Understanding How to Take Wegovy for Effective Weight Loss

Dr Crystal Wyllie

Medically reviewed by

Dr Crystal Wyllie

Last reviewed: 11 Dec 2023

Understanding how to take Wegovy will make sure you get the most from your prescription. Each Wegovy shot contains the exact amount of semaglutide you’ll need for every 4 weeks of treatment. After 4 weeks, your dose is increased, incrementally, to a maximum of 2.4mg per week.

Wegovy injections should be taken once a week and the best places to inject Wegovy are the upper arms, upper legs, and stomach. Knowing how to use your Wegovy pen correctly will make sure you stay safe during treatment. You can find more Wegovy instructions below.

Contents
Wegovy Injection pen
 

Understanding the Wegovy pen

Wegovy is a weight loss medication that comes in the form of an injectable pen. Unlike a traditional injection, you don’t need to bother drawing up the medication or measuring it. Each pen contains the exact Wegovy dosage you’ll need as you move through the Wegovy course.

This means you’ll always get the right amount of medication. You should always take Wegovy as prescribed, and try to stick to the same time each week for best results.

What is the Wegovy course like?

The Wegovy course is structured in a way that’ll get your body used to a new medication. It’s also done this way so you’re less likely to get common side effects that could impact how well your treatment works, such as nausea (feeling sick) and vomiting (being sick).

The Wegovy course is as follows:

Weeks Wegovy pen dosage (once a week)

1-4

0.25 mg

5-8

0.5 mg

9-12

1 mg

13-16

1.7 mg

17 onwards

2.4 mg

How many doses are in a Wegovy pen?

Each Wegovy pen contains 4 doses of medication, which amounts to 1 month’s worth of treatment.

All available Wegovy dosages in an overview: 0.25 mg, 0.5 mg, 1 mg, 1.7 mg, and 2.4 mg.

Wegovy uses

Wegovy should only be used for weight loss. Semaglutide was originally a type 2 diabetes treatment, but this is found under another name (Ozempic) and in different doses.

How to inject the Wegovy pen

Before you inject Wegovy for the first time, you should read the patient information leaflet.

Make sure you’ve chosen the correct Wegovy pen for your current dosage schedule, and that you haven’t gotten it mixed up with another injectable pen if you take insulin.

Wegovy can be taken with or without food. Inject your Wegovy pen into your upper arms, upper legs, or stomach. Change your injection site each week, so you’re less likely to get soreness, irritation, or a reaction at the site.

If you’re ready to take your first Wegovy dose, you can follow these steps:

Step 3: check the flow

Step 1: Before each dose, make sure that the Wegovy liquid is clear and colourless through the small window on each pen. Remove the pen cap for this. If it’s not, you should not use this pen. A new needle should be used for each injection. Check each needle for signs of damage and dispose of it if it’s bent or unsealed.

Step 2: attach the new needle to the pen

Step 2: Thoroughly wash your hands and your chosen injection site with soap and water or an alcohol wipe. Attach the new needle to your Wegovy pen, with the cap on.

Step 3: check the flow

Step 3: If this is your first Wegovy dose out of this pen, you’ll need to check the flow. Turn the dose selector until you reach the ‘flow check’ symbol (2 dots and a line). Hold the needle pointing up and press the dose button until it reaches 0. A small drop of medication should form on the tip. If it does, the pen is primed and ready to use. If not, you’ll have to try again or change the needle or pen.

Step 4: set the dose

Step 4: Once your Wegovy pen is primed you’re ready to set the dose. Turn the dose selector until it shows your prescribed dose. This should line up with the dose pointer, which is a small arrow beside the dose selector window.

Step 5: inject Wegovy

Step 5: Remove the caps on the needle, keeping the outer cap for later. Inject Wegovy by inserting the needle into your skin and holding down on the button. You will hear a “click” when the injection has started and a second “click” during the injection. Don’t cover the dose counter with your fingers, as you’ll need to see it. Press and hold down the pen until it reaches 0. Then, slowly count to 6, to make sure you’ve gotten your full dose.

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Step 6: Remove the needle from your skin. You may notice a drop of medication at the tip, which is normal. If you bleed, gently press on the area until it stops. Carefully get rid of your needle by reattaching the needle cap you saved in the previous step. Store your Wegovy pen safely away after each use.

Where to inject Wegovy?

Wegovy should only ever be injected into:

  • the upper arms
  • the upper legs
  • stomach (with at least 5cm gap from the belly button)

Wegovy should never be injected into a muscle or vein.

Wegovy injection sites: abdomen, upper legs or upper arms.

What is the best time to take the Wegovy shot?

Dr Crystal Wyllie

What time of day you take Wegovy does not matter, as long as you stick to the same time for each weekly dose. This helps it build up in your system better and can make it more effective. Find a time each week that works for you.” – Dr Crystal Wyllie, Doctor at ZAVA.

How often do you inject Wegovy?

Wegovy should be injected once a week. You should never take Wegovy more than once a week, as it won’t make the medication work better and will increase the risk of serious side effects. If you think your dose isn’t working, speak to your doctor instead. You can message our doctors for free through your patient account if you have any questions about Wegovy, weight loss treatment, or your health in general.

What if I miss a dose of Wegovy?

