Understanding Wegovy dosages for effective weight loss

Dr. Babak Ashrafi

Medically reviewed by

Dr Babak Ashrafi

Last reviewed: 09 Nov 2023

Wegovy weight loss injections are prescribed alongside dietary and exercise changes for people who meet the specific criteria for this type of medication. Wegovy has a dosage schedule to help your body adjust to treatment while making sure it works effectively to help you lose weight.

wegovy dosage chart

Wegovy dosage overview

It is important to take Wegovy as prescribed by your doctor to help you reach the full semaglutide dosage of 2.4 mg over 5 months. The Wegovy dosage for weight loss requires you to reach and maintain the full dose for the medication to work most effectively for weight loss.

What is the dosing protocol for Wegovy?

Wegovy is available in 5 dose strengths (Wegovy 0.25mg, Wegovy 0.5mg, Wegovy 1mg, Wegovy 1.7mg and Wegovy 2.4mg). The Wegovy dosing protocol requires that you start on the lowest dose of 0.25 mg before increasing the dose every 4 weeks until you reach the full dose of 2.4 mg.

Wegovy dosage chart

To help you keep on track with your doses, you can follow a Wegovy dosage chart.

It’s important to follow your Wegovy dosage schedule to allow your body to get used to the medicine. The starting dose is Wegovy 0.25 mg once a week for 4 weeks. The dose increases over 16 weeks until you reach the recommended Wegovy 2.4 mg dose. You will then inject this once per week for as long as your treatment needs to last.

weekly wegovy dosage chart

Wegovy starting dose

The Wegovy starting dose is 0.25 mg. You’ll need to take this for 4 weeks by injecting on the same day once per week.

Can you start on 1mg of Wegovy?

No, it is important to start Wegovy on the starting dose of 0.25 mg once a week for 4 weeks to allow your body to get used to the active ingredient, semaglutide. This is the case even if you’ve been on high doses of other weight loss treatments before Wegovy.

Wegovy recommended dosage

The Wegovy recommended dosage is 2.4 mg once per week. This is also referred to as the maintenance dose. If this is not tolerated then 1.7 mg may be administered once weekly.

Maximum dosage of Wegovy pens

The maximum Wegovy dose is 2.4 mg once per week.

Lowest dosage of Wegovy pens

The lowest dose of Wegovy is 0.25mg but this is only a starting dose and not a maintenance dose.

When to increase Wegovy dosage

Wegovy is available in 5 different doses. You start on 0.25 mg once per week, increasing the dose every 4 weeks until you reach the full Wegovy maintenance dose of 2.4 mg.

Can you skip doses of Wegovy?

No, it is important you follow the Wegovy dosing schedule to help your body build up to the full maintenance dose. It isn’t possible to skip a dose of Wegovy to reach the recommended dose quicker.

Dr Babak Ashrafi, Clinical Lead for Service Expansion at ZAVA

How many doses are in a Wegovy pen?

Wegovy comes as a coloured pen. Each pen is pre-filled with 4 doses and when you need to change your dose you will change to the correct coloured pen for that dose.

The pens are:

  • green (Wegovy 0.25mg)
  • pink (Wegovy 0.5mg)
  • brown (Wegovy 1mg)
  • blue (Wegovy 1.7mg)
  • black (Wegovy 2.4mg)

How often do you inject Wegovy?

Wegovy is injected once per week. You should inject your Wegovy dose on the same day each week.

Watch the video below to find out more about Wegovy:

What if I miss a dose of Wegovy?

If you have forgotten to inject your Wegovy dose or have missed it, what you need to do depends on how many days have passed since your missed dose.

  • If it has been 5 days or less, inject it as soon as you remember. You should then inject your next dose on your usual scheduled day.
  • If it has been more than 5 days, you will need to skip the missed dose. Inject your next dose on your usual scheduled day. You must not take a double dose to compensate for a missed dose.

Wegovy dosages and switching to/from other weight loss medications

The dosing protocol for Wegovy is different to other weight loss medicines. Your doctor will always explain the correct dosage to you when they prescribe it. It is possible to switch from other weight loss medications to Wegovy under the supervision of your doctor.

