Can Ozempic Cause Bowel Blockage? Unveiling the Truth

Can Ozempic Cause Bowel Blockage

Ozempic, a brand name for the medication semaglutide, is a prescription drug commonly used in the treatment of type 2 diabetes. It works by acting like a hormone that helps control blood sugar and makes the stomach empty slower, which can help people lose weight.

Because more people are using it to control weight and blood sugar, there are now questions about how safe it is and if it has any side effects, especially on the stomach and intestines.

In today’s article, we’ll explore the potential side effects of Ozempic on the digestive system, with a special focus on whether it can cause bowel blockage. We’ll examine recent studies and expert opinions to provide a comprehensive overview of its safety profile.

Yes, Ozempic can cause bowel blockage. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a new warning for people taking Ozempic about a potential risk.

The FDA has received over 8,500 reports of stomach problems related to drugs like Ozempic and Wegovy. Out of these, 33 reports mention ileus, a condition where the bowels are blocked. This includes two cases where people died from taking medicines with semaglutide. Semaglutide is the main part of these weight loss drugs like Ozempic, Wegovy, and another one called Mounjaro.

The drugs’ labels now include a warning about the risk of bowel blockage for people taking Ozempic or other semaglutide-containing medicines. However, it’s important to note that the FDA hasn’t confirmed a direct link between Ozempic and ileus (bowel blockage). We need more studies.

Also Read: Does Ozempic Make You Pee Out Sugar?

How long can Ozempic cause bowel blockage?

It’s hard to say right now how long bowel blockage could last if it’s related to taking Ozempic. Here’s why we’re not sure yet:

1. It’s a New Issue: Doctors and scientists have recently noticed that the medicine Ozempic might cause issues with bowel blockage. They’re still trying to learn more about it, which means they need to study it more to understand what’s happening.

2. Everyone’s Different: Just like some foods can give some people headaches but not others, Ozempic can affect people differently. If Ozempic causes a bowel blockage in some, how long it lasts can vary depending on the person’s health and how their body responds to the medicine.

So, if you’re taking Ozempic and start having symptoms of bowel blockage, contact your doctor immediately. They’ll help figure out how to treat it and how long the problem might last.

What are the symptoms of bowel blockage?

symptoms of bowel blockage

Bowel blockage is a serious condition that requires immediate medical attention. The symptoms of bowel blockage may vary from person to person, but they typically include:

  • Abdominal Pain and Cramping: This is often the first sign of a bowel blockage. The pain may come and go and vary in intensity.
  • Nausea and Vomiting: If your digestive tract is blocked, your body may try to expel the contents above the blockage, leading to nausea and vomiting.
  • Inability to Pass Gas or Stool: A clear indicator of a potential blockage is the inability to pass gas or have a bowel movement, which can cause further discomfort and potential complications.
  • Bloating and Swelling: A blocked bowel can cause your abdomen to become bloated or swollen. This may be accompanied by a feeling of fullness or tightness.
  • Changes in Bowel Movements: Experiencing diarrhea or very thin stools can also be a sign of a blockage in your intestines.

If you or someone you know exhibits any of these symptoms, it’s crucial to seek medical attention promptly. Early diagnosis and treatment are vital to prevent more severe complications.

Read more: 7 Second Bowel Release Morning Ritual: A Complete Guide

Why does Ozempic cause bowel blockage?

The mechanism by which Ozempic can lead to bowel blockage is complex and rooted in its interaction with the body’s digestive and endocrine systems. A few reasons why this bad effect happens are:

1. Activation of GLP-1 Receptors: Ozempic works by mimicking the action of the glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), a hormone involved in blood sugar regulation. This hormone also slows gastric emptying, which can lead to an increased risk of intestinal obstruction, especially if there is any pre-existing narrowing or blockage.

2. Altered Intestinal Motility: The drug’s impact on the smooth muscle of the gastrointestinal tract can lead to changes in intestinal motility. This change in movement can lead to blockages in the intestines.

3. Inflammatory Response: Some people might find that drugs like Ozempic can cause swelling in their stomach area. This swelling can make the inside of their intestines narrower, which might block them up.

