Ozempic’s Dosage: What to Know

Medically Reviewed By Heather Bruce, PharmD

This drug has a boxed warning Trusted Source PubMed Central Highly respected database from the National Institutes of Health Go to source , the most serious warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A boxed warning alerts doctors and patients about drug effects that may be dangerous.

In animal studies, drugs such as Ozempic raised the risk of certain thyroid cancers. This includes medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC). However, it’s not known whether these types of drugs also raise this risk in humans.

Due to the potential risk, doctors typically won’t prescribe Ozempic if you or a relative has a history of MTC. Doctors also typically will not prescribe Ozempic if you have multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2. This is an inherited cancer syndrome characterized by MTC and other tumors.

Talk with your healthcare professional if you have additional questions about this warning.

Ozempic: Introduction

Ozempic is a brand-name prescription medication that contains the active drug semaglutide. It belongs to a class of drugs called glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists. Ozempic is not available in a generic form.

This medication has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to:

In this article, you’ll find additional information about Ozempic’s dosage and details on how to take the drug. For a comprehensive overview of Ozempic, view this article.

Finding a healthcare professional

If you’re interested in taking Ozempic, search here to find a doctor who might prescribe it.

This article describes typical recommended dosages for Ozempic. These dosages are provided by the drug’s manufacturer.

Always follow the dosage of Ozempic that your doctor prescribes.

Ozempic: Dosing for off-label use in weight loss

Sometimes doctors prescribe Ozempic off-label for weight loss. With off-label use, doctors prescribe a medication for a purpose other than what it’s approved for.

Ozempic isn’t approved as a weight loss drug. Additionally, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) hasn’t approved Ozempic for use in long-term weight management.*

If you have questions about Ozempic’s dosing for off-label use in weight loss, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

* A brand-name drug called Wegovy is FDA-approved for long-term weight management. It contains the same active ingredient as Ozempic. If you’re interested in taking Wegovy, talk with your doctor. You can also read more about Wegovy in this article.

Ozempic: Dosage

Commonly recommended dosages for Ozempic are shown below. However, you should take the dosage your doctor prescribes for you.They’ll recommend the dosage that’s best for your condition.

Ozempic’s form and strengths

Ozempic comes as a solution inside a single-patient-use pen for subcutaneous injection. Each of these pens is meant to be used by only one person.

Prefilled Ozempic pens are available in the following strengths, shown in milligrams per milliliter (mg/mL):

  • 2 mg/3 mL
  • 2 mg/1.5 mL
  • 4 mg/3 mL
  • 8 mg/3 mL

Typical recommended dosages

Usually, doctors will prescribe a low dosage of Ozempic at the start of treatment. Then, they’ll adjust the dosage over time if needed. Ultimately, your doctor will prescribe the smallest dosage of Ozempic that gives the desired effect.

Purpose Starting dosage Maintenance dosage Maximum dosage
manage blood sugar levels in adults with type 2 diabetes 0.25 mg once per week for 4 weeks 0.5 mg once per week for at least 4 weeks 2 mg once per week
lower the risk of cardiovascular events in adults with cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes 0.25 mg once per week for 4 weeks 0.5 mg once per week for at least 4 weeks 2 mg once per week

Length of treatment

Doctors typically prescribe Ozempic as a long-term treatment. You’ll likely take it long term if you and your doctor feel it’s safe and effective for your condition.

Ozempic: Common questions about dosage

Below are some common questions related to Ozempic’s dosage.

Does Ozempic have a 1-mg or 2-mg dose?

Yes, doctors may prescribe a 1-milligram (mg) or 2-mg dose of Ozempic. For type 2 diabetes, they may prescribe these doses if lower doses aren’t effective at managing blood sugar levels. For details, see the “Ozempic: Dosage” section above.

If you have additional questions about how doctors determine Ozempic dosages, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Is there a recommended dosage chart for Ozempic?

Yes, there is a recommended dosage chart for Ozempic. For typical starting, maintenance, and maximum dosages for Ozempic, refer to the dosage table in the “Ozempic: Dosage” section above. You can also refer to the drug’s prescribing information.

For more information about Ozempic’s recommended dosages, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

How many doses of Ozempic are there per pen?

An Ozempic pen can hold four to six doses of medication. The number of doses in your Ozempic pen depends on its strength and your dose.

The pen has a built-in dose counter and selector, which is like a dial. You’ll turn the dial until the counter displays your prescribed dose. You may hear a click with each turn.