If you miss a dose of Wegovy and it’s been 5 days or less since you were supposed to use it, take Wegovy as soon as you remember. Then, take your next Wegovy dose on your usual injection day. This may mean you’re taking the next dose within 2 or 3 days. This is the only time it’s okay to take Wegovy more than once a week, but try not to make a habit of it, as it could affect how well Wegovy works.

If you’ve missed a dose of Wegovy and it’s been longer than 5 days since you were supposed to take it, skip the missed dose. Then, continue your Wegovy treatment when your next dose is due.

Never take a double dose as this can increase your risk of side effects.

Does the Wegovy injection hurt?

Dr Crystal Wyllie

All injections hurt a little bit, but the Wegovy pen makes taking your medication quick and as pain-free as possible. You can also ask someone for help if you find it difficult to take Wegovy yourself. As it’s only once a week, it shouldn’t cause much pain or irritation.” – Dr Crystal Wyllie, Doctor at ZAVA.

Who should not take Wegovy?

You should not take Wegovy if your body weight does not count as obese, meaning your BMI is lower than 30 kg/m². The only exception to this is if your BMI is between 27 kg/m² and 30 kg/m² and you’ve got a weight-related health problem, such as diabetes type 2.

Wegovy is not suitable if you:

  • have allergies to any ingredients in the pen, especially the active ingredient semaglutide
  • are pregnant, trying to become pregnant, or breastfeeding
  • have not been prescribed it

Speak to your doctor before using Wegovy pens if you have:

  • kidney problems
  • low blood sugar levels (hypoglycaemia)
  • diabetes and/or diabetic eye disease (retinopathy)
  • inflammation of your pancreas

What happens when you stop taking Wegovy?

When you stop taking Wegovy, its effects will slowly go away before stopping altogether. This means you’ll likely feel hungrier again. You can stop taking Wegovy whenever you want but you should always speak to a doctor first.

They may recommend sticking with it a little longer (at least 16 weeks), or they can adjust your dose to see if this helps with side effects. If you stop taking Wegovy too early, you may lose any results you’ve gained.

Can I take Wegovy with other weight loss medications?

Wegovy should not be taken with other weight loss medications. Most treatments are standalone, which means you don’t need another medication. Taking 2 weight loss treatments at once could increase the risk of serious side effects or may make you lose weight too quickly, which is dangerous to your health.

If you’re taking Wegovy (or another weight loss treatment) and want to switch, you can do this by speaking to your doctor. You may be able to take weight loss supplements or herbal remedies that are made with natural ingredients, but you should still discuss with your doctor first to make sure it’s safe. If you want to switch your weight loss medication or have any questions, you can message our doctors for free through your patient account.

➤ Find out more about Wegovy alternatives

Can you take Ozempic and Wegovy together?

No, Ozempic and Wegovy contain the same active ingredient semaglutide. This means you’d be taking a double dose, which would strongly increase your risk of side effects without making it more effective.

Can you take Wegovy and Saxenda together?

No, Wegovy and Saxenda cannot be taken together. They do not contain the same active ingredient, but belong to the same medicine family. They are both glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists and cannot be taken together, as they have a similar effect.

Can you take Wegovy and Mounjaro together?

No, Mounjaro is also a GLP-1 receptor agonist. Wegovy and Mounjaro should not be taken at the same time, as it could cause extremely low blood sugar.

Wegovy tips and tricks: How to save money on your prescription

One of the best ways to get the most from each Wegovy pen is by taking it at the same time each week. Missing a dose or taking it at different times can impact how well it works. You should also follow a diet and exercise plan set by your doctor.

Reducing your calorie intake and exercising while taking Wegovy will give you the best results and means you’ll only need to take Wegovy for the shortest amount of time to reach your weight loss goals.

When trying to save money on your prescription, it might be worth buying Wegovy online. As soon as it’s available, you can get Wegovy through our online doctor service, with free delivery and free support by our doctors through your patients account.

Frequently asked questions

Does Wegovy come with needles?

Yes, your Wegovy pens will come with enough needles for all your doses.

Can you inject Wegovy cold?

Yes, Wegovy can be taken cold but it doesn’t need to be heated up or cooled down to be taken. Before opening, it should be stored in a fridge between 2°C to 8°C. Never use Wegovy past the expiry date. Once opened, it can be kept in the fridge or simply away from direct sunlight and below 30°C. Use your Wegovy Pen within 6 weeks after opening it.

Never freeze Wegovy or take a dose if the pen has been frozen.

Should I inject semaglutide in the morning or at night?

As long as you stick to your dosage schedule and timing, you can decide whether it’s best taken in the morning or at night based on your preference.

How many days does it take for Wegovy to start working?

This is different for each person, but Wegovy usually starts to work from the first injection. Your doctor will wait at least 16 weeks to check on your weight loss progress, as it’ll reach maximum effectiveness after you’ve reached the full dose.

Can you travel internationally with Wegovy?

Yes, but you’ll need proof of prescription when travelling with Wegovy. It can be taken on an aeroplane, but always in your hand luggage. It might get too cold if stored in your main luggage.

Can you take Wegovy while pregnant?

No, you should not take Wegovy while pregnant or trying to get pregnant. Currently there’s not enough data on whether or not Wegovy can affect an unborn baby.

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Medically reviewed by:
Dr Crystal Wyllie

Crystal qualified in Medicine at Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry in 2010. She then trained as a GP in London hospitals and practices. She has a particular interest in reproductive, sexual and women’s health.

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Last reviewed: 11 Dec 2023






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