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What is the Ozempic for weight loss dosage?

Written by Klarity Editorial Team

Published: May 21, 2024

Medically Reviewed by Dr. Sheelu Bhatnagar

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Ozempic (semaglutide) is a prescription medication approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to help control blood sugar and A1C in people with type 2 diabetes. It’s also used off-label for weight loss. In this article, we cover everything you need to know about the Ozempic for weight loss dosage.

If you have type 2 diabetes and want to lose weight, a licensed healthcare provider can help you determine whether Ozempic or another medication is right for you. Find a weight loss provider on Klarity today to discover your options.

Get a prescription for Ozempic in as little as 24 hours.

Available forms of Ozempic and semaglutide

Ozempic is an injectable glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) agonist medication approved to lower blood sugar in adults with type 2 diabetes when used alongside a healthy diet and increased physical activity. It’s also approved to reduce the risk of major cardiovascular events, such as heart attack, stroke, or death, in adults with type 2 diabetes and known heart disease.

There’s no generic version of Ozempic. But, its active ingredient, semaglutide, is available as the brand-name weight loss medications, Rybelsus and Wegovy. Rybelsus (semaglutide) is an oral tablet that’s FDA-approved to improve blood sugar control in people with type 2 diabetes. Wegovy (semaglutide) is a weight loss injection approved for adults with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more, or 27 or more with a weight-related health condition. It’s also approved to reduce the risk of cardiovascular death, heart attack, and stroke in adults with cardiovascular disease and either obesity or overweight. 

Compounded semaglutide is available. Reasons you might choose compounded semaglutide over brand-name Ozempic, include cost, personal preference, allergies, and trouble finding Ozempic in stock

All forms of semaglutide should be used alongside a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity. 

Talk to your healthcare provider about whether Ozempic, Wegovy, oral semaglutide vs injection, or compounded semaglutide, is best for you.

Available doses of Ozempic

Ozempic is available in 4 doses and comes in 3 different prefilled injection pens. The red pen can be adjusted to deliver 4 doses of either 0.25 or 0.5 milligrams. The blue pen delivers 4 1-milligram doses of Ozempic, and the yellow pen delivers 4 2-milligram doses. Each injection pen lasts 4 weeks, or about 1 month (28 days). 

You inject yourself under the skin (subcutaneously) in the stomach, thigh, or arm once a week. Your healthcare provider can show you how. The manufacturer, Novo Nordisk, also has instructions on its Ozempic website. 

Injection and dosage tips

  • Get instructions on how to inject yourself from your healthcare provider, pharmacist, or Novo Nordisk’s Ozempic website. 
  • Avoid injecting yourself in the exact same spot each week. Instead, try to rotate injection sites to prevent damaging your skin.
  • Take your injection on the same day each week. You can take Ozempic at any time of day, with or without a meal.
  • When injecting your dose, wait for the yellow bar on the pen to stop before removing the pen from your injection site.
  • Don’t increase your dose more than once every 4 weeks unless otherwise instructed by your healthcare provider. Increasing the dose too fast can increase your risk of side effects.
  • Manage common side effects of Ozempic with lifestyle and diet changes, such as eating smaller meals more frequently and avoiding fried or fatty foods. 

What is the starting dose and maintenance dose of Ozempic?

The starting dose of Ozempic is 0.25 milligrams. Your healthcare provider will have you increase your dose typically every 4 weeks until you reach your maintenance dose, which is the maximum dose you can tolerate or need for ideal blood sugar control or your target A1C level. 

Starting at a low dose and increasing over time lets your body adjust to each dose and can help minimize common gastrointestinal (GI) side effects like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and constipation. Target maintenance doses tend to be the 2 highest doses of Ozempic — 1 or 2 milligrams. 

What is the dosage of Ozempic for weight loss?

Ozempic is approved to improve blood sugar control in people with type 2 diabetes and has an added benefit of weight loss. If you’re prescribed Ozempic, your provider’s primary aim is most likely to help you get better control of your blood sugar levels. Using Ozempic for only for weight loss is considered off-label use, but isn’t uncommon. 

Ozempic for weight loss dosage chart

The table below outlines the typical dosing schedule for Ozempic. Your dosing schedule may vary depending on how you tolerate the medication and your provider’s weight loss recommendations. 

WeeksOzempic (semaglutide) dose
Weeks 1–4.25 mg once a week
Weeks 5–8.5 mg once a week
Weeks 9–121.0 mg once a week 💉
Weeks 13+2.0 mg once a week 💉
💉Potential maintenance dose

Trial data shows that you lose more weight on higher doses of semaglutide, Ozempic’s active ingredient. If you’re using Ozempic specifically for weight loss, you’ll likely take the full 2 milligram dose. In clinical trials, people taking 2 milligrams of Ozempic for type 2 diabetes each week lost up to 10% of their body weight over 40 weeks.

Your provider may suggest Wegovy vs Ozempic if your main need is to lose weight. Wegovy doses go up to 2.4 milligrams of semaglutide a week. Clinical trial participants who took 2.4 milligrams of Wegovy weekly lost 14.9% of their body weight over 68 weeks. 

