Ozempic, also known as semaglutide, is a popular medication for managing weight and controlling blood sugar levels by enhancing insulin production and reducing glucagon release. For the best results, it’s important to know where and how to inject Ozempic. Using the correct injection sites ensures the medication is effective and minimizes side effects.

Ozempic is injected once a week into the fatty tissue under the skin. This method allows the medication to be released slowly and steadily. Several recommended injection sites for Ozempic are the thigh and abdomen, giving you some flexibility. However, some areas are better than others.

When choosing the best injection site for Ozempic, avoid injecting into a muscle or vein. Rotating your injection sites weekly can help prevent skin reactions, such as redness or irritation.

In this article, you will learn about the different injection sites for Ozempic, how to properly administer the injection, and tips for minimizing Ozempic injection site reactions.

Key Takeaways

  • Ozempic, also known as semaglutide, should be injected once a week into the fatty tissue under the skin to manage weight and control blood sugar levels effectively.
  • Rotating the injection sites weekly is important to prevent skin reactions and ensure the medication’s effectiveness. The recommended injection sites include the abdomen, thighs, upper arms, and buttocks.
  • The choice of injection site (abdomen, thigh, or upper arm) does not significantly affect the exposure to semaglutide, suggesting that patients can choose any of these injection sites according to their personal preference or convenience.
  • Proper injection administration involves gathering the necessary supplies, preparing the injection site, preparing the Ozempic pen, attaching the needle, priming the pen (first-time use only), selecting the dose, injecting Ozempic, and properly storing the pen.
  • It’s important to store the Ozempic pen in the refrigerator and avoid freezing. It can be stored at room temperature for up to 56 days, away from direct heat and sunlight.

Injection Sites for Ozempic

Man injecting ozempic into stomach

Here are the preferred places to inject Ozempic:

  • Abdomen/Stomach Area: The area around your belly button is ideal. Inject at least 2 inches away from the belly button to avoid the navel and any scar tissue. Rotate the injection site within this area each time you inject to avoid irritation.
  • Thighs: You can use the front and sides of your thighs for injections. Choose a spot at least 2 inches away from your knee and hip. Rotate the injection site within this area to prevent skin problems.
  • Upper Arm: The back and underside of the upper arm are suitable areas. Avoid the muscular parts of the arm. It’s often easier to have someone else administer the injection in this location to ensure proper technique.
  • Buttocks: Use the upper outer region of the buttocks for injections. This area is less commonly used but can be an alternative if other sites are unsuitable. Make sure to rotate injection sites to avoid hard lumps or fat buildup.

Does the Injection Site Matter for Ozempic?

According to a study, the choice of injection site (abdomen, thigh, or upper arm) does not significantly affect the exposure to Semaglutide (marketed as Ozempic) when used to treat type 2 diabetes. This finding is based on a population pharmacokinetic analysis, which did not show important changes in drug absorption regardless of where the injection was administered. 

This suggests that patients choose any of these injection sites according to their personal preference or convenience without worrying about differences in how the medication works. Essentially, the effectiveness of Ozempic remains consistent across different injection sites.

How to Inject Ozempic

woman injecting ozempic into her arm

Below are the steps for properly  injecting Ozempic:

1. Gather Supplies

  • Ozempic pen
  • A new, unused needle (usually provided with the pen)
  • Alcohol swabs
  • A clean gauze pad or cotton ball
  • A sharps disposal container

2. Prepare the Injection Site

  • Choose your injection site (abdomen, thigh, upper arm, or buttocks).
  • Clean the area with an alcohol swab and let it air dry to reduce the risk of infection.
  • Prepare the Ozempic Pen

  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
  • Check the pen label to ensure it is Ozempic, and check the expiration date.
  • Remove the pen cap and inspect the liquid inside the pen. It should be clear and colorless. Do not use it if it is discolored or contains particles.

3. Attach the Needle

  • Remove the protective paper tab from a new needle.
  • Push the needle straight onto the pen and twist it until firmly attached.
  • Remove the outer needle cap and keep it for later.
  • Remove the inner needle cap and discard it.

4. Prime the Pen (First Time Use Only)

  • Turn the dose selector to select 0.25 or 0.5 mg for the initial doses, as prescribed.
  • Hold the pen with the needle pointing up and press the dose button until the dose counter shows 0. A drop of liquid should appear at the needle tip. This is called “priming” and ensures the pen is ready.
  • If no drop appears, repeat this step up to 6 times. If still no drop appears, change the needle and repeat. If still no drop appears, contact your healthcare provider.

5. Select Your Dose

  • Turn the dose selector to 0.25 mg or 0.5 mg, as your healthcare provider prescribes.

6. Injecting Ozempic

  • Pinch the skin at the cleaned injection site to create a firm surface.
  • Insert the needle into the skin at a 90-degree angle. You may need to use a 45-degree angle if you are very thin.
  • Press and hold the dose button until the dose counter shows 0.
  • Keep the needle in the skin and count slowly to 6 to ensure the full dose is delivered.
  • Remove the needle from the skin.

