Semaglutide is used on its own or together with other medicines to treat type 2 diabetes (long-term condition in which the body gradually becomes resistant to the effects of insulin or the pancreas does not produce enough insulin).
This medicine helps treat your diabetes by keeping your blood sugar under control.
Semaglutide is meant to be taken as part of a complete diabetes care programme that should include exercise, a healthy diet, and regular monitoring of blood sugar levels.
Use Semaglutide exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label. Do not use more or less than instructed by your doctor.
This medicine is to be injected subcutaneously (into the fatty layer under the skin, usually in the thigh, upper arm or abdomen area) at any time of the day, with or without meals. Try to administer it at the same time each day.
How to use Semaglutide pen:
- This medicine comes with a device called an injection pen. Prepare the injection pen as instructed by your doctor or nurse.
- Attach the needle to the injection pen. Ensure that the needle is screwed on securely.
- Dial the correct dose.
- Swab the injection site area with alcohol.
- Hold the injection pen with your thumb over the injection button.
- Press the injection pen against your body using the subcutaneous (under the skin) injection method.
- Use your thumb to push the injection button until it stops. Continue to hold the injection button in that position while slowly counting to 6 to get a full dose.
- Withdraw the injection pen from your body.
- Remove the needle from the pen. Never store the injection pen with the needle attached.
- Reset your pen as instructed by your healthcare provider.
- Throw away the used needle. Recap your pen.
- Use a new needle in every administration of this medicine.
Remember to rotate the injection sites. Do not inject into the same area all the time. New injection sites should be at least 1.5 inches away from the previous injection site. Do not inject near the navel (belly button).
Do not share your Semaglutide injection with anyone else.
The dose of this medicine will be decided by your doctor. Your doctor will advise you on the course of your treatment depending on your response to the medication.
Semaglutide must be administered regularly for it to be effective. Continue using this medicine even when you feel better. Do not stop using it unless instructed by the doctor.
If you miss a dose and it is 5 days or less since you have used Semaglutide, use it as soon as you remember and return to your normal dosing schedule.
If it is more than 5 days since you have used this medicine, skip the missed dose and return to your normal dosing schedule.
DO NOT double a dose to make up for a missed dose.
If you often forget to use your medicine, let your doctor and pharmacist know.
Alert your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- medullary thyroid carcinoma (a type of thyroid cancer)
- multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome 2 (a rare inherited condition that involves the endocrine system)
- type 1 diabetes (long-term condition in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin)
- diabetic ketoacidosis (complication of diabetes characterised by high level of blood acid in your body)
as this medicine may not be suitable for you.
Do not use Semaglutide if you are pregnant or planning to have a baby soon. If you become pregnant while being treated with this medicine, alert your doctor immediately. Semaglutide may cause harm to your unborn child. You must use proven birth control methods while taking this medicine.
Do not use this medicine if you are breastfeeding.
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- history of allergic reaction with similar medicines
- history of pancreatitis (inflammation of pancreas)
- history of visual problems related to diabetes
- severe liver disease
- severe kidney disease
Semaglutide is not an insulin and must not be used as a substitute for insulin.
Keep your appointments with your doctor. Your doctor needs to monitor your condition and check your response to the medication regularly. Routine tests (e.g. blood sugar, cholesterol, kidney function) may be done while you are being treated with this medicine. Your doctor will advise you about how often you will need to have these tests.
If you are using Semaglutide with other types of oral anti-diabetic medicines, you may have been warned about hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar). This medicine itself does not usually cause hypoglycaemia, but it may increase the hypoglycaemic effect of other oral anti-diabetic medicines.
How do I know if I am experiencing hypoglycaemia?
Hypoglycaemia is the medical term for low blood sugar. Symptoms of hypoglycaemia include dizziness, tremor, shaky hands, feeling hungry, weak or confused, sweating. These signs are your body’s way of warning you that your blood sugar level is low.
It is important to recognise these symptoms and get relief for hypoglycaemia quickly, as the hypoglycaemia may worsen.
What should I do if I am experiencing hypoglycaemia?
Always carry some glucose tablets (also known as dextrose tablets) with you. Take 15 grams of glucose tablet at first sign of hypoglycaemia, wait for 15 minutes and re-check your blood sugar level. If you are not feeling better or if your blood sugar level is still low (less than 4 mmol/L or 70 mg/dL), take another 15 grams of glucose tablet.
If you don’t have glucose tablets, you may take any of the following:
- 1/2 cup (120 mL) of juice or regular soda (not diet)
- 1 tablespoon of sugar, honey, or corn syrup
- hard candies, jellybeans, or gumdrops (not sugar-free)
Get medical help should symptoms did not improve after second serving.
Semaglutide may cause hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar) and dizziness. If affected, do not drive or take part in any activity in which you need to be alert.
Other side effects include any of the following: nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, indigestion, constipation, stomach wind, decreased appetite, and tiredness.
Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience any of the following:
- rashes, breathlessness, swelling of the face, eyes, mouth or throat
- severe pain in the stomach or back that does not go away
- changes in vision e.g. blurred vision
- hoarseness, lump or swelling in the neck, trouble swallowing, shortness of breath
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking or using any of these medicines:
- other medicines for diabetes e.g. insulin, glimepiride, glipizide, glibenclamide
- levothyroxine (medicine for thyroid disease)
- paracetamol (medicine for mild pain or fever)
This list does not include all medicines that may interact with Semaglutide.
Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicines, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
It is important for you to maintain a healthy diet and weight in order to help keep your diabetes under control.
It may be helpful to discuss your diet plan with your doctor or dietitian to manage your weight and blood sugar levels.
If you have not yet opened it, store Semaglutide in a refrigerator between 2-8°C.
Once opened, this medicine may be stored at room temperature between 15-30°C or in a refrigerator between 2-8°C away from direct sunlight.
Do NOT freeze otherwise it will become less effective and should not be used.
Keep the pen capped when not in use, away from light, excessive heat or direct sunlight, and from the reach of children.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.