Injection sites for Ozempic: where and how to inject Ozempic

Reviewed by Yael Cooperman, MD, Ro, 

Written by Amelia Willson 

Reviewed by Yael Cooperman, MD, Ro, 

Written by Amelia Willson 

last updated: Oct 23, 2023

4 min read

Ozempic is a prescription medication that can help people with type 2 diabetes control their blood glucose levels and has been shown in studies to help people lose weight. The three best Ozempic injection sites are on the abdomen, thigh, and upper arm. We’ll take a look at how to pick an Ozempic injection site and how to inject Ozempic. Read on.

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Where to inject Ozempic

Ozempic comes in pre-filled injection pens intended to be self-injected by patients once a week. Ozempic is typically prescribed to treat type 2 diabetes, and to those who also have cardiovascular disease to reduce the chances of major problems like a heart attack or stroke. It can also be prescribed off-label to treat obesity. 

The three best injection sites for Ozempic are your abdomen, thigh, and upper arm. With each weekly injection, the manufacturer recommends using a different site from the week before, rotating through all three over the course of three weeks. Do not inject in the same site each week to avoid irritating the skin. Ozempic should be injected subcutaneously (under the skin), not into a muscle or vein.

If you give yourself insulin shots, you can inject Ozempic in the same area of your body you use for insulin, such as your abdomen, but do not mix the two injections and do not inject them right next to each other.

Best place to inject Ozempic

The best place to inject Ozempic typically comes down to personal preference. Some people prefer to inject the medication in a less visible area (such as the upper thigh or abdomen) while other people may find that the upper arm is a less painful place to inject Ozempic. Over all, Ozempic injections aren’t typically very painful because they are subcutaneous injections that go just below the surface of the skin (compared with many vaccines and other shots that are injected deeper into the muscle. Whichever site you pick, rotating injection sites each week is an important way to prevent complications like reactions or infections.

How to inject Ozempic

Ozempic should be self-injected weekly, and you should use your medication on the same day of the week each week. Your healthcare provider can show you how to use your Ozempic pen the first time. You should also read the manufacturer’s instructions that come with your medication before your first injection. Here’s how to inject Ozempic: 

1. Prepare your hands

  • Wash your hands with soap and water, and dry them thoroughly on a clean towel.

2. Prepare your pen

  • Look at the medicine in your pen. It should be clear and colorless. If you notice any particles or cloudiness, do not use the pen and contact your pharmacy. 

  • Attach a new needle to your pen. This should be done with each injection. 

  • Remove the outer and inner needle caps.

3. Prepare your dose

  • If this is your first time using a new pen, check the Ozempic flow. Otherwise, proceed to the next step. 

    • Dial the dose selector to the flow check symbol. 

    • With the needle pointing up, press and hold the dose button until it goes to 0. 

    • You should see a drop at the tip of the needle. 

    • If you don’t see a drop, repeat up to six more times until you do. If you don’t see a drop at the tip of the needle for that, use a new pen or contact Novo Nordisk at (888) 693-6742.

    • Dial the dose counter so the desired dose lines up with the dose pointer. Follow the dosing instructions from your provider to select the correct dose.

4. Inject your dose

  • Use an alcohol swab to clean the skin where you will inject. Let your skin air dry.

  • Angle the pen so you can see the dose counter.

  • Put the Ozempic needle into your skin at the injection site (belly, thigh, or upper arm). 

  • Press the dose button until 0 mg lines up with the dose pointer.

  • With the button still pressed and the needle still inserted, count for six seconds to allow a full dose of Ozempic. 

  • Keeping your thumb on the dose button, remove the needle from your skin.

5. Dispose of your needle and store your pen

  • Remove the needle from the pen and throw it away in an FDA-approved sharps disposal container. 

  • Put the pen cap back on your pen and store it at room temperature, away from light, until your next dose.

Ozempic injection site reactions

Ozempic injection site reactions are relatively rare. In placebo-controlled trials, only 0.2% of the participants using Ozempic experienced injection site reactions. These included discomfort or redness at the injection site.

When you remove the needle after injecting Ozempic, you may notice some blood at the injection site. Simply press on it with a cotton ball or gauze.

Other potential Ozempic side effects

Some people may experience nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea when using Ozempic. These side effects are more common when the dose is increased. Less common side effects include abdominal pain or constipation.

Using Ozempic may increase your risk of gallbladder disorders, gastrointestinal disorders, or hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Ozempic should not be used by children or people who:

  • Have pancreatitis

  • Have a personal or family history of thyroid cancer

  • Have multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN2)

  • Have diabetic retinopathy (vision loss caused by diabetes)

  • Are currently pregnant or breastfeeding

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a “black box” warning for Ozempic, which appears in the insert for the medication. This is the most serious advisory they issue for a medication. Animal studies have found that Ozempic increases the risk of thyroid tumors in humans. While it is not known if it has the same effect in humans, people with a personal or family history of thyroid cancer or who have multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2 should not use Ozempic.

When to see a healthcare provider

If you have an allergic reaction to Ozempic, you may experience swelling at the injection site or elsewhere, trouble breathing, rash, dizziness, fainting, or a fast heartbeat. If you believe you are having an allergic reaction, seek medical attention immediately. 

Also, speak with a healthcare professional if you experience any of the following:

  • Severe stomach pain, with or without vomiting, that persists

  • Blurred vision or vision changes

  • Lightheadedness

  • Sweating

  • Mood changes

  • Shakiness

  • Confusion

  • Slurred speech

  • Rapid heartbeat

Talk to your healthcare provider if you have questions about your Ozempic pen or notice side effects. Your provider can demonstrate how to use the Ozempic pen at the appropriate injection sites. While Ozempic is safe and generally well-tolerated, you should regularly check in with your doctor and let them know if you experience any side effects and monitor your response to the medication for dosage adjustments.


If you have any medical questions or concerns, please talk to your healthcare provider. The articles on Health Guide are underpinned by peer-reviewed research and information drawn from medical societies and governmental agencies. However, they are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

How we reviewed this article

Every article on Health Guide goes through rigorous fact-checking by our team of medical reviewers. Our reviewers are trained medical professionals who ensure each article contains the most up-to-date information, and that medical details have been correctly interpreted by the writer.

Current version

October 23, 2023

Written by

Amelia Willson

Fact checked by

Yael Cooperman, MD

About the medical reviewer

Yael Cooperman is a physician and works as a Senior Manager, Medical Content & Education at Ro.

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