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A Guide To Ozempic

Ozempic is a brand-name prescription medicine that is used to:

increase blood sugar levels in adults with type 2 diabetes, along with exercise and diet
reduce the risk of serious heart issues among adults suffering from cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.

The medication isn’t prescribed to treat type one diabetes or ketoacidosis due to diabetes and generally isn’t prescribed to people with pancreatitis. See this section below for more details “Ozempic applications” section for more information.

Ozempic is a liquid solution that is administered through subcutaneous injection. It is a drug called semaglutide, which belongs to the class of drugs known as the glucagon-like receptor agonists (GLP-1 agonists).

Ozempic can be used on its own or in combination with other diabetes medicines.

Ozempic is pen that you make use of to self-inject the drug. It comes at four strength levels:

2 milligrams of semaglutide in 1.5 milliliters solution (2 mg/1.5 mL)
2 mg/3 mL
4 mg/3 mL
8 mg/3 mL

Each pen is a unique dose of Ozempic.

FDA approval

Ozempic is approved by Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in December of 2017.

Notice: Ozempic is not currently available in a pill that can be taken orally. However, Rybelsus, a similar medication that contains semaglutide, an active drug is FDA-approved as a Trusted Source in tablets that can be taken orally.


For more information about the Ozempic’s efficiency check out this “Ozempic uses” section further down.

Ozempic can help reduce appetite. This is why the majority of people suffering from diabetes who use the drug shed weight.

Ozempic is not FDA-approved for weight loss. However, in certain situations doctors can prescribe this drug off-label in weight-management. Off-label drugs are those that prescribe an item for a use other than the one it’s authorized in the FDA.

Be sure to only use Ozempic as prescribed by your doctor. If you are unsure about using Ozempic in weight loss discuss it with your doctor.

Ozempic is available only in the form of a brand-name medicine. It’s got the drug semaglutide and isn’t available in a generic version.

Similar to all medications as with all medications, the price of Ozempic is subject to change. The cost you pay will be contingent on the coverage of your insurance.

Forms of drugs and strengths

Ozempic is an instrument that allows you to inject the medication yourself.

When you first begin taking Ozempic, you might use the 2 mg/1.5 milliliter or 2 mg/3 mL pen. If you require a greater dose of Ozempic to help regulate your blood sugar levels your physician may recommend a stronger strength.

Every Ozempic pen has several needles. The needle you use will change each time you administer an injection.

Ozempic pen pens are often used many times, but you should not share a pen with someone else.

The dosage for Type 2 Diabetes

When you first begin taking Ozempic the first time, you’ll start taking 0.25 mg every week for four weeks. Then, you’ll start taking 0.5 mg once weekly for 4 weeks.

After 4 weeks, if you’re blood sugar levels are under control you’ll continue taking 0.5 mg once per week. If you’re in need of lowering your blood sugar levels even further, your doctor might increase the dosage to 2 mg, or even 1 mg, weekly. The maximum recommended dose for Ozempic is 2 mg every week.

You should administer your Ozempic injection every day of the week. However, you can give your injection any point of the day, either whether or not you eat.

If necessary, you are able to change the day on which you give the injection. If you do, you must have received one dose within 48 hours prior to the day you intend to give the injection.

What if I miss the dose?

If you miss a dose, you should take it immediately when you remember, as long as it’s within five days of the day of the missed dose. Then take your next dose according to its normal schedule.

However, if more than five days have passed or if the day of the next scheduled dose is just 1 or 2 days away, don’t take the missed dose. Instead, just take the next dose on the scheduled day.

Do I need to take this medication for a long time?

Yes, this medication is typically used long term to treat type 2 diabetes, and to reduce the risk of cardiovascular problems.

Ozempic may cause moderate or serious adverse reactions. This list includes a few of the main negative side effects that could occur when taking Ozempic. This list is not exhaustive and does not cover all possible side effects.

For more information about the possible side effects of Ozempic, or for tips for managing an unsettling side effect discuss the issue with your doctor or pharmacist.

More common side effects

The most frequent negative side effects of Ozempic include:

stomach pain
stomach upset
flatulence (passing gas)

These side effects can be gone within a couple of days or weeks. If they’re severe or do not go away, speak with your physician or pharmacist.

Serious side effects

Side effects that are serious from Ozempic don’t happen often, but they are possible. Call your doctor right away if you have serious adverse effects. Call 911 if your symptoms are life-threatening or you think you’re having a medical emergency.

