Semaglutide is not recommended during pregnancy because of the potential risks of birth defects, low birth weight, and miscarriage.

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Semaglutide (Ozempic) is a medication used to treat diabetes that’s also commonly prescribed off-label for weight loss. Ozempic is very popular these days as a weight loss medication and is widely used.

If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant in the near future, you may be wondering if it’s safe for you to take this medication.

Doctors do not recommend taking semaglutide during pregnancy. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), animal studies suggest it can cause birth defects and an increased risk of pregnancy loss. Additionally, doctors don’t recommend intentional weight loss during pregnancy.

Here’s what to know about semaglutide in pregnancy, including risks, complications, outlook, and when to stop taking the medication if you are considering pregnancy.

Semaglutide is a type of medication known as a glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist. It works by mimicking a hormone that regulates your appetite called glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1).

There are two forms of semaglutide that are approved by the FDA:

  • Ozempic: Ozempic is a medication prescribed to decrease blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes. This drug is meant to be used in addition to dietary changes and exercise.
  • Wegovy: Wegovy is prescribed to people over the age of 12 who have obesity or overweight as a result of medical issues. It’s meant to induce weight loss, along with diet and exercise modifications.

Both Ozempic and Wegovy are taken via under-the-skin injections. While both forms of semaglutide cause weight loss, only Wegovy is prescribed specifically for the goal of weight loss. However, Ozempic is often prescribed off-label for this use.

No, you should not take semaglutide in any form during pregnancy.

First and foremost, according to the FDA, research from animal studies has found that semaglutide poses risks to fetuses, including fetal death, birth defects, and growth issues.

Moreover, studies are limited at this time, and the medication hasn’t been tested at all on humans during pregnancy.

Secondly, because semaglutide can cause meaningful weight loss, it’s not recommended that expectant parents take it.

Losing significant weight during pregnancy is associated with babies who are born smaller than average. It can also pose health risks to both the pregnant parent and the fetus.

The FDA advises that no one should take semaglutide if they are pregnant. This is because the data on the safety of taking the drug is limited.

Also, the data that is available points to possible complications for the fetus if someone takes semaglutide while pregnant.

These complications are based on animal studies. For example, when pregnant rats were given semaglutide, their fetuses experienced structural abnormalities, growth issues, and increased rates of death.

Pregnant rabbits and cynomolgus monkeys experienced miscarriages, and their offspring experienced increased rates of structural abnormalities.

In the research listed in the prescribing information, notable weight loss and low food consumption were also observed among pregnant animals. Additionally, many of them delivered offspring who had lower-than-average birth weights.

Additionally, research in humans has found that losing significant weight in pregnancy increases your chances of delivering small for gestational age (SGA) infants.

This is why healthcare professionals don’t recommend intentional weight loss during pregnancy, such as through food restriction or other means, even among people who have obesity.

The FDA prescribing information recommends that you stop taking semaglutide at least 2 months or more before becoming pregnant. This is because of the lengthy period it takes for this medication to clear your system.

The data we have on semaglutide during pregnancy is based on animal studies, and only a few of these studies exist. This isn’t unusual, though, because medications are not generally tested on pregnant people.

It’s not ethical to test medications on pregnant humans since there are too many potential risks to human fetuses.

The FDA does usually require new medications to be tested on animals prior to being tested in humans. But again, this is limited to non-pregnant people. Animal testing can offer insights, but it is not as reliable as tests that are done directly on humans.

Right now, there isn’t any data on the amount of semaglutide that passes into human breast milk, how it might affect babies, and how it might impact milk production.

Research done on rats found that semaglutide does get into their milk, but it was found at levels that were 3–12 times lower than the levels found in the plasma (liquid part of blood) of lactating rats.

If you are considering taking semaglutide while nursing, you should check with your baby’s pediatrician before taking it.

There are currently no studies (in animals or humans) on the long-term effects of taking semaglutide during pregnancy.

However, animal studies have shown that taking semaglutide during pregnancy may increase the risk of birth defects, miscarriage, and delivering babies that are small for their gestational age.

Where can I get more information about taking semaglutide during pregnancy?

You should contact your doctor or midwife if you have further questions about taking semaglutide during pregnancy.

What dose of semaglutide is safe during pregnancy?

Doctors do not recommend taking semaglutide during pregnancy.

What if I took semaglutide before I knew I was pregnant?

Right now, it’s not known exactly how semaglutide might affect a human fetus in early pregnancy. If you took the medication before you were pregnant or knew you were, you should notify your doctor or midwife immediately.

Semaglutide (Ozempic) is a popular medication prescribed for diabetes that also causes weight loss. It’s often prescribed off-label to help people lose weight.

There’s currently no research on how semaglutide affects human pregnancies specifically. However, the research done on animals suggests that semaglutide may cause birth defects, miscarriage, and babies being born small for their age.

Also, doctors do not recommend weight loss during pregnancy. For these reasons, doctors do not recommend taking semaglutide while pregnant.