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Wegovy

Generic Name: semaglutide
Dosage Form: injection, for subcutaneous use

Medically reviewed by Judith Stewart, BPharm. Last updated on June 5, 2021.

What is Wegovy?

Wegovy is an injectable prescription medicine used for adults with obesity or overweight (excess weight) who also have weight-related medical problems to help them lose weight and keep the weight off.

  • Wegovy should be used with a reduced calorie meal plan and increased physical activity.
  • Wegovy contains semaglutide and should not be used with other semaglutide-containing products or other GLP-1 receptor agonist medicines.
  • It is not known if this medicine is safe and effective when taken with other prescription, over-the-counter, or herbal weight loss products.
  • It is not known if Wegovy can be used safely in people with a history of pancreatitis.
  • It is not known if Wegovy is safe and effective for use in children under 18 years of age. 

Important information

Wegovy may cause serious side effects, including:

  • Possible thyroid tumors, including cancer. Tell your healthcare provider if you get a lump or swelling in your neck, hoarseness, trouble swallowing, or shortness of breath. These may be symptoms of thyroid cancer. In studies with rodents, Wegovy and medicines that work like Wegovy caused thyroid tumors, including thyroid cancer. It is not known if Wegovy will cause thyroid tumors or a type of thyroid cancer called medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) in people.
  • Do not use this medicine if you or any of your family have ever had a type of thyroid cancer called medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC), or if you have an endocrine system condition called Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN 2).

Who should not use Wegovy?

You should not use Wegovy if:

  • you or any of your family have ever had a type of thyroid cancer called medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) or if you have an endocrine system condition called Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN 2).
  • you have had a serious allergic reaction to semaglutide or any of the ingredients. See the end of this page for a complete list of ingredients. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction include:
    • swelling of your face, lips, tongue or throat
    • problems breathing or swallowing
    • severe rash or itching
    • fainting or feeling dizzy
    • very rapid heartbeat

Before using Wegovy

Before you start treatment, tell your healthcare provider if you have any other medical conditions, including if you:

  • have or have had problems with your pancreas or kidneys.
  • have type 2 diabetes and a history of diabetic retinopathy.
  • have or have had depression or suicidal thoughts, or mental health issues.
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Wegovy may harm your unborn baby. You should stop using Wegovy 2 months before you plan to become pregnant.
    • Pregnancy Exposure Registry: There is a pregnancy exposure registry for women who use Wegovy during pregnancy. The purpose of this registry is to collect information about the health of you and your baby.
      Talk to your healthcare provider about how you can take part in this registry or you may contact Novo Nordisk at 1-800-727-6500.
  • are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if Wegovy passes into your breast milk. You should talk with your healthcare provider about the best way to feed your baby while using Wegovy.

Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Wegovy may affect the way some medicines work and some medicines may affect the way Wegovy works. Tell your healthcare provider if you are taking other medicines to treat diabetes, including sulfonylureas or insulin. Wegovy slows stomach emptying and can affect medicines that need to pass through the stomach quickly.
Know the medicines you take. Keep a list of them to show your healthcare provider and pharmacist when you get a new medicine.

How should I use Wegovy?

  • Read the Instructions for Use that comes with your prescription.
  • Use Wegovy exactly as your healthcare provider tells you to.
  • Your healthcare provider should show you how to use Wegovy before you use it for the first time.
  • Wegovy is injected under the skin (subcutaneously) of your stomach (abdomen), thigh, or upper arm. Do not inject Wegovy into a muscle (intramuscularly) or vein (intravenously).
  • Change (rotate) your injection site with each injection. Do not use the same site for each injection.
  • Use Wegovy 1 time each week, on the same day each week, at any time of the day.
  • Start Wegovy with 0.25 mg per week in your first month. In your second month, increase your weekly dose to 0.5 mg. In the third month, increase your weekly dose to 1 mg. In the fourth month, increase your weekly dose to 1.7 mg and in the fifth month onwards, increase your weekly dose to the full dose of 2.4 mg. If you need to change the day of the week, you may do so as long as your last dose was given 2 or more days before.
  • If you miss a dose and the next scheduled dose is more than 2 days away (48 hours), take the missed dose as soon as possible. If you miss a dose and the next schedule dose is less than 2 days away (48 hours), do not administer the dose. Take your next dose on the regularly scheduled day.
  • If you miss doses for more than 2 weeks, take your next dose on the regularly scheduled day or call your healthcare provider to talk about how to restart your treatment.
  • You can take Wegovy with or without food.
  • If you take too much Wegovy, you may have severe nausea, severe vomiting and severe low blood sugar. Call your healthcare provider or go to the nearest hospital emergency room right away if you experience any of these symptoms.

