6 Common Potential Side Effects of Semaglutide

While the potential side effects of Semaglutide may be a cause of concern for some, they often lessen as your body adjusts. With that said, it’s always good to know what one might expect when starting any sort of new treatment. Check out our more in-depth breakdown of what Semaglutide is and how it works! Keep reading to learn about the six most common and potential side effects.

side effects of semaglutide

What is Semaglutide? Is it Safe?

Semaglutide is an FDA-approved medication commonly used to treat diabetes. It’s given as a once-a-week injection. In addition to controlling blood sugar levels, Semaglutide has also been found to have great results when used to achieve weight loss. Here at Your Wellness Center in Cincinnati, Ohio, we offer Semaglutide as part of our Peptide Therapy program.

When used alongside proper diet and exercise, Semaglutide provides many benefits, including:

  • Weight loss that results in a lower body mass index (BMI)
  • Quicker fat loss
  • Appetite and portion control
  • Reduced food cravings
  • Lower fasting glucose levels and HbA1C level (a measure of diabetic control)
  • Improved insulin resistance
  • Improved fertility, especially in patients with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
  • Decreased risk of heart attack and stroke

But is Semaglutide safe? The short answer is yes, but some patients shouldn’t take Semaglutide. Read on to learn all about Semaglutide safety and how to achieve the best results from therapy. 

What Are The 5 Most Common Potential Side Effects of Semaglutide?

Overall, Semaglutide is relatively safe, but some side effects are commonly experienced, potentially including:

  1. Nausea and vomiting
  2. Abdominal pain or indigestion
  3. Bowel changes (diarrhea or constipation)
  4. Headache
  5. Redness, soreness, or itching at the injection site
  6. Fatigue

What are the Potential Risks of Semaglutide?

In addition to the five most common side effects, other possible side effects of Semaglutide include heartburn, burping, and changes in food taste.

The good news is that these side effects usually go away within a few weeks of starting the medication. Fortunately, they don’t happen very often. But there are a few more severe risks associated with Semaglutide. 


Pancreatitis, inflammation, and swelling of the pancreas are rare side effects of Semaglutide. But it can be life-threatening. Signs of pancreatitis include severe abdominal pain, extreme nausea or vomiting, and jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes). 

Gallbladder Disease

Another less common risk of Semaglutide is problems with the gallbladder, including gallstones. Symptoms of a gallbladder problem include pain in the upper part of the stomach, fever, jaundice, and clay-colored stools.

Kidney Damage

In rare cases, Semaglutide has caused kidney damage, but other studies show it can benefit people with diabetes by protecting the kidneys. Kidney damage is more likely if you already have kidney problems or take a diuretic medication (water pill). Signs to watch include changes in how much you urinate or swelling in your hands, arms, legs, or feet.

Severe Allergic Reactions

Severe allergic reactions to Semaglutide are rare but possible. Mild reactions might cause a rash, itching, or redness at the injection site and may not require you to stop the medication. However, a severe reaction could involve swelling of the face, tongue, or throat or shortness of breath.

Thyroid Tumors

In animal studies, Semaglutide was linked to tumors of the thyroid gland. While human studies have not supported the link, the FDA has placed a warning on Semaglutide about a risk of C-cell thyroid tumors. It is recommended that anyone with a personal or family history of medullary thyroid cancer or multiple endocrine neoplasia (MEN) type 2 avoid taking Semaglutide. Signs of possible cancer to look out for include a lump in the neck or throat, neck or jaw pain, or trouble swallowing. 

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is damage to the eyes caused by diabetes. Symptoms include blurry vision, poor night vision, seeing spots, and vision loss. 


Hypoglycemia is very low blood sugar levels. This is more common if Semaglutide is combined with other medications to treat diabetes. Signs of hypoglycemia include confusion, drowsiness, headache, irritability, and weakness.

How Long Do Semaglutide Side Effects Last? 

Most Semaglutide side effects are short-term and resolve within a few days to weeks after starting medication. But it would be best to inform your healthcare provider about side effects that last longer or are intolerable. 

Are There Any Long-term Semaglutide Side Effects?

Even serious side effects like pancreatitis and gallbladder problems are treatable, but thyroid cancer and kidney damage can cause long-term issues that may not go away. Another thing to be aware of is that once you stop taking Semaglutide, you are likely to regain the weight that you lost while taking it if you don’t continue to follow an appropriate diet.

Who Should Not Take Semaglutide? 

People with the following conditions should avoid Semaglutide:

  • Diabetic retinopathy (a type of damage to the eyes caused by diabetes)
  • Frequent low blood sugar
  • Suicidal thoughts or severe depression
  • History of or active pancreatitis
  • Decreased kidney function or kidney disease
  • Personal or family history of MEN 2 thyroid cancer or medullary thyroid carcinoma
  • People with Type 1 diabetes
  • If you are pregnant or wish to become pregnant within the next three months
  • Body mass index less than 25

Is Semaglutide Right for Me?

Your path to improved health starts with a consult at Your Wellness Center. Our specialists at Your Wellness Center can help determine if you are a candidate for treatment with Semaglutide and develop a personalized treatment plan.

If you are a new patient, fill out our initial consultation form, and a staff member will reach out to schedule your initial consultation. If you are a current patient, call us at (513)-791-9474, and we are happy to answer any questions regarding Semaglutide or our other services. 


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