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Wegovy, Saxenda and Ozempic: How to properly store your medication

Proper storage helps maintain effectiveness of the medication.

Wegovy, Saxenda and Ozempic Storage Tips: How To Properly Store Them | Juniper

When embarking on a journey to lose weight and manage your body weight, you may be wondering about starting a medically backed weight loss drug, such as Wegovy or Saxenda.

These weight management and weight loss tools are great for shedding those extra pounds. But there are a few key things to consider before starting, such as how they'll fit into your lifestyle, how to properly store them, and even how to store the medication while travelling.

We've put together a comprehensive guide covering all the critical details of GLP-1 medication storage, ensuring that you know how to maintain the effectiveness of these medications while you focus on your journey towards a healthier you.

Wegovy, Ozempic and Saxenda: What’s the difference?

Wegovy, Ozempic and Saxenda are all part of a family of drugs called GLP-1 receptor agonists — but they’re not all the same. Let's look at the main differences between them:

  • What are they licensed for: Ozempic is approved for treating type 2 diabetes [1], while Wegovy and Saxenda are designed for and used by people who want to lose excess body weight as well as are affected by weight-related medical complications [2].
  • What's inside: Ozempic and Wegovy contain the active ingredient, semaglutide [3], while Saxenda contains the ingredient, liraglutide [4].
  • When to take them: Ozempic and Wegovy are taken once a week [5], while Saxenda is taken once every day [6].
  • Side effects: All 3 medicines might have side effects and may cause allergic reactions. However, research suggests that semaglutide — the active ingredient in Ozempic and Wegovy — might cause fewer problems compared to liraglutide, the active ingredient in Saxenda.

In a trial conducted over 2 years, patients who were prescribed 1mg of semaglutide alongside lifestyle changes like diet adjustments and exercise were compared to those who only followed lifestyle changes [7]. The patients on semaglutide lost an average of 4.9kg, whereas those without the medication only lost 0.5kg.

Remember, it's important to work with a healthcare provider before using these medicines. Plus, these treatments work best when you're also eating healthy, nutritious food and staying active. Talk to your practitioner to figure out which medicine is right for you.

How do Ozempic and Wegovy work?

Ozempic and Wegovy work similarly by mimicking the effects of the naturally occurring hormone GLP-1 [8], which helps in regulating blood sugar levels and effectively reduces appetite.

The active ingredient in both medications, semaglutide, is designed to respond when your blood sugar rises, helping your body to release its own insulin.

It works in 3 ways to lower blood sugar:

  1. It helps your pancreas produce more insulin when your blood sugar is high, which helps to lower blood sugar levels,
  2. It helps prevent your liver from making and releasing too much sugar, and
  3. It slows down food leaving your stomach.

Taking semaglutide also helps to promote a feeling of satiety and suppressed appetite. This is why it works for weight loss.

Not only do GLP-1 medications help to lower blood glucose levels when used along with diet and exercise, but they may also reduce the risk of major cardiovascular events such as stroke, heart attack, or complications due to high blood pressure [9].

While Wegovy is suitable for many, it may not be the best option for some people, particularly if you or a family member has medullary thyroid carcinoma, are at high risk of developing thyroid cancer, have multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2, or have complications regarding the pancreas.

How effective is semaglutide?

Semaglutide has been shown to effectively support weight loss, with clinical trials proving to be quite promising. In recent studies, those who took GLP-1 medications experienced notably greater weight loss than those who were given a placebo.

Plus, these medications have demonstrated the ability to enhance other health indicators like blood pressure and cholesterol levels and can be great in maintaining a healthier low blood sugar level.

Once semaglutide stabilises in your body, which might take a few weeks to a few months, weight loss will likely progress quickly. According to a study involving 175 participants with overweight or obesity, the percentage of total body weight loss was 5.9% after 3 months and 10.9% after 6 months [10].

While semaglutide is an excellent tool for weight management, it's important to understand that it isn't a magical solution of its own. To get the best outcomes, it should be used alongside a healthy diet and regular exercise.

How is Ozempic best stored?

Once you have a prescription for Ozempic, it's important to learn how to store it correctly. While these steps can be quite simple, they're crucial to keeping the active ingredient in Ozempic safe and effective [11]:

  • If you haven't used the Ozempic pen yet, store it in the fridge at temperatures between 2°C and 8°C.
  • Don't freeze the Ozempic pen, and don't use it if it's been frozen.
  • You can keep unused Ozempic pens in the fridge until the expiration date on the label. Remember, after 56 days, even if there's medicine left, you should dispose of the pen.
  • When keeping Ozempic in the fridge, don't put it directly next to the cooling part. Keep it away from heat and light, and don't leave it in a car where temperatures can get too hot or cold.