Severe side effects and manifestations can include the following:

Thyroid cancer. *
Pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas). Symptoms can include:
discomfort in your back and the belly
unintended weight loss
swollen belly
The cause is hypoglycemia (low levels of blood sugar). It can be a sign of:
feeling jittery
fast heartbeat
Diabetic Retinopathy (diabetes-related eye issues). Symptoms can include:
blurred vision
vision loss
seeing dark spots
poor night vision
Kidney damage. It can be a sign of:
decreased urine production
swelling in your ankles, legs or your legs.
Gallbladder disease. Its symptoms include:
gallstones can cause pain in your belly nausea, vomiting, and fever
Cholecystitis (inflammation within your gallbladder)
Allergy reaction. *

* For more information on this effect side-effect, please refer to “Side effects” below.

Side effect details

You may wonder how often certain side effects can occur when using this medication. Here’s an overview of the side effects this drug can cause.

Allergic reaction

Like many drugs there are people who experience an allergic reaction when taking Ozempic. Signs of a mild allergic reaction can be:

skin rash

A more severe allergic reaction is uncommon but it’s possible. The signs of a severe allergic reaction can include:

inflammation under your skin typically in your eyelids, lips, hands, or feet
swelling of your tongue, mouth or throat
Trouble breathing

It’s unclear how often allergic reactions might occur in patients taking Ozempic in clinical studies. However, serious allergic reactions in response to Ozempic have been documented.

Make an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible should you suffer from an reaction to Ozempic. You can dial 911 or the nearest emergency line if your symptoms are life-threatening or if you believe you’re experiencing a medical emergency.

Visit our website when looking for an Ozempic savings card.


Nausea is the most frequent negative side effect that Ozempic can cause. It’s likely to happen at the time you first begin taking Ozempic, and when you take more of it.

Nausea can decrease or disappear with the continuing use of Ozempic. If it doesn’t go away or it becomes severe speak to your physician.


People who take Ozempic can have heartburn, however this isn’t a common occurrence.

This effect can diminish or disappear with continuous use of the drug. If it continues to persist or becomes serious, talk with your doctor.

Headaches are a typical adverse effect of Ozempic. This side effect may decrease or go away with continued usage of the medication. If it does not go away or it becomes severe consult your physician.

Thyroid cancer

Ozempic includes a boxed message from a trusted Source from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regarding the possibility of developing thyroid cancer. A boxed warning is the strongest warning the FDA needs to require.

In studies on animals, Ozempic increased the risk of thyroid tumors. However, it’s not known if Ozempic causes thyroid tumors in humans.

There have been cases of thyroid cancer in people who take liraglutide (Victoza) the drug in the same drug class as Ozempic. It’s unclear whether these cases were caused by liraglutide or another cause.

Because of the possible risk of thyroid cancer You should avoid using Ozempic if yourself or an immediate family member have ever had a form of cancer known as medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) or a rare condition called multiple endocrine tumor syndrome type 2.

When you’re on Ozempic, and are experiencing symptoms of a tumor in your thyroid, seek out your doctor immediately. Signs and symptoms can include:

a mass or lump in your neck
difficulty swallowing
Trouble breathing
a hoarse voice

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allows prescription drugs such as Ozempic to treat certain ailments. Ozempic may also be used on its own for other conditions. Off-label use occurs when a prescription drug cleared to treat a particular condition is prescribed to treat another condition.

Ozempics for improving blood sugar levels associated with type 2 diabetes

Ozempic has been approved by FDA to boost blood sugar levels in adults who suffer from type 2 diabetes and also to improve lifestyles through the way they eat and exercise. (Ozempic has also been approved to decrease the risk of developing cardiovascular issues This use is explained below.)

Ozempic may be prescribed on its own or in conjunction with other diabetes medicines.

It’s important to remember Ozempic’s use is not to treat type 1 ketoacidosis or diabetes. Also, it’s not usually prescribed for those who have suffered from pancreatitis in the past.

Effectiveness for type 2 diabetes

Ozempic has been proven to be effective for treatment of type 2 diabetes. To learn more about how Ozempic performed in clinical studies, see Ozempic’s prescribing instructions.

Guidelines issued by the American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommend using a GLP-1 receptor, such as Ozempic for adults with type 2 diabetes that suffer from one of the following conditions:

the cardiovascular disorder (CVD) or the high likelihood of developing CVD
kidney disease
heart failure

These same guidelines also recommend the use of a different medication like an agonist of GLP-1 like Ozempic, as an option for people suffering from type 2 diabetes who find that metformin doesn’t adequately lower their blood sugar.

