The primary function of Ozempic®, also known as semaglutide, is to clone the functions of the glucagon hormone in the body. This glucagon hormone has a direct impact on the development of diabetes, as it helps in controlling the digestion as well as blood sugar and insulin levels. This medication is used in the form of a single-patient-use injection pen, which is disposed of after every single use. Ozempic® fulfills the purpose of improving and maintaining the blood sugar levels in patients that are suffering from type 2 diabetes mellitus. The usage of this medication is limited only to the patients with type 1 diabetes. This medication is not among the first preferences for replacement of glucagon, it is used only when no other medication has a positive impact on the patient’s health.
Medications, being chemical compounds, hold the probability of clashing with other medications. Most health conditions like pregnancy require taking medications regularly. These medications can clash with a person’s existing diabetes medication. Read along to find out more on the impact of Ozempic® on pregnancy.
The lack of studies and experiments with this medication is a reason for limited data on the use of Ozempic® among pregnant women. This makes it difficult to note any adversities in the offspring’s health that could be caused due to the consumption of Ozempic®. There have been a few studies that have been successfully completed, the observations of which form the clinical considerations section. The observations are closely related to poorly controlled pregnancy with diabetes.
The studies on pregnant animals have shown that there could be a few risks associated with the use of this drug during pregnancy. The associated risks can cause damage to the health of the fetus as well as the mother. Ozempic®, however, must be introduced into the body only when the potential benefits are heavier than the potential risks.
The dosage amounts that could be safe during pregnancy were tested by administering the medication in animals. The doses were well within the maximum recommended human dose (MHRD). These studies were conducted among pregnant animals, namely, rats, rabbits, and cynomolgus monkeys.
The observations, however, showed a few structural abnormalities and alterations in the growth cycle of the fetus for studies conducted with the rats. In studies that were conducted using the rabbits and cynomolgus monkeys, the observations were similar including skeletal abnormalities and a few cases of early pregnancy losses.
Multiple studies have been conducted with a varied dosage of the Ozempic® medication. These studies were done using rats, rabbits, and cynomolgus monkeys. The drug was injected in these animals and conclusions were drawn from the changes observed in their behavior.
A combined embryofetal development and fertility study was chosen to be conducted using the pregnant rats. Subcutaneous doses of 0.01, 0.03 and 0.09 mg/kg/day (0.1-, 0.4-, and 1.1-fold the MRHD) were introduced in female rats 2 weeks prior to the mating and 4 weeks prior to mating in the males. Another dose was administered in the organogenesis period until gestation day 17. Notable observations included a reduction in the weight gain and food consumption in the parental rats. The fetus noted a slow-paced growth, and some were born with skeletal and visceral abnormalities.
In another study, conducted using pregnant cynomolgus monkeys had similar observations. The dosage was different. Doses of 0.015, 0.075, and 0.15 mg/kg twice weekly (1.0-, 5.2-, and 14.9-fold the MRHD) were administered throughout organogenesis, gestation day 16 to 50. The observations followed the similar lane of loss in food consumption and reduction in body weight.
Embryofetal development study was the one conducted using pregnant rabbits. Doses of 0.0010, 0.0025 or 0.0075 mg/kg/day (0.03-, 0.3-, and 2.3-fold the MRHD) were administered through organogenesis and during gestation day 6 to 19. The observations included a reduction in food consumption and loss of weight. Early pregnancy losses were more common among rabbits. Incidences of skeletal and visceral were irregular.
Consumption of Ozempic® during pregnancy has a range of considerations associated with it. The common risk associated with this medication include a clash with the pregnancy medicines. Diabetic ketoacidosis, pre-term delivery, stillbirth, pre-eclampsia, and spontaneous abortions are a few risks arising from inconsistency in controlling sugar levels during pregnancy. This inconsistency can also have a negative impact on the health of the fetus. Birth defects, macrosomia, and stillbirth are the most noted risks associated with the child.
A number of tests have been run to check breast milk for the presence of Ozempic®; however, none of them have been successful in finding the same. It has not been noted to have any impact on the breastfed infant or to have affected the production of breast milk. The study conducted using rats showed the presence of semaglutide in the milk. This, however, was later noticed to be due to a species-specific difference. Before opting to start dosage for Ozempic® during pregnancy one must always consult a doctor.
Reproductive potential among males and females
Discontinue any dosage of Ozempic® at least two months before a planned pregnancy. The two-month period is essential as Ozempic® has a long washout time.