It's important to follow these storage rules to ensure Ozempic works well and stays safe. If you're unsure about anything related to storing Ozempic, it's best to ask a trusted healthcare provider.

How is Wegovy best stored?

If you’ve started taking Wegovy, there are also best practices you want to follow when it comes to storing it correctly.

  • Store the Wegovy pen in the fridge at temperatures between 2°C and 8°C.
  • If necessary, prior to cap removal, you can keep the pen between 8°C to 30°C for up to 28 days.
  • Don't freeze the Wegovy pen.
  • Protect the pen from light and keep it in its original carton until it’s time to administer it.

Once again, if you have any questions about how to store Wegovy, be sure to reach out to a healthcare professional.

How is Saxenda best stored?

Similar to Ozempic and Wegovy, it's important to take proactive steps to ensure Saxenda is stored correctly and that the active ingredient is safe and effective. Let's take a look at some of the steps you should take to do this [12]:

  • If you have an unopened Saxenda pen, it needs to be stored in the fridge at temperatures between 2°C to 8°C.
  • Don't freeze the Saxenda pen, and don't use it if it has been frozen.
  • You can keep unused Saxenda pens in the fridge until the expiration date mentioned on the label. But remember, even if there's still medicine inside, you should get rid of the pen after 30 days once opened.
  • Once you've used the prefilled pen, you can either keep it in the fridge or at room temperature, which should be between 15°C and 30°C, for up to 30 days.
  • After first use, store the pen in a refrigerator or at room temperature between 15°C and 30°C.
  • When storing Saxenda in the fridge, avoid putting it right next to the cooling part. Keep it away from heat and light, and don't leave it in a car where temperatures can get too high or too low. When you're not using it, keep the cap on to shield it from light.

It's important to stick to these storage rules to make sure Saxenda works well and is safe to use. If you have any questions or worries about storing Saxenda, it's best to talk to a healthcare provider.

How should you store your medication when travelling?

When you're travelling with medications like Saxenda, Wegovy or Ozempic, it's important to store them correctly to maintain their effectiveness.

Here are some helpful tips for storing these injections while you're on the go:

  • If you're travelling to places with cold weather, it's a good idea to keep your injection pens close to your body, like in an inside pocket. This helps prevent them from freezing.
  • If your medications need to be kept cold, consider using a medical-grade cooler or an insulated bag designed for this purpose. You can also use small lunch bags if you line them with ice packs.
  • Make sure to keep an eye on the temperature inside the cooler or bag. If it gets too warm, it's not safe to store the medications there, as it could damage or spoil them.
  • Always bring the cooler bag with your injections as part of your carry-on luggage. Putting it in checked luggage might lead to freezing, which can harm the medication.
  • When you're going through airport security, be sure to tell customs about any medications you have, including your medications. You will likely need to present a medical certificate from your healthcare professional [13], so it's important to organise these before you leave.
  • If refrigeration isn't possible, pack some resealable sandwich bags in your luggage. You can use them with ice packs to keep the injections cool.

As you embark on your weight loss journey, it's essential to prioritise proper storage of your injections while travelling. By ensuring the effectiveness of your medications, you're taking a positive step for both your physical well-being and mental health.

Be sure to always follow recommended guidelines and consult with your healthcare provider or pharmacist for any additional advice on storing weight loss injections while on the move.

How long can Ozempic stay out of the fridge?

An Ozempic pen is still okay to use after 6 weeks after its initial use, and the good news is that it can be kept outside the refrigerator as long as it's stored at room temperatures ranging from 15°C to 30°C [14]. Remember, even if there's medicine left, the pen should still be discarded after 56 days.

If Ozempic has been kept at room temperature before its first use, it must be discarded, and it's advisable to contact your pharmacist or healthcare provider for further guidance.

Always follow the storage instructions provided by the medication manufacturer and consult your healthcare provider or pharmacist for any additional advice regarding storing Ozempic.

When you're on a journey to better health and weight loss, it's key to consider all aspects that contribute to your success. While both semaglutide and liraglutide are great to help you shed pounds, they're best used in combination with a lower-calorie diet, increased physical activity, and comprehensive support for lifestyle changes.

A holistic approach to your weight loss journey ensures your overall success. Juniper’s Weight Reset Programme arms you with not only scientifically-backed medications but also access to a community of like-minded individuals on their weight loss journey. Juniper's team of experts, including dieticians and clinicians, is here to guide you through every step, ensuring you have the support you need to achieve your goals.

Juniper’s Weight Reset Programme prescribes Wegovy — check your eligibility here.