You should inject semaglutide subcutaneously, which means just under the surface of your skin. You can rotate injections between your stomach, upper arm, and thigh.

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One popular medication that healthcare professionals may recommend to promote weight loss in people with or without type 2 diabetes is semaglutide, which is sold under the brand names Ozempic and Wegovy. You’ll need to inject these forms of semaglutide once per week.

It is important that you know how to properly inject any necessary medication.

This article will explain more about injection sites and these semaglutide medications, as well as why injecting them correctly is a key part of managing your weight loss over time.

Semaglutide is a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist. This means that it mimics the GLP-1 hormone, which causes your body to produce more insulin, lowers your blood sugar, and sends messages to your brain that you’re not hungry.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved semaglutide in an injectable form under two brand names: Wegovy and Ozempic.

Here are some of the basics about injecting semaglutide:

  • You should inject it just under your skin’s surface, ideally into fat.
  • You should not inject it into veins or muscles.
  • You can inject it into your stomach, upper arm, or thigh.
  • You should rotate injection sites, changing the site for each dose.
  • When injecting into your stomach, you should stay at least 2 inches away from your belly button.
  • Areas that are red, bruised, or tender are not good areas for injecting semaglutide.
  • Avoid injecting it into areas with stretch marks or scars.

If you use insulin, you can inject semaglutide into the same area of your body as insulin, but you should not inject one right next to the other.

While injectable medication manufacturers recommended that you rotate injection sites after each injection to help prevent skin irritation, Wegovy’s manufacturer says you can use the same area of your body each week as long as you change the actual injection site.

Rotating injection sites can help you avoid scar tissue buildup. Scar tissue can prevent the medication from absorbing into your body effectively.

Any time you’re injecting a medication into your body, infection at the injection site is possible. Possible symptoms of infection include:

  • redness
  • swelling
  • pain
  • warmth
  • drainage

You should report any of these symptoms to a healthcare professional.

There is currently no research that indicates semaglutide will work better if you inject it into any particular part of your body.

However, you may prefer to inject the medication into the fattier parts of your abdomen or stomach, your buttocks, or your arm or leg. You may find that an injection is less painful in certain areas than in others.

Semaglutide can work quickly.

In a 2021 study, some people lost more than 2% of their body weight within 4 weeks. The weight loss pattern continued, and participants had lost an average of 14.9% of their body weight by the end of the 68-week study.

Everyone is different, though.

You may experience a different weight loss rate than anyone else when using semaglutide. A variety of factors can affect the amount of weight you might lose.

Although semaglutide can work quickly for weight loss, the medication can wear off if you don’t take it consistently over time. A 2022 study found that people who stopped taking semaglutide and did not use the injection for 1 year regained two-thirds of the weight they had lost.

For the best weight loss results, it’s important to combine semaglutide with a reduced calorie diet and increased exercise. It can also be beneficial to reduce or eliminate alcohol consumption.

A warning about weight loss

The FDA has approved Ozempic to assist in lowering blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. The medication is also approved for reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke in those with type 2 diabetes and known heart disease.

Wegovy is the only brand of semaglutide that’s specifically approved for weight management.

People who take these semaglutide medications for other purposes or use compounded forms may not experience the full benefits and may have a greater risk of serious health complications.

Your healthcare team can help you make any decisions about a medication before you start taking it.

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Semaglutide is a drug sold in injectable form under the brand names Ozempic and Wegovy, though only Wegovy is specifically labeled for weight loss. Healthcare professionals often prescribe this medication to help people with type 2 diabetes lower their blood sugar and manage their weight.

If you’re using this medication, you should inject it just under your skin, avoiding muscles and veins. You can inject it into your upper arm, stomach, or thigh. Rotating the injection site for each dose can help reduce your risk of skin irritation or infection.

If your doctor prescribes Ozempic or Wegovy, it’s important that you follow your doctor’s or pharmacist’s directions for using the medication and that you do not stop taking it without discussing it with your doctor first.