Skip to main content

Wegovy

Pronunciation: wee-GOH'-vee
Generic name: semaglutide
Dosage form: pen injection, for subcutaneous use (0.25 mg pen, 0.5 mg pen, 1 mg pen, 1.7 mg, pen, 2.4 mg).
Drug class: Incretin mimetics

Medically reviewed by Melisa Puckey, BPharm. Last updated on Jan 18, 2024.

What is Wegovy?

Wegovy (semaglutide) injection is used for weight loss in obese adults and teenagers or overweight adults with other weight-related medical problems. Wegovy is a once-a-week injection given under the skin. Wegovy works by regulating appetite and reducing calorie intake, leading to weight loss and helping with weight management. Wegovy is a prescription medicine.

Wegovy belongs to the class of drugs called GLP-1 receptor agonists. GLP-1 receptor agonists are a manufactured version of GLP-1, a naturally occurring hormone in the body that acts in several areas in the brain to regulate food intake. When Wegovy is administered, it activates the GLP-1 receptors in the brain. This lowers appetite, reducing the calories consumed and leading to weight loss. 

This medicine should be used together with a decreased-calorie meal plan and increased physical activity to help weight management.

Wegovy contains semaglutide, which is the same active ingredient in Ozempic and Rybelsus, therefore these products should not be used together. Ozempic (subcutaneous weekly injection) and Rybelsus (once-a-day tablet) are used to lower blood sugar levels for type two diabetic patients. Ozempic is also used to lower the risk of major cardiovascular events for some type 2 diabetic patients.

What is Wegovy used for?

Wegovy is an anti-obesity medicine that is FDA-approved to be used by people 12 years and older for chronic weight management when used together with a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity. 

Wegovy is approved to be used for adults who are obese (BMI of 30 kg/m2 or greater) or overweight (BMI of 27 kg/m2 or greater) and have medical problems (high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, or high cholesterol) due to your weight. 

Wegovy can be used by pediatric patients (12 years and older) who are obese (initial BMI 95th percentile or greater for age and sex).

Wegovy side effects

Common Wegovy side effects may include nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, loss of appetite, diarrhea, constipation, upset stomach, heartburn, burping, gas, bloating, stomach flu symptoms, headache, dizziness, tiredness, runny nose or sore throat, and low blood sugar (in people with type 2 diabetes).

Serious Wegovy side effects

Allergic reaction - get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives, itching, dizziness, fast heartbeats, difficulty breathing, swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

You should call your doctor at once if you have symptoms of other serious Wegovy side effects, including:

This is not a complete list of side effects from Wegovy, and others adverse effects may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Warnings

Call your doctor at once if you have signs of a thyroid tumor, such as swelling or a lump in your neck, trouble swallowing, a hoarse voice, or shortness of breath. In studies with rodents, Wegovy and medicines that work like Wegovy caused thyroid tumors, including thyroid cancer. It is not known if this medicine will cause thyroid tumors or a type of thyroid cancer called medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) in people.

You should not use this medicine if you have tumors in your glands called multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2  (MEN 2) or a personal or family history of medullary thyroid cancer (MTC).

Before taking this medicine

You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to it or if you have:

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

In animal studies, semaglutide caused thyroid tumors or thyroid cancer. It is not known whether these effects would occur in people. Ask your doctor about your risk.

Pregnancy

You should stop using this medicine at least two months before you plan to get pregnant. This medicine may harm your baby. Ask your doctor for a safer medicine to use during this time. Controlling diabetes is very important during pregnancy, as is gaining the right amount of weight. Even if you are overweight, losing weight during pregnancy could harm the unborn baby.

There is a pregnancy exposure registry for women who use Wegovy during pregnancy. The reason for this registry is to collect information about the health of you and your baby. Talk to your doctor about how you can take part in this registry, or you may contact Novo Nordisk at 1-800-727-6500.

Breastfeeding

Tell your healthcare professional if you are breastfeeding or planning to breastfeed. It is unknown if this medicine passes into your breast milk. You should talk with your healthcare provider about the best way to feed your baby while using this medicine.

How should I use Wegovy?

Read the Instructions for Use that is with your prescription and use this medicine exactly as your healthcare provider tells you to. Your healthcare provider should train you on how to use this medicine before you start using it.

For complete instructions with diagrams on how to use Wegovy, click on this link: Instructions for Wegovy Use

General information

What is the cost of Wegovy?

The cost of prescription drugs varies depending on your insurance plan and which pharmacy you use. Refer to our Wegovy price guide page for more information about the cost.

You may also be eligible for a Wegovy savings card, Wegovy coupon, or Wegovy copay card. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you qualify.

Wegovy Dosing Information

The dose starts low and escalates to minimize gastrointestinal side effects.

