If you have type 2 diabetes, your doctor might suggest Ozempic (semaglutide) as a treatment option for you.
Ozempic is a prescription medication that’s used to:
- regulate blood sugar levels in adults with type 2 diabetes, as part of a treatment plan that includes a healthy diet and exercise
- reduce the risk of heart-related problems (heart attack and stroke) in adults with type 2 diabetes and heart disease
Ozempic belongs to a group of drugs called glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists.
This article describes the dosages of Ozempic, including its form, strengths, and how to use the drug. To learn more about Ozempic, see this in-depth article.
Note: This article covers Ozempic’s typical dosages, which are provided by the drug’s manufacturer. But when using Ozempic, always take the dosage that your doctor prescribes.
You receive Ozempic as an injection under the skin of your thigh, abdomen, or upper arm.
When you start treatment with Ozempic, your doctor will provide dosing instructions. They’ll also show you how to self-inject the drug. This way you can give yourself doses of Ozempic at home. Your pharmacist can also guide you on the best way to take your dose of Ozempic.
For a detailed dosage guide, visit the manufacturer’s site.
The information below describes dosages that are commonly used or recommended. However, be sure to take the dosage your doctor prescribes for you. Your doctor will determine the best dosage to fit your needs.
What is the form of Ozempic?
Ozempic comes as prefilled disposable pens you use to inject the drug. The pens contain a liquid solution, which is available in different strengths.
Ozempic is given as a weekly dose. Each pen has several doses. The number of doses will depend on the dose your doctor recommends that you take.
What strengths does Ozempic come in?
There are three Ozempic pens, which each differ in the amount of drug they contain and the doses they deliver. The pens’ strengths and sizes are described below:
|Pen strength||Dose given per injection||Number of doses that can be injected|
|2 mg/1.5 mL (2 milligrams of semaglutide in 1.5 milliliters of solution), which may also be written as 1.34 mg/mL||0.25 mg or 0.5 mg||• Starting doses plus maintenance doses: Four 0.25-mg doses to start, followed by two 0.5-mg doses|
• Maintenance doses: Four 0.5-mg doses
|4 mg/3 mL (1.34 mg/mL)||1 mg||• Maintenance doses: Four 1-mg doses|
|8 mg/3 mL (2.68 mg/mL)||2 mg||• Maintenance doses: Four 2-mg doses|
What are the typical dosages of Ozempic?
Typically, your doctor will start you on a low dosage, also called a starting dosage. The low dosage allows them to see how you respond to the drug. Then they’ll adjust your dosage over time to reach the right amount for you.
When you begin using Ozempic, your doctor will adjust the weekly dose every 4 weeks. This is done until you reach a dose that is effective at managing your blood sugar levels. The maximum dose for Ozempic is 2 milligrams (mg) given weekly.
Your doctor will ultimately prescribe the smallest dosage that provides the desired effect.
The following dosing chart shows how your doctor may adjust your dosage of Ozempic.
|Dosage strength||Starting dose||Maintenance dose||Dosing schedule|
|2 mg/1.5 mL, used for starting and maintenance dosages||0.25 mg, given for 4 weeks||0.5 mg, given after 4 weeks of the starting dose||Once per week, any time of day|
|4 mg/3 mL, used for maintenance dosages||1 mg, given after 4 weeks of the 0.5-mg dose if blood sugar levels are still unmanaged||Once per week, any time of day|
|8 mg/3 mL, used for maintenance dosages||2 mg, given after 4 weeks of the 0.5-mg dose if blood sugar levels are still unmanaged||Once per week, any time of day|
The 2-mg dose is the highest dose your doctor will prescribe.
When using Ozempic, try to take your dose on the same day each week. This helps make sure you’ve got a consistent amount of the drug in your body.
Is Ozempic used long term?
Yes, Ozempic is typically used as a long-term treatment. If you and your doctor determine that Ozempic is safe and effective for you, it’s likely that you’ll use it long term.
Your doctor can provide more information about Ozempic as part of your complete diabetes treatment plan.
If you’re taking certain medications, they may affect how well Ozempic works. This also applies to certain herbs, supplements, and foods. So your doctor might need to adjust your dosage of Ozempic. Before starting Ozempic treatment, tell your doctor about any medications you take.
Changes to your blood sugar levels may also mean your dose needs adjustment. Your doctor will monitor your blood sugar levels while you’re using Ozempic and adjust your dosage if needed. Be sure to check your blood sugar levels regularly, and let your doctor know of any changes.
Below are answers to a few commonly asked questions about Ozempic.
Always talk with your doctor or pharmacist if you have specific questions about your Ozempic dosage.
What is Ozempic DualDose?
Ozempic may be marketed under other names, such as Ozempic DualDose, outside of the United States. In the U.S., Ozempic isn’t officially available as Ozempic DualDose.
However, one option for Ozempic pens available in the U.S. does contain two different dosages. This pen delivers 0.25 milligrams (mg) or 0.5 mg per dose.
Your doctor or pharmacist can provide more information on Ozempic products available in the U.S.
Can Ozempic be used for weight loss? If so, what’s the dosing for this use?
Ozempic isn’t approved for weight loss, but it may be used off-label for this purpose.
