Does Ozempic Cause Constipation? Tips for Prevention and Relief

Does Ozempic Cause Constipation? Tips for Prevention and Relief

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Key Takeaways

  • Constipation is one of the top side effects of Ozempic, a GLP-1 medication for treating type 2 diabetes.
  • Ozempic can cause constipation because this medication slows down the digestive process. Other side effects, like nausea, can make it hard to drink enough water and eat a balanced diet, which can also contribute to constipation. 
  • You can manage Ozempic constipation by staying hydrated, eating enough fiber, and exercising regularly. Doctors commonly recommend fiber supplements and laxatives if lifestyle interventions are not effective.

Ozempic is an injectable GLP-1 medication used for treating people with type 2 diabetes. It can also be prescribed off-label for weight management. The GLP-1 class of medications is known for causing gastrointestinal side effects like constipation. 

Continue reading to learn more about why Ozempic may cause constipation and how to manage and prevent it while taking Ozempic. 


Does Ozempic Cause Constipation?

If you’ve experienced constipation while taking Ozempic, you’re not alone. Clinical trials show that Ozempic causes constipation in approximately 5% of those on the medication (in people with type 2 diabetes). 

Interestingly, research shows constipation rates up to 35% in people taking Ozempic off-label for weight management.  

Ozempic constipation is dose-dependent, meaning that people on higher doses of the medication tend to experience more intense constipation. 

There are three doses of Ozempic: 0.25 mg, 0.5 mg, and 1.0 mg. Doctors typically start people on the lowest dose and increase it as needed. You may notice a resurgence of symptoms each time your dose is increased. 

The good news is, like other common Ozempic side effects, constipation typically improves over time. Research shows that the median duration of constipation on Ozempic is 47 days.  

Causes of Constipation While Taking Ozempic

Ozempic constipation is thought to be caused by the slower digestion that occurs while taking the medication. 

Delayed gastric emptying helps regulate blood sugar because the glucose is released into the bloodstream more steadily. However, this mechanism is responsible for many of Ozempic’s side effects. 

Because delayed gastric emptying can frequently make you feel full, you may be inclined to drink less water and other hydrating beverages throughout the day. Improper hydration is a secondary cause of Ozempic constipation. 

In addition, if you experience nausea (the top side effect of Ozempic), you may prefer bland foods that are easy to digest, like crackers or white bread. These foods lack fiber, and frequent consumption may lead to a lower fiber intake in some people. This can also increase the risk of constipation. 


Doctors diagnose constipation in people who have two or more of the following symptoms. 

  • Lumpy, hard stools.
  • Straining during at least 25% of bowel movements.
  • Lack of complete evacuation for more than 25% of bowel movements.

If you notice these symptoms upon starting Ozempic, or any other significant changes, like decreased frequency of bowel movements or lower abdominal pain, consider making some changes to your lifestyle and talking with your doctor. 

How To Relieve Ozempic Constipation

Most people can manage Ozempic constipation through lifestyle changes, like increasing hydration, fiber intake, and physical activity. However, fiber supplements and laxatives are sometimes needed. 

Drink More Water

If you aren’t consistently meeting your daily hydration needs, drinking more water can treat Ozempic constipation. Adequate hydration helps soften the stool, making it easier to pass. 

Experts recommend women drink 6-9 cups of hydrating fluids per day and men drink 8-12 cups, but you may have higher needs based on your activity level, the climate you live in, and your medical history. 

Drinking hot liquids, like coffee and tea, may help constipation. Prune juice can also be effective, though talk to your doctor about potential blood sugar concerns with this intervention if you have type 2 diabetes. 

Eat High-Fiber Foods

Lack of fiber in the diet is one of the top contributors to constipation. Most adults need between 22 and 34 grams of fiber per day, and many of us fall short. 

A combination of soluble and insoluble fiber is beneficial for constipation. Soluble fiber helps increase the frequency of bowel movements, improve stool consistency, and reduce pain. Insoluble fiber works by speeding up the rate of digestion. 

Consider increasing the fiber content of your diet by eating more from the following food groups: 

  • Whole grains.
  • Legumes. 
  • Fruits. 
  • Vegetables. 
  • Nuts. 