Ozempic for lowering risks of developing cardiovascular issues

Ozempic is FDA-approved to help lower the risk of serious cardiovascular issues in people with cardiovascular disease or type 2 diabetes. These risks include heart attack, stroke and even death due to cardiovascular disease.

(Ozempic can also be approved for improving blood sugar levels for adults with kind 2 diabetes. The use of this drug is discussed in the previous paragraph.)

It’s important to remember Ozempic’s use is not to treat type 1 diabetes or diabetic ketoacidosis. The medication is not commonly prescribed for patients who’ve had pancreatitis before.

Effectiveness for heart problems

In clinical studies, Ozempic was found to reduce the risk of having cardiovascular issues in some adults. Check out Ozempic’s prescribing guidelines for further details about the drug’s effectiveness in clinical studies.

The guidelines of the American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommend the use of a GLP-1 receptor, such as Ozempic in people with type 2 diabetes who are at a higher risk of cardiovascular disease.
Use off-label

Ozempic isn’t FDA-approved to be used in treating type 1 diabetes, and hasn’t been evaluated for those suffering from this condition. In some instances Ozempic can be utilized off-label to treat type I diabetes.

A drug belonging to similar class to Ozempic, the drug liraglutide (Victoza) has been researched in patients with the type one diabetes. Studies have shown that liraglutide may reduce levels of insulin and lower body weight, however it isn’t able to reduce HbA1c levels.

Some experts say that Ozempic as well as other medications of the same class should not be used in people suffering from Type 1 Diabetes. They say that the risk of side effects from these drugs outweighs the potential benefits for those with type 1 diabetes.

There are other medications available that may help with type 2 diabetes treatment or reduce the risk of developing serious cardiovascular issues. Certain medications may be more suitable to you than other. If you’re in the market for alternatives to Ozempic consult your doctor to learn more about other medications that could be suitable for you.

The most common medications that can be alternatives to Ozempic for type 2 diabetes include the below-listed drugs.

Solutions for improving blood sugar levels and lowering chance of having cardiovascular problems

Glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor antagonists (GLP-1 agonists) such as:
dulaglutide (Trulicity)
exenatide (Bydureon, Byetta)
liraglutide (Victoza)
lixisenatide (Adlyxin)
sodium-glucose-co-transporter 2. (SGLT2) inhibitors include:
canagliflozin (Invokana)
dapagliflozin (Farxiga)
empagliflozin (Jardiance)
ertugliflozin (Steglatro)
metformin (Glucophage, Glumetza, Riomet), which is a majoruanide
dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors such as:
Alogliptin (Nesina)
linagliptin (Tradjenta)
saxagliptin (Onglyza)
sitagliptin (Januvia)
thiazolidinediones such as:
pioglitazone (Actos)
rosiglitazone (Avandia)

In addition to the above drugs, they can be used to improve your blood sugar level:

Alpha-glucosidase inhibitors, such as:
miglitol (Glyset)
sulfonylureas such as:
glimepiride (Amaryl)
glipizide (Glucotrol)
glyburide (Diabeta, Glynase Prestabs)

You may wonder how Ozempic compares to other medicines that are prescribed for similar functions. In this article, we will examine the ways that Ozempic as well as Trulicity are similar and distinct. It is also possible to read this detailed article that discusses the two drugs.


Ozempic and Trulicity are both FDA-approved for:

blood sugar levels for people with type 2 diabetes along with diet and exercise
heart problems among adults suffering from cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes

Ozempic along with Trulicity (dulaglutide) and Trulicity (dulaglutide) are in the same class of medicines known as glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor antagonists (GLP-1 antagonists). They function similarly to improve blood sugar levels in people suffering from type 2 diabetes.

Drug forms and administration

Ozempic and Trulicity both are available as a liquid solution that’s available in pen. Both are self-injected each week.


The price of Ozempic or Victoza could vary based on the treatment plan you’re using. The cost you pay for either medication will depend on your insurance policy the location you live in, as well as the pharmacy you go to.

You may wonder how Wegovy compares with Ozempic. Both of these medications contain the active ingredient semaglutide. However, they are different in their accepted uses.

Wegovy is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for weight control over the long term along with exercises and a low-calorie diet.

Ozempic is not FDA-approved for weight loss. However, in some cases doctors can prescribe this drug off-label for weight loss. Off-label use of a drug means that doctors prescribe a drug for a purpose different from what it’s approved for from the FDA.

