If you’ve recently received an Ozempic prescription, you may have quite a few questions about starting this new drug. Understanding everything you can about Ozempic is, after all, the first step toward ensuring that your treatment will be as smooth and effective as possible.

Handling medication properly is key to maintaining its safety and efficacy, and among the considerations on your mind may be questions about how to transport and store Ozempic. While Ozempic’s transportation and proper storage protocols aren’t complex, the drug is sensitive to light as well as to high and low temperatures. In the sections below, you’ll find an overview of how best to store it and what to do in the event that the ideal circumstances weren’t met.

The information provided here is not intended to replace instructions or advice from a medical professional. Always consult your medication’s package insert and discuss any specific questions with your pharmacist or healthcare provider.

Does Ozempic Need To Be Refrigerated?

Yes. Ozempic does need to be refrigerated. But not always under all circumstances. It depends on whether or not you’ve opened the medication and the temperature in your home (or during transport).

Let’s take a closer look:

Before First Use

Ozempic always needs to be properly stored in the refrigerator before it’s opened for the first time. There’s no wiggle room here. Keep unopened Ozempic in its original packaging without any exposure to light and maintain its temperature between 36°F to 46°F (2°C – 8°C). Unopened or unused Ozempic pens must be disposed of on its expiration date (the date printed on the pen), even if it has been consistently stored in the refrigerator.

If you’re transporting unopened Ozempic in extreme temperatures of above 86°F (30°C) or below 36°F (2°C) for an extended period of time, consider using a medical-grade cooler to keep its temperature consistently within the optimal range.

After First Use

After you’ve opened an Ozempic pen for the first time, you can continue to keep it stored in the refrigerator between 36°F to 46°F (2°C – 8°C), or you can store it at room temperature below 86°F (30°C). Both options are fine, but keep in mind that opened Ozempic must be discarded after 56 days, no matter how it’s been stored. We recommend noting this date on your calendar and consulting with your healthcare provider on recommended best practices for medication disposal.

An opened Ozempic pen must be disposed of after 56 days, even if there is still medication left in it. Do not ever inject expired Ozempic under any circumstances.

What happens if Ozempic is not refrigerated before first use?

You may safely leave an opened Ozempic pen out of the fridge, provided that your home (or transportation) is not warmer than 86°F (30°C) or colder than 36°F (2°C). It must still be protected from light and disposed of after 56 days.

Unopened Ozempic cannot be left out of the fridge and must be maintained without exposure to light between 36°F to 46°F (2°C – 8°C).

What Happens if Ozempic Freezes?

You should avoid freezing Ozempic under any circumstances. Once frozen, Ozempic’s structure is compromised, and its efficacy diminishes—even once re-thawed. To avoid near-freezing temperatures, you should never even store Ozempic near your refrigerator’s cooling element. In a case where your Ozempic pen has frozen, even partially, dispose of it properly immediately and do not inject.

What Happens if Ozempic Gets Too Hot?

In the same vein, Ozempic that has had prolonged exposure to high temperatures above 86°F (30°C), is similarly compromised and should also be disposed of immediately.

How Do I Know if Ozempic Has Gone Bad?

If Ozempic has been exposed to temperatures higher than 86°F (30°C) or lower than 36°F (2°C) for any substantial length of time, you should assume it has gone bad—even if its appearance hasn’t changed. The same goes for Ozempic that’s been left unrefrigerated prior to being opened, exposed to light, left open for longer than 56 days, or passed its expiration date (the date printed on the pen).

You should always inspect your Ozempic pen before injecting the medication. The liquid should be clear and free of any sediment or other solid elements. If anything about your Ozempic looks different than usual (color, texture, transparency), dispose of it immediately and open a new pen—even if it’s been consistently stored properly.

Injecting medication that’s gone bad into your body can have serious consequences.

How Does Ozempic Work To Control Type 2 Diabetes?

Semaglutide, the active ingredient in Ozempic, is known as a GLP-1 receptor agonist. It mimics a natural gut hormone called glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1), which is responsible for triggering specific chemical responses during digestion. Semaglutide binds to GLP-1 receptor sites, stimulating insulin release in the pancreas and inhibiting glucagon release in the liver. In turn, this helps to regulate and lower blood sugar levels (a crucial aspect of Type 2 Diabetes control).

Each Ozempic injection also slows down gastric emptying (the rate at which food enters the small intestine from the stomach) and reduces hunger and cravings. In combination with a healthy diet and regular exercise, Ozempic is associated with weight loss in Type 2 Diabetes patients. The ability to lose weight also has a positive impact on blood glucose levels and overall health.

