Side effects of Ozempic seem to be similar in males and females. Some evidence suggests that females may be more likely to have side effects from GLP-1 agonists, but this hasn’t been specifically shown with Ozempic.

Ozempic (semaglutide) is a prescription injection that’s FDA-approved for:

Ozempic may also be prescribed off-label for weight loss. (With off-label use, a drug is prescribed for a purpose other than what it’s approved for.)

Several studies examining Ozempic’s side effects mostly involved female participants. Some of the most common side effects reported in these studies included nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Read on to learn more about Ozempic side effects in females.

Note: In this article, we use the term ”male/female” to refer to someone’s sex assigned at birth. For information about the difference between sex and gender, see this article.

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Limited evidence suggests that certain side effects of Ozempic are more common in females than males. Several studies that examined the rates of side effects with Ozempic have mostly included female participants.

Ozempic belongs to a drug class called glucagon-like peptide-1(GLP-1) receptor agonists. In a 2020 study from South Korea, females using other GLP-1 receptor agonists (but not Ozempic) reported having side effects more than twice as often as males. This may be partially due to females being more likely to have gastrointestinal (digestive) conditions in general.

Females in this study reported:

  • headaches nearly eight times more often than males
  • dizziness more than three times as often
  • vomiting more than four times as often

Side effects of Ozempic

In a 2022 study involving 175 people using semaglutide (the active ingredient in Ozempic), the following side effects were commonly reported. About 75% of the people in the study were female.

Side effectPercentage
nausea and vomiting36.6%
diarrhea8.6%
fatigue6.3%
constipation5.7%
abdominal pain5.1%

In another 2022 study, the effectiveness of semaglutide for weight loss was compared with that of a placebo. Nearly 80% of the 304 study participants were female.

The table below includes examples of side effects that were more common among people using semaglutide than those using a placebo in the study.

Side effectPercentage of people using semaglutidePercentage of people using a placebo
nausea53.3%21.7%
diarrhea34.9%23.7%
constipation30.9%11.2%
vomiting30.3%4.6%
cold15.8%15.1%
upper abdominal pain14.5%6.6%
indigestion13.2%4.6%
gas13.2%6.6%
stomach flu13.2%2.6%

Ozempic side effects in people who can become pregnant

There aren’t enough studies to know whether Ozempic is safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding. Animal studies suggest that there may be some risk to the animal fetus if Ozempic is used during pregnancy.

Because of this, if you’re planning a pregnancy, doctors would likely recommend you stop using Ozempic 2 months before becoming pregnant.

Are females more likely to get ‘Ozempic face’?

“Ozempic face” is an informal term that refers to the facial appearance of some people using Ozempic who lose weight rapidly. This rapid weight loss can cause:

  • sagging
  • wrinkles
  • a hallowed out and gaunt appearance

It’s not clear if females are more likely to develop “Ozempic face,” but there’s some evidence that females might have more pronounced weight loss when using GLP-1 receptor agonists than males.

Learn more about how Ozempic affects your face.

Acute pancreatitis is the sudden swelling of your pancreas. It’s a rare but serious side effect of Ozempic that has been reported in studies. It’s not clear whether pancreatitis occurs more often in females.

Symptoms of acute pancreatitis include:

Most side effects from Ozempic go away within days to weeks of stopping treatment or having your dose reduced. It’s not clear whether long-term side effects from Ozempic are more common in females than in males.

Semaglutide (the active ingredient in Ozempic) has been linked to some long-term side effects. These include:

There are concerns that Ozempic might make oral birth control pills less effective. Ozempic and other GLP-1 agonists may slow down stomach emptying and affect how consistently birth control pills are absorbed. Animal studies suggest that semaglutide may affect the reproductive cycle, which could affect how well birth control pills work. But at this time, there is no specific evidence that shows Ozempic affects birth control.

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Ozempic is a prescription injection that’s FDA-approved for use in adults with type 2 diabetes. It’s also prescribed off-label for weight loss. The drug belongs to a drug class called GLP-1 receptor agonists.

Some evidence suggests that females may be more likely to have side effects than males when using GLP-1 agonists, but this hasn’t been specifically shown with Ozempic.

More extensive research will help determine whether Ozempic is safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding. If you’re planning a pregnancy, your doctor may likely recommend you stop using Ozempic.