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.
Can I Leave Ozempic out of the Fridge?
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.
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.
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
- 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.
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