up for 90% of all cases of diabetes. It is a lifelong metabolic condition that causes glucose (sugar) levels to become too high. 

Around 4.6 million people are thought to have diabetes in the UK, with around a million of these people undiagnosed. Nine out of every ten cases of diabetes are thought to be Type 2, roughly 4.1 million people. 

People of African and Afro-Carribean descent are up to three times more likely to have type 2 diabetes than the white population. The South Asian population living in the UK are up to six times as likely. 

What is type 2 diabetes and what are the causes? 

Diabetes affects insulin levels, which is a hormone produced in the pancreas responsible for allowing glucose, or sugar, in the blood to pass into the cells which provides them with the necessary energy to function. 

For people with type 2 diabetes, they will either have grown resistant to insulin and are therefore ineffective at using it, or they are simply unable to produce enough insulin in the pancreas. This results in too much glucose levels in the bloodstream. This is why it is very important for people with type 2 diabetes to be mindful of their sources of carbohydrates, and how much they are consuming. 

Too much glucose in the blood can cause symptoms such as urinating frequently or too much, as the body attempts to expel the extra glucose it has been unable to absorb through the intestine. Because of this, people also tend to feel more thirsty than they otherwise would. 

Another symptom is drowsiness or tiredness because the cells in the body are not getting enough energy. People with diabetes might find that their weight has decreased despite the fact their diet, or intake of calories, has remained largely consistent. 

Obesity in the UK

Obesity is defined as being severely overweight to a dangerous extent. In the UK, two thirds of adults are overweight, 26 out of every one hundred is obese and three out of every one hundred are morbidly obese. 

BMI is used to calculate whether or not someone is overweight. As a guide:

  • 18.5 to 24.9 means you're a healthy weight
  • 25 to 29.9 means you're overweight
  • 30 to 39.9 means you're obese
  • 40 or above means you're severely obese

It is important to remember that while BMI can give people an idea of their weight, it doesn’t always accurately show obesity because very muscular people will have higher BMI but not necessarily excess fat. 

People who are overweight or obese are at an increased risk of developing several health conditions, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cholesteral problems, cancer and mental issues also - including depression and anxiety. 

How does Ozempic work? 

For people with Type 2 diabetes, Ozempic works by boosting the amount of insulin the body is able to produce, which helps to allow glucose to enter the cells which provide them with energy. It also reduces appetite, and by doing so reduces how much a person eats, and in turn reduces the amount of glucose absorbed into the bloodstream. This helps to lessen the symptoms of type 2 diabetes because less glucose is absorbed. 

Because Ozempic works to reduce appetite, it can also be of benefit to people suffering with obesity or weight problems. 

Ozempic in relation to those overweight and/or obese

The active ingredient found in Ozempic, Semaglutide, contains a synthetic version of GLP-1. It works by reducing appetite, which has benefits for those who are overweight or obese, as it reduces calorie intake. 

It also works by reducing how quickly food passes through the stomach, which creates the sensation that people feel fuller for longer and therefore do not eat as frequently. 

When people take Ozempic they will usually start on a low dose, around 0.25mg once a week. If the effects are not felt within a few weeks, your doctor may advise you to up the dosage. 

Page last reviewed:  24/06/2021


Always take this medication exactly as it has been prescribed and directed by your doctor. It is important this treatment is used only alongside regular exercise and a healthy, balanced diet. 

  1. The starting dose is 0.25mg. This amount is taken once a week for a month. 
  2. After a month the dose is usually increased to 0.5mg a week. 
  3. If this dose of Ozempic does little to improve your condition, your doctor may recommend increasing the dosage to 1mg a week. 
  4. It must be injected subcutaneously (under the skin). Never inject into a vein or muscle. 
  5. The needles are fragile and can bend if used incorrectly. For more information on how to use the Ozempic pen, speak with your doctor. 
  6. Never change your dose unless instructed. 
  7. Treatment will be reviewed by your clinician regularly. 
  8. You will need to be shown how to properly use the Ozempic pen.

