Does Ozempic need to be refrigerated?
Ozempic is a brand-name diabetes medication that needs to be stored in the refrigerator between 36°F to 46°F (2°C to 8°C) before the first time you use it. Ozempic is very sensitive to high and low temperatures. Learn more about the storage conditions for Ozempic and how to store Ozempic before and after you start using it.
What is Ozempic (semaglutide)?
Ozempic is a non-insulin injectable medication manufactured by Novo Nordisk and is used to improve blood sugar levels for people with type 2 diabetes. Ozempic is a once-weekly subcutaneous injection that comes in a prefilled pen.
Ozempic is a safe and effective medication when used as directed. When Ozempic is taken weekly as directed by your healthcare provider, along with exercise and diet, it may help to lower blood sugar levels for adults with type 2 diabetes.
The active ingredient of Ozempic is semaglutide. Semaglutide is a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1 receptor agonist). GLP-1 is a hormone that is released from the gut in response to food. It helps to regulate glucose metabolism by stimulating insulin release from the pancreas and by slowing gastric emptying.
Talk to your doctor about the potential risks and benefits of Ozempic before starting treatment.
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Does Ozempic need to be refrigerated?
BEFORE FIRST USE: Ozempic should be stored in the refrigerator (between 36°F to 46°F or 2°C to 8°C) until you use it for the first time.
AFTER FIRST USE: After you have used the Ozempic pen for the first time, Ozempic can remain stored in the refrigerator or kept at room temperature (between 59°F to 86°F or 15°C to 30°C) for up to 56 days.
Keep in mind that Ozempic is sensitive to extreme temperatures. If the pen is exposed to temperatures higher than 86°F (30°C), it can go bad and will no longer be safe to use. If you live in places where it gets that hot, consider always storing Ozempic in the refrigerator and using a medical-grade container when you need to transport your medication.
Keep the pen cap on when not in use.
Make sure that the Ozempic in your pen is clear and colorless.
Can Ozempic stay out of the fridge?
After first use, Ozempic can be stored out of the fridge at room temperature (between 59°F to 86°F or 15°C to 30°C) for up to 56 days.
After you start using the Ozempic pen, it should be disposed of (thrown away) after 56 days, even if there is more Ozempic remaining in the pen. Write the date of disposal on your calendar so you do not forget.
Ozempic can be used until the expiration date if stored properly in the refrigerator at the correct temperature.
Do not store your Ozempic pens in the car. Always keep Ozempic away from the light and away from heat. Similar to other diabetes medications like Victoza, Trulicity, and many other injectable drugs, Ozempic is highly sensitive to low and high temperatures.
Can Ozempic be frozen?
Do not freeze Ozempic or store the pens directly next to the cooling element in your refrigerator. Do not take Ozempic if it was frozen.
Once frozen, the solution in Ozempic will break down and not regain its original efficacy. Ozempic is not safe for use after it has been frozen, even if it has thawed, and you should throw it away and get a new pen.
What is the shelf life of Ozempic?
The shelf life of Ozempic is 24 months. After that, it must be disposed of according to local regulations. Talk to your pharmacist or healthcare provider about the best way to dispose of Ozempic.
The pen you are using should be thrown away after 56 days, whether it was kept in the refrigerator or at room temperature.
Unused Ozempic pens can be used until the expiration (EXP) date printed on the label if stored in the refrigerator.
How to dispose of the Ozempic pen and needle?
Put your Ozempic pen and needle in an FDA-cleared sharps disposal container right away after use. Your Ozempic pen and needle should not be thrown away in the household trash.
A household container can be used if you don’t have a specific FDA-cleared container for sharps disposal. If you are using your own container it should be one that is created from heavy-duty plastic and can be securely closed in a stable upright and leak-proof container. The lid should be tight and puncture-resistant whereby sharps are not able to come back out. It should be labeled properly to warn people of hazardous materials that are inside the container.
