Written on September 14, 2023 by Theresa Vuskovich, DMD. To give you technically accurate, evidence-based information, content published on the Everlywell blog is reviewed by credentialed professionals with expertise in medical and bioscience fields.
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Semaglutide is the active pharmaceutical ingredient in three popular brand name medications, Ozempic®, Rybelsus®, and Wegovy®.[1-5] If you are taking semaglutide, you may wonder, “Does semaglutide make you tired?” This article will explain why you may feel tired taking semaglutide and the factors affecting how tired you feel.
Semaglutide is prescribed for lowering blood sugar levels for individuals with type 2 diabetes (T2D) and weight management for those who are overweight or have obesity with at least one weight-related comorbidity.[1-5] Individuals taking semaglutide may lose up to 15% of their body weight. However, weight loss results may vary depending on your starting weight, comorbidities, other medications, and lifestyle choices.[1-5]
Although the exact mechanism by which semaglutide causes weight loss is still under investigation, it has the potential to reduce appetite, thereby reducing caloric intake.[1-3] You may feel more tired than usual due to the reduced calorie intake while taking semaglutide. Additionally, semaglutide can make you tired due to its gastrointestinal side effects, including nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.[1-3] How tired you feel while taking semaglutide is also impacted by how you take semaglutide (pill or injection) and your dosage.[1-3]
Semaglutide is available as a daily pill (Rybelsus®) or a once-weekly injection (Ozempic® and Wegovy®).[1-3] During clinical trials, individuals taking semaglutide as an injection were more likely to report fatigue (tiredness) as a side effect.[1-3] Patients taking Rybelsus® during clinical trials did not report fatigue as a side effect. Those taking 14 mg of Rybelsus® did report nausea (20%), abdominal pain (11%), diarrhea (10%), decreased appetite (9%), vomiting (8%), and constipation (5%).
During clinical trials for Ozempic® and Wegovy® (semaglutide injections), patients did report feeling tired.[1,3] 11% of participants taking 2.4 mg of Wegovy® for weight management reported feeling tired. Less than .4% of patients reported feeling tired as a side effect during clinical trials for Ozempic®. Those taking 1 mg of Ozempic® did report nausea (20.3%), vomiting (9.2%), diarrhea (8.8%), abdominal pain (5.7%), and constipation (3.1%).
Individuals taking a higher dose of semaglutide are more likely to feel tired.[1-3] Wegovy® for weight management offers the maximum dose of semaglutide (2.4 mg) and is associated with a higher incidence of fatigue and other side effects.[1-3] Individuals taking 2.4 mg of Wegovy® reported nausea (44%), diarrhea (30%), vomiting (24%), constipation (24%), abdominal pain (20%), and abdominal distension (bloating)(7%) as side effects.
Wegovy® is available as a pre-filled, single-dose injection pen containing 0.25 mg, 0.5 mg, 1 mg, 1.7 mg, or 2.4 mg of semaglutide. Clinical experience suggests starting on a low dose of semaglutide and slowly increasing the dosage may reduce the risk of side effects. Patients can start with 0.25 mg and increase their dose every four weeks until they reach the maintenance dose (2.4 mg). Consult your healthcare provider if you experience fatigue or other side effects while taking semaglutide.
Now that you know semaglutide can make you feel tired, here are some other facts to know about semaglutide [1-5]:
Weight management is available via the Everlywell Weight Care+ program, an option for online weight loss. The program includes regular virtual care visits, lab testing, medication, and support for related conditions. The Weight Care+ program involves ongoing visits with a licensed nurse practitioner, who will assess your medical history and goals to create a customized care plan for you.
Weight loss is not a one-size-fits-all process. This is where Weight Care+ can help. Weight Care+ offers personalized weight management through 3- or 12-month memberships. While medications are available to assist with weight loss, prescriptions, including those for semaglutide, are not guaranteed when you join the program. Your healthcare provider wants to ensure you safely reach your health and weight goals.