Want the perfect workout program?Take Quiz
Fact checked by Andrew Lenau, ISSA CPT & Sports NutritionistFACT CHECKED
September 26, 2023
Who would have thought that a diabetes medication would become the top solution for promoting weight loss?
Ozempic has become one of the most popular and desired weight loss medications due to its reputation for helping users lose weight by stabilizing blood sugar levels. It's so popular that there is currently a global shortage due to a lack of supplies until at least June 2024. Due to the nature of the medication, storage guidelines are essential to help protect and retain potency. One of the most common questions is, "Does Ozempic need to be refrigerated?" In this article, we will dive into research to find out how to store Ozempic and determine the Ozempic shelf life.
Table of Contents
Ozempic is a brand-name semaglutide medication designed as a weekly injection for treating type 2 diabetes and chronic weight management.
Semaglutide, a drug in the glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists class, mimics the hormone GLP-1. When we eat, GLP-1 is released to help slow gastric emptying and improve glycemic control.
It does this by increasing insulin (insulin lowers blood glucose levels) and decreasing glucagon (glucagon increases blood glucose levels), which helps stabilize blood sugar and break down stored fat for energy. It also slows gastric emptying, which helps nutrients be absorbed slower and prevent cravings by increasing satiety.
Initially designed solely for treating diabetes, semaglutide is FDA-approved to help reduce the risk of heart attack and other major cardiovascular events in patients with heart disease and type 2 diabetes mellitus. However, clinical trials have shown the remarkable weight loss potential of semaglutide. Although it is not technically approved for weight loss, many doctors prescribe it off-label for chronic weight management.
Ozempic is available as a once-weekly subcutaneous injection in a prefilled pen, which can be taken anytime, with or without food, as long as it is the same day of the week. The pens are designed as a prefilled, disposable injection with a clear, colorless solution, available in three different color pen caps.
A red-label Ozempic pen delivers doses of 0.25 mg and 0.5 mg with 2 mg total and six needles. Users typically do four injections of 0.25 mg, then two of 0.5 mg. A blue-label Ozempic pen contains 4 mg divided into four needles containing 1 mg doses. Lastly, a yellow-label Ozempic pen has a total of 8 mg, with four needles divided into four 2 mg doses.
Yes, Ozempic and other liquid semaglutide medications need to be refrigerated.
According to the official Novo Nordisk website, Ozempic pens need to be refrigerated between 36℉ to 46℉ (2℃ to 8℃) before starting. After the first use, you can keep the pens in the refrigerator or at room temperature between 59℉ and 86℉ (15℃ to 30℃).
Make sure you never place your Ozempic pens in the freezer, and do not use them if they have been frozen. (1)
Following the Ozempic storage conditions is vital to maintain its effectiveness and stability. As we touched on above, Ozempic needs to be refrigerated between 36℉ to 46℉ (2℃ to 8℃) before starting. This also includes unused Ozempic pens, which should be refrigerated until their expiration date.
After using your Ozempic pen for the first time, you can refrigerate it or keep it at room temperature, as long as it does not exceed temperatures higher than 86℉ (30℃), for up to 56 days. Excessive heat above 86℉ and direct sunlight can cause damage to the compound's stability. It is crucial never to freeze Ozempic and make sure never to use semaglutide if it's frozen. It is also important to always keep the pen cap on when you are storing Ozempic, as it protects the medication and needles from sunlight, extreme temperatures, or bacteria.
It may be helpful to write down the date of your first injection to ensure you do not exceed 56 days. If you are traveling, pack your Ozempic pens in your carry-on luggage because the cargo area that holds checked bags is exposed to extreme temperatures that can damage them.
If you're concerned you left your pen out too long before using it, check the temperature to see if it is above 86℉ (30℃). You can also check the solution inside the pen. If the medication appears cloudy, discolored, or contains particles, do not use it.
Contact your doctor, pharmacist, or healthcare provider if you have any doubts or concerns about Ozempic storage or prescribing information.
These are some of the most commonly asked questions about Ozempic storage and handling.
It will not be as effective and can potentially cause harm. If stored at room temperature for a short period, it may be safe to use, but you should consult your healthcare provider.
The Ozempic storage temperature should be between 36℉ to 46℉ (2℃ to 8℃) in a standard refrigerator or at room temperature between 59℉ and 86℉ (15℃ to 30℃) once it's open.
Ozempic pens are good for up to 56 days after being removed from the fridge.
Unused Ozempic pens have an expiration date on them. If the Ozempic pens have been opened, they are good for up to 56 days.
Yes, you can, but it is not recommended because it can cause discomfort. You should remove the Ozempic pen from the refrigerator and let it sit for roughly 30 minutes until it is at room temperature.
If you have a prescription from a doctor, yes, you can fly with Ozempic. Make sure to pack it in your carry-on bag because checked bags can experience high temperatures in cargo. If possible, pack the Ozempic pens in some type of insulated cooler bag.
Ozempic has taken the world by storm for its remarkable ability to help people lose weight and transform their bodies. To get these results, it's not only vital to follow the dosing protocols, maintain a healthy diet, and exercise consistently, but you also have to store the medication properly.
Ozempic pens need to be refrigerated before starting at a temperature between 36℉ to 46℉ (2℃ to 8℃). Once you start, they can be stored in the refrigerator or at room temperature for up to 56 days, as long as it does not exceed 86℉ (30℃). You should always keep the pen cap on to help avoid sunlight and protect the semaglutide.
Lastly, unused Ozempic pens should also be refrigerated until they are opened to last until the expiration date on the label. Proper storage is essential when taking Ozempic, so be sure to follow the package insert and speak with a healthcare professional before starting.
To learn more about semaglutide and the different types, check out our articles Ozempic vs. Rybelsus: Which One Is Better? and How Much Weight Can You Lose On Semaglutide? To compare semaglutide to another popular weight loss medication, check out our article Liraglutide vs. Semaglutide: Uses, Differences, and Results.
"FAQs | Ozempic® (Semaglutide) Injection 0.5 Mg, 1 Mg, or 2 Mg." NovoMEDLINK, www.novomedlink.com/diabetes/products/treatments/ozempic/about/frequently-asked-questions.html. Accessed 10 Sept. 2023.
Comments will be approved before showing up.
December 08, 2023
December 07, 2023
At SFS we strive to equip you with the tools and knowledge needed for your fitness journey. Sign up to get the latest on sales, new releases, killer workouts, actionable fitness content and more. As our motto goes - "You don't have to get ready if you stay #alwaysready!"