4. Dehydration Risk: Ozempic can make it harder for you to digest food, which may cause you to get dehydrated. This can make your stools harder and more difficult to pass, increasing the chances of getting a bowel blockage.

It’s important for doctors to know how Ozempic works, especially if a patient has had stomach problems before. Patients should drink plenty of water and tell their doctor if their stomach feels upset.

Managing risks when on Ozempic

When using any medicine, like Ozempic, it’s important to watch closely and talk openly with doctors. For those taking Ozempic, there are ways to lower the chance of bad side effects, particularly bowel blockage:

  • Regular Check-Ups: Schedule regular appointments with your doctor to monitor your body’s response to Ozempic. These check-ups can help catch any potential issues early before they become serious.
  • Hydration and Diet: Eating lots of fruits, veggies, and whole grains and drinking plenty of water helps avoid constipation, which can lead to bowel blockage.
  • Recognizing Symptoms Early: Being aware of the symptoms of bowel blockage, as mentioned above, and reporting them to your doctor as soon as they appear. Early intervention is key to preventing more severe complications.
  • Your Health History: Tell your doctor if you’ve had stomach problems or surgeries before. People who’ve been sick with these issues or had surgeries might face more risks from taking medicines like Ozempic.
  • Hydration Supplements: For some patients, especially those prone to dehydration, doctors might recommend electrolyte supplements to ensure proper hydration, reducing the risk of constipation and subsequent bowel blockage.
  • Learning: Know how Ozempic works, what side effects it might have, and why changing your habits is important. When patients understand this, they’re better at following advice and saying if they feel odd.

When to seek a doctor

If you’re taking Ozempic and experiencing any discomfort or symptoms indicative of bowel blockage, it’s crucial to get medical help right away. Here’s when you should go to your doctor:

  • Persistent Symptoms: If symptoms of bowel blockage, like severe abdominal pain, inability to pass gas or stool, nausea, or vomiting, persist without relief.
  • Increased Pain: Any sudden or significantly increased pain in the abdominal area.
  • Dehydration Signs: Symptoms of dehydration, including dry mouth, excessive thirst, or reduced urine output, especially if you’re having difficulty keeping fluids down.
  • Change in Symptoms: If you notice any new or worsening symptoms that weren’t present before.
  • Preventive Care: Even in the absence of symptoms, regular check-ups are advisable to monitor your health while on Ozempic.

Taking quick action and dealing with these issues right away can help reduce the risks of Ozempic and keep you healthy.


It’s important to know the risks of taking medications like Ozempic, especially the risk of getting a blocked gut. If you’re thinking about starting or are already on this treatment, eating healthy, drinking lots of water, and regular doctor visits can really help lower these risks.

It’s very important for people to pay attention to any changes in their bodies and talk openly with doctors to make sure they get a safe and effective plan for treatment. The main goal is to use Ozempic for diabetes or to lose weight while also keeping the digestive system healthy.


Is it common for Ozempic to cause bowel blockage?

No, it is not common, but it can occur, and patients should be aware of the potential risk, mainly if they already have a history of GI issues or are taking other medications that affect the digestive system.

What should I do if I’m experiencing constipation while taking Ozempic?

It’s recommended to first try the management strategies mentioned above (diet, hydration, and exercise). If constipation persists or becomes severe, consult with your doctor for personalized advice and potential adjustments to your medication regimen.

Are there any specific groups of patients more at risk of developing bowel blockage from Ozempic?

Yes, patients with a history of gastrointestinal (GI) diseases, like inflammatory bowel disease, or those who have had GI surgeries, are at a higher risk of developing bowel blockages when taking Ozempic. And, those with chronic dehydration issues or who are on medications that affect intestinal motility may also face an increased risk. 




The information provided in this article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Don’t ignore professional medical advice or put off seeking it just because of something you read here. Although we aim to offer precise and current information, we do not guarantee its completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability, or availability for any purpose. Using the information in this document is at your own risk. We are not responsible for any losses or damages caused by our content.

Sharing is Caring

Leave a Comment

Related Articles