Talk to your provider about your goals. They can help you determine whether Ozempic, Wegovy, or another medication will work best for you. 

What to do if you miss a dose of Ozempic

If you miss a dose of Ozempic, here’s what to do:

  • Take the missed dose as soon as possible within 5 days of the missed dose.
  • If more than 5 days have passed, skip the missed dose, and take your next dose on your regularly scheduled day. 

Missed Ozempic dose sample chart

Time of your normal weekly doseWhen to take your missed doseWhen to take your missed dose if not taken by Thursday at 9:00 a.m. 
Saturday at 9:00 a.m.Anytime before Thursday at 9:00 a.m.Following Saturday 9:00 a.m. — the time of your normal weekly dose

Important! Never double up on your Ozempic dose. Don’t take 2 doses at the same time or within 2 days of each other. Taking too much is considered an overdose and can be harmful. If you miss 2 doses in a row, call your provider to discuss how to restart treatment. 

Tips to avoid missing a dose

It’s best to inject Ozempic on the same day each week and can help you stay on track. It also keeps a consistent amount of medication in your body, so you get the most out of your medication. 

To help yourself remember to take your dose on time, set a reminder or alert on your smartphone or digital calendar or post a note somewhere you’ll see it.

What to do if you overdose on Ozempic

It’s possible to overdose on Ozempic. Overdosing can cause severe hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) which may involve emergency management of blood sugar levels, such as giving glucose, intravenous (IV) fluids, or glucagon (a sugar-raising hormone). In some cases, you may need to be hospitalized for treatment and observation.

If you overdose on Ozempic, call your healthcare provider, 911, or Poison Control for immediate medical attention. Symptoms of an Ozempic overdose include:

  • Lightheaded or dizziness
  • Shaking or jitteriness
  • Sweating, chills, and clammy skin
  • Irritability or impatience
  • Headache
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Confusion
  • Passing out
  • Seizures

How to change the day you inject Ozempic

The day you inject Ozempic each week can be changed if needed. The time between doses should be at least 2 days (48 hours). For example, if you normally inject Ozempic on Wednesday at noon, you could move it to Friday at noon or any day and time after that. 

Reach out to your healthcare provider before adjusting your dose date for more guidance on how to safely switch the day you take Ozempic.

How to get a prescription for Ozempic

A qualified healthcare provider can give you a prescription to get Ozempic for weight loss. To get a prescription, schedule an appointment with your provider or find one on a marketplace service like Klarity. These services connect you with licensed providers who can help you create a medical weight loss program that includes medication if needed. 

Get a prescription for Ozempic in as little as 24 hours

Find a licensed healthcare provider for a tailored weight loss plan on Klarity. Your provider can assess whether you will benefit from medication like Ozempic and supervise your weight loss journey. Find a weight loss provider on Klarity today and make your way to a healthier you.

Sources

American Diabetes Association – Clinical Diabetes, Oral Semaglutide, Sally Hughes and Joshua J. Neumiller, Jan. 2020, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6969659/

Drug Design, Development and Therapy, Clinical Insight on Semaglutide for Chronic Weight Management in Adults: Patient Selection and Special Considerations, Ariana M Chao et. al., Dec. 2022, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9807016/

Mayo Clinic, Drugs and Supplements: Semaglutide (Subcutaneous Route), https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/semaglutide-subcutaneous-route/precautions/drg-20406730?p=1

Missouri Poison Center, Can you overdose on Ozempic for weight loss?, Oct. 2023, https://missouripoisoncenter.org/can-you-overdose-on-ozempic-for-weight-loss/

Novo Medlink, Frequently asked questions about Ozempic (semaglutide) injection, https://www.novomedlink.com/diabetes/products/treatments/ozempic/about/frequently-asked-questions.html

Novo Nordisk, Dosing for Ozempic (semaglutide) injection, https://www.ozempic.com/how-to-take/ozempic-dosing.html

Novo Nordisk, Rybelsus, https://www.rybelsus.com/

The New England Journal of Medicine, Once-Weekly Semaglutide in Adults with Overweight or Obesity, John P.H. Wilding, DM, et. al., Feb. 2021, https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa2032183

The New England Journal of Medicine, Tirzepatide versus Semaglutide Once Weekly in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes, Juan P. Frias et. al., Jun. 2021, https://www.nejm.org/doi/10.1056/NEJMoa2107519

U.S. Food and Drug Administration, FDA Approves First Treatment to Reduce Risk of Serious Heart Problems Specifically in Adults with Obesity or Overweight, Mar. 2024, https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/fda-approves-first-treatment-reduce-risk-serious-heart-problems-specifically-adults-obesity-or

The information provided in this article is for educational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Always seek the guidance of a qualified healthcare professional with any questions or concerns you have regarding your health.

How we reviewed this article: This article goes through rigorous fact-checking by a team of medical reviewers. Reviewers are trained medical professionals who ensure each article contains the most up-to-date information, and that medical details have been correctly interpreted by the author.

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