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Where do you inject Ozempic for weight loss?

Where do you inject Ozempic for weight loss?

Stefano Mirabello NowPatientGreen tick
Medically reviewed by Stefano Mirabello, BPharm and written by Rajive Patel, BPharm - Updated on 9 Oct 2023
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Table of contents
OverviewWhat is Ozempic?How does Ozempic work?Weight loss with OzempicHow does Ozempic help your heart?Common side effects with OzempicWhat happens if I miss my dose of Ozempic?Where to inject Ozempic for weight loss?Tips for Injecting OzempicStorage of OzempicAfter administrationSide Effects of OzempicStay Positive and ConsistentSpeak to a healthcare professionalSources

Weight loss can be challenging, it requires patience, discipline and a lot of effort. If you’re struggling with weight loss, your doctor may have prescribed Ozempic. Ozempic is the brand name of semaglutide, a prescription medication for adults with type 2 diabetes. Even though not approved to treat obesity, Ozempic is sometimes prescribed off-label for weight loss.

However, many people have questions about how to inject Ozempic effectively. In this blog post, we’ll answer all your questions about where to inject Ozempic for weight loss and provide some helpful tips to make the process easier for you.

What is Ozempic?

Before we dive into the specifics of injecting Ozempic for weight loss, it’s important to understand what Ozempic is and how it works.

Ozempic is a prescription drug for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. It is suitable for use in combination with other diabetes medicines, such as metformin. Ozempic is not for the treatment of type 1 diabetes. It is a weekly injection that contains the active ingredient semaglutide. It’s part of a class of drugs called glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists and works by stimulating insulin release in response to high blood glucose levels.

For Ozempic, the peak time is about 2-4 days after the first dose and around 4 weeks after regular dosing. The peak time refers to the time at which the medication reaches its highest concentration in the body. It’s important to know this information because it can help you plan when to monitor your blood sugar levels and adjust your medication accordingly.

How does Ozempic work?

Ozempic can be prescribed off-license as a weight loss drug.  It targets the pancreas to increase the production of insulin while also decreasing the production of glucagon, a hormone that raises blood sugar levels. It effectively mimicks the effects of GLP-1 which is a naturally occurring hormone that stimulates insulin secretion and lowers glucagon secretion from the liver. GLP-1 receptor agonists like Ozempic (semaglutide) also slow down digestion, which reduces the speed at which glucose is absorbed into the bloodstream. This helps to control blood sugar levels and may also help you eat less food and reduce your body weight. An independent prescriber is permitted to prescribe Ozempic for weight loss, as long as they feel it is clinically appropriate and justified. Several other diabetic medications have shown to cause weight loss too.

Weight loss with Ozempic

Ozempic, a medication primarily used to treat type 2 diabetes, has gained attention for its off-label use in weight loss. Despite the recent FDA approval of Wegovy, containing the same active ingredient, specifically designed as a weight loss medication, some healthcare providers still turn to Ozempic for its proven effectiveness in reducing body weight.

This trend can be largely attributed to the fact that Ozempic has been on the market longer and has a well-established safety profile. Additionally, Ozempic is often prescribed in lower doses than Wegovy, which may appeal to patients who are hesitant to take a higher dose medication. While both drugs have shown promising results in weight loss, it is important to discuss the risks and benefits with a healthcare professional before deciding on a treatment plan.

How does Ozempic help your heart?

Several clinical trials have shown that Ozempic can significantly reduce the risk of major cardiovascular events, such as heart attack and stroke. This is especially beneficial for those with type 2 diabetes, who are at a higher risk for heart disease. The active ingredient in Ozempic works by helping to regulate blood sugar levels and in turn helps reduce weight and blood pressure, which are both key factors in maintaining a healthy heart.

Common side effects with Ozempic

The most common side effects of Ozempic include nausea, diarrhoea, and constipation. These side effects typically go away within a few days or weeks of starting the medication. In rare cases, Ozempic can also cause more serious side effects, such as pancreatitis or thyroid cancer. If you are experiencing any side effects while taking Ozempic, it is important to speak with a healthcare professional for medical advice.

What happens if I miss my dose of Ozempic?

Missing a dose of Ozempic can be concerning, but it’s important to stay calm and follow a few simple steps. Firstly, take your missed dose as soon as possible, unless your next scheduled dose is due within two or three days. If that’s the case, skip the missed dose and wait until your next dose to resume treatment. It’s also important to notify your healthcare provider about the missed dose, so they can advise you on any necessary adjustments to your dosage or injection schedule. Remember, missing a single dose is unlikely to cause any serious harm, but try to establish a consistent routine going forward, to ensure the medication is as effective as possible.

Where to inject Ozempic for weight loss?

Now onto the burning question – where do you inject Ozempic for weight loss? An Ozempic injection is administrated once a week, preferably on the same day and time each week. It is recommended to inject Ozempic in the stomach, upper thigh or upper arm. Here are the steps to follow to inject Ozempic successfully:

 

 

Read the instructions

Before you start using Ozempic, it is essential to read the Instructions for Use Guide carefully, to have a better understanding of the dosage and complications attached to every option. This guide lets you know what to expect and how to handle situations that may arise during treatment. Before you use the pen for the first time, your doctor or nurse will show you how to use it before you self-inject.

Gather your supplies

Before you begin, make sure you have all the supplies you need. You’ll need your Ozempic pen, an alcohol swab and a sharps container for safely disposing of the needle after use. Make sure your Ozempic pen is at room temperature, by leaving it out for 30 minutes before use.

Choose your injection site

Most people prefer to inject Ozempic in the stomach area, but it can also be injected in the upper thigh or upper arm. Pick an area that has some extra fat, as it will be more comfortable and easier to inject. Make sure to rotate injection sites to avoid skin irritation.

