Semaglutide Sulfur Burps Explained [Ozempic® and Wegovy®]

Semaglutide Sulfur Burps Explained [Ozempic® and Wegovy®]

Semaglutide gives some people constant burps, and they taste like rotten eggs. It’s really not pleasant at all!

If you’ve landed here, chances are either you or someone you know might be dealing with this disagreeable side effect while taking Semaglutide, also known by its brand names Ozempic® and Wegovy®. 

I understand how distressing it can be to face side effects, especially something as unpleasant as sulfur burps. 

In this post, I’ll dive into what sulfur burps are and—most importantly—what you can do about them. 

What Are Semaglutide Sulfur Burps?

Also known as Ozempic burps or Wegovy burps, the belching caused by these weight loss meds have a disgusting taste and odor resembling rotten eggs. 

The cause of the smell is that the burps that are expelled from the stomach through the mouth contain a gas called hydrogen sulfide. 

It’s thought that the cause of this gas is the slow digestion generated by semaglutide. The longer that food in your stomach, the greater the chance it will create gas that needs to go out. 

However, there are other potential causes of burping a sulfur smell,  including gastrointestinal diseases such as gastrointestinal reflux disease (GERD), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), or bacterial overgrowth in the stomach or small intestine. 

Sulfur-containing foods can also worsen these burps, but they are not likely to be the cause.  

How Common are Sulfur Burps?

Fortunately, these foul-smelling burps are not that common. I’ve read several studies, and while belching was mentioned, it was difficult to find a percentage of participants reporting this side effect. In a 2023 study published in the Lancet, only 6% of participants had this problem. However, this study was specifically among people with liver disease and the sample was small.

It is a symptom I don’t often hear about, but it does occur. Furthermore, it’s listed as a side effect on the manufacturer’s website for Wegovy, although it’s not listed as one on the website for Ozempic.

Semaglutide produced in compound pharmacies does not have information about the frequency or severity of semaglutide burps.

Foods That Might Worsen Burps

Sulfur burps can be worsened by certain sulfur-containing foods. 

Because semaglutide slows down digestion, food stays in the stomach longer. When the food contains sulfur, the problem is exacerbated. Bacteria breaks down the food, releasing hydrogen sulfide gas, which is responsible for the rotten-egg smell you experience. 

Foods that cause excessive burping:

  • Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts, and cauliflower
  • Legumes and beans: soybeans, black beans, and other types of beans
  • Beer and wine
  • Dairy: cheese and cow’s milk
Foods that cause excessive burping

Foods high in sulfur include:

  • Garlic, onions, leeks, and scallions 
  • Foods high in protein including eggs, meat, poultry, fish and shellfish
  • Nuts
  • Condiments and spices like horseradish, mustard, curry powder, and ginger

When considering cutting food from your diet in order to alleviate excess sulfur, it’s important to seek balance. Some of the foods on this list are important dietary staples, providing essential nutrients. This is especially relevant for those who are seeking to lose weight. 

Furthermore, eradicating some foods can even make weight loss more difficult. For example, protein is essential when you are losing weight, so it’s not a good idea to avoid eating protein-rich foods. 

Does the Semaglutide Dose Impact Sulfur Burps?

Possibly yes. The higher the dose of semaglutide you take, the more likely you are to experience side effects. This is true not just for the burps, but all the various side effects of this medication. That’s why semaglutide starts at a smaller dose and increases over time. 

It is also quite possible that, similar to other symptoms, the burping will decrease as the body adjusts to the medication.

Home Remedies

Avoid Carbonated Beverages

Carbonated drinks such as soda and sparkling water can add more gas to your stomach, resulting in more belching and worse-smelling burps. 

Avoid Excess Sugar

Sugar can also contribute to burps as it feeds the bacteria that causes hydrogen sulfide. As excessive sugar can also slow down weight loss, it’s a good idea to minimize your consumption while taking semaglutide anyway. 

Drink Less Alcohol

Drinking alcohol is another common culprit for causing belching. Cutting down on alcohol is another easy step you can take to improve your side effects, as it can worsen digestion and add excessive calories to your diet.

Eat Small, Frequent Meals

Choosing smaller, more frequent meals over larger ones can improve digestion, potentially reducing the occurrence of sulfur burps. 

Drink Plenty of Water

Drinking water can improve your digestion and therefore excessive burping. 

Water can also help with other side effects of semaglutide, like constipation. 

Probiotic Supplements

Taking a probiotic supplement can also help heal the gut, leading to improved digestion and less burping.

Move More

In addition to the weight loss benefits of physical activity, it can also improve digestion. 

When to See a Doctor

Call your doctor if sulfur burps do not decrease after a few weeks of taking the medication or are accompanied by other symptoms, like abdominal pain, severe constipation, or vomiting. 

You should also contact your healthcare provider if the burping is significantly impacting your life.

A doctor can adjust your dose of semaglutide, prescribe other medication to help, or rule out other medical diagnoses that might be making the belching worse. 

Other helpful blogs

Ease the Quease: Managing Ozempic Nausea

Natural Constipation Remedies for Wegovy® Users

Scroll to Top