What Clinical Research Says About Long-Term Safety of Ozempic

long-term safety of ozempic medication

Ozempic has been approved to lower blood sugar levels in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and known heart disease. Clinical research findings on the safety of Ozempic (semaglutide) indicate that semaglutide induces primarily mild and transient gastrointestinal disturbances and increases the risk of cholelithiasis. Researchers suggest further research to assess the long-term risk of pancreatic cancer, thyroid cancer, and diabetic retinopathy (DRP).

Effect of Ozempic On the Body

long-term safety of ozempic

Ozempic has been found to have negative health implications in some individuals. These health implications include thyroid cancer, pancreatitis, pancreatic cancer, hypoglycemia risks, acute kidney injury occurrences, gallbladder events, gastrointestinal disturbances, and cardiovascular effects.

Thyroid Cancer

Ozempic contains an FDA warning for thyroid C-cell tumors. Regulatory authorities have required additional monitoring of the U.S. annual incidence of medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) for at least 15 years (results expected 2035 – 2037).

Pancreatic Cancer and Pancreatitis

Based on the subcutaneous and oral semaglutide, Phase 3a trials, Smits & Raalte (2021) suggest that the data does not indicate a link between GLP-1RA and pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer incidence. However, they question whether the follow-up duration was long enough for pancreatic cancer to develop.


Findings from the data following patients for six months after starting semaglutide therapy suggest that the risk of hypoglycemia is low with subcutaneous and oral semaglutide. However, the risk increases when combined with sulfonylurea or insulin therapy.


In phase 3 trials, subcutaneous semaglutide was associated with GI disturbances. These symptoms include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Compared with placebo, subcutaneous semaglutide for 30 weeks induced

  • nausea in 11.4 – 20% of semaglutide-treated patients (placebo 3.3 – 8%)
  • vomiting in 4 – 11.5% (placebo 2 – 3%)
  • diarrhea in 4.5 – 11.3% (placebo 1.5 – 6%)

Continued Clinical Trials for Ozempic

A large ongoing trial on the long-term effects of semaglutide on diabetic eye disease (expected completion in 2027) is assessing the long-term impact of semaglutide on DRP in patients with T2DM. A study by Sass et al. (2023) investigates the long-term effects of add-on treatment of semaglutide. This add on consists of 1.0 mg injections each week vs. a placebo once a week. It will examine the metabolic status in pre-diabetic and diabetic patients. These patients are currently diagnosed with and receiving treatment for a schizophrenia spectrum disorder.

Ready to Make the Change?

Risking the long-term side effects of Ozempic can seem daunting. What if there was another solution for weight loss that involved no risk? Our team at Life After Semaglutide offers 1:1 nutrition coaching for stopping Ozempic. We help you safely ween off the drug while still maintaining the weight you’ve lost.

We know the type of guilt that comes with food because we have coached so many people over the years. We want to teach and guide our clients so they will have no problem maintaining the weight they’ve already lost while continuing to eat the food they enjoy. Contact us today!

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