Clean the injection site

Using an alcohol swab, clean the injection site thoroughly. Allow the area to dry completely before proceeding.

Prepare the Ozempic pen

Remove the pen cap from the Ozempic pen and attach a new needle. Twist the needle firmly, but do not overtighten it. Prime the pen by dialling the dose button until you see a drop of medicine at the end of the needle tip. This ensures that the pen is working properly and removes any air bubbles from the syringe

Administer the injection

Pinch the skin at the injection site to create a small fold. Hold the Ozempic pen at a 90-degree angle and insert the needle into the fold. Slowly push the plunger down until the pen clicks, indicating that the dose is complete. Hold the needle in place for six seconds before removing it to make sure the full dose is injected.

Tips for Injecting Ozempic

Here are some useful tips to help you inject Ozempic efficiently and painlessly:

Take the injection out of the fridge

Take the injection out of the fridge and let it warm to room temperature for at least 30 minutes. This may seem like a small step, but it can make a big difference in how painful the injection feels. Cold medication can be more uncomfortable, allowing it to warm up can help to reduce any potential discomfort.

Use a new needle

Always use a new needle each time you inject. It may be tempting to reuse needles, but doing so can lead to skin infections and bruising. Plus, a new needle will be sharper and less likely to cause discomfort.

Choose an Injection Site

The first step in administering Ozempic is selecting the right injection site. The available injection sites for Ozempic are the abdomen, the upper arm or the upper thigh. The most common location for injection is the abdomen. When picking the injection site, it is important to avoid any areas that are bruised, tender, red or hard. Ensure that the injection site is clean, dry and free from any lotion, oil or powder. One other thing to note is that you should not inject Ozempic into a vein or a muscle. Doing this can cause low blood sugar which can lead to some complications. Only inject under the skin (subcutaneously).

Look at the flow check symbol

If you’re using a new Ozempic pen, don’t forget to check the flow before you start using it. It’s an important step that can help ensure you’re getting the right dose of your medication. To do the flow check, simply turn the dose selector until you see the symbol that looks like a droplet of liquid. Once you see this symbol, you can press the injection button to dispense a small amount of medication. If the medication flows out easily, you’re good to go. If not, you may need to troubleshoot or contact your healthcare provider for assistance. Remember, taking care to check the flow each time you use a new pen can help you stay on track with your medication and achieve the best results possible.

Consider needle size

Another crucial factor in the injection process is needle size. Ozempic is typically administered using a small, fine needle. The needle size is especially important if you’re a patient who is nervous or fearful of injections. Using a smaller needle can help to minimise discomfort and anxiety associated with injection therapy. The Ozempic pen should be used with Novo Nordisk disposable needles that are supplied with your pen.

Rotate Injection Sites

Repetitive injections in the same spot can lead to the development of lumps under the skin, which can irritate and cause discomfort. Overusing one spot can also make the medication less effective. To avoid this, rotate the injection site with each dose. When shifting injection sites, move in a circular motion around each area to avoid repeatedly injecting too close to one another. A patient can keep track of their injection spot by marking it with a pen before inserting the needle.

Storage of Ozempic

Storing Ozempic correctly is essential in maintaining its effectiveness. Keep the medication in its original container, store it in a refrigerator until you’re ready for use and keep it out of reach of children. If you need to travel or have a day away from home, Ozempic can be kept in a cool bag with ice packs for up to four weeks. Ensure that the medication is kept below 86°F (30°C) and never frozen.

After administration

After administration, patients should not massage the injection site. Massaging could cause discomfort, swelling or even bruising and can increase the chance of the medication being quickly metabolised. Make sure to let the site of the injection dry for several seconds before covering it. If you’re experiencing any adverse reactions or concerns, make sure to reach out to your healthcare provider for help.

Side Effects of Ozempic

Like any medication, Ozempic may cause side effects. Common side effects are nausea, diarrhoea, and vomiting. If you experience unusual and serious side effects such as signs of allergic reactions like rash, hives or itching, stop taking the medication and seek medical attention immediately.

Stay Positive and Consistent

Take a deep breath before injecting and exhale slowly to reduce pain and anxiety. Finally, it’s important to stay positive and consistent throughout your Ozempic weight loss journey. Remember, this medication is just one tool in your weight loss journey. In addition to taking Ozempic, make sure to eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly and get enough sleep. By staying committed to your health and well-being, you can achieve your weight loss goals and improve your overall quality of life.

Speak to a healthcare professional

In summary, if you’ve recently been prescribed Ozempic, knowing how to inject it correctly is essential. By following a few simple steps you can inject Ozempic safely and with ease. Always make sure that you have all the necessary supplies, clean the injection site and inject the medication correctly. The steps outlined in this article are just a guideline. Make sure to follow the instructions provided by your healthcare provider and read the package insert before starting to use the medication.  Remember, You can also ask your local pharmacy which dispenses your medication can advise on where and how to inject Ozempic.  Alternatively, if you obtain your medication as part of a weight loss program from NowPatient, you can book a consultation with one of our clinicians who can guide you.

Sources

Medical Disclaimer

NowPatient has taken all reasonable steps to ensure that all material is factually accurate, complete, and current. However, the knowledge and experience of a qualified healthcare professional should always be sought after instead of using the information in this page. Before taking any drug, you should always speak to your doctor or another qualified healthcare provider.

The information provided here about medications is subject to change and is not meant to include all uses, precautions, warnings, directions, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or negative effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a particular medication does not imply that the medication or medication combination is appropriate for all patients or for all possible purposes.

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