Semaglutide is sold as Ozempic, Wegovy, and Rybelsus for type 2 diabetes and weight loss. Injectable versions of the drug need to be refrigerated. Tablets can be stored at room temperature.

Semaglutide is used to lower blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke in people with type 2 diabetes. More recently, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cleared it to help control weight.

For semaglutide to be most effective, it must be properly stored and used according to the labeling instructions.

This article will explain how semaglutide prescription medications can be stored in the refrigerator or at room temperature. We’ll also explain how long it can be safety used when you follow the manufacturer’s directions and guidance from your doctor or pharmacist.

Semaglutide is a type of drug known as a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist. It mimics the GLP-1 hormone and can prompt the body to release more insulin, which may reduce blood sugar. Increased levels of GLP-1 can also send a signal to the brain prompting it to feel that the stomach is full.

Semaglutide is approved under several different brand names. Whether or not it needs to be refrigerated depends on the form of the medication:

  • Rybelsus, the brand name for an oral tablet semaglutide, should be stored at room temperature according to its manufacturer.
  • Ozempic is an injectable form of the medication that may require refrigeration at times. Unused Ozempic injection pens should be stored in the refrigerator. Once they’re in use, they can be stored at room temperature or refrigerated for up to 56 days. Any unused medication should be tossed after that point.
  • Wegovy is another injectable form of semaglutide. Wegovy injection pens should be stored in the refrigerator. If necessary, unopened ones can be left at room temperature for up to 28 days. They also need to be protected from light.

Your doctor or pharmacist can point out where the expiration date is printed on your medication.

Semaglutide may go bad before this date, though, if it’s not properly stored. For example, both Wegovy and Ozempic should not be used if the medication has been frozen.

Some other important things to keep in mind are that Wegovy can only be stored in the original carton unopened at room temperature for up to 28 days, and opened Ozempic pens should be discarded 56 days after the pen was first used.

While semaglutide tablets can be stored at room temperature, Rybelsus’ blue cap has a drying agent that helps to keep moisture from the pills.

The manufacturer recommends that pills be stored in the bottle with the blue cap.

Why does semaglutide help you lose weight?

As a GLP-1 receptor agonist, semaglutide may help control weight by increasing the amount of GLP-1 hormone. This can cause the production of additional insulin and signal fullness to the brain.

Can you drink alcohol if you take semaglutide?

It’s important to talk with your doctor before drinking alcohol while on semaglutide. While the FDA has not warned against it, alcohol and semaglutide each can lower blood sugar levels and consuming both may lead to hypoglycemia.

Are semaglutide tablets or injections better?

At least one study indicates that semaglutide tablets may work as well as injections. Your doctor can discuss the pros and cons of each with you when determining what to prescribe.

Can you use semaglutide after the expiration date?

The FDA advises against using any medications, including those with semaglutide, after their expiration date. The strength and safety of medications is not guaranteed past this time.

Semaglutide is a GLP-1 receptor agonist that can be used for treating type 2 diabetes and controlling weight. Doctors may prescribe this medication in tablet or injection form.

While tablet versions of semaglutide may be stored at room temperature, it’s important to follow any refrigeration directions for the injected forms. It’s also important to properly dispose of any expired, unused medication.

If you have any questions about how to store or take your semaglutide medication, you should ask your doctor or pharmacist.