Wegovy side effects

Wegovy may cause serious side effects, including:

  • See Important information.
  • inflammation of your pancreas (pancreatitis). Stop using Wegovy and call your healthcare provider right away if you have severe pain in your stomach area (abdomen) that will not go away, with or without vomiting. You may feel the pain from your abdomen to your back.
  • gallbladder problems. Wegovy may cause gallbladder problems including gallstones. Some gallbladder problems need surgery. Call your healthcare provider if you have any of the following symptoms:
    • pain in your upper stomach (abdomen)
    • fever
    • yellowing of skin or eyes (jaundice)
    • clay-colored stools
  • increased risk of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) in patients with type 2 diabetes, especially those who also take medicines to treat type 2 diabetes mellitus such as sulfonylureas or insulin. Low blood sugar in patients with type 2 diabetes who receive Wegovy can be both a serious and common side effect. Talk to your healthcare provider about how to recognize and treat low blood sugar. You should check your blood sugar before you start, and during treatment. Signs and symptoms of low blood sugar may include:
    • dizziness or light-headedness
    • blurred vision
    • anxiety
    • irritability or mood changes
    • sweating
    • slurred speech
    • hunger
    • confusion or drowsiness
    • shakiness
    • weakness
    • headache
    • fast heartbeat
    • feeling jittery
  • kidney problems (kidney failure). In people who have kidney problems, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting may cause a loss of fluids (dehydration) which may cause kidney problems to get worse. It is important for you to drink fluids to help reduce your chance of dehydration.
  • serious allergic reactions. Stop using Wegovy and get medical help right away, if you have any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction including:
    • swelling of your face, lips, tongue or throat
    • problems breathing or swallowing
    • severe rash or itching
    • fainting or feeling dizzy
    • very rapid heartbeat
  • change in vision in people with type 2 diabetes. Tell your healthcare provider if you have changes in vision during treatment.
  • increased heart rate. Wegovy can increase your heart rate while you are at rest. Your healthcare provider should check your heart rate while you take Wegovy. Tell your healthcare provider if you feel your heart racing or pounding in your chest and it lasts for several minutes.
  • depression or thoughts of suicide. You should pay attention to any mental changes, especially sudden changes in your mood, behaviors, thoughts, or feelings. Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any mental changes that are new, worse, or worry you.

The most common side effects may include:

  • nausea
  • diarrhea
  • vomiting
  • constipation
  • stomach (abdomen) pain
  • headache
  • tiredness (fatigue)
  • upset stomach
  • dizziness
  • feeling bloated
  • belching
  • gas
  • stomach flu
  • heartburn

Talk to your healthcare provider about any side effect that bothers you or does not go away. These are not all the possible side effects.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

General information about the safe and effective use of Wegovy.

Medicines are sometimes prescribed for purposes other than those listed in a Medication Guide. Do not use this medicine for a condition for which it was not prescribed. Do not give it to other people, even if they have the same symptoms that you have. It may harm them. You can ask your pharmacist or healthcare provider for information that is written for health professionals.

What are the ingredients in Wegovy?

Active Ingredient: semaglutide
Inactive Ingredients: disodium phosphate dihydrate, sodium chloride, and water for injection

Instructions for Use

Wegovy comes in five strengths.

Before you use your Wegovy pen for the first time, talk to your healthcare provider or your caregiver about how to prepare and inject Wegovy correctly.

Important information
Read this Instructions for Use before you start using Wegovy. This information does not replace talking to your healthcare provider about your medical condition or treatment.

