Ozempic and alcohol: can I drink while taking Ozempic?

If you have recently been prescribed or started taking Ozempic and are drinking alcohol, you may wonder if combining these drugs is healthy, advisable, or even safe.

In this article we will explore what happens when you drink alcohol while taking Ozempic, what are the potential side effects and how you can drink alcohol safely while taking Ozempic.

What happens when you drink alcohol while taking Ozempic?

Drinking alcohol while taking any prescription medication can be confusing, so always talk to your doctor if you’re unsure how your medications might react to something you’re about to drink.

If you choose to drink alcohol while taking Ozempic, a few things may happen that you should be aware of:

  • If you take Ozempic and are on insulin, you are more prone to low blood sugar
  • Alcohol is known to affect blood sugar levels
  • Alcohol can impair your judgment
  • Alcohol over time increases the risk of high blood pressure, stroke, liver disease, and heart and kidney disease, which are also complications of diabetes
  • Alcohol may increase the side effects of Ozempic such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and appetite suppression

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends no more than one drink per day for women and no more than two drinks per day for men.

If you are or suspect you are struggling with alcohol dependence, contact your doctor immediately for treatment options or call the 24-hour Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Helpline.

Effect of Ozempic and alcohol on blood sugar levels

It should be noted that Ozempic and alcohol are powerful substances that can cause unwanted side effects in people living with diabetes.

One of these side effects is low blood sugar. Alcohol is known to cause low blood sugar, sometimes dangerously, in people taking insulin.

Ozempic, while not causing acute low blood sugar, does lower blood sugar levels over time.

The combination of alcohol and Ozempic (not to mention you’re also taking blood sugar lowering insulin) will cause your blood sugar to drop.

It’s important to be aware of the symptoms of low blood sugar, which may be harder to spot if you’re drinking. They include:

  • Trembling
  • Fast heart rate
  • Shallow breathing
  • Nervousness
  • Weakness
  • Tiredness
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • If severe, loss of consciousness

Left untreated, very low blood sugar can develop into a diabetic coma, which is life threatening and requires immediate medical attention.

Should I drink alcohol while taking Ozempic?

If you don’t currently drink alcohol, there’s no reason to start. There is no “recommended” amount of alcohol someone should drink.

However, there is no direct drug interaction between the consumption of alcohol and the use of Ozempic. Many people taking Ozempic enjoy alcohol.

If you drink moderately and would like to have a drink from time to time, the fact that you use Ozempic will not be harmful to you.

It’s important to drink only in moderation and watch out for low blood sugar.

How to drink safely when you have diabetes

There are additional guidelines for drinking alcohol with diabetes, including:

  • Never drink alcohol when your blood sugar is low
  • Don’t drink heavy alcohol when you have a lot of insulin on board (IOB)
  • Drink alcoholic beverages alternately with water to stay hydrated
  • Stay with people who know you have diabetes
  • Don’t drink alcohol on an empty stomach
  • Always have low blood sugar snacks with you (glucose tablets or juice)
  • Check your blood sugar levels before, during and after drinking alcohol, especially before going to bed
  • If you drink in the evening, have a snack before going to bed (something with fat and protein will stabilize your blood sugar for the night)
  • Wear a continuous glucose monitor (CGM)
  • Wear a medical ID bracelet in case of emergency
  • Always let someone know where you are going and when you expect to return

Frequently asked questions

How much alcohol can you drink while taking Ozempic?

Binge drinking is never recommended, especially when taking diabetes medications that can cause low blood sugar, such as Ozempic.

However, in moderation (1 drink per day for women and no more than 2 drinks per day for men) drinking alcohol is fine for most people taking Ozempic. Talk to your doctor if you have questions or concerns.

How long can I drink alcohol after taking Ozempic?

Unlike insulin, Ozempic does not cause acute low blood sugar and does not respond to food or drink (including alcohol) the way insulin does. What you eat or drink before or after taking Ozempic will not change its effectiveness.

However, never drink alcohol on an empty stomach or when your blood sugar is low.

Read more: Foods to avoid while taking Ozempic

Does Ozempic make you not want alcohol?

The answer to this question is still uncertain. However, studies have shown that rats given glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) agonists, such as Ozempic, show less cravings for alcohol than rats not given the drug. Similar results were also found in mice and GLP-1 agonists for opioids, nicotine and cocaine.

This has yet to be fully explored in humans, but the link between Ozempic and addiction treatment could be a promising finding in the months and years ahead.

In one clinical trial, participants diagnosed with obesity who received GLP-1 agonist treatment and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) drank significantly less alcohol than those who only took a placebo along with therapy.

The researchers also scanned the participants’ brains as they viewed pictures of alcoholic beverages and found that those who took GLP-1 agonists, the areas of their brains that were additionally involved brightened to a much lesser extent than those who took GLP-1 agonists. they were not on medication

Anecdotally, doctors report that their patients almost completely lose the taste of alcohol after starting Ozempic. If this is your experience, it’s not abnormal.

Will I be able to feel low blood sugar if I take Ozempic and drink alcohol?

Properly detecting low blood sugar when drinking alcohol is a problem for many people with diabetes, as low blood sugar and feeling drunk or intoxicated can be very similar sensations.

Ozempic can complicate matters further as nausea, dizziness, weakness, and vomiting are side effects of Ozempic, but they can also occur if you have low blood sugar or have simply drunk too much.

That’s why it’s so important to never drink too much, monitor your blood sugar all the time you drink, and always have fast-acting snacks such as glucose tablets or juice with you if you drink.


If you have recently started taking Ozempic, your doctor may advise you not to drink until your body is used to the medicine and your new insulin level has stabilized (if you are taking insulin), which may take several weeks to a month.

However, after taking Ozempic for a while, drinking alcohol will not have a direct interaction with this commonly prescribed diabetes medicine.

The short-term effects of drinking alcohol and taking Ozempic include an increased likelihood of low blood sugar, so be careful.

The long-term effects of drinking alcohol include kidney and liver failure and an increased risk of stroke and heart disease, which are also complications of diabetes.

Talk to your doctor if you have questions or concerns about taking Ozempic and drinking alcohol, and seek help if you struggle with alcohol dependence.

Read more: Can Ozempic Help You Lose Weight?

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