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Semaglutide

Last updated on 08/07/2021.

Overview   |   Dosage   |    Side Effects   |   Precautions  |   Tips  |   Where To Buy  

GENERIC NAME: Semaglutide

CHINESE NAME: 司美格魯肽

BRAND NAME(S) IN HONG KONG: Ozempic 胰妥讚

DRUG CLASS: Antidiabetic drugs

SUB CLASS: Glucagon-like Peptide-1 Agonists

USED FOR: Type 2 diabetes

AVAILABLE DOSAGE FORMS: 0.25mg/dose, 0.5mg/dose, 1mg/dose (pre-filled pen)

What is Semaglutide for?

Semaglutide belongs to a class of medication called glucagon-like peptide-1 agonists. It works by mimicking a hormone to make the pancreas produce more insulin and less glucagon to control blood sugar level. It is used to treat type 2 diabetes mellitus and prevent cardiovascular disease in diabetic patients.

How to use it?

Semaglutide is administered subcutaneously via pre-filled injection pens. The usual dose is 0.25 mg once weekly for 4 weeks, then increases to 0.5 mg once weekly. It may be increased to maximum 1 mg once weekly if additional glycemic control is needed after at least 4 weeks of the 0.5-mg weekly dosage.

What are the side effects of Semaglutide?

Common side effects of Semaglutide include nausea, abdominal pain, constipation, decreased appetite, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Who should not take Semaglutide?

– People who are allergic to Semaglutide or any component of the formulation
– Patients with Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN2), or personal or family history of medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC)

Pharmacist Tips:

– Non-drug management, including diet and exercise, also plays an important role in controlling both diabetes and weight.
– If you use insulin in addition to Semaglutide, do not mix them into the same syringe. You may give the shots in the same area (including your stomach), but do not give the shots right next to each other.
– For each new prefilled pen, prime the needle before the first injection by turning the dose selector to the flow check symbol and injecting into the air (priming is not required for subsequent injections).
– Change (rotate) your injection site with each injection. Do not use the same site for each injection.
– Use a new needle for each injection and do not share pens between patients.
– Once injected, continue to depress the button until the dial has returned to 0 and for an additional 6 seconds. Then, remove the needle.
– Store your new, unused medicine pen in its original carton in the refrigerator. You may store the opened medicine pen in the refrigerator or at room temperature for 56 days.

Common dosing schedule:
Semaglutide can be injected subcutaneously in the abdomen, thigh or upper arm. Use Semaglutide once weekly, on the same day each week, at any time of day independently of meals. 

This schedule is for reference only, adjustments may be made according to individual needs.

Some common medications Semaglutide may interact with:
– Insulin
– Sulfonylureas, e.g. Glipizide, Gliclazide
– Oral medications, as Semaglutide delays gastric emptying to affect oral absorption

Please notify your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking the above medication, dosage adjustments might be needed.

Where to buy Semaglutide in Hong Kong?

In Hong Kong, Semaglutide is a prescription only medicine, and requires a prescription from a doctor to be purchased in a pharmacy. It can also be obtained from doctors. To find a pharmacy near you, refer to the list of pharmacies (“Authorized Sellers of Poisons”) from the Hong Kong Department of Health.

For more information about drug names and ingredients, you can visit Hong Kong’s Drug Office at https://www.drugoffice.gov.hk

Need more information?

For detailed information about the use of Semaglutide in children, pregnancy and breastfeeding, and for questions about drug interactions, please check with your pharmacist or doctor.

Disclaimer: our goal is to provide you with the most relevant drug information and common dosage for Hong Kong. This information does not constitute medical advice. For specific treatment recommendations and advice, always discuss with your doctor or pharmacist, and follow the instructions included with your specific medicine.