You may find that increasing your fiber intake too quickly can result in gas, bloating, and digestive discomfort, so make sure to add fiber to your diet slowly. 


Increase Physical Activity

Research shows that moderate physical activity can increase the frequency of bowel movements and reduce a person’s risk of constipation. 

Experts recommend engaging in at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity exercise. Not only can it help Ozempic constipation, but regular activity has also been shown to benefit both blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetes and weight management. 

Take a Fiber Supplement

If the above lifestyle changes aren’t enough to manage your Ozempic constipation, consider talking with your doctor or dietitian about starting a fiber supplement. 

Not all fiber supplements are created equal. Soluble fiber supplements, like those containing psyllium, are the most effective for treating constipation. These supplements help the stool absorb more water, making it easier to pass. 

Products containing wheat dextrin, inulin, and guar gum have been proven less effective in constipation management. 

Since soluble fiber absorbs water in the digestive tract, ensuring you are well-hydrated before starting a fiber supplement is important. 

Try a Gentle Laxative

In some cases, a laxative is needed to help manage Ozempic constipation. Osmotic, or gentle, laxatives work by helping your colon absorb water, softening the stool, and increasing bowel movement frequency. 

Miralax and Milk of Magnesia are examples of osmotic laxatives. Talk to your doctor before starting any over-the-counter laxatives. 

Your doctor may also prescribe a stronger laxative to take in the short-term to help your constipation as your body gets used to the Ozempic. 

Tips For Preventing Constipation While Taking Ozempic

To prevent or minimize Ozempic constipation, focus on the following tips:

  • Follow a high-fiber diet rich in legumes, whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and nuts.
  • Reduce your intake of ultra-processed and low-fiber foods, like chips, fast food, frozen meals, and hot dogs.
  • Set a goal to drink enough water every day.
  • Practice regular, moderate-intensity physical activity. 
  • Ramp up Ozempic dosage slowly with supervision from your doctor to allow your body to get used to the medication.

Eating a balanced diet and drinking enough water can be challenging if you are struggling with other Ozempic symptoms, like nausea.


When to See a Medical Provider for Ozempic Constipation

If increasing your fiber, water intake, and physical activity does not improve your constipation, or your symptoms worsen over time, talk to a healthcare professional about your options. They may recommend an over-the-counter fiber supplement or prescribe laxatives, as discussed above. 

If your symptoms are severe, your medical provider will consider decreasing your dose of Ozempic or discontinuing it altogether. Your doctor can also help rule out more rare side effects of Ozempic, like pancreatitis.

You can ask your doctor for a referral to a registered dietitian to help you identify any further lifestyle changes to consider adjusting for constipation management. 



Ozempic is an injectable GLP-1 medication that can cause constipation in over 5% of people. With higher medication doses, constipation tends to be more intense, but it usually improves over time. 

You can address your constipation at home by drinking more water, increasing fiber intake, and engaging in regular physical activity. Your doctor can advise on fiber supplements and laxative options if lifestyle changes alone don’t improve your bowel movements. 

How a Dietitian Can Help

Whether you are taking Ozempic off-label for weight management or for type 2 diabetes, a weight loss nutritionist can help you navigate side effects while optimizing your diet for the best results. 


Frequently Asked Questions

Does Ozempic make you constipated?

Ozempic causes constipation in over 5% of people taking the medication. This is thought to happen because of the slowed digestion that occurs while taking Ozempic. Constipation can also be caused by inadequate water and fiber intake due to other Ozempic side effects, like nausea.

What helps constipation while taking Ozempic?

First, try managing your constipation with lifestyle changes like drinking more water, eating high-fiber foods, and exercising regularly. If your constipation continues or worsens, talk to your doctor about fiber supplements or laxatives. 

In some cases, you may need to reduce your dose or discontinue Ozempic if your constipation is severe and doesn’t respond to treatment.

Can Ozempic cause bowel blockage?

Clinical trials on Ozempic have not found bowel blockage or intestinal obstruction as a possible side effect. A recent animal study from 2023 found an increased risk of intestinal blockage with semaglutide (Ozempic), but this has not been replicated in human studies.


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