Read the leaflet that comes with the medicine for more detailed instructions.

Page last reviewed:  24/06/2021
Please read the patient information leaflet for this medicine fully before use:
Side effects

Side effects

You must consult with your doctor if you notice any side effects. Not everyone will develop side effects, but it is important to be aware of what they may look like. 

Very common: (more than 1 in 10 people)  

Feeling sick or nauseous and/or diarrhoea. 

Common: (1 in 10 people or less) 

Retinopathy, vomiting and low blood sugar when used in conjunction with other antidiabetic medicine.  

Uncommon: (up to 1 in 100 people) 

Increased pulse, reactions at the site of injection such as bruising, pain or irritation, food or drink tasting differently. 

Rare: (up to 1 in 1,000 people) 

Severe allergic reactions, which may include respiratory problems, inflamed face and throat, increased heart beat. 


Taking it with other medicines

You must make your doctor or prescribing specialist aware of any previous or current medication you may have taken. This includes non-prescription, recreational and/or herbal medication. 

You must especially make your doctor aware if you take any anti-blood clotting medication such as Warfarin. 

Conditions to look out for

Before a prescription can be issued, a doctor will need to have a sufficient understanding of any past of present medical conditions you may have had. 

Your doctor must be informed about any conditions you have, especially type 1 diabetes, diabetic ketoacidosis, acute pancreatitis, hypoglycaemia or retinopathy. 

Pregnancy and breastfeeding 

This treatment is not suitable for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. If you are trying for a baby, it is recommended that you do not take Ozempic. 

Driving and machinery

If you use Ozempic alongside sulphonylurea (such as gliclazide)  or insulin, then this can have an impact on your ability to concentrate, and it is therefore not recommended to drive or operate machinery in these instances. 

If you are unsure, book an appointment with your doctor and they will be able to offer you specific advice. 

Page last reviewed:  24/06/2021
Please read the patient information leaflet for this medicine fully before use:

Can I still drink alcohol?

We do not recommend you drink alcohol while taking this medication, especially if you are overweight or diabetic. 

Will I still be able to drive? 

This may depend on whether you use Ozempic in conjunction with medication used for diabetes, such as sulfonylurea or insulin, because this can affect a person’s ability to concentrate. As a result, this could impact someone’s ability to drive. We recommend you speak to your doctor for more advice if you are unsure. 

Can I use this medicine while pregnant?

No, you cannot use this medication while pregnant, breastfeeding or trying for a baby. 

How should it be stored? 

Before opening, store Ozempic in a refrigerator between 2°C – 8°C. It must not freeze and should be stored away from light. When open, you can keep the pen for up to 6 weeks anywhere below 30°C. 

Do not use Ozempic if you notice the solution has become not clear and colourless or almost colourless. Do not discard as household waste, speak to your doctor or pharmacist about how best to dispose of this product. 

Am I allergic to anything in the medicine?

Thee active substance is semaglutide and the other ingredients are: disodium phosphate dihydrate, propylene glycol, phenol, water for injections, sodium hydroxide/hydrochloric acid (for pH adjustment).

It’s still important to make your doctor aware if you have any other allergies that don’t relate strictly to these ingredients. 

Is it available over-the-counter?

No. This is a prescription only medication. 

Is it right for me?

If you would like to renew your prescription for Ozempic, you’ll soon be able to do so using our secure online pharmacy service. Simply fill out the patient questionnaire and, pending approval from one of our prescribing clinicians, your order will be sent using next-day-delivery in secure and discreet packaging. 

If you are ordering this treatment to lose weight, we recommend you speak to your doctor before ordering. You should always consult with your doctor in the first instance before taking any weight loss or diabetes treatment so they can recommend the right course of action. 

Take a look at our Ozempic FAQ page here

Page last reviewed:  24/06/2021
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