Endoscopy in patients on Ozempic: What to know

Physicians and physician groups have expressed concern surrounding procedures, especially those involving anesthesia, in patients taking glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor agonist weight loss medications, including Ozempic. 

While encountering retained gastric contents during upper endoscopy is more common in patients taking GLP-1s, there is rarely a risk of abortion or aspiration during endoscopy, according to a May 9 report from Medscape based on new data from Cleveland Clinic. 

Researchers analyzed 1,512 endoscopies performed on patients taking GLP-1s. Of the procedures performed, 142 patients had retained gastric contents. The prevalence of retained gastric contents was higher (11.6%) in the EGDs performed to evaluate upper gastrointestinal symptoms.

Endoscopy was aborted in 30 cases (2%), with 29 patients having retained gastric contents. 

Despite retained gastric contents, the risk of aspiration remained low and was only marginally higher than the rate among the general population. 

Other adverse events in patients on GLP-1s included four cases (0.3%) of intraprocedural hypoxia and one each of abdominal pain, bronchospasm and cholangitis, which were all categorized as mild.

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