Ozempic can stay in your system for several weeks. You may experience some effects if you stop taking Ozempic abruptly without assistance from a medical professional.

Ozempic (semaglutide) is an injectable medication. Doctors prescribe it to people with type 2 diabetes. It helps lower your blood sugar levels and reduce the risks of complications.

It contains the active ingredient semaglutide to make it work. Semaglutide belongs to a class of medications called glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists.

These act like natural GLP-1 hormones in your body, which help regulate blood sugar levels. Semaglutide also suppresses your appetite and helps to make you feel full after eating.

Doctors may prescribe Ozempic off-label for weight loss or management. Off-label use is when doctors prescribe a drug for a purpose other than what the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved it for.

Ozempic is long lasting and can stay in your system for several weeks. Stopping Ozempic or skipping doses may also have certain effects.

This article discusses how long Ozempic stays in your system, the half-life of Ozempic, and what happens when you stop taking Ozempic. It also discusses whether you can get Ozempic out of your system faster.

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At the highest dose, Ozempic takes 5 weeks to leave your system. The highest dose is 2 milligrams (mg) weekly.

However, when you begin Ozempic, you likely won’t be taking the highest dose. Doctors will start your dosage low at 0.25 mg once per week.

This dosage doesn’t affect your blood sugar. It allows doctors to check how your body responds to the drug. After 4 weeks of the initial dosage, doctors may increase it to 0.5 mg once per week, for at least the next 4 weeks.

Then, if you need a higher dose to manage your blood sugar levels, doctors may increase it to 1 mg once per week, for at least 4 more weeks, then to 2 mg once per week.

The highest dose for blood sugar management is 2 mg once per week.

Ozempic comes in a liquid injectable form, contained in prefilled disposable pens. Each pen contains several doses of the medication. They are labeled and color-coded with the doses of Ozempic they can deliver. You can select different doses using the selector on the pen.

What is Ozempic’s half-life?

The half-life of Ozempic is 1 week. This is the time it takes for half of the medication to leave your system. So if you take 2 mg on a Friday, then:

  • On the next Friday, you’ll have 1 mg remaining in your system.
  • On the Friday after that, you’ll have 0.5 mg remaining in your system.
  • On the following Friday, you’ll have 0.25 mg remaining in your system.

By 5 weeks, your system should have no Ozempic circulating in it.

In 2022, scientists investigated what happens when you stop taking medication containing semaglutide.

In the first phase of the trial, doctors gave 1,961 people either semaglutide or a placebo. They also counseled the study participants about diet and physical activity. For the purposes of the study, the participants received 2.4 mg once per week.

After 68 weeks, researchers stopped treatment for 327 of the participants. Then, scientists checked in with those participants for 1 year.

At the end of the year, the participants had regained two-thirds of their weight loss, compared with the start of the trial. Improvements in risk factors for heart disease and metabolic disease (conditions affecting the body’s metabolism, such as blood sugar levels, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels) also returned to their pre-treatment levels.

However, some measures maintained slight improvements, such as hemoglobin A1C (average blood sugar levels over 3 months) and C-reactive protein levels (a marker of inflammation in the body).

Missing a dose of Ozempic can also have an effect. If you miss a dose, take your dose as soon as possible, within 5 days of the missed dose.

If more than 5 days have passed, then skip the missed dose and take the next one on your usual injection day. Do not take two doses at once.

Are there any Ozempic withdrawal symptoms?

Ozempic isn’t known to cause withdrawal symptoms. But stopping Ozempic can affect your blood sugar levels and may lead to a rebound of any diabetes symptoms.

If you stop taking Ozempic, its effects on your GLP-1 receptor agonists can change. You may have symptoms that return, such as:

  • a change or increase in your blood sugar levels
  • an increase in appetite or not feeling full after eating
  • weight gain

You may also have an increased risk of cardiovascular effects, such as heart attack or stroke.

Ozempic side effects

Common side effects of Ozempic are often mild to moderate and do not last long. They may include:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • stomach pain
  • constipation

Serious side effects have also been reported with Ozempic. Some of the serious side effects may include:

  • thyroid tumors
  • inflammation of the pancreas
  • vision changes

If you have questions about possible side effects while taking Ozempic, talk with your doctor or another healthcare professional.

No medication can remove Ozempic from your system. In the case of an Ozempic overdose, doctors give supportive treatments for symptoms, such as nausea and vomiting.

Call your doctor right away if you believe you’ve taken too much Ozempic. Another option is to call America’s Poison Centers at 800-222-1222 or use its online tool. If you have severe symptoms, immediately call 911 or your local emergency number, or go to the nearest emergency room.

Ozempic is a long-lasting medication with a half-life of 1 week. It can take up to 5 weeks for the drug to leave your system.

If you stop taking Ozempic, you may experience an increase in your blood sugar or regain lost weight. It may also lead to other effects.

If you have additional questions about Ozempic, talk with your doctor or another healthcare professional.