A healthcare professional will show you how to use the pen. To learn more, refer to the “Ozempic: How to use” section.

Your pharmacist can answer additional questions you may have about doses and your Ozempic pen.

If I have kidney (renal) problems, is there recommended renal dosing for Ozempic?

No, there’s no recommended renal dosing for Ozempic.

In clinical studies, the drug didn’t appear to have a different effect in people with kidney problems. Additionally, Ozempic didn’t appear to build up in people with kidney problems compared with people without them.

However, in rare instances, Ozempic has caused new or worsening kidney problems as a side effect.* (For information about Ozempic’s side effects, view this article.) So if you have kidney problems, your doctor may closely monitor your kidney function during Ozempic treatment.

To learn more about how Ozempic may affect the kidneys, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

* Many reports of new or worsening kidney problems occurred in people who had experienced gastrointestinal reactions, such as nausea or diarrhea.

Ozempic: Dosage considerations

Your doctor will consider several factors when prescribing the dosage for Ozempic. These factors include:

  • the condition you’re taking Ozempic to treat
  • the severity of your condition
  • how well Ozempic is working for your condition

Your prescribed dosage may also vary based on other medical conditions you have. For the recommended dosages, see the “Ozempic: Dosage” section above.

Ozempic: How to use

Ozempic comes as a solution inside a prefilled pen. It’s given by subcutaneous injection once per week. You or a caregiver will administer the injection after your healthcare professional shows you how.

Additionally, Ozempic’s manufacturer provides step-by-step instructions for how to give injections with the prefilled pen. You can view the instructions and watch a video here.

You can inject Ozempic under the skin in the following areas:

  • thigh
  • abdomen, at least 2 inches (in) from the belly button
  • upper arm if a caregiver administers the injection

You can use the same area for your weekly injections if desired. However, you should rotate the site where you inject Ozempic with each dose. So if you prefer your abdomen, choose a different spot on your abdomen for each injection.

ACCESSIBLE DRUG LABELS AND CONTAINERS

Certain pharmacies provide medication labels with large print or braille. They may also offer labels containing a scannable code that your smartphone can convert from text to speech. If your pharmacy doesn’t provide these choices, your doctor or pharmacist may be able to recommend a pharmacy that does.

Ozempic: Missing a dose

If you miss a dose of Ozempic, take the missed dose based on the following timing:

  • If it’s within 5 days of the missed dose, take the dose as soon as you remember.
  • If it’s been more than 5 days, skip the missed dose. Then, take your next dose at the regularly scheduled time.

Do not take more than one Ozempic dose at a time.

View these medication reminder options to help avoid missing doses. You could also set an alarm or download a reminder app on your phone.

Ozempic: Overdose

For some drugs, using more than the recommended dosage may lead to unwanted side effects or overdose. Do not use more Ozempic than your doctor prescribes.

For dosage details, see the “Ozempic: Dosage” section above. To avoid injecting more Ozempic than intended, carefully follow the manufacturer’s step-by-step injection guide here.

What to do if you take too much Ozempic

Call your doctor if you think you’ve taken too much of this drug. Also, you can call the America’s Poison Centers at 800-222-1222 or use its online tool. However, if your symptoms are severe, call 911 or a local emergency number. Or go to the nearest emergency room right away.

Ozempic: What to discuss with your doctor

Talk with your doctor or pharmacist for additional information about Ozempic’s dosage. Keep in mind that the dosages presented in this article are typical dosages provided by the drug’s manufacturer. (For details, see the “Ozempic: Dosage” section above.)

Your doctor will recommend the dosage of Ozempic that’s right for you and your condition. Always follow the dosage that your doctor prescribes for you.

As with any medications you’re taking, do not change your Ozempic dosage without a recommendation from your doctor.

In addition to discussing Ozempic with your doctor, you may find the following articles helpful in learning more.

  • Overview of Ozempic. For comprehensive details on Ozempic, see this article.
  • Drug comparisons. To learn how Ozempic compares with Rybelsus, read this article.
  • Information on side effects. If you’d like to know about possible side effects of Ozempic, view this article.
  • Cost and savings options. For information about Ozempic’s cost and ways to save on your prescription, read this article.
  • Details about interactions. If you want to find out about possible interactions with Ozempic, view this article.
  • Details about type 2 diabetes. To learn more about type 2 diabetes, which Ozempic is used to treat, see this article.

Disclaimer: Healthgrades has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.


Medical Reviewer: Heather Bruce, PharmD
Last Review Date: 2023 Feb 2
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