Does Ozempic® (Semaglutide) Lower Blood Sugar?
Ozempic® lowers blood sugar levels by stimulating the release of insulin by the pancreas and is FDA-approved for treatment of type 2 diabetes. In a large, randomized-controlled study, patients taking the maximum approved dose of Ozempic - 2mg weekly - lowered their hemoglobin A1c, a measure of average blood sugar, by 2.1%. While Ozempic lowers blood sugar, it is less likely to cause dangerously low blood sugars (hypoglycemia) because the medication stimulates the release of insulin when blood sugar is increased. A review article looking at the safety of semaglutide showed that the medication is associated with very few cases of hypoglycemia that would be considered dangerous. However, when Ozempic is taken with other medications for diabetes that lower blood sugar such as insulin or sulfonylureas (medications such as glipizide, glyburide, and glimepiride), the risk of hypoglycemia is much higher. As a result, your healthcare provider may stop or reduce the doses of those medications if you are taking them when starting Ozempic.
Ozempic® is a registered trademark of Novo Nordisk A/S.
Nathaniel Pedley, MD
Dr. Nathaniel Pedley is an internist and obesity medicine specialist who is passionate about supporting patients in achieving their health goals. He attended Amherst College in Massachusetts for undergrad, and completed a post-baccalaureate in pre-medical studies at Columbia University. He continued at Columbia University for medical school and went on to complete his residency in internal medicine at UCLA where he served as a Project Lead for the UCLA Department of Medicine Quality Team and a peer mentor to junior residents.