Can Ozempic Cause Joint Pain: Explanation & Treatment

Learn everything you need to know about whether Ozempic can cause joint pain and what research says about joint pain on weight loss medications.

Table of Contents
  • What is Ozempic?
  • Can Ozempic Cause Joint Pain? Exploring Side Effects
  • Do Other Weight Loss Medications Cause Joint Pain?
  • Why Do I Have Joint Pain and Should I See a Doctor About It?
  • Can Ozempic Help With Joint Pain?
  • Learn More About Ozempic and Weight Loss

If you've recently started or are considering Ozempic as an option for weight management, it's essential to understand its potential side effects to make an informed decision.

Ozempic, along with other semaglutide-based medications, offers significant benefits for treating diabetes and obesity. Like any medication, Ozempic can have side effects, and some patients have reported experiencing joint pain. In this guide, we'll explore potential side effects and delve into whether Ozempic has been shown to cause joint pain so you can best navigate your treatment options.

What is Ozempic?

Ozempic, an FDA-approved medication often prescribed for adults with type 2 diabetes or to help with weight loss, contains the active ingredient semaglutide. Semaglutide facilitates weight loss by mimicking the body's glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptors which stimulate insulin secretion and suppress appetite.

Ozempic promotes weight loss by slowing down the stomach's natural digestive process, prolonging feelings of fullness after eating. This helps individuals consume less food throughout the day.

Ozempic can serve as a highly effective weight management tool for:

  1. Individuals grappling with obesity (BMI > 30), or
  2. Individuals who are overweight (BMI > 27) along with related health conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol.

Can Ozempic Cause Joint Pain? Exploring Side Effects

The most common side effects of Ozempic are gastrointestinal. Patients generally report stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation (1). Less common, but serious, reported side effects include thyroid tumors or cancer, pancreatitis, kidney or gallbladder injury, and hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) (1). 

There have been some reports of joint pain in patients on Ozempic. However, there is no evidence to support a link between Ozempic and joint pain (2). Symptoms of joint pain may be due to something else, such as an underlying medical condition. 

If you are experiencing joint pain while taking Ozempic, it's essential to consult with your healthcare provider for proper evaluation and guidance. They can help determine what your joint pain is related to as there may be an underlying medical condition that should be addressed.

Do Other Weight Loss Medications Cause Joint Pain?

Some weight loss medications have been associated with severe joint pain, muscle pain, and muscle spasms. These are the dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors (i.e., sitagliptin, vildagliptin), which are in a different class of medications than GLP-1s (3). For patients on DPP-4 inhibitors experiencing joint pain, their symptoms generally resolve within a month after discontinuing the medication (4).

Why Do I Have Joint Pain & Should I See a Doctor About It?

Joint pain can be related to a variety of root causes. Arthritis, both rheumatoid and osteoarthritis, are common suspects. Issues with the thyroid, viral infections, bone disease, or fibromyalgia may also be to blame. Talk with your healthcare provider if you’re experiencing joint pain after starting Ozempic. Your provider will collect a family history, perform a joint examination, and likely run some blood tests to look at your inflammatory markers and antibody markers. 

If you’re experiencing joint pain in your hands, hips, and knees, you may be experiencing a type of arthritis known as osteoarthritis (OA). OA is a type of “wear and tear” arthritis that develops over time as we age. OA risk factors include joint injury or overuse, increasing age, female sex, genetics and obesity (5).  

Can Ozempic Help With Joint Pain?

Ozempic can be an excellent tool for those looking to lose a drastic amount of weight safely without causing damage to your joints, potentially even relieving added pressure.

Extra weight adds more stress on the joints, especially weight-bearing ones such as the hips and knees. The extra load has been theorized to hasten the breakdown of cartilage, elevating the risk of developing osteoarthritis (OA) in these areas. Weight loss is one of the best things you can do to relieve joint pain due to OA.

One study showed that a reduction of at least 10% in body weight achieved through a combination of dietary adjustments and physical activity has been linked to a 50% decrease in pain scores among overweight or obese individuals with knee osteoarthritis (OA) over an 18-month period (6).

Furthermore, lab studies have linked GLP-1 receptor agonists to anti-inflammatory effects. GLP-1 therapies could play a role in relieving  joint pain as it is largely tied to inflammation of joint tissues. Researchers are evaluating its potential to benefit patients with osteoarthritis (7).

So if you suffer from OA, being on Ozempic to help with your weight loss may be one of the best things for your joint pain. 

Learn More About Ozempic and Weight Loss

If you want to learn more about GLP-1 medications or see if you might be eligible for medication-assisted weight loss, our team of medical professionals and obesity medicine experts is here to help.

Mochi Health is a comprehensive obesity medicine practice with access to 1-on-1 provider support from licensed physicians, 24/7 customer support, direct provider messaging, and medications delivered to your door. Find out if you're eligible to join here.


  1. Ozempic® Side effects: Ozempic® (SEMAGLUTIDE) injection. Ozempic® Side Effects | Ozempic® (semaglutide) injection. (2023, August). 
  2. Clinical Review Report: Semaglutide (Ozempic): (Novo Nordisk Canada Inc.): Indication: For the treatment of adult patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus to improve glycemic control, in combination with metformin (second-line treatment), and in combination with metformin and sulfonylurea (third-line treatment) [Internet]. Ottawa (ON): Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health; 2019 Jun. Results. Available from:
  3. Tarapués, M., Cereza, G., & Figueras, A. (2013). Association of musculoskeletal complaints and gliptin use: review of spontaneous reports. Pharmacoepidemiology and drug safety, 22(10), 1115–1118.
  4. FDA Drug Safety Communication: FDA warns that DPP-4 inhibitors for type 2 diabetes may cause severe joint pain. (n.d.). Retrieved from 
  5. Osteoarthritis. (2023). Retrieved from 
  6. Messier, S. P., Mihalko, S. L., Legault, C., Miller, G. D., Nicklas, B. J., DeVita, P., Beavers, D. P., Hunter, D. J., Lyles, M. F., Eckstein, F., Williamson, J. D., Carr, J. J., Guermazi, A., & Loeser, R. F. (2013). Effects of intensive diet and exercise on knee joint loads, inflammation, and clinical outcomes among overweight and obese adults with knee osteoarthritis: the IDEA randomized clinical trial. JAMA, 310(12), 1263–1273.
  7. Meurot, C., Jacques, C., Martin, C., Sudre, L., Breton, J., Rattenbach, R., Bismuth, K., & Berenbaum, F. (2022). Targeting the GLP-1/GLP-1R axis to treat osteoarthritis: A new opportunity? Journal of Orthopaedic Translation, 32, 121–129.

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