Understanding Ozempic Pen Dose Increments

In our latest question and answer, the pharmacist discusses the strengths and dosing increments of each Ozempic pen product.

Question

I was given a sample of Ozempic at 8mg, delivered in 2 mg doses. I'm supposed to start taking 0.25 mg a week. I do not understand the lines or clicks.

Asked by Jeff On Jul 27, 2022

Answered by
Medical Content Reviewed By HelloPharmacist Staff

Published Jul 27, 2022
Last updated Jun 14, 2024

Key points

  • Ozempic is available in three different strengths/dose increments (Ozempic 0.25mg or 0.5mg/dose Pre-Filled Pen, Ozempic 1mg/dose Pre-Filled Pen, Ozempic 2mg/dose Pre-Filled Pen).
  • Ozempic pens can only deliver a specific dose (as listed on the pen).
  • For example, Ozempic 1mg/dose Pre-Filled pens can only deliver a 1mg dose. Ozempic 2mg/dose Pre-Filled pens can only deliver a 2mg dose.
  • Depending on the dose you are prescribed, you are going to need the appropriate Ozempic pen product.

Hello and thanks for reaching out to us! I'm more than happy to go over how Ozempic (semaglutide) dosing works, and each product available.

Based on your question, it sounds like you may have received a sample of Ozempic that delivers doses too high for what you are recommended to start with. You are going to need the appropriate Ozempic product to deliver the dose the doctor has prescribed for you. I discuss this in detail below.

Ozempic Is Available In 3 Different Strengths (Dose Increments)

Ozempic comes in three different product strengths, each delivering different milligram dosages. It comes as:

  • Ozempic 0.25mg or 0.5mg/dose Pre-Filled Pen Solution
  • Ozempic 1mg/dose Pre-Filled Pen Solution
  • Ozempic 2mg/dose Pre-Filled Pen Solution

For the given strength of each product, the pen only is able to be dosed in that strength. For example, you said you have the Ozempic 2mg/dose Pre-Filled Pen Solution. This pen can only deliver doses in 2mg increments. You cannot dial a dose of 0.25mg. For that, you would need the Ozempic 0.25mg or 0.5mg/dose Pre-Filled Pen Solution.

I've added some pictures below of each product. Please note the disclaimer on the box of each product, where it says 'pen delivers doses in (mg) increments only'.

Ozempic All Strengths 0.25 - 0.5 - 1 -2 Lined Up

How Is Ozempic Usually Dosed?

Although dosages can vary by individual, in general, Ozempic is started at a low dose (0.25mg) and is then titrated up (i.e. slowly increased) to a target dose of 1mg to 2mg per week. The most common titration is as follows:

  • 0.25mg every week for 4 weeks
  • 0.5mg every week for 4 weeks
  • If additional blood sugar control is needed, increase to 1mg every week for 4 weeks
  • If additional blood sugar control is needed, increase to 2mg every week

Depending on the dose you are prescribed, you are going to need the appropriate Ozempic pen product (as I described above) as the pens only deliver doses in specific increments.

  • The Ozempic 0.25mg or 0.5mg/dose Pre-Filled Pen Solution only delivers doses of 0.25mg and 0.5mg
  • The Ozempic 1mg/dose Pre-Filled Pen Solution only delivers doses of 1mg
  • The Ozempic 2mg/dose Pre-Filled Pen Solution only delivers doses of 2mg

If the usual titration schedule is followed, the Ozempic 0.25mg or 0.5mg/dose Pre-Filled Pen will last 42 days, and the Ozempic 1mg/dose and 2mg/dose Pre-Filled Pen will last 28 days (per pen).

Dialing The Pen To The Correct Dose

As mentioned, each Ozempic pen can only dial to a specific dosage (i.e. the 2mg pen can only dial to the 2mg dose).

To dial to the dose your pen provides, be sure to use the dose selector that is located on the pen. You will hear a 'click' every time you turn the dose selector but it is important to not set your dose by counting the number of clicks you hear. Always go by the dose that is shown in the dose selector.

So, using the 2mg pen as an example, you would turn the knob on the pen until the 2mg dose shows in the dose selector (you can only select 2mg for each dose if you are using the 2mg pen). If your pen contains less than 2mg, the dose counter stops before 2 mg is shown. If this occurs, your pen is out of medication and you will need another.

Final Words

Going back to your question, it sounds like your doctor has you starting on the usual starting dose of 0.25mg. However, you have the wrong Ozempic strength (2mg). You cannot deliver a 0.25mg dose with the pen. You will need the Ozempic 0.25mg or 0.5mg/dose Pre-Filled Pen Solution.

I hope this answer helped!

About Ozempic

Ozempic (semaglutide) is used along with a diet and exercise program to control blood sugar levels in adults with type 2 diabetes (a condition in which the body does not use insulin normally and therefore cannot control the amount of sugar in the blood) when other medications did not control the sugar levels well enough.

Ozempic is not used to treat type 1 diabetes (a condition in which the body does not produce insulin and therefore cannot control the amount of sugar in the blood) or diabetic ketoacidosis (a serious condition that may develop if high blood sugar is not treated). It is in a class of medications called incretin mimetics and works by helping the pancreas to release the right amount of insulin when blood sugar levels are high. Insulin helps move sugar from the blood into other body tissues where it is used for energy.

Ozempic also works by slowing the movement of food through the stomach.

References

  • Ozempic Prescribing Information, Novo
  • Semaglutide for type 2 diabetes mellitus: A systematic review and meta-analysis, PubMed

About the Pharmacist

Dr. Brian Staiger, PharmD

Dr. Brian has been practicing pharmacy for over 13 years and has wide-ranging experiences in many different areas of the profession. From retail, clinical, program development, and administrative responsibilities, he's your knowledgeable and go-to source for all your pharmacy and medication-related questions! Dr. Brian Staiger also has herbalist training and educational certificates in the field of medical ethnobotany. Feel free to send him an email at [email protected]! You can also connect with Dr. Brian Staiger on LinkedIn.

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