Switching from Saxenda to Wegovy

It is possible to switch from Saxenda to Wegovy. Your doctor can discuss the best way to do this. The biggest difference between the 2 medications is that Saxenda is injected daily whereas Wegovy is injected once weekly.

Saxenda contains the active ingredient liraglutide, which mimics the GLP-1 hormone, suppressing your appetite.

Wegovy dosages Saxenda dosages

0.25 mg

0.6 mg

0.5 mg

1.2 mg

1 mg

1.8 mg

1.7 mg

2.4 mg

2.4 mg

3.0 mg

Wegovy vs Ozempic dosage

Wegovy and Ozempic contain the same active ingredient, semaglutide, but Wegovy is available as a higher dose. Ozempic is available off-label for weight loss in the UK but is mainly used to treat type 2 diabetes. At ZAVA we do not prescribe Ozempic off-label.

What are the first-day side effects of Wegovy?

Like all medicines, Wegovy can cause side effects. You may experience some, none, or all of these effects.

The most common Wegovy side effects are:

  • feeling sick (nausea)
  • being sick (vomiting)
  • diarrhoea
  • constipation
  • tummy pain
  • headache
  • feeling tired (fatigue)
  • upset stomach
  • dizziness
  • bloatedness
  • gas
  • burping
  • stomach flu
  • heartburn
  • runny nose
  • sore throat

The most common Wegovy side effect is nausea. Some people also report feeling sick after injecting their first dose. There are some things you can do to help manage, like:

  • eating plain or bland foods like toast or rice
  • eating foods that contain water such as soup
  • eat slowly
  • get some fresh air outdoors

How to get Wegovy prescribed for weight loss

Wegovy can only be prescribed if you meet certain criteria. To buy Wegovy prescribed by a ZAVA doctor you must have at least 1 weight-related condition, like high blood pressure, and a BMI of at least 27 kg/m2 or a BMI of 30.0 kg/m2. In addition, there must be no contraindications to the use of the medication, such as allergies or interactions.

To get Wegovy on the NHS, you must meet stricter criteria and availability will depend on your local guidelines. You will only be prescribed Wegovy or semaglutide on the NHS if you have a BMI of either:

  • 35 or more or 32.5 or more if you are of Asian, Chinese, Middle Eastern, Black African or African-Caribbean descent
  • 30 to 35 or 27.5 to 32.5 and are of any of the above origins and meet other criteria set by a specialist weight management service
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Frequently asked questions

What drug is equivalent to Wegovy?

Wegovy and Ozempic are both injectable medicines that contain the active ingredient, semaglutide. Wegovy is prescribed for weight loss in the UK, whereas Ozempic is only available to treat type 2 diabetes at the moment.

If you are looking for a Wegovy alternative, Saxenda is also available but this has a different active ingredient (liraglutide). Unlike Wegovy, which is injected once per week, Saxenda is a daily injection.

If you’re not sure about injecting yourself with medication, Orlistat is a weight loss pill that your doctor may be able to prescribe.

What is the main difference between Wegovy and Ozempic?

The main difference between Wegovy and Ozempic is that Wegovy is licensed in the UK for treating weight loss and Ozempic is only licensed for type 2 diabetes. While both medications contain the same active ingredient, they also differ because it is administered at different doses. The maintenance dose of Wegovy is 2.4 mg but for Ozempic it is 1 mg.

How do you feel after first shot of Wegovy?

The first dose of Wegovy may make you feel sick (nauseous) as this is the most common side effect.

Can you stay on semaglutide for life?

Wegovy (semaglutide) is approved in the UK for long-term weight loss treatment. So, you can take Wegovy for as long as it is beneficial for weight loss and isn’t causing unbearable side effects.

Medically reviewed by:
Dr Babak Ashrafi Clinical Lead for Service Expansion
Accreditations: BSc, MBBS, MRCGP (2008)

Babak studied medicine at King’s College London and graduated in 2003, having also gained a bachelor’s degree in Physiology during his time there. He completed his general practice (GP) training in East London, where he worked for a number of years as a partner at a large inner-city GP practice. He completed the Royal College of GPs membership exam in 2007.

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Last reviewed: 09 Nov 2023

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