Initial Wegovy Dose Escalation Schedule for patients aged 12 years and older:

Maintenance Wegovy  Dose:

Maintenance Dosage Adult Patients. The maintenance dosage is 2.4 mg injected subcutaneously once weekly. If the patient does not tolerate the maintenance 2.4 mg once-weekly dosage, then the dosage can be temporarily decreased to 1.7 mg once a week, for a maximum of 4 weeks. After four weeks, the dose should be increased to the maintenance 2.4 mg once-weekly dosage. Discontinue this medicine if the patient cannot tolerate the 2.4 mg dosage.

Pediatric Patients Aged 12 Years and Older. The recommended maintenance dosage of Wegovy is 2.4 mg injected subcutaneously once weekly. If the patient does not tolerate the maintenance 2.4 mg once-weekly dosage, the maintenance dosage may be reduced to 1.7 mg once weekly. Discontinue this medicine if the patient cannot tolerate the 1.7 mg dose. 

What happens if I miss a dose?

What happens if I overdose?

What strengths is Wegovy available in ?

Wegovy is available as Wegovy 0.25 mg pen, Wegovy 0.5 mg pen, Wegovy 1 mg pen, Wegovy 1.7 mg pen and Wegovy 2.4 mg pen.

What should I avoid while using Wegovy?

Never share an injection pen, even if you changed the needle. Sharing this device can pass infection or disease from person to person.

What other drugs will affect Wegovy?

Wegovy can slow your digestion, and it may take longer for your body to absorb any medicines you take by mouth.

Tell your doctor about all your other medicines, especially insulin or other diabetes medicines, such as dulaglutide, exenatide, liraglutide, Byetta, Trulicity, Victoza, and others.

Other drugs may affect Wegovy, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all other medicines you use.

Storage 

Wegovy single-dose pen:

What are the ingredients in Wegovy?

Active Ingredient: semaglutide

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

Manufacturer

Wegovy is Manufactured by: Novo Nordisk A/S. Novo Allé. DK-2880 Bagsvaerd, Denmark.

Instructions for Use

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

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.

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

Step 2. Choose your injection site.

 

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.

Step 4. Inject Wegovy.

Step 5. Throw away (dispose of) pen.

Safely dispose of the Wegovy pen immediately 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:

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.

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:

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.

Popular FAQ

Ozempic, Mounjaro, Wegovy and Zepbound can all lead to long-term weight loss, but only Wegovy and Zepbound are approved by the FDA for this use. In studies, Zepbound has led to a 21% weight loss in adults using the highest dose, while Wegovy has led to about a 15% weight loss. Continue reading

Wegovy, a weight-loss medicine, can be associated with common stomach side effects, like nausea, vomiting and diarrhea and more infrequent, rare or serious side effects like low blood sugar, thyroid cancer or gallstones. Continue reading

Ozempic is used to treat type 2 diabetes and prevent major cardiovascular problems in certain patients, while Wegovy is used for chronic weight management and helps with weight loss. Ozempic and Wegovy come in different strengths to treat the different conditions.

Ozempic and Wegovy are the two brand names that Novo Nordisk uses to market injectable semaglutide. Continue reading

Weight loss may begin within the first 4 weeks of treatment with Wegovy, but the full effects of Wegovy may not be seen for several months or longer. In studies, after 68 weeks, 83% of people taking Wegovy lost 5% or more of their weight compared to 31% of people taking a placebo. Continue reading

Some pharmacies or clinics may supply compounded versions of medicines like tirzepatide (Mounjaro, Zepbound) and semaglutide (Ozempic, Wegovy) to patients, but the FDA has issued safety warnings about this practice. Concerns have risen over active ingredients, side effects and labeling of these compounded products.
Continue reading

There’s no evidence that hair loss is a direct side effect of Ozempic, Wegovy, Mounjaro or Zepbound. Hair loss is more likely due to the stress of rapid weight loss on your body, which can lead to temporary shedding of hair over several months, a condition known as telogen effluvium. Continue reading

To find out if Wegovy is covered by your insurance plan, call them and ask if this medicine is already covered under your plan and what the cost is. If you do not have insurance, contact Novo Nordisk, the manufacturer at 1-888-809-3942 (Monday-Friday, 8:00 am-8:00 pm ET) to determine if you qualify for a Wegovy Savings Copay Card or other patient financial assistance programs. Continue reading

Both tirzepatide and semaglutide are prescription medicines used with diet and exercise to treat people with type 2 diabetes or to help people lose and maintain weight loss. They are marketed as the brand name products Ozempic, Rybelsus or Wegovy (semaglutide) and Mounjaro or Zepbound (tirzepatide). Continue reading

Wegovy (semaglutide) is a once-weekly injection used to aid weight loss in adults and teens 12 years of age and older. Wegovy mimics the action of glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), which helps to regulate appetite and food intake. It also enhances the production of insulin. Continue reading

View more FAQ

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.