How To Inject Ozempic: Tips For Self-Injection

By Craig Sorkin, DNP, APN
Medically reviewed checkmarkMedically reviewed
January 31, 2023

Key takeaways

  • Ozempic is the brand-name of semaglutide, a prescription for adults with type 2 diabetes. It’s also sometimes prescribed off-label to support weight loss.

  • Ozempic is a weekly injection that comes prepared in an easy-to-use injector pen. These pens are similar to insulin pens.

  • If you have trouble understanding how to administer your Ozempic injection, your medical provider or pharmacist can show you.

People who take Ozempic give themselves a weekly injection of Ozempic at the same time each week. You can take it with or without food. If you have type 2 diabetes, Ozempic may help keep your blood sugar in a healthy range.

The medication works best when you follow the diet your medical provider recommends and get regular exercise. Ozempic may also help protect against cardiovascular events such as stroke or heart attack. 

Read on to learn more about giving yourself an Ozempic injection and properly storing and disposing of your Ozempic pens.

Ozempic Injection Sites

Ozempic injections can make managing diabetes more convenient. It’s also prescribed to help qualifying patients lose weight. The injections are given subcutaneously and are typically well-tolerated. Ozempic injection sites include the fatty areas of the:

  • Abdomen 
  • Thighs 
  • Upper arms

Rotate between the different sites each time you take an Ozempic injection to keep your skin healthy and reduce potential skin irritation. Your healthcare provider will review proper administration techniques so that you feel comfortable administering your next dose.

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How To Inject Ozempic

Injecting Ozempic is a straightforward process you can quickly accomplish with minimal discomfort. It’s important to follow your medical provider’s dosing instructions carefully. Ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist if you have questions about the process.

Wash Hands

Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before preparing your injection. Dry them with a clean towel or paper towel. Use hand sanitizer if you do not have running water and soap. 

Prepare Your Ozempic Pen

Look at the medication in your pen. It should appear clear and colorless. Do not use the pen if you notice cloudiness or particles in the medication. 

Attach a new needle to your pen for each injection by tearing off the paper tab. Push and turn the needle until it is tight. Remove the outer and inner needle caps. 

Check the Ozempic flow each time you use a new pen by turning the dose selector until it shows the flow check symbol. Press and hold the dose button until the counter shows 0. Check the needle tip to make sure there is a drop.

Select your dose by turning the dose selector until the counter shows the dose your medical provider has prescribed. 

Prepare the Injection Site

Select an injection site from your upper arm, thigh, or abdomen. Using a 60-70% alcohol-based solution on a single-use swab or cotton ball, clean the area for 30 seconds. Allow the alcohol to dry completely. Do not blow on it or wave your hand over it to speed up the drying time. 

Inject Subcutaneously

To inject your dose, insert the needle directly into your clean injection site at a 90° angle. Press and hold down the dose button. 

After the dose counter reaches 0, count to six seconds, then remove the needle from your skin.

Dispose of Used Pen

After your injection, remove the needle carefully and place it in a sharps container. Put the cap back on the pen. 

Tips for Proper Injection

Here are some further tips to help you safely and effectively inject your medicine, store your pens, and dispose of used pens.

Choose the Right Injection Site

You have several options for where to inject your medication. Many people find injecting themselves into their abdomen to be easiest. Any area to the sides and under your umbilicus are safe areas. 

Your thighs are another accessible area you can use on either your left or right leg. Your upper arms are possible injection sites as well. Although, some people find it challenging to self-inject in that location. 

Be sure never to inject into a muscle or vein. Choose an area with a layer of subcutaneous tissue the medication can enter. Ask your medical provider any questions you have about where to inject your medication. 

Rotate Injection Sites

Each week, choose a different injection site. For example, if you injected into your right abdomen last week, inject into your mid or left abdomen this week. Let each injection site have a few weeks to rest before you use it again. 

Missing A Dose

If you ever miss a dose, take the missed dose as soon as possible if it’s within five days of missing the injection. If more than five days have passed, skip your missed dose. Take your next dose on your next regularly scheduled day. 

Store Pen Properly

To store your pens properly, keep all unused Ozempic pens in the refrigerator between 36°F to 46°F. After using a pen once, you can store it at room temperature between 59°F to 86°F or refrigerator between 36°F to 46°F. Pens can be kept at room temperature for 56 days. Be sure to mark the disposal date on your calendar. New pens kept in the refrigerator can be used until the expiration date. 

Other tips for storing your pens:

  • Do not freeze Ozempic or use pens that have been frozen.
  • Keep Ozempic away from heat and direct light.
  • Do not store Ozempic pens next to the cooling element of the refrigerator.
  • Keep your Ozempic pens and all other medications out of the reach of children.
  • Always keep the cap on the pen when you are not using it. 

Properly dispose of them by putting them in an FDA-cleared sharps disposal container. If you do not have the appropriate container, you can use a household container that has the following qualities:

  • Made of heavy-duty plastic
  • A tight-fitting, puncture-resistant lid
  • Will not leak
  • Remains upright and stable
  • Is properly labeled as a hazardous waste container

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When to See a Medical Provider

Check with your medical provider whenever you have questions or concerns regarding the injection, storage, and disposal of Ozempic. They can answer any questions and provide reassurance of things you are doing correctly. In addition, they can teach you additional tips, tricks, or techniques that can help to ensure your safety and ease of use. 

It is also crucial for your provider to know about any medications you might already be taking so that there will not be any interactions or adverse reactions with Ozempic. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

How should I dispose of used pens?
Properly dispose of used pens by putting them in an FDA-cleared sharps disposal container. If you do not have the appropriate container, you can use a household container with a tight-fitting, puncture-resistant lid that does not leak, remains upright and stable, and is properly labeled as a hazardous waste container.​ Make sure you keep this container out of reach of children.​
How long can I store Ozempic pens?
After using a pen once, you can store it at room temperature between 59°F to 86°F or in the refrigerator between 36°F to 46°F for 56 days. Unused pens stored in the fridge can be used until the expiration date. Do not freeze Ozempic or use pens that have been frozen.​
What should I do if I miss a dose?
If you ever miss a dose, take the missed dose as soon as possible. If it's been more than five days, skip the missed dose and take your next dose on your regularly scheduled day.​
K Health articles are all written and reviewed by MDs, PhDs, NPs, or PharmDs and are for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute and should not be relied on for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment.

Craig Sorkin, DNP, APN

Craig Sorkin, DNP, APN is a board certified Family Nurse Practitioner with over 15 years experience. He received his Undergraduate and Graduate degrees from William Paterson University and his doctoral degree from Drexel University. He has spent his career working in the Emergency Room and Primary Care. The last 6 years of his career have been dedicated to the field of digital medicine. He has created departments geared towards this specialized practice as well as written blogs and a book about the topic.

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