What are the side effects of GLP-1s?

Rex MD-affiliated providers prescribe a GLP-1 medication such as semaglutide or tirzepatide. The side effects of both medications are typically mild and resolve within a few weeks of starting treatment.

The most common side effects include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach upset and pain
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Heartburn
  • Acid reflux
  • Belching
  • Gas
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue.

While severe side effects are rare, they can occur. These include:

  • Intestinal obstruction
  • Thyroid cancer (only seen in animal studies so far)
  • Pancreatitis
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Low blood sugar
  • Kidney disease
  • Severe allergies
  • Vision problems
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Suicidal thoughts or behaviors

Semaglutide should not be used in patients with a family history of medullary thyroid carcinoma or Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia syndrome type 2. For complete safety information -- including a BOXED WARNING about the risk of thyroid cancer -- please refer to the complete Prescribing Information for Wegovy® and Zepbound™.

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