Ozempic Dosage Guide: Finding Your Correct Dose

Before beginning your weight loss treatment, it’s important to understand how Ozempic works – and how your healthcare provider decides the best dosage for you. Here we’ll explain what this popular weight loss drug does and how titration –  a method of dosing medications – works. 

What is Ozempic?

Whether you’re considering Ozempic, have already begun treatment or are simply curious, let’s first understand what this prescription weight loss injection does. Ozempic is a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist. Its active ingredient semaglutide is the same active drug in Wegovy and compounded (unbranded) semaglutide. Though not yet approved by the FDA for weight loss, it is approved to treat people with type 2 diabetes, and can be prescribed for weight loss off label. 

How it works

The body naturally produces the GLP-1 hormone when we eat to trigger insulin production, helping the body’s cells absorb glucose from our food, and telling our body that we’re full. A GLP-1 receptor agonist is a medication that mimics this natural process. It causes blood sugar levels to be regulated, decreases appetite and slows gastric emptying so you feel fuller for longer. [1] GLP-1 agonists such as Ozempic were first prescribed to manage blood sugar levels in adults with type 2 diabetes. Since then, clinical trials have shown participants to lose up to 7% of their body weight after a year when combined with lifestyle changes such as maintaining a healthy diet and doing regular exercise, so are now prescribed by clinicians for weight management too. [2]

Understanding Dose and Patients

Ozempic, like all GLP-1 weight loss treatments, is a prescription drug that requires titration. This is a way of dosing medications – gradually increasing your dose every month until you achieve the maintenance dose.  

Importance of Proper Dosage

A balancing act of sorts, titrating Ozempic helps you get the treatment’s maximum benefits while experiencing the minimum possible adverse effects. 

Initial Dose and Starting Treatment

Starting Dose Recommendations

Once you’ve had a clinical consultation here at Levity your Ozempic prescription will then be prepared. Everyone starting treatment will begin on the lowest dose, before increasing every four weeks to help your body adjust to the medication. The starting dose for Ozempic is 0.25 mg for weeks 1–4. Then, provided your clinical team is happy with your progress and that you’re tolerating your medication well, you can move up to a typical dosage of 0.5 mg for weeks 5–8, 1.0 mg for weeks 9–12, 1.5 mg for weeks 13–16  and 2 mg from 17 weeks onwards. You may not need to increase all the way up to 2 mg depending on how your body responds to Ozempic – this will be decided during your clinical check-ins. 

Dose Adjustments

Each body reacts differently to medication. While every subsequent dosage adjustment must be approved by your Levity clinician first, you can choose to remain on your current dose for longer should you wish to. This is particularly recommended if you’re experiencing side effects or simply don’t feel ready for an increased dose. If and when an Ozempic dose changes, it is still taken the exact same way – a self-administered subcutaneous injection in the abdomen, thigh, or upper arm using a pre-filled pen. 

Assessing Weight Loss

With all GLP-1 weight loss injections, some individuals may find that their progress appears to stall when they go up to the 0.5 mg dose in month two. This is normal and means it might be time to increase your dosage and reduce your calorie intake. Here at Levity, our clinical experts recommend staying on Ozempic for at least six months to judge its effectiveness – and are always available to answer any of your titration questions throughout your weight loss treatment plan.

Maximum Dose and Maintenance Dose

Determining Maximum Dose

Your maximum dose will be determined by your healthcare provider or Levity clinical team. This will vary person to person, depending on how well the medication is tolerated and how effective it is at reducing your body weight. 

Maintaining Long-Term Control

Weight management is not a quick fix and our clinicians recommend continuing treatment beyond the final dose escalation. This has been shown to result in clinically relevant weight loss, whereas stopping treatment (seen in placebo-treated patients) led to significant weight regain. [3] The dose that you’ll be advised to continue on long-term is called your maintenance dose. 

What happens if I miss a dose?

Sometimes missing a dose is unavoidable. If this happens within five days after the missed dose, just administer your Ozempic as soon as possible. If it has been more than five days, skip the missed dose completely and resume your once weekly dosing schedule on the next regularly scheduled day.

Common Side Effects

It's common to experience some mild to moderate side effects when you first increase your dose, while your body adapts. Common side effects include nausea, diarrhea and in some cases, vomiting. This can be normal and will settle as your body gets used to the new dose. You can ease adverse reactions by staying hydrated, eating small, frequent meals and avoiding foods high in fat and sugar. If your side effects persist or worsen, we recommend seeking medical advice from your dedicated Levity team. 

How to get Ozempic treatment online

Here at Levity, it’s possible to get Ozempic completely online – meaning you don’t have to visit your MD in person or wait in line at the pharmacy to collect your medication. Our consultation is an online questionnaire you’ll complete so our clinical team can understand your medical history and weight loss goals. Then, if Ozempic is the right treatment for you, they'll prescribe and ship your medication to your door each month – along with detailed instructions for administering your injection pen. Monthly Ozempic treatment with us costs $1,199 and includes your consultation, prescription, medication, shipping, unlimited clinical check-ins and health coaching. 

References

1. Gorgojo-Martínez JJ, Mezquita-Raya P, Carretero-Gómez J, Castro A, Cebrián-Cuenca A, de Torres-Sánchez A, et al. Clinical Recommendations to Manage Gastrointestinal Adverse Events in Patients Treated with Glp-1 Receptor Agonists: A Multidisciplinary Expert Consensus. Journal of Clinical Medicine [Internet]. 2023 Jan 1;12(1):145. Available from: https://www.mdpi.com/2077-0383/12/1/145 

‌2. Wilding JPH, Batterham RL, Calanna S. Once-Weekly Semaglutide in Adults with Overweight or Obesity. The New England Journal of Medicine [Internet]. 2021 Feb 10;384(11):989–1002. Available from: https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa2032183 

3.Rubino DM, Abrahamsson N, Davies M, Hesse D, Greenway FL, Jensen C, et al. Weight Loss Maintenance With Once-Weekly Semaglutide 2.4 MG in Adults With Overweight or Obesity Reaching Maintenance Dose (STEP 4). Journal of the Endocrine Society. 2021 May 1;5(Supplement_1):A63–4.

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