Podcast: What you need to know about this popular medication and its dental side effects

Tom Viola, RPh.
Tom Viola, RPh.

Dental pharmacology expert Tom Viola, RPh, recently returned to the "Dental Assistant Nation" podcast to discuss the connection between the popular drug Ozempic and its effects on dental health.

While Ozempic and similar medications have been in the news recently for their popularity in helping patients lose weight, the drug was originally approved in 2017 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in adults with type 2 diabetes. However, Ozempic and other similar drugs have skyrocketed in popularity because of their weight-loss possibilities.

So what does that mean for dental professionals? After all, they aren't the ones prescribing Ozempic. Well, even though the prescription isn't coming from the dental office, dentists and dental team members deal with the side effects of taking Ozempic, which can include halitosis.

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In this "Dental Assistant Nation" episode linked below, Viola explores the side effects of Ozempic, including gastroparesis and halitosis, and why it's important that dental practices include this medication on the health history form. Viola also highlights the challenges of prescribing Ozempic and the potential risks of mixing medications. Our conversation emphasizes the role of dental assistants in gathering comprehensive medical information from patients and the need for open communication to ensure patient safety.

Simply hit Play below to listen to the episode, or click here to listen to it through SoundCloud.

Biggest takeaways from the podcast

Ozempic, a drug used for weight loss and diabetes treatment, can cause side effects such as gastroparesis and halitosis.

Dental professionals should include Ozempic and similar medications on the health history form to identify potential risks and side effects.

Patients may be reluctant to share information about medications they are taking, so dental assistants should ask thorough questions and create a safe and nonjudgmental environment.

Mixing medications, such as Ozempic and heartburn drugs, can lead to complications and should be monitored by healthcare professionals.

Podcast time stamps of importance

  0:00 — Introduction and reunion
  1:15 — Ozempic and weight loss
  3:21 â€” Gastroparesis and Ozempic
  6:35 â€” Dental connection to Ozempic
  7:47 â€” Prescribing Ozempic
  8:04 â€” Dental connection to Ozempic
10:12 â€” Importance of a health history form
11:46 â€” Mixing medications
13:17 â€” Reluctance to share medication information
14:12 â€” Timeliness of information
15:12 â€” Role of dental assistants
16:11 — Conclusion

Additionally, Viola is one of the finalists for the 2024 Cuspies Award for Dental Educator of the Year. You can vote for him or any of the other finalists by clicking here. Voting closes on Friday, January 19, at 11:59 p.m. (Eastern time)

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