Ozempic Dosing

Mahshid Moghei, PhD Medically reviewed by Mahshid M. on | Written by Matthew Sommers

Injecting semaglutide

The popularity of prescription GLP-1 medications has grown tremendously, largely because these medications have been associated with substantial weight loss. Ozempic has become one of the more recognizable medications within this class of drugs originally formulated for blood sugar management in type 2 diabetes. 

As more people seek to familiarize themselves with medications like Ozempic, it’s helpful to consider dosing, safety, and cost. In this article, we’ll examine each of these areas to help you make informed health decisions. 

Key Takeaways

  • Ozempic is approved for blood sugar management in type 2 diabetes and has been associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. 

  • Ozempic is provided in doses of up to 2 mg for once-weekly injections under the skin (subcutaneous). 

  • While Ozempic is not directly approved for weight loss, its active ingredient, semaglutide, is used in Wegovy, a medication with direct approval for weight management. 

  • Wegovy provides semaglutide in a slightly higher dose of 2.4 mg. 

  • Ozempic is available at lower doses but is still associated with significant weight loss. 

  • It’s crucial to discuss your past medical history with your healthcare providers. GLP-1 medications like Ozempic may not be recommended for use, particularly if you have a history of pancreatitis or a personal or family history of thyroid tumors. 

Ozempic Dosing For Diabetes

Ozempic is approved to improve blood glucose control in individuals with type 2 diabetes. Hemoglobin A1c is an important marker for blood glucose control, and Ozempic has been associated with higher rates of reaching A1c targets. This can translate into lower rates of cardiovascular disease and complications like kidney disease, changes in eyesight, and numbness or nerve pain. 

The doses of Ozempic available are:

  • 0.25 mg once weekly (Starting dose)

  • 0.5 mg once weekly

  • 1 mg once weekly

  • 2 mg once weekly (Target maintenance dose)

Lower doses are used initially to allow the body to adapt over time. It’s often recommended to use each dose for about a month before moving up to the next higher dose. This is due, in part, to the potential for gastrointestinal side effects like nausea and vomiting. When the medication is increased slowly over time, these effects may be less likely to occur. These side effects are a common reason for Ozempic to be discontinued or continued at a lower dose. 

Ozempic Dosing For Weight Loss

Over time, the active ingredient in Ozempic, semaglutide, has been studied for its weight loss benefits. In some instances, a joint decision between you and your healthcare provider may be made to use Ozempic for weight management. In these cases, Ozempic is still prescribed in the same dosing range of up to 2 mg per week. 

There are several primary points to remember when considering Ozempic for weight loss: 

  1. When approved for weight loss, semaglutide was studied at a dose of 2.4 mg, as provided by Wegovy

  2. The benefits of weight loss therapy are more likely to outweigh the risks for patients who meet particular criteria. 

  3. While provided at a lower dose than Wegovy, Ozempic has also been associated with significant weight loss

When semaglutide has been recommended for weight loss, it has been for patients who meet the following criteria:

  • A body mass index (BMI) of 30 kg/m2 or higher

  • A BMI of 27 kg/m2 AND at least one of the following:

    • High blood pressure

    • High cholesterol

    • Type 2 Diabetes

    • Obstructive sleep apnea

    • A history of cardiovascular disease

Overall, weight loss appears to be dose-dependent—that is, with higher doses, the amount of weight lost appears to be higher. However, lower doses of 0.5 to 1 mg have still been associated with a weight loss of 4%—5% of body weight over time. This amount of weight loss can improve quality of life, lower the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, and improve mobility, particularly for those who meet the above criteria. 

Following your healthcare provider’s dosing recommendations is critical, as higher doses can increase the risk of side effects. 

Ozempic Side Effects

The Ozempic side effects for weight loss are no different than those associated with Ozempic in general. 

The most commonly reported side effects associated with Ozempic include:

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting

  • Diarrhea

  • Abdominal pain

  • Constipation

Discussing your medical history with your healthcare providers is essential to ensure the medication is safe. Before starting any GLP-1 medication, including Ozempic, it’s important to consider the risks:

  • Gastroparesis, a condition characterized by delayed stomach emptying, can be made worse when using GLP-1 medications like Ozempic. 

  • Thyroid tumors may be more likely to develop when using GLP-1 medications. If you or a family member have a history of thyroid tumors, it’s critical to discuss this with your healthcare provider. 

  • Pancreatitis appears to be more likely to occur in patients using GLP-1 medications. If you have a history of pancreatitis, your healthcare provider may recommend avoiding using medications like Ozempic. 

  • Dehydration and subsequent kidney damage can develop if side effects like vomiting or diarrhea persist. Fluid loss and the resulting electrolyte imbalances can lead to serious complications. 

Ozempic Cost

If you have already received a prescription for Ozempic, you may already be aware of one of the more frustrating challenges associated with this medication: the Ozempic price. Unfortunately, the Ozempic cost without insurance, or for those with a high deductible plan, can reach well over $1,000 per month. 

The cost of Ozempic can vary significantly between pharmacies, and doing your research ahead of time can save you hundreds of dollars. Among these pharmacy options are opportunities to buy Ozempic online with a valid prescription, and many also consider Canadian pharmacies offering shipments directly to patients. PlanetDrugsDirect offers a referral service, working with licensed Canadian pharmacies to help you find the medications you need at fair prices. Medications like Ozempic can be found at rates that may be significantly lower than what you may find at many pharmacies, particularly those in the United States. 


Ozempic has been an important tool for individuals managing blood glucose with type 2 diabetes and has also gained attention for its associated weight loss. While the doses of semaglutide provided by Ozempic are lower at max dosage, they have also been associated with significant weight loss. It’s important to carefully weigh the risks and benefits of therapy with a healthcare provider. If Ozempic is recommended, taking the time to research prices at multiple pharmacies can be greatly beneficial, particularly for those without insurance coverage or who have a high deductible. 

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  5. McMurray, J. J. V., Packer, M., Desai, A. S., Gong, J., Lefkowitz, M. P., Rizkala, A. R., ... & Zile, M. R. (2016). Angiotensin–neprilysin inhibition versus enalapril in heart failure. The New England Journal of Medicine, 371(11), 993-1004. https://doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa1607141

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The content on this page is for informational and educational purposes only and does not constitute professional medical advice. Patients should not use the information presented on this page for diagnosing a health-related issue or disease. Before taking any medication or supplements, patients should always consult a physician or qualified healthcare professional for medical advice or information about whether a drug is safe, appropriate or effective.