Ozempic Storage: Does It Need to Be Refrigerated? - Levity

What Is Ozempic?

Ozempic is a popular weight loss drug that uses semaglutide as its active ingredient. Semaglutide is a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist. This type of drug mimics the GLP-1 hormone that is released in the gastrointestinal tract when we eat. The GLP-1 our body naturally produces prompts insulin release, which reduces blood glucose levels. It also slows gastric emptying and interacts with the parts of the brain that reduce appetite and tell the body it’s full. (FDA, 2023). [1] 

Who Can Benefit From Taking Ozempic Injections? 

Because semaglutide medication increases insulin secretion and decreases glucagon to control blood sugar levels, it was originally prescribed to treat people with type-2 diabetes. (Almandoz, Lingvay, Morales and Campos 2020). [2] Its ability to reduce appetite and increase feelings of fullness means it has become a popular treatment for weight management too. In clinical trials, participants using Ozempic saw up to 7% reduction in body weight in a year when combined with a healthy diet and regular exercise (​​Wilding, Batterham and Calanna 2021). [3]

The Importance Of Proper Storage For Medications

Like all injectable medications, Ozempic must be stored appropriately to ensure it remains stable and effective. But does Ozempic need to be refrigerated? The answer here is two fold. 

Understanding Ozempic Storage Requirements

There is different storage temperature guidance depending on whether the injection pen has been opened yet. This can cause confusion over how to properly store GLP-1 receptor agonists. Read on for your guide to storing your Ozempic safely. 

How To Store Your Unused And In-Use Ozempic Pens

Unused injection pens should be stored in the refrigerator to preserve their potency between 36°F to 46°F. When stored in the refrigerator, do not store Ozempic pens directly next to the cooling element as this may cause the medication to freeze. Do not use your Ozempic if it has been frozen. 

Once you’ve used your Ozempic pen for the first time (you’ll use the same pen for four weeks as it contains four doses), you can then store it for 56 days at room temperature between 59ºF to 86ºF or in a refrigerator between 36°F to 46°F (Ozempic.com 2024). [4] 

What Happens If Ozempic Is Not Refrigerated Before First Use?

Your medication will be sent to you in special packaging to keep it as cool as possible while in transit. Once you receive your Ozempic, put it in the refrigerator as soon as possible. However, if it’s been exposed to extreme heat (above 86ºF), cold (below 59ºF), or light for an extended period, you shouldn’t use your Ozempic medication and should request a new pen. 

Other Ozmepic Storage Considerations

After your first use of the pre-filled injection pen, store it with the needle removed and the cap on (this will help protect it from light) out of the reach of children. Your Ozempic pen should also be kept away from heat and light (Drugs.com 2024). [5]

Travel And Ozempic Storage

As Ozempic is a once-weekly injection, there will likely be times when you’ll need to take your pen with you on a trip. It’s advised you carry your medicine in your hand luggage just in case your checked bags go missing or get damaged (NHS, 2023). [6] You’ll also need to carry proof that the medication is prescribed to you – so bring along a copy of your prescription and/or a letter from your doctor. You should also let security know that your bags contain injection pens before they’re screened. 

While you don’t need specific equipment to travel with your injection pen, it’s important to protect it from heat and light especially in hot climates. We recommend carrying a cool pack in your bag to keep your medication slightly refrigerated. If you’ve got any questions or concerns about traveling with your weight loss drugs, you can speak to your Levity clinical team or healthcare provider for advice. 

How To Start Ozempic Treatment

You can access Ozempic as well as a range of other GLP-1 medications at prices from $225 to $1,599 p/m including Compounded semaglutide, Wegovy, Saxenda and Mounjaro. First you’ll complete an online consultation so our clinical team can look at your medical history and weight loss goals to determine if you’re eligible for Ozempic treatment. Included in your monthly medication costs is your initial consultation, prescription, medication – which we’ll deliver to your door each month – shipping, unlimited clinical check-ins and health coaching. You can start your Levity consultation here. 

  1. Medications Containing Semaglutide Marketed for Type 2 Diabetes or Weight Loss. FDA [Internet]. 2023 May 31; Available from: https://www.fda.gov/drugs/postmarket-drug-safety-information-patients-and-providers/medications-containing-semaglutide-marketed-type-2-diabetes-or-weight-loss 
  2. ‌Almandoz JP, Lingvay I, Morales J, Campos C. Switching Between Glucagon-Like Peptide-1 Receptor Agonists: Rationale and Practical Guidance. Clinical Diabetes [Internet]. 2020 May 15 [cited 2020 Oct 28];38(4):390–402. Available from: https://clinical.diabetesjournals.org/content/diaclin/early/2020/05/13/cd19-0100.full.pdf 
  3. ​​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
  4. About the Ozempic® Pen | Ozempic® (semaglutide) injection 0.5 mg or 1 mg [Internet]. www.ozempic.com. Available from: https://www.ozempic.com/how-to-take/ozempic-pen.html 
  5. Semaglutide: Uses, Dosage, Side Effects, Brands [Internet]. Drugs.com. [cited 2024 Jun 12]. Available from: https://www.drugs.com/semaglutide.html#before-taking 
  6. NHS. Understanding medication - Type 2 diabetes [Internet]. NHS. NHS; 2020. Available from: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/type-2-diabetes/understanding-medication/ 

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