What is The Correct Ozempic Dosing?
Ozempic might be different to any other medicines you’ve taken, as it’s only injected once a week. Most people are used to daily medicines, so starting Ozempic can be daunting for some. We’re going to explain all you need to know about dosing Ozempic properly so that you have the information that you need.
The full dose of Ozempic is 1.0mg weekly. However, you’ll never start at this dose to begin with. Before you reach 1.0mg, you’ll have to titrate up for a couple of months. This is to avoid any severe side effects. Ozempic should be taken at the following doses:
Weeks 1-4: 0.25mg weekly
Weeks 5-8: 0.5mg weekly
Week 9 onwards: 1.0mg weekly
Most people find that the 1.0mg dose is all that they need in order to start reducing their weight. However, some people do need a little extra in order to see the same results. Luckily, myBMI is able to prescribe a dose of up to 2.0mg weekly. This is due to the fact that it is a specialist-led service.
Our prescribers have completed intensive training for weight management, and will make any decisions with your safety and best interests in mind.
A dose of 2.0mg weekly may sound high, but in the USA, people are now able to take an even higher dose of semaglutide for weight loss.
In June 2021, Wegovy was approved by the FDA. Wegovy contains the same ingredient as Ozempic, but has a therapeutic dose of 2.4mg. This is specifically for weight loss, as this was the optimal dose in trials for maximum effectiveness with tolerable side effects.
We would recommend that everyone sticks to the correct Ozempic dosing at first. This is for your health and safety. By titrating up too quickly, you could risk severe side effects. These usually make people feel unwell and often result in reducing the dose again. By following the dosage plan set by your prescriber, you can be sure that you have the best chance possible.
How many doses are in an Ozempic pen?
Each Ozempic pen contains 4 doses. This should last you 28 days, as it’s a once-weekly injection. Each pen is set at a certain dose (0.25mg, 0.5mg, 1.0mg). This differs to Saxenda where the dose is manually increased at the dial by the user.
Sometimes, you may have some solution left when you’ve finished a pen. This can be fairly normal, as the manufacturers do allow for some overspill. If you have enough solution and a spare needle, you can inject the left-over solution when your next dose is due if there’s enough.
You can check this by twisting the dial. If it reaches a full dose, you have enough solution. You should be able to twist the dial back to 0 without having to inject the liquid.
Please remember that no matter how many doses are in your pen, you should never keep an open Ozempic pen for more than 6 weeks. If your pen is still open after this amount of time, you should dispose of it properly.
When you have a consultation with myBMI, you will receive 28 days’ worth of treatment. When it comes to Ozempic, this includes one pen of your prescribed dose, plus 4 needles. The needles are already included in the sealed box before they leave the pharmacy. If you do need to purchase more, you should be able to find them online or in a local pharmacy.
Ozempic pen instructions
All of the instructions that you need are included in the patient information leaflet. This should come with your order. Alternatively, click here for the Ozempic 1.0mg PIL.
It’s incredibly important to read the patient information leaflet before you take your first injection. This is so that you’re familiar with all of the safety information, as well as learning how to administer a dose.
Apart from when you’re using it, Ozempic is fairly low maintenance. You can either keep it in the fridge between uses, or keep it out at room temperature. Check out our advice section for more information about how to store Ozempic.
There are some additional things that you need to know if you’re using Ozempic for weight loss. These are things that aren’t included on the patient information leaflet. For example, it’s important to know that Ozempic won’t work alone. It needs a healthy diet and a good exercise routine in order to perform.
If you continue with old habits, then it’s possible that you may be eating too much or moving too little for Ozempic to have an effect. Because of this, we’ve created our advice section. This contains loads of useful information about education, diet, exercise and medical therapy.
We don’t recommend any specific diet or exercise regimes. That’s because different things work for different people. We firmly believe in choosing foods and activities that you’re going to enjoy. This way, you’re more likely to lose weight with Ozempic and keep it off in the long run.
As long as you’re working towards planning healthy meals and activities, you’re doing everything you can.
How to inject Ozempic
For some people, Ozempic is the first injectable medication they’ve used. This can be quite daunting for some. However, the good news is that once you’ve injected the first time, the rest of it is a doddle!