Ozempic can be FDA-approved for:

regulate blood sugar levels for individuals with type 2 diabetes. It is best to manage blood sugar levels with diet and exercise
lower the risk of serious heart problems among adults suffering from cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes

Ozempic and Wegovy each come as pen that you make use of to inject the medication yourself. They can cause a variety of the same side negative effects. Both come with a boxed warningTrusted Source about the possibility of developing thyroid cancer. Look over the “Ozempic side effects” section above for more details.

Your doctor or a pharmacist will be able to provide you with more information about how these medicines are compared.

Ozempic can be prescribed either by itself or with other medications to improve blood sugar levels for people who suffer from type 2 diabetes. In diabetes treatment the use of two or more drugs could be combined in the event that one medication isn’t improving blood sugar levels to a sufficient degree.

Some examples of diabetes medications that can be used in conjunction in conjunction with Ozempic are:

canagliflozin (Invokana)
dapagliflozin (Farxiga)
glimepiride (Amaryl)
glipizide (Glucotrol)
glyburide (Diabeta, Glynase Prestabs)

insulin glargine (Lantus, Toujeo)
metformin (Glucophage, Glumetza, Riomet)
pioglitazone (Actos)

Be aware Ozempic could be prescribed along with an exercise plan and diet which is healthy for you. You must adhere to your diabetes treatment plan as recommended by your physician.

You should take Ozempic exactly as directed by your healthcare professional.

How do I inject

Ozempic is pen that self-injects subcutaneously. There are a variety of steps when you inject yourself. For complete instructions for using the Ozempic pen, you can visit the website of the drug. These are the steps to follow:

Step 1. Get your pen ready.

Cleanse your hands before washing them.
The cap is removed from the pen. Set aside.
The pen’s window should be checked to be sure the solution is colorless and clear. (If you don’t find it to be, don’t use that pen.)
Put a new needle on the pen. (A new needle must be used every time you make use of the pen.)
Pull off the outer needle cap. Next, you need to remove the cap on the inside of the needle. Both caps are able to be thrown away in the garbage.

Step 2. Check your Ozempic flow.

This must be completed prior to the first injection you do with every pen you purchase. If you’ve done this step before for injections using the pen you’re currently using, you’ll be able to skip step 3.

Keep the pen in place with the needle pointing up.
The dose counter should be turned on until it shows the symbol for flow. (It appears to be two dots and a straight line.)
Hold the button to dose until the dose counter displays zero. A drop of Ozempic is likely to appear at the needle tip.
If you aren’t able to see a drop, repeat the procedure, as many as six times. If you’re still not seeing an improvement after six attempts change the needle and try again.
If you don’t see a drop do not use the pen. Place it in your sharps container. (You can get sharps containers at the local pharmacy.)

Step 3. Select your dose.

Make sure to turn the dose selector on until you’ve seen your dose (either 0.25, 0.5, 1, or 2).

Step 4. Dose the medication.

Apply a clean cloth to the site of injection with an alcohol swipe.
Place the needle in your skin and keep it the needle in the desired position.
Press and hold your dose button until the counter displays zero.
If the counter for the dose shows 0, you should count slowly up to six before removing the needle from your skin. This ensures that you are getting the complete dose.

5. Get rid of the needle.

Remove the needle from the pen.
Place the needle you used in the sharps container.
Place the cap back on the pen.

Take note that after using an Ozempic pen, you are able to use it for the period of 56 to 57 days. At the end of 56 days, your medicine expires and it is time to remove the pen.

Where can I inject

Ozempic may be injected into the abdomen (belly) the thigh or the upper arm. The same location can be used each time you inject Ozempic but you should change the injection site within that particular area.


Ozempic can be administered at any time during the daytime. The injection should be administered every day every week. If necessary, you are able to change the date you give yourself Ozempic injections. If you decide to change the day be sure to keep at least 2 more days in between the injections.

Ideally, you should take the drug at roughly the same time each day, even if you shift the day. If you’re concerned about altering the timing of your injection, speak with your doctor.

Take Ozempic with food

Ozempic is injected with or without food.

Doing Ozempic with insulin

Your doctor may recommend Ozempic to be used alongside insulin. Ozempic and insulin are given at the same moment during the day. It is also possible to inject them into the same part of the body, like the abdomen. But it is not recommended to inject them in the same area.

Avoid drinking excessive amounts of alcohol when taking Ozempic. Drinking alcohol can alter blood sugar levels, and increase your chances of developing low blood sugar levels.

If you drink alcohol, discuss with your physician regarding the appropriate amount for you.

Ozempic is a drug that interacts with other drugs. It may also interact with certain supplements.

Different interactions can cause different effects. Some, for instance, can affect how a medication works in some cases, while others can trigger increased negative side consequences.