How Much Wegovy Do I Need to Take?
Wegovy (semaglutide) is a weekly-dose weight loss drug, used in regulating appetite. It is available in a range of different doses – from the starting dose of 0.25mg to the 2.4mg “maintenance” dose. You should always take Wegovy as prescribed. If you are not sure of your dose, please check with your doctor.
Wegovy was originally designed to help treat type 2 diabetes – indeed, it is still used for that purpose, as Ozempic. Ozempic is taken at lower doses than Wegovy, and is not suitable for use in body weight management.
Most patients will follow the weekly Wegovy dosing schedule. This outlines how your dose changes depending on how many weeks you have been using Wegovy. The schedule is as follows:
As you can see, usually you will start taking Wegovy with a FlexTouch pen injector containing four 0.25mg doses of semaglutide (the active ingredient in Wegovy). Wegovy is a weekly injection; you will use the 0.25mg dose pen for the first 4 weeks.
After the first 4 weeks, you will increase the dose to 0.5mg. Then the dose is increased every 4 weeks as outlined in the dosing schedule above. The maximum dose of Wegovy is 2.4mg, which you will start in the 17th week and continue with for the rest of the treatment.
Steadily increasing the dosage of Wegovy week by week helps to reduce side effects by giving your body more time to get used to the medication. It may take a while before you start to notice the effects of Wegovy; it will take several weeks to build up to the standard maintenance dose, where the weight management effects will be most noticeable.
Wegovy pens are available in pre-set doses, so you do not need to adjust the dose yourself. However, you should always check that you are using a pen containing the correct dose before injecting the medication.
How to Take Wegovy
Before using your Wegovy pen, please check that:
- The pen has not passed its expiry date
- The pen contains the correct dose of medication
- The pen and needle do not appear to be damaged or broken in any way
- The pen still contains doses (check the dose counter on the pen)
- The medicine appears clear and colourless when viewed through the window on the pen.
- You have a sharps box available for safe disposal of the needles and pen after use.
Next, you need to decide where you are going to inject the medication. The medicine can be injected into the front of your upper thighs, your upper arms or your lower abdomen (tummy). Avoid injecting into the following areas:
- Any skin within 2 inches (6cm) of your belly button.
- Stretch marks
- Bruised areas
- Red or inflamed areas of skin
- Hard areas of skin
- Tender areas
You can inject into the same part of your body each week, but make sure that you don’t always inject into exactly the same spot; this can damage the tissues in the area and lead to complications.
Before injecting Wegovy, make sure you clean the skin with soap and water or an alcohol wipe. Pull off the cap on the top of the pen and check the medicine is clear and colourless. Take a needle and pull off the paper tab.
Push the needle onto the pen and turn to secure. Then remove both needle caps and retain the outer cap (you will need this to safely remove the needle later).
If this is a new pen, you will need to check the flow before you inject any medication. If this is not the first dose from your new pen, you do not need to check the flow.
To check the flow simply select the flow check symbol (two dots) with the dose selector, hold the pen with the needle pointing straight up and press and hold the dose button on the end of the pen. A drop of medicine should appear on the tip of the needle. If it does not, repeat the flow check once more.
If you still do not see a droplet appear, change the needle and do one more flow check. If still no droplet appears, you may have a faulty pen and you should request a replacement. Do not use a faulty pen.
Next, you need to select your prescribed dose. Always ensure you use the correct dose that has been prescribed for you.
Then insert the needle into your skin, making sure that you can see the dose counter. Press and hold the dose button until the dose counter returns to 0. Remove the needle from your skin.
You now need to replace the needle cap. Place the cap on a flat surface and without touching the needle or the cap, push the point of the needle inside. Once the needle is covered, you can push the cap on with your fingers. Then unscrew the needle and dispose of it straight away in an appropriate sharps container.
After use, replace the pen cap to keep the injector safe. You can record your doses on the packaging that comes with your FlexTouch pen. For more detailed instructions on using your pen, please read the patient information leaflet.
For best results, you should use Wegovy alongside a reduced calorie diet and increased physical activity.
Prescription weight loss treatments available today
How Many Doses are in the Wegovy Pen?
Each Wegovy pen contains four doses; however, you will need to remove the needle between uses. Do not reuse a needle that has already pierced your skin. Once you have injected the medication, you must safely dispose of the needle in a sharps container. Keep the pen stored in the fridge between doses.
What Should You Do if You Miss a Dose of Wegovy?
If you miss a dose of Wegovy, you need to calculate how long it is until your next scheduled dose. If it is within 48 hours of your next scheduled dose, do not take the missed dose and take your next dose as normal. If it is more than 48 hours before your next dose is due, take your missed dose of Wegovy as soon as possible.
What Should You Do if You Realise You Have Taken Too Much Wegovy?
Do not take more Wegovy than the dose prescribed to you. Overdose of Wegovy can be dangerous, causing severe nausea and vomiting as well as very low blood sugar levels which can lead to seizures and coma.
If you have taken too much Wegovy, seek immediate medical attention. We recommend you go to your nearest emergency department or call NHS 111. Do not drive until you have been reviewed by a medical professional.
Which Wegovy Doses are Available?
Wegovy is available in five different doses. Wegovy comes in pen injectors containing four doses. Usually, you start on the lowest dose of 0.25mg. The dose is increased every 4 weeks.
In Week 5 you switch to a pen containing 0.5mg doses. In Week 9 you use a pen containing 1mg doses. In week 13, you will start using a 1.7mg dose pen and from Week 17 onwards, you will take a pen containing 2.4mg maintenance doses of Wegovy.
Can I Take a Lower Dose of Wegovy?
Speak to your doctor if you are experiencing troubling side effects or if you want to reduce your dose. Depending on the side effects you are experiencing, your doctor may pause your treatment, temporarily reduce your dose or recommend that you stop taking Wegovy altogether.
If they pause your treatment, you will stop taking Wegovy for 4 weeks, then you will gradually build up to the maintenance dose (2.4mg) again. Alternatively, if you’re on the 2.4mg dose, they may reduce your dose to 1.7mg for 4 weeks before increasing it again. If you have severe side effects or ongoing problems with Wegovy, your doctor may recommend that you stop taking the medication and try an alternative weight loss method.
As with all prescription drugs, some patients may experience side effects when using this product. The most common side effects of Wegovy are often lessened by using a lower dose. If you experience serious side effects, such as allergic reactions, we recommend that you stop using the product immediately and seek urgent medical assistance.
Where Can I Get Wegovy in the UK?
Currently, Wegovy is not available in the UK. It is planned for release in the Spring/Summer months of 2023; until then, you can sign up for e-mail alerts about Wegovy, giving you up-to-date info about Wegovy’s release.
Wegovy is injected once weekly via a pen injector. Each FlexTouch pen contains four doses.
The starting dose of Wegovy is usually 0.25mg. The highest Wegovy dose is 2.4mg per week.
Your dose is increased gradually over 17 weeks to minimise side effects as your body acclimatises to the new drug.