Wegovy (generic name