Sharing My Knowledge About Ozempic And Saxenda
One thing I have always appreciated about myself is that I am a people person. My mother will say it is more like I just enjoy the sound of my own voice. I prefer to think that I enjoy sharing my knowledge. And, the jokes on her as she is the one I got my gift of gab from. In some instances, she might not be wrong. I might not share the knowledge that my followers want to hear about the most.
I’ve heard, “It is great you are providing us with all this knowledge around these medications, Dan, but how the hell do we actually use them? It’s an injection!?! Where and how do we inject?” Thankfully, you all keep me in check and drop these outstanding questions in the comments.
So today, I am going to do a brief overview on how to inject Ozempic and Saxenda pens. As always, these will be general guidelines, and if you need extra support, please discuss them with your family pharmacist or physician!
The Differences Between Ozempic And Saxenda Pens
First things first, the Ozempic pens and Saxenda pens are virtually identical because, guess what, the same company makes them! The future Wegovy pens, I have no doubt, will operate in the same manner as well. Now, most of the Ozempic pens come with needle tips. However, the Saxenda pens do not, as you will be injecting it much more often – once a day vs. once a week. So if you are on Saxenda, please pick up a box of needles from your local pharmacy.
PLEASE DO NOT RE-USE OR SHARE NEEDLE TIPS. One would think this is self-explanatory, but I have met a number of people who do the above. There are a couple of reasons for this:
- Sharing anything that may be contaminated with another individual’s blood = BAD NEWS BEARS. I don’t care if they are your partner, family member, etc., do not do it.
- Reusing needles for yourself has the potential to lead to infection. You spend 10 seconds with that needle inside of you. You don’t know where that needle is for the other 86,390 seconds of the day!
- These needles are very delicate. Every time they pierce your skin, they instantly become dull. Which on subsequent injections is going to be more painful and cause more bruising. Why do you think we don’t use a spoon to cut a steak? Please do not resharpen the needle with a matchbook striker. Just get a new needle. I say these things because I care, and I have also had patients provide me with these details.
Ok, cool! Moving on.
Inspecting The Product
So whenever we get a new pen, we want to inspect it. Start by popping the pen lid off, and you should see a window that contains the medication. This window should be clear. There should be no floats, or other mysterious substances. Bubbles are OK! Do not use if any of the former are seen. Of course, make sure there is no damage or tampering evident.
How to Put on Needle Tips
Now, we are ready to put on a needle tip. Remove the paper tab, push the needle onto the tip of the pen, and then screw it down snugly. Then take off the two caps – there is one big cap and one smaller cap over the needle itself. Do you see the needle now? Look at how tiny and cute it is! There may or may not be liquid drops at the tip – either is fine. Next up, check the flow. Note you only need to do this the very first time you use a new pen. We want to make sure the medication is flowing and will actually get into your body. To check the flow, turn the dial at the back of the pen a couple of clicks until you see a line and two dots. Then press the button at the back of the pen. If there is no fluid on the needle tip already, there should be now! If there is no fluid, repeat the process until there is – it may take up to 6 times. If there is nothing, change the needle and repeat! If there are any issues with your pen, take it back to your family pharmacy.
Selecting Your Dose And Injection Site
Next up, we are ready to inject, and we want to select your dose. We must always start at the lowest dose first to help mitigate side effects. If you want to know more about the side effects, check out my previous blog for more details! For Saxenda, the starting dose is 0.6mg once daily for 7 days. For Ozempic, the starting dose is 0.25mg once weekly for 4 weeks. Generally, if you tolerate the medication well after the specified time, you can increase to the next dose graduation, which is 1.2mg daily and 0.5mg once weekly, respectively.
Once you have your dose dialled up, you are ready to inject. Most people inject via their abdomen. However, we can use the upper outer thigh as well. See the diagram below. You want to be at least two inches away from your belly button. For each injection, use a different site than you did previously.
How To Inject The Medication
Now push the needle into your skin perpendicular to the floor. We are not harpooning. Just nice and gentle until the needle base is flush with your skin. Then press the button until you hear the clicking stop and the dose counter zeroes out. Then hold for 6-10 seconds and take the needle out. Once the needle is out, take the big cap you removed initially, place it over the needle, unscrew the needle tip, and throw it in your sharps container or a sturdy container with a lid.
BOOM – you are done. Pretty easy, right? If you want a video format check out my Youtube channel: Dr. Dan – Weight-loss via Habit Mastery. That is all there is to it. Again, this is the procedure for Saxenda and Ozempic pens. If you are on a different GLP-1 RA, there is a different process, so check with your care provider on how to use your specific pen properly!
Until next time. Remember – small tweaks lead to massive peaks!