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Can I drink alcohol on Wegovy and Ozempic?

This is what happens when you mix the two.

What You Need to Know About Mixing Wegovy or Ozempic and Alcohol | Juniper

If you are thinking about taking a weekly dose of semaglutide — the active ingredient in medications like Wegovy, which is prescribed for weight management in the UK, and Ozempic, which is licensed for diabetes treatment — you might be wondering how this medication will react with other things you consume.

Taking a medication like Wegovy will herald new lifestyle changes to help you lose weight. And, eating nutritious food, exercising and minimising alcohol consumption are the boxes you will need to tick in order to meet your health and fitness goals.

Many people wonder if taking semaglutide means limiting or cancelling out alcohol altogether. It's an important question, as alcohol will affect blood sugar levels — the very thing this medication is working to regulate in your body.

Let's look at alcohol consumption and semaglutide, and the risk factors for excessive alcohol use while on this medication.

Can I drink alcohol with semaglutide?

The short answer is yes: you can drink alcohol while taking semaglutide, both for Wegovy and Ozempic. In the U.S., where Ozempic is created and distributed from, the Food and Drug Administration has not provided any specific disclaimers on mixing Ozempic and alcohol [1].

These medications have been rigorously tested by scientists to ensure lots of things people consume, from chocolate to alcohol, are safe to eat while taking it. But, the science behind the ingredient of semaglutide shows that its effectiveness will be compromised if alcohol consumption is something you do daily, or in excess.

Semaglutide helps to control blood sugar levels and it works with the brain and digestive system to make you feel fuller for longer after meals, reducing your food cravings, and regulating how your body uses sugar and stores fat [2].

The effects of alcohol on blood sugar, in particular hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), can make excessive drinking dangerous for people with type 2 diabetes. Alcohol can also make hypoglycemic medications less effective, meaning those with diabetes need to take extra care when drinking.

Does alcohol raise blood sugar levels?

Alcohol technically does not have sugar itself; however, most alcoholic beverages contain sugar that will cause an increase in blood sugar to occur.

Additionally, alcohol contains “empty calories” that do not provide the body with energy but do have to be processed by the body. This keeps the body from processing sugars, causing blood sugar levels to rise while alcohol is metabolised.

Does alcohol lower blood sugar levels?

While alcohol does cause a spike in blood sugar, it actually usually leads to a drop in sugar after this initial spike. Alcohol changes how the pancreas functions and leads to an increase in insulin while inhibiting the liver’s normal ability to release sugar. This pair of effects leads to an overall drop in blood sugar [3].

Semaglutide isn’t known to interact with alcohol. However, this medication and alcohol both lower your blood sugar, so drinking alcohol during your Wegovy weight loss treatment may cause severe hypoglycemia.

So, with alcohol either raising or lowering our blood sugar levels, semaglutide will not work as well as usual if alcohol is consumed at a higher-than-moderate level.

Alcohol and diabetes medications

The effects of alcohol on blood sugar, in particular hypoglycemia, can make excessive drinking very dangerous for anyone with diabetes. Alcohol can also make hypoglycemic medications less effective, meaning those with diabetes need to take extra care when drinking.

If you have diabetes and are concerned with alcohol and blood sugar interactions, you should plan on checking your levels both before and after drinking. It’s also important to check levels before going to bed to ensure you don’t enter into a period of hypoglycemia while asleep.

How much alcohol can you drink on semaglutide?

If you're on a weight loss journey and are taking Wegovy, it is advised that you limit alcohol in order to help maximise the effectiveness of the medication. Excessive alcohol use has been linked with overeating and may be a risk factor for obesity and weight gain — potentially undoing all your hard work [4].

On the other hand, moderate alcohol consumption is not linked with obesity and weight gain. Rather, if you are trying to monitor how your blood sugar is going, it's best to avoid alcohols that will contribute to spikes.

What will cause a blood sugar spike?

Spikes are dependent on what kind of alcohol you will be drinking; drinking red and white wines, distilled spirits, and low-carb cocktails will stand you in good stead for stabilising your glucose levels.

Your blood sugar will spike with sweet cocktails that contain syrups and sugar. Avoiding alcoholic drinks containing sodas and juices will be the best option for any trying to lose weight.

Moderate alcohol consumption involves having no more than 14 units a week on a regular basis [5]. If you are going to have more than 14 units a week, it's advised you spread your drinking over 3 or more days.

If you drink less than 14 units a week, this is considered low-risk drinking. However, there is no such thing as "risk-free drinking". The NHS has documented that drinking alcohol can contribute to cancers, strokes, heart disease, liver disease, and brain and nervous system damage [5].

In particular, people who are more impulsive may be more likely to overeat during or after drinking alcohol, therefore causing glucose to spike even more and rendering semaglutide relatively ineffective.

Are there any side effects of drinking alcohol with semaglutide?

Yes. Like any medications, both Wegovy and Ozempic have a list of common side effects and alcohol can exacerbate these problems.

These medications can trigger diarrhoea, nausea, and vomiting as your body starts getting used to it, which in turn may cause a significant loss of fluids (dehydration). Excessive alcohol consumption also causes dehydration [6].

Losing fluids can result in extreme fatigue, light-headedness and fainting. And, if dehydration is chronic, it can affect your kidneys and how they function, leading to long-term kidney problems.

Consuming alcohol while taking diabetes medications has its risks. Ozempic and alcohol use should always be monitored and done with your health and well-being in mind. Speak to your healthcare provider if you are worried about your alcohol intake.

Do I have an alcohol use disorder?

Enjoying a drink responsibly is one of life's great pleasures. But, if you think you are relying on alcohol to function during the day and night, you might be suffering from an alcohol use disorder.

An occasional drink is not going to harm you. But, if you are drinking to excess and abusing this great pleasure, you're doing a disservice to your body and mind.

Drinkaware has a useful self-assessment tool to see if you are drinking too much. If you are worried about your alcohol consumption, speak to your healthcare provider as soon as possible.

Where can I find more information about semaglutide and alcohol?

Juniper offers science-backed weight loss treatments that are effective and tailored to suit your and your body's needs.

It's more than just weight loss (there are no diets!): Juniper's Weight Reset Programme takes a holistic look at your body and lifestyle and helps you make informed decisions about how to kickstart a healthier life.

Designed by medical doctors and dietitians, our programme includes tailored treatments, 1:1 health tracking, lifestyle coaching and access to a private community full of women who are on a similar health journey to you as well as access to clinically proven GLP-1 medication in the form of Wegovy.

We set you up to achieve long-term weight loss success and help you make a change in your life.