When your container for sharps disposal is nearly full, you should follow the disposal guidelines in your community. There are no special instructions for disposing of the Ozempic pen.
What are the side effects of Ozempic?
The most common side effects of Ozempic include:
- Stomach (abdominal) pain
Rare but serious side effects of Ozempic can include:
- Low blood glucose (hypoglycemia)
- Changes in vision
- Inflammation of your pancreas (pancreatitis)
- Kidney problems (kidney failure)
- Serious allergic reactions
- Gallbladder problems
You should talk to your doctor about the potential side effects of Ozempic before starting treatment.
When should you not use Ozempic?
Do not use Ozempic if you have an allergy to semaglutide or an allergy to any of the ingredients in Ozempic. Do not use Ozempic if you or anyone in your family has a history of medullary thyroid cancer (mtc) or Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia syndrome type 2.
Tell your physician about all of your medical conditions, including if you currently have or previously have had:
- Kidney problems
- Gallbladder problems
- Liver problems
- A history of alcoholism
- Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
- Any other medical conditions
You should not use Ozempic if you are currently pregnant or if you are planning to become pregnant. Ozempic can harm an unborn baby. If you become pregnant when you are using Ozempic, stop taking Ozempic and call your physician right away.
How does Ozempic work to control type 2 diabetes mellitus?
Ozempic is typically prescribed as a weekly injection administered subcutaneously into the thigh, upper arm or abdomen. Ozempic works by mimicking the effect of the hormone GLP-1. GLP-1 is a hormone that is released from the gut in response to food. It helps to regulate glucose metabolism by stimulating insulin release from the pancreas and by slowing gastric emptying. Ozempic increases insulin release when the blood sugar level is high, and it slows gastric emptying to help control blood sugar after meals. Ozempic is not meant to be used for individuals with type 1 diabetes.
Tell your doctor about all of the medications you take, including over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Ozempic may affect how other medications work, and other medications may affect how Ozempic works.
You should not use Ozempic if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Ozempic is a safe and effective medication when used as directed. Talk to your doctor about the potential risks and benefits of Ozempic before starting treatment.
What doses of Ozempic are available?
Ozempic is available as a 0.5 mg or 1 mg dose injection. The recommended dose of Ozempic is 0.5 mg or 1 mg once weekly. Your dose may be increased to 2 mg once weekly if you do not achieve adequate glycemic control with the lower dose.
What do I do if I miss a dose?
If you have missed a dose of your Ozempic injection, inject the missed dose once you remember. If it is nearly time for your next dose, skip the dose that you had missed and inject the next dose at your regular time. Do not inject a dose that is double the amount of Ozempic to make up for a dose that was missed.
How do I use Ozempic pen?
- Remove the Ozempic pen from the refrigerator and allow it to reach room temperature for at least 30 minutes before use. Check the label to ensure that the new pen contains Ozempic.
- Wash your hands with soap and water.
- Remove the pen cap by twisting it counterclockwise and pulling it straight off. Do not throw away the pen cap.
- Inspect the Ozempic pen to make sure that the solution is clear and colorless. Do not use the Ozempic pen if the solution is cloudy or contains particles. Attach a new needle. Check the dose flow for each new pen.
- Select an injection site on your thigh, upper arm or abdomen. Pinch a fold of skin between your thumb and forefinger.
- Insert the needle into the fold of the skin at a 45-degree angle.
- Push the plunger down until it stops. Do not inject the Ozempic pen if you see a drop of blood in the needle or on the transparent window.
- Keep the needle in the skin for at least 6 seconds to ensure that all of the medication has been injected.
- Withdraw the needle from the skin and release the skin fold.
- Replace the pen cap by screwing it on clockwise until it is tight.
- Dispose of the Ozempic pen in a sharps container.
A medical professional has reviewed this article.
Dr. Jamie Winn received his Doctor of Pharmacy in 2002 from the University of South Carolina College of Pharmacy, Columbia, SC. Jamie is a medical reviewer for NiceRx.