Does Ozempic Cause Constipation?

ozempic-and-constipation
The woman is suffering from stomach pain

 

Ozempic is a prescribed medication administered to adult patients with type 2 diabetes. As with any drug, it can cause some side effects, which is why it’s important to educate yourself on them and what are the signs that should raise your concern. 

In this article, we will answer the question – can Ozempic cause constipation? We will also offer some helpful tips on how to navigate Ozempic’s side effects. 

Ozempic and Constipation

The list of the common symptoms that can be experienced after administering Ozempic includes: 

  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea 
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Fatigue
  • Blurred vision
  • and Constipation

So yes, it’s quite possible to suffer from constipation after taking Ozempic. However, whether this symptom will manifest itself and how long it will last depends on individual factors. 

Not every patient on Ozempic will experience this side effect, but obviously, it’s crucial to monitor your response to the drug and inform your doctor in case the symptoms you’re suffering from are severe or prolonged. 

Why Does Semaglutide Make You Constipated?

Semaglutide works to mimic the effect of the GLP-1 hormone, which plays an important role in the digestion process and insulin production in human organisms. The hormone is released during digestion in the gastrointestinal tract, signaling the body to start producing insulin.

Ozempic helps to regulate how much insulin is produced, keeping the blood sugar levels at safe parameters in individuals with type 2 diabetes who are unable to do it sufficiently on their own.

However, semaglutide impacts other digestive processes as well, for example, how fast food moves through the digestive tract. More precisely, it slows down the pace at which food leaves the stomach as well as muscle contractions in the intestines. Which, as a result, can lead to constipation.

Ozempic Constipation – How Long Does It Last?

As mentioned before, constipation is one of the common side effects people on Ozempic can experience. Usually, this symptom is not connected with serious health risks unless the condition is prolonged. 

How long is too long to suffer from constipation when on semaglutide?

Research from 2022 found that patients on Ozempic can struggle with constipation for several weeks (on average 47 days). It’s important to disclose the trial was conducted with the exclusive inclusion of patients with diagnosed obesity. 

When it comes to the length of bowel-related problems, much depends on individual health history and lifestyle choices. Individuals with a balanced, adjusted to their needs diet will likely experience a shorter period of constipation after including Ozempic in their course of treatment. 

Staying physically active or performing bowel movement exercises can also alleviate constipation. 

If the problem is severe and prolonged (longer than 2 months), you should get in contact with your physician. Ignoring the condition can lead to other complications down the line, like hemorrhoids or rectal prolapse. 

Ozempic and Constipation – What To Do?

What are some useful things you can do to help minimize the risk of constipation and shorten the time in which you are affected by it? Let’s take a closer look. 

Stay In Contact with Your Doctor

The woman at the doctor

 

It’s a good idea to be in regular contact with your physician during Ozempic treatment. It makes it easier to monitor your health and adapt the course of therapy to your needs and requirements. 

In the case of constipation, your doctor can help you navigate the dosing of the medication, lowering your doses when the constipation is serious, causes you pain, or doesn’t pass. 

Remember, proper dosing is crucial with any medication, including semaglutide, and it should always be adapted in coordination with your leading physician’s recommendations. This ensures that your treatment is safe and effective. 

Most doctors adhere to the rule of slowly increasing the dose of Ozempic, which helps minimize the risk and severity of side effects. 

Drink Water

Drinking a lot of water is a known method of alleviating symptoms like constipation. Water works as a lubricant in your bowels, increasing the effectiveness of bowel movements and, as a result, helping you defecate more often. 

If there aren’t any opposing health reasons, you should drink a lot of water in your day-to-day life, and this extends to the time when you’re administering Ozempic. However, stay cautious when it comes to drinking a lot of sugar-rich drinks (sodas, sweetened coffee or tea, etc.). 

Your sugar intake should always fall under the recommended by your physician parameters.  

Include Fiber-rich Foods

Again, if other health factors don’t dictate differently, it’s helpful to increase the content of fiber-rich foods in your diet. Fiber is an important ally of healthy and effective digestive tracts, facilitating easier movement of food material in your bowels. 

A recommended daily fiber intake for an adult is somewhere between 25 and 35 grams. Talk to your doctor about your dietary restrictions and how much fiber you can include in your meals. 

Stay Active

We already mentioned that point earlier, but it bears repeating – staying physically active has numerous benefits for your health, including your bowel movements. Exercising stimulates blood flow and muscle contractions in the intestines, all things you want to boost in order to avoid constipation.

Staying active can look different, depending on your physical condition, lifestyle, and other individual factors. 

Some professionals recommend around 60 minutes of exercise daily, and this can include anything from a walk to aerobics. 

If you’re unable to meet this recommendation right off the gate, that’s fine. Start small, with short 10 to 15-minute walks or blocks of exercises. The most crucial thing is to build a habit of moving your body daily. You can increase the intensity and length of your workouts gradually. 

When Should You Call Your Doctor?

When is the time to contact your physician? You shouldn’t ignore:

  • Intense abdominal pain
  • Severe vision problems, like blurred vision that doesn’t pass
  • Allergic reaction
  • Very low blood sugar
  • Constipation that lasts longer than 2 months 

Ozempic and Constipation – Conclusion

Ozempic is in the group of medications that can cause constipation. This is a fairly common side effect of this medication and, in most cases, does not indicate any serious health risks. However, it’s always good to consult your doctor and adhere to their recommendations on mitigating this and other side effects of Ozempic. 

You have more questions? You can also contact us directly, and we’ll gladly address all your concerns.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Ozempic affect bowel movements?

Yes, Ozempic does affect bowel movements. In more detail, it slows down the whole digestive system, including muscle contractions in the intestines. This is the main cause why semaglutide causes constipation.

The inclusion of any new medication when you’re on Ozempic should be done in coordination with your doctor. It might be safe to take a laxative with Ozempic, however, these types of medications are not meant to be taken for a long period of time.

There are several things you can do to help alleviate constipation when you’re on medication. You could try drinking lots of water, exercising, including more fiber in your diet, and lowering the dose you’re taking. In most cases, constipation ends after 4 to 6 weeks.