  • Your Wegovy pen is for one time use only. The Wegovy pen is for subcutaneous (under the skin) use only.
  • The dose of Wegovy is already set on your pen.
  • The needle is covered by the needle cover and the needle will not be seen.
  • Do not remove the pen cap until you are ready to inject.
  • Do not touch or push on the needle cover. You could get a needle stick injury.
  • Your injection will begin when the needle cover is pressed against your skin.
  • Do not remove the pen from your skin before the yellow bar in the pen window has stopped moving. If the needle is removed earlier, you may not get your full dose.
  • If the yellow bar does not start moving or stops during the injection, contact your healthcare provider or Novo Nordisk at startWegovy.com or call Novo Nordisk Inc. at 1-833-934-6891.
  • The needle cover will lock when the pen is removed from your skin. You cannot stop the injection and restart it later.
  • People who are blind or have vision problems should not use the Wegovy pen without help from a person trained to use the pen.

How to use your Wegovy pen
Do not use your pen without receiving training from your healthcare provider. Make sure that you or your caregiver know how to give an injection with the pen before you start your treatment.
Read and follow the instructions so that you use your pen correctly:

Step 1. Prepare for your injection.

  • Supplies you will need to give your Wegovy injection:
    • Wegovy pen
    • 1 alcohol swab or soap and water
    • 1 gauze pad or cotton ball
    • 1 sharps disposable container
  • Wash your hands.
  • Check your Wegovy pen.
    Do not use your Wegovy pen if:
    • The pen appears to have been used or any part of the pen appears broken, for example if it has been dropped.
    • The Wegovy medicine is not clear and colorless through the pen window.
    • The expiration date (EXP) has passed.

Contact Novo Nordisk at 1-833-934-6891 if your Wegovy pen fails any of these checks.

Step 2. Choose your injection site.

  • Your healthcare provider can help you choose the injection site that is best for you
    • You may inject into your upper legs (front of the thighs) or lower stomach (keep 2 inches away from your belly button).
    • Another person may give the injection in the upper arm.
  • Do not inject into an area where the skin is tender, bruised, red, or hard. Avoid injecting into areas with scars or stretch marks.
  • You may inject in the same body area each week, but make sure it is not in the same spot each time.

Clean the injection site with an alcohol swab or soap and water. Do not touch the injection site after cleaning.

Step 3. Remove pen cap.

  • Pull the pen cap straight off your pen.

Step 4. Inject Wegovy.

  • Push the pen firmly against your skin until the yellow bar has stopped moving.
    If the yellow bar does not start moving, press the pen more firmly against your skin.
  • You will hear 2 clicks during the injection.
    • Click 1: the injection has started.
    • Click 2: the injection is ongoing.

Step 5. Throw away (dispose of) pen.

Safely dispose of the Wegovy pen right away after each use. See How do I throw away (dispose of) Wegovy pens?

What if blood appears after injection?

If blood appears at the injection site, press the site lightly with a gauze pad or cotton ball.

How do I throw away (dispose of) Wegovy pens?

Put the used Wegovy pen in an FDA-cleared sharps disposal container right away after use. Do not throw away (dispose of) the pen in your household trash.

If you do not have an FDA-cleared sharps disposal container, you may use a household container that is:

  • made of a heavy-duty plastic,
  • able to be closed with a tight-fitting, puncture-resistant lid, without sharps being able to come out,
  • upright and stable during use,
  • leak-resistant, and
  • properly labeled to warn of hazardous waste inside the container.

When your sharps disposal container is almost full, you will need to follow your community guidelines for the right way to dispose of your sharps disposal container. There may be state or local laws about how you should throw away used needles and syringes. For more information about safe sharps disposal, and for specific sharps disposal in the state that you live in, go to the FDA’s website at http://www.fda.gov/safesharpsdisposal.

  • Do not reuse the pen.
  • Do not recycle the pen or sharps disposal container, or throw them into household trash.

Important: Keep your Wegovy pen, sharps disposal container and all medicines out of the reach of children.

How do I care for my pen?

Protect your pen:

  • Do not drop your pen or knock it against hard surfaces.
  • Do not expose your pen to any liquids.
  • If you think that your pen may be damaged, do not try to fix it. Use a new one.
  • Keep the pen cap on until you are ready to inject. Your pen will no longer be sterile if you store an  unused pen without the cap, if you pull the pen cap off and put it on again, or if the pen cap is missing. This could lead to an infection.

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