Novo Nordisk have provided some really clear and easy-to-follow diagrams in the patient information leaflet which talk you through each step of how to inject. This includes priming the pen when you first use it.
When you receive your parcel from myBMI, you should first choose which day of the week will be your injection day. (Top tip – for your first dose pick a day when you are not going to be busy for the following couple of days to let you get adjusted to the medication) It doesn’t matter which day it is, as long as it suits your weekly routine.
Next, you should put it in your fridge, away from anything that might spill. It should stay here until you take your first injection.
Whenever you take the cap off your pen, the first thing you should do is check the solution window. It should be completely clear and colourless. If it’s at all cloudy or slightly tinted, please dispose of it properly.
Inside your box, there should be 4 needles included. These look like plastic triangles with a paper tab on one end. Peel the paper tab off one of these and guide the pen into the plastic cap. You may need to push down slightly. Twist it clockwise to secure the needle, then pull off the cap – but keep it to one side, you’ll need it later. You’ll notice at this stage that the needle isn’t visible yet. That’s due to another plastic cap that covers the needle or protect you. You can now take this off if you’re ready to inject.
The first time you use a new pen, you’ll have to prime it first to check that it’s working as it should. To do this, you should turn the dial on the pen to the flow check symbol.
This allows a tiny amount of liquid to come out of the pen in order to check for blockages. As long as some solution squirts out, you should be good to go!
You should only ever inject in the lower abdomen (except for a 2 inch radius around the bellybutton), the upper arms, or outer thighs. Once you’ve chosen a spot, you need to twist the dial on the pen all the way until it stops. Insert the needle into your injection area with your thumb covering the button at the top. Once the needle is inserted, push and hold down the button. It should go back to 0 and administer the dose. You should then hold the pen & needle in place for a few seconds (a slow count to 10 is a good estimate) before removing it. This is to make sure that the full dose was administered.
Once you’ve done, you should take the outer needle cap from earlier and carefully place it back over the needle on the pen. Twist anti-clockwise to remove it, and then discard of the casing and needle properly. Your pen is now ready to be put away for another week.
You should always use a new needle every time you inject. This helps to reduce the risk of blockages, cross-contamination and infection.
How quickly does Ozempic work once injected?
If you’re using Ozempic for weight loss and starting from the 0.25mg dose, you might not see any significant results for a few weeks. However, many people do find that their appetite reduces from fairly early on.
Most people start seeing the most substantial weight loss at higher doses such as 1.0mg. However, some do start seeing weight loss from the first dose. It’s very much down to how each individual reacts to the semaglutide.
We would say that within around 3 months of treatment, you should expect to have lost around 5% of your starting weight. Whilst this might not seem like a lot, there’s plenty of evidence to prove that even a reduction as small as 5% can seriously improve your health.
Losing weight is never going to be a quick process unfortunately. When you begin any weight loss program, you should commit yourself to a timeline of several months for the best chance. However, most people that do take Ozempic for weight loss do find that it helps them to lose more weight than without any treatment.
Although several months might seem like a long time, it’s a healthy way of managing your weight. Reducing your weight over a longer period of time has been proven to be more effective.
It’s important to remember that the changes that you’re making are supposed to stay for good. This is why it’s so important to make sure that you enjoy the journey and not give yourself anything that’s going to be hard to keep up.
A lot of people find that they lose a substantial amount of weight in the first few weeks before stalling. This is common and nothing to worry about. When you first lose weight, your body is flushing lot of excess fluid out. A lot of the initial weight loss will come from this. Many people then get disheartened when the weight loss appears to slow down. We recommend trying it for approximately 3 months before deciding if it’s working for you or not.
If you do have any doubts about Ozempic, we would recommend that you talk to your own GP. You can also join some support groups online with others that use Ozempic. These can be great places to find some FAQs about the medication from others in the same position. You can even join us in the myBMI support group for more information and advice.
Essentially, the best thing we can recommend is patience. Weight loss is a long process, but if it’s done in a healthy way, you should be able to maintain it for good.
Here's some more content we think you will like
The hunger scale is a great tool for anyone - not just those wanting to lose weight. It can help to reduce comfort eating and over-eating in the long-term. Take a read of our article and give it a go for yourself!