Diabetes Management

Ozempic Might Enhance the Danger of Eye Illness – Diabetes Day by day

The world’s buzziest diabetes drug could speed up the development of diabetic retinopathy, in keeping with a latest research offered at a convention of eye well being consultants.

The outcomes, from a brand new unpublished research, had been offered on the latest annual assembly of the American Society of Retina Specialists. They confirmed that GLP-1 receptor agonists, a household of medication that features semaglutide (Ozempic, Rybelsus), dulaglutide (Trulicity), and liraglutide (Victoza), enhance the chance of creating extreme ranges of diabetic eye illness.

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is a standard complication of sort 1 and kind 2 diabetes.

The eyes and retina have many small blood vessels which are very delicate to excessive blood sugar ranges. An excessive amount of glucose within the bloodstream, the defining characteristic of diabetes, may cause these little blood vessels to swell and burst. When it will get dangerous, the retina begins to develop scar tissue and new, dysfunctional blood vessels, each of which obscure imaginative and prescient.

Diabetic retinopathy could be very treatable — which is why annual diabetic eye exams are so important — however within the worst circumstances, the situation can result in declining eyesight and even blindness. Early therapy focuses on way of life selections (like nutritious diet and train) and optimizing diabetes remedy, but when these adjustments aren’t sufficient, ophthalmologists can deal with the eyes straight with injectable medicine and lasers.

One of the simplest ways to stop diabetic retinopathy, in keeping with the American Diabetes Association, is to get your blood sugar, blood strain, and ldl cholesterol beneath management. So it’s stunning that Ozempic and related medicine, which have highly effective metabolic advantages, may make diabetic retinopathy extra prone to happen.

Ozempic Advantages and Aspect Results

Generally it’d seem to be Ozempic (semaglutide) could be too good to be true. The injectable drug is a game changer for weight loss and one of the vital efficient sort 2 diabetes medicines ever developed, resulting in dramatic enhancements in blood sugar, blood strain, and levels of cholesterol. Different medicine in the identical class, together with the GLP-1/GIP receptor agonist tirzepatide (Mounjaro), boast among the identical perks.

However there’s additionally little doubt that Ozempic has many side effects. A really excessive share of customers expertise some measure of gastrointestinal distress; different signs vary from the damaging however uncommon (together with latest studies of stomach paralysis) to the purely beauty (together with hair loss and the so-called “Ozempic face”).

Semaglutide, the lively ingredient in Ozempic, is highly effective stuff. It has a formidable impact on diabetes threat components, however we shouldn’t be shocked that it’d contain another physique adjustments, too.

Ozempic and Diabetic Retinopathy

As reported by Medscape, the brand new outcomes had been offered by Ehsan Rahimy, MD, a professor of ophthalmology at Stanford College. Dr. Rahimy shared the highest takeaways from an unpublished retrospective research of greater than 13,500 adults with sort 2 diabetes who had been utilizing both GLP-1 receptor agonists or SGLT2 inhibitors. (SGLT2 inhibitors, one other class of newer diabetes medicine, can have related results to GLP-1s, together with decrease glucose, weight reduction, and coronary heart well being safety.)

Researchers discovered that these taking a GLP-1 had been about 50 p.c extra prone to progress to both proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR) or diabetic macular edema (DME), each of that are severe levels of diabetic eye illness. They had been additionally extra prone to require interventions resembling injections and laser photocoagulation.

This isn’t the primary proof of a connection between semaglutide (Ozempic) and diabetic retinopathy. In accordance with Pharmacy Times, one of many pivotal research of semaglutide discovered an elevated threat of diabetic retinopathy, and the U.S. Meals and Drug Administration (FDA) has reported {that a} considerably greater share of Ozempic customers have DR as compared with customers of different GLP-1 receptor agonists.

The proof isn’t unanimous. One large study of semaglutide discovered no such threat, and one other study offered on the latest convention of retina specialists discovered that albiglutide, beforehand offered as Tanzeum and now not obtainable, is the one GLP-1 receptor agonist that aggravates diabetic retinopathy.

If the connection is actual, it appears doable that Ozempic’s unbelievable effectiveness explains its unfavorable impact on the eyes. Opposite to all expectations, fast enchancment in glucose management can really worsen diabetic retinopathy. That is known as “early worsening,” as a result of the eyes will worsen earlier than the foremost long-term advantages of higher blood sugar management turn into evident.

A dialogue of the problem by consultants from the American Academy of Ophthalmology instructed that early worsening from Ozempic is each “temporary and manageable.” However the consultants assert that this impact must be given elevated scrutiny from eye medical doctors and will name for extra aggressive eye well being screening.


It’s doable that semaglutide (Ozempic), and maybe different GLP-1 receptor agonists, can irritate diabetic eye illness and speed up the development of diabetic retinopathy. This seems to happen even though such medicine sometimes ship spectacular outcomes (together with decrease blood sugar, weight reduction, and improved blood strain) that ought to enhance eye well being.

Specialists imagine that the advantages outweigh the dangers. However should you’re taking Ozempic and have any historical past of diabetic retinopathy, or different issues concerning the well being of your eyes, it could be sensible to share your issues along with your physician or ophthalmologist. They could advise you to schedule a diabetic eye screening to observe the impact that your highly effective remedy is having in your eye well being.

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