What Is Ozempic Prescribed For?

Ozempic is prescribed for treating adults with Type 2 Diabetes and related cardiovascular conditions. It regulates blood sugar levels and can promote healthy weight loss in combination with lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise.

In some cases, Ozempic is prescribed for weight loss in non-diabetics. However, losing weight is an “off-label” use of the drug, and the FDA has not approved it for this purpose.

I Left My Ozempic Out Overnight, What Should I Do?

It depends on whether or not the Ozempic pen was already opened.

If your Ozempic pen had already been opened when it was left out overnight, you can continue to use it. An Ozempic pen can safely be stored at room temperature for up to 56 days after being opened.

If, however, the pen was unopened, you will need to contact a healthcare professional for advice. Unused Ozempic pens do need to be refrigerated prior to being opened and should be kept cool at all times until they reach their expiration date (but never freeze Ozempic or store it close to the cooling element in your fridge). For more information on storing Ozempic, refer to Ozempic’s Consumer Medication Information (CMI) summary.

How Do I Dispose of My Ozempic Pen and Needle?

Like other Diabetes medications, Ozempic must be properly disposed of. While there are no specific instructions for disposing of the pen itself, needles should always be placed in an FDA-cleared sharps disposal container and community disposal guidelines closely followed.

What Doses of Ozempic Are Available?

Each type of Ozempic pen delivers different doses. Ozempic is available in the following doses:

  • 0.25 mg (starting dose)
  • 0.5 mg
  • 1 mg
  • 2 mg

Patients normally begin taking Ozempic at a starting dose of 0.25 mg and titrate up to a higher dose every four weeks, under the supervision of their healthcare provider, until a dose that provides effective blood sugar control is reached (known as a maintenance dose).

What Do I Do if I Miss a Dose?

If you miss injecting a dose of Ozempic, inject the missed dose as soon as you realize it. In the event that more than five days have passed since the missed dose (two or fewer days remain until your next scheduled dose), skip the missed dose altogether and continue with your next scheduled dose instead. Never inject a double dose of Ozempic to compensate for a missed dose.

If you miss more than one dose of Ozempic or have further questions about having missed a dose, contact your pharmacist or healthcare provider directly.  

Do I Need a Prescription for Ozempic?

Yes. Ozempic is a prescription medication in the U.S. and you must have a prescription from a certified American doctor in order to access it.

Ozempic Side Effects

Like any drug, Ozempic comes with a list of potential side effects. While most of them aren’t serious, it’s important to be aware of the possibilities that exist. Most mild side effects should decrease over time as your body adjusts to Ozempic.

They may include:

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Abdominal Pain

In rare cases, Ozempic can cause more serious side effects or reactions.

These may include:

  • Vision changes
  • Kidney failure
  • Gallbladder problems
  • Pancreatitis
  • Severe allergic reactions

It’s also important to let your healthcare provider know if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding or if you (or a family member) has suffered from any of the following:

  • Kidney, gallbladder, liver, or pancreas issues
  • History of alcoholism
  • Low blood sugar
  • Medullary Thyroid Carcinoma (MTC) or Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia Syndrome Type 2 (MEN 2)


To recap, Ozempic is an injectable Type 2 Diabetes treatment that is known for stimulating insulin release and reducing the risk of serious cardiovascular events in adults. It may also promote healthy weight loss when combined with lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise. Each Ozempic injection delivers doses ranging between 0.25, 0.5 mg and 2 mg once weekly. Treatment initiation normally involves starting at a low dose and gradually increasing to higher doses over a period of time.

Before being opened, Ozempic must stay refrigerated. Once opened, it may be refrigerated or stored at room temperature. You should always dispose of Ozempic if it’s been exposed to extreme temperatures, appears different in any way, has been exposed to light, or has passed its expiration date.

Does Ozempic need to be refrigerated? The simple answer is yes. It never hurts to keep your Ozempic pens cool, though it’s alright to store an opened Ozempic pen at room temperature as well.

If you’re looking to source affordable, high-quality Ozempic in Canada, Bisonpharmacy.com can help. Get in touch with us today!

About the Author

Ida Edlweiss Gumpal is a licensed Pharmacist and medical writer. She took her internships at Mercury Drug Corporation, Inc., a Hospital internship at De Vera Medical Center, Inc., and a Manufacturing internship at Philmed Laboratories, Inc. She has plans on attending medical school with the goal of specializing in Neurosurgery or Cardiothoracic surgery.