If you’re using Ozempic with a healthy diet and exercise as part of your diabetes management plan, you might lose weight.
Losing weight too quickly may cause a drop in your blood sugar levels that can be dangerous. It’s important to keep checking your blood sugar levels regularly. If your levels become too low with your current dose of Ozempic, contact your doctor right away.
If you have questions about weight loss during Ozempic treatment, talk with your doctor.
I have kidney disease. Will I need to have my dosage of Ozempic adjusted?
If you have kidney problems, your doctor will check your kidney function before recommending an Ozempic dose for you.
Studies suggest Ozempic doesn’t require renal dosing adjustments (changes to dose based on kidney function) for people with kidney disease. But if you have severe kidney disease, Ozempic may not be the right drug for you. Your doctor will discuss if Ozempic is safe for you to use and what your dose should be.
Kidney problems may make certain side effects of Ozempic worse. These include:
If you have kidney problems and you experience serious side effects from Ozempic, contact your doctor right away. And for more information about Ozempic’s side effects, you can read this related article.
Do not use more Ozempic than your doctor prescribes. Using more than this can lead to serious side effects from hypoglycemia (a severe drop in blood sugar levels).
Ozempic is a long-acting drug. It stays in your body longer and requires monitoring and treatment for low blood sugar for longer times.
Symptoms of hypoglycemia include:
What to do in case you use too much Ozempic
Call your doctor right away if you think you’ve used too much Ozempic. You can also call 800-222-1222 to reach the American Association of Poison Control Centers, or use its online resource. However, if you have severe symptoms, call 911 (or your local emergency number) immediately or go to the nearest emergency room.
To maintain a normal blood sugar range, try to follow your prescribed dosing schedule.
If you miss an Ozempic dose and less than 5 days have passed from your last dose, take the missed dose. But if more than 5 days have gone by from your last dose, skip the missed dose.
Do not take two doses at once. You could have hypoglycemia (a severe drop in blood sugar levels) that lasts a long time. This is because Ozempic is a long-acting drug that stays in your body for a week.
It’s important to check your blood sugar levels regularly to maintain normal levels.
If you need help remembering to give yourself a dose of Ozempic on time, try using a medication reminder. This can include setting an alarm, downloading a reminder app, or setting a timer on your phone. A kitchen timer can work, too.
The dosage of Ozempic you’re prescribed may depend on several factors. These include:
- the type and severity of the condition you’re using Ozempic to treat
- your age
- other medications you take, as well as herbs, supplements, and foods (for example, bitter melon or cinnamon)
- blood sugar changes (see “Dosage adjustments” under “What is Ozempic’s dosage?”)
Ozempic comes as prefilled disposable injection pens. Your doctor will show you how to inject Ozempic under the skin of your abdomen, upper arm, or thigh. After this, you’ll give yourself doses of the medication at home.
Here are a few tips for helping make sure your Ozempic injection is safe and goes smoothly:
- Read the instructions on how to give yourself the dose.
- Collect your supplies (pen, needle, alcohol swab, gauze, needle disposal container).
- Wash your hands before your injection.
- Check that you’ve clicked to the correct dose on the pen (0.25 mg, 0.5 mg, 1 mg, or 2 mg).
- Use a new needle each time.
- Rotate your injection site (change where you inject the drug each time) to avoid pain and risk of infection.
For detailed instructions on how to use Ozempic, you can see the manufacturer’s site. Your doctor or pharmacist can also show you how to use Ozempic pens.
The sections above describe the typical dosages provided by the drug manufacturer. If your doctor recommends Ozempic for you, they will prescribe the dosage that’s right for you.
Remember, you should not change your dosage of Ozempic without your doctor’s recommendation. Only give yourself Ozempic exactly as prescribed. Talk with your doctor if you have questions or concerns about your current dosage.
If you have questions about your dosage of Ozempic, ask your doctor for more information. Here are some questions you may want to ask your doctor:
- If I have liver problems, will my Ozempic dose need to be changed?
- Will my dose need to be changed if I take other diabetes medications?
- How many times can I use an Ozempic pen?
For tips on managing your condition and other helpful information, subscribe to Healthline’s type 2 diabetes newsletter. And, you can see advice and stories from others with your condition in the Bezzy T2D community.
What happens if my blood sugar levels drop while I’m taking the starting dose of 0.25 milligrams (mg) for Ozempic?Anonymous
When you begin Ozempic treatment, you’ll receive 0.25 mg of the drug once a week for 4 weeks. This helps your body get used to the medication. The starting dosage isn’t used for managing blood sugar levels.
Your doctor may ask you to monitor your blood sugar levels more often when starting treatment. Call your doctor if you experience low blood sugar levels. Symptoms can include:
- mood changes
- nausea or vomiting
If you develop low blood sugar levels during the first 4 weeks of Ozempic treatment, your doctor may recommend a different medication for your diabetes.
Before you start using Ozempic, it’s important to tell your doctor about other medications you’re taking. Certain medications used to treat diabetes can increase your risk for low blood sugar levels.The Healthline Pharmacist TeamAnswers represent the opinions of our medical experts. All content is strictly informational and should not be considered medical advice.
Disclaimer: Healthline 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.