- Fatigue isn’t the most common side effect of semaglutide, but some people may feel tired when starting this medication. This effect usually decreases over time.
- More common side effects of semaglutide include nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, and changes in bowel habits.
- Lifestyle changes, staying in contact with your doctor, and talking with a registered dietitian may help manage fatigue while your body adjusts to the medication.
Semaglutide is an injectable medication that helps people manage their blood sugar and lose excess weight.
While taking semaglutide, you may feel tired and have several other side effects.
The good news is these side effects typically decrease as your body adjusts to the medication.
If the fatigue doesn’t improve, you should talk to your doctor as the dose may need adjusting, or your doctor may suggest a different option.
This article looks at the side effects of semaglutide, why you may feel tired while taking it, and how to manage fatigue.
What is Semaglutide?
Semaglutide is a medication from the drug class known as glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists.
It functions like a hormone in your body and helps manage blood sugar levels by triggering insulin release, slowing digestion, decreasing appetite, and telling the liver to secrete less glucagon.
These four actions help people with type 2 diabetes control their blood sugar.
Doctors may also prescribe the medication for people who need help managing their weight.
Semaglutide is meant to be used with regular exercise and balanced nutritional intake.
Semaglutide is available as three brand name medications:
- Once-weekly Ozempic injection for managing type 2 diabetes.
- Once-daily Rybelsus tablets for managing type 2 diabetes.
- Once-weekly Wegovy injection for managing weight loss.
Side Effects of Semaglutide
Like all medications, semaglutide has several side effects. The most common ones include:
Semaglutide also has several warnings and precautions for more severe adverse reactions:
- Gallbladder disease.
- Kidney injury.
- Allergic reaction.
- Increased heart rate.
- Suicidal thoughts or behaviors.
- Risk of thyroid cancer.
People with type 2 diabetes should also be aware of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) risk and vision problems when taking semaglutide.
Does Semaglutide Make You Tired?
When you first start taking semaglutide, you may feel more tired than usual.
In one study, about 6% of the participants experienced fatigue when taking the medication.
During clinical trials for Wegovy, about 11% of people experienced fatigue.
During Ozempic clinical trials, less than 5% felt tired.
During clinical trials for Rybelsus, fatigue was not reported as a side effect.
The reason behind this side effect is not fully understood but may be related to changes in your metabolism and the fact that you’re probably eating less.
As your body adjusts to the medication, you should feel less tired.
Other Factors That May Contribute to Fatigue While Taking Semaglutide
Currently, no research indicates why semaglutide may make you tired. Several theories have been suggested.
One possible reason for feeling tired while taking semaglutide is that the medication is an appetite suppressant.
As you eat less food, your body may not have the same energy level.
Over time, your body may adjust to this new food intake, and your fatigue may be less noticeable.
Each person’s response to taking semaglutide is individualized.
You may experience fatigue while taking it, while others do not.
Talk to your doctor if you have any concerns about the medication.
How To Manage Fatigue While Taking Semaglutide
If you’re feeling over-fatigued while taking semaglutide, let your doctor know.
Your doctor may be able to reduce your dose while your body adjusts, then increase it over time.
Consider keeping a journal to track your diet, exercise, sleep, and activity level.
This may help identify patterns so you can make adjustments as needed.
Lifestyle Changes That May Help With Fatigue
If you feel extra tired while taking semaglutide, here are some steps that may help curb the fatigue.
- Get adequate rest: Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day. Make your room a dark and relaxing environment, and aim to get seven to nine hours of sleep each night.
- Eat regularly throughout the day. Even though you may not feel as hungry, it’s still important to make sure you are feeding yourself nutrient-dense foods throughout the day to keep your energy up.
- Ensure adequate iron intake at a minimum of 18 mg per day for women.
- Ensure adequate protein intake at a minimum of 0.8 grams/kg of body weight.
- Stay hydrated: Being dehydrated can make you feel tired. Make sure you’re drinking enough water throughout the day.
- Regular exercise: Regular exercise can help boost your energy level during the day and may help you sleep better at night.
- Professional guidance: Consider talking to a registered dietitian from Nourish who can give you personalized advice for meeting your goals.
When To Talk To Your Doctor
It’s important to maintain open communication with your doctor if you start experiencing persistent fatigue or other side effects while taking semaglutide.
Your doctor can assess your overall health and determine if further testing is needed to check for other possible causes of the fatigue.
Seek immediate medical attention if you start experiencing additional symptoms such as weakness, dizziness, or a change in your heart rate.
Semaglutide is a medication that helps people manage their blood sugar levels and can aid in weight loss.
While not the most common side effect, some people do feel tired when they first start taking semaglutide.
Other common side effects include nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, or changes in bowel habits.
Typically, side effects decrease over time.
Staying in communication with your doctor, getting personalized advice from a registered dietician, and making some lifestyle changes may help you manage your fatigue.
How a Dietitian Can Help
A registered dietitian can play a crucial role in assisting you to manage your weight by helping you make informed food choices.
If you are thinking about taking semaglutide, consider consulting with a registered dietitian from Nourish.
They can provide you with a personalized eating plan that will support the benefits of semaglutide to help you attain your health goals.
Your dietitian can also guide you on addressing fatigue and maintaining a balanced and nutritious diet.
Frequently Asked Questions
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