Diabetes is a long-term condition triggered by high blood sugar levels. This ailment is also referred to as diabetes mellitus in medical terms, and it denotes a group of metabolic diseases which cause a spike in the blood glucose or blood sugar levels. While blood sugar is essential for maintaining one’s energy levels, excess production can lead to a plethora of issues. For some people, it may lead to inadequate production of insulin in the body, whereas for others, their body’s cells may not respond well to the insulin. An imbalance in the levels of a hormone called glucagon can also cause difficulties in maintaining normal levels of blood sugar. A majority of diabetes patients are likely to have a combination of these issues. Consistently high glucose levels in the bloodstream can severely disrupt essential bodily functions.
Diabetes affects a large part of the population around the world, and type 2 diabetes is the most common form of this condition. As per scientific reports, about 90% of diabetes cases in the world are of type 2 diabetes. This disease comes with a slew of symptoms that include intense thirst, weight gain or weight loss, frequent need to urinate, numbness in the hands, sexual dysfunction in males, and more. Patients with diabetes can undertake effective lifestyle changes such as altering their diet, exercising regularly, and monitoring their blood sugar levels. However, one may also need to take oral medication and insulin to control the blood glucose levels efficiently. Ozempic® is a glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist that is available in the form of an injection. It helps to regulate the blood sugar levels by stimulating insulin secretion and lowering glucagon secretion. Thus, it controls the levels of blood sugar, alters insulin and glucagon levels, and aids in better digestion among people with diabetes. However, people with type 1 diabetes cannot use this medicine.
It is designed in the form of an injection pen and comes with pre-filled, disposable shots of Ozempic® that must be injected beneath the patient’s skin. The medicine has numerous benefits, provided that one undertakes some measures and precautions beforehand. Here are some essential factors that one needs to know while using Ozempic® for diabetes.
- Preferably, one should store Ozempic® in the refrigerator before it is to be used. Ensure that the temperature of the refrigerator is maintained anywhere between 36ºF to 46ºF.
- One can store the Ozempic® injection pen at room temperature for 56 days after use. One can keep the pen in a refrigerator but never in the freezer. Post usage, it must always be covered with the provided cap. Essentially, this pen should always be kept away from direct sunlight or hot places.
- The needle or syringe of the injection pen cannot be used more than once and thus, must be safely discarded post usage. Also, the user should remove the syringe from the injection pen before putting it away safely.
Precautions to take while injecting Ozempic®
- While using the medicine, one must clearly follow the instructions or the prescription of the doctor. A doctor might regularly alter the dosage of Ozempic®. These alterations are made to match the level of insulin production in the body and to ensure that the patient is reacting to the medicine favorably.
- One must read the medication’s guide and the instruction sheet thoroughly and evaluate it before injecting this medicine into the body. Patients or the one who administers the injection should seek the aid of a doctor if they have any queries.
- A patient should not shy away from injecting Ozempic®, especially if he/she does not understand the procedure well. In such cases, it is advisable to have the medicine injected by an individual who understands the process and has some experience. Ozempic® should never be injected in the same part of the body, at least in the beginning.
- Always follow a physician’s recommendations regarding injecting Ozempic® shots. One should avoid using it in case the medicine appears to have changed color.
Essential information for patients
- The use of Ozempic® can bring potential risk to pregnant women and the unborn fetus. Thus, it is essential that women who are pregnant or intend to get pregnant seek advice from the physician before using the medicine.
- Some patients are likely to experience side effects such as nausea, diarrhea, and constipation when using Ozempic® for the first time. However, this improves over time.
- If you experience any sudden symptoms post the use of Ozempic®, you should report them to your physician immediately. Patients must keep an eye out for symptoms of a thyroid tumor such as a hoarse voice, lump in the neck, and dysphagia.
- In case the patient suspects pancreatitis, the use of this medicine must be discontinued, and they should contact the physician immediately.