Skip to content

Women Reveal "Crazy" Side Effects After Quitting Ozempic

They stopped due to surprise pregnancies, and the ensuing side effects were strange.

While Ozempic isn't approved for weight loss (only for type 2 diabetes), it is often prescribed off-label to help people shed stubborn pounds. For some patients, however, the cons end up outweighing the pros. The side effects of drugs like Ozempic have proven debilitating for some, with people reporting severe gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms and even a disgust with food. But one of the more interesting (and unexpected) reported ramifications of weight-loss medications has been surprise pregnancies.

RELATED: Ozempic Patients Reveal Major Side Effect When You Stop Taking It.

Aptly named "Ozempic babies," these pregnancies may occur due to glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) agonists (the class of medication Ozempic falls under) interfering with birth control pills, Neha Lalani, MD, an endocrinologist at Bluebonnet Diabetes & Endocrinology in Austin, Texas, told Healthline. This is due to the fact that GLP-1s slow stomach emptying, which interferes with the absorption of oral contraceptives.

Weight loss itself can also affect ovulation and fertility by balancing hormones and improving insulin resistance, Lora Shahine, MD, reproductive endocrinologist and associate clinical professor at the University of Washington, told The Washington Post.

But what happens to someone who gets pregnant while taking the medication? Although data is limited regarding the effects of GLP-1s on pregnancy, experts recommend discontinuing Ozempic use when pregnant.

Animal studies suggest these drugs can lead to poor pregnancy outcomes, per Ozempic's prescribing information—and Novo Nordisk, the maker of Ozempic, also warns on its website that "it is not known if Ozempic will harm your unborn baby or passes into your breast milk." (The company recommends discontinuing the medication two months before a planned pregnancy.)

In general, patients are weaned off of GLP-1s in an attempt to minimize potential side effects of going off the medications, per However, women on Ozempic who become pregnant unexpectedly are quitting cold turkey—and the side effects have been intense.

RELATED: Ex-Ozempic Patient Shares the Side Effect That Won't Go Away.

One patient, Amanda Brierley, 42, was taking semaglutide—the active ingredient in both Ozempic and its sister drug, Wegovy—to treat polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and insulin resistance, USA Today reported. The medication prompted her menstrual cycle to become regular again, and after nine months, she found out she was pregnant.

She told the outlet this was quite surprising as doctors told her she wouldn't be able to conceive due to a previous high-risk pregnancy.

As a result, she read up on animal studies and stopped taking semaglutide immediately. But while women often expect appetite changes while pregnant, Brierley wasn't prepared for her experience.

"I was a human garbage can," she told USA Today. "And I didn't want sweets or anything. I wanted real food, like meats, cheese and other rich protein, which was completely different from my first pregnancy. I was like a caveman. I couldn't stop. It was crazy."

RELATED: Doctor Reveals Surprising New Ozempic Side Effect: "I Noticed Something Really Odd."

Brierley ended up putting on 65 pounds during her pregnancy. For comparison, during her first pregnancy, she gained 19 pounds.

In a Reddit discussion surrounding Ozempic babies, one woman said she "immediately quit taking" both Ozempic and metformin. While her pregnancy was "great," she did put on between 35 and 40 pounds.

Another woman, Deb Oliviara, 32, told USA Today that she has similar symptoms to Brierley, gaining 20 pounds in two months despite maintaining her healthy habits.

"In a way, it was very clear that it wasn't just from the pregnancy because I've been pregnant six times, so this is not new to me," Oliviara said. "I understand how that normally feels, but it was an insatiable hunger that I have never felt in my life."

In response to Best Life's request for comment, a spokesperson for Novo Nordisk said there is limited data on pregnancy in relation to these treatments.

"Pregnancy or intention to become pregnant were exclusion criteria in our trials with semaglutide in both obesity and type 2 diabetes. Therefore, there are limited clinical trial data with semaglutide use in pregnant women," the spokesperson said. "However, information related to pregnancy appears in Section 8.1 & 8.3 of the Prescribing Information for both Ozempic and Wegovy."

RELATED: Doctor Says Ozempic Raises Certain Health Risks by Up to 900%.

Weight gain during pregnancy varies depending on several factors, but what doctors are trying to determine is how Ozempic comes into play. Currently, there aren't any studies evaluating this relationship, Allison Rodgers, MD, OB-GYN and reproductive endocrinologist at Fertility Centers of Illinois, told USA Today.

"Do weight loss medications suppress some pregnancy symptoms that then return more intensely when a person gets off of them? Or does pregnancy worsen withdrawal symptoms?" Rodgers said. "It's really hard to tease out."

Rodgers told the newspaper that it's important to balance the body's needs and avoid overeating, as putting on too much weight during pregnancy can present additional health concerns.

"Regardless of whether you just stopped Ozempic, it's important to take care of yourself while pregnant—make sure you get proper nutrition and don't have too little or too much weight gain," Rodgers urged. "And if you are diabetic, follow up with your doctor to switch to a safer medication like metformin or insulin as soon as you find out you're pregnant."

Best Life offers the most up-to-date information from top experts, new research, and health agencies, but our content is not meant to be a substitute for professional guidance. When it comes to the medication you're taking or any other health questions you have, always consult your healthcare provider directly.

Abby Reinhard
Abby Reinhard is a Senior Editor at Best Life, covering daily news and keeping readers up to date on the latest style advice, travel destinations, and Hollywood happenings. Read more
Filed Under
 •  •  •