7. After the Injection

  • Apply gentle pressure to the injection site with a clean gauze pad or cotton ball. Do not rub the area.
  • Place the outer needle cap back on the needle and unscrew it from the pen.
  • Dispose of the used needle in a sharps disposal container.
  • Replace the pen cap.

8. Storage

Important Tips

Remember to rotate your injection sites to avoid skin problems like lumps or redness. Inject at the same time each week and set a reminder if necessary. Do not share your Ozempic pen with others, even if the needle has been changed. Consult your healthcare provider for guidance if you have doubts or experience issues.

Ozempic Injection Site Reactions

A woman holding her bruised buttocks

Some people may experience skin redness, discoloration, or discomfort at the injection site after using Ozempic. To minimize skin irritation, rotating between different injection sites is recommended. These include the upper arm, abdomen, and the front of the thigh area.

Rotating sites help reduce the likelihood of skin irritation from repeated injections in the same spot. 

However, it’s important to note that the location of the injection site does not impact the drug’s effectiveness. Semaglutide works the same way regardless of where it’s injected.

If you experience any discomfort or skin reactions, consult your healthcare provider.


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In conclusion, understanding the proper injection sites for Ozempic and how to administer the medication is crucial for its effectiveness and for minimizing potential side effects. By following the recommended injection sites and proper injection techniques, patients can ensure the consistent delivery of the medication. 

Additionally, the flexibility in choosing injection sites according to personal preference or convenience, as supported by research, provides reassurance to patients. Proper administration of Ozempic can contribute to better weight and blood sugar management, leading to improved health outcomes.

FAQs About Ozempic Injection Sites

How to inject Ozempic in your thigh?

To inject Ozempic in your thigh, start by ensuring you have read the Instructions for Use Guide thoroughly. Gather your supplies, including the Ozempic pen, an alcohol swab, and a sharps container. Choose a site on your thigh with some extra fat, making it more comfortable for injection. Clean the injection site with an alcohol swab and allow it to dry. Prepare the Ozempic pen by attaching a new needle, priming it, and ensuring it works properly. Inject the medication subcutaneously into your thigh, rotating injection sites to prevent skin irritation.

How to inject Ozempic in the stomach?

When injecting Ozempic in your stomach, follow similar steps as for the thigh injection. Read the Instructions for Use Guide, gather your supplies, and choose an area on your stomach with extra fat for a comfortable injection. Clean the injection site thoroughly with an alcohol swab and let it dry. Prepare the Ozempic pen by attaching a new needle and priming the pen. Inject the medication subcutaneously into your stomach, ensuring that injection sites are rotated to avoid skin irritation.

How to give myself an Ozempic injection?

To self-administer an Ozempic injection, begin by washing your hands thoroughly. Read the manufacturer’s instructions for the medication. Prepare your Ozempic pen by attaching a new needle and priming the pen. Choose an injection site on your thigh, stomach, or upper arm, ensuring it has some extra fat for a comfortable injection. Clean the injection site with an alcohol swab and let it dry. Inject the medication subcutaneously, rotating injection sites weekly to prevent skin irritation. Remember to follow the recommended dosage and schedule for optimal results.

Why does my Ozempic injection site hurt?

A common side effect of Ozempic is pain, redness, bruising, or swelling at the injection site. This is usually mild and goes away on its own. To help minimize discomfort, rotate injection sites and use proper injection techniques.

Does Ozempic cause bruising at the injection site?

Yes, bruising at the injection site is a common side effect of Ozempic. To help prevent bruising, rotate injection sites and apply gentle pressure with a cotton ball or gauze after injecting.

Can I inject refrigerated Ozempic?

Yes, you can inject Ozempic at room temperature or refrigerated. If refrigerated, allow the pen to sit at room temperature for a few minutes before injecting to make the injection more comfortable.

How do I know when my Ozempic pen is empty?

The Ozempic pen has a dose counter that shows how many doses are left. When the dose counter shows 0, the pen is empty and should be discarded in a sharps container.

Is it better to inject Ozempic in the morning or at night?

There is no specific best time to inject Ozempic. It can be injected at any time and given on the same day each week. Some people prefer injecting in the morning to get it done early, while others prefer the evening to sleep through any side effects. The most important thing is consistency with the day of the week.


Novo Nordisk. (2023). How to use the Ozempic® pen. Retrieved from https://www.ozempic.com/how-to-take/ozempic-pen.html

Carlsson Petri, K. C., Overgaard, R. V., Ingwersen, S. H., Flint, A., Zacho, J., & Overgaard, R. V. (2018). Semaglutide s.c. once-weekly in type 2 diabetes: A population pharmacokinetic analysis. Diabetes Therapy, 9(4), 1533-1547. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s13300-018-0458-5

Hearn, E. B., & Sherman, J. J. (2021, January). Injection-Site Nodules Associated With Once-Weekly Subcutaneous Administration of Semaglutide. Diabetes Spectr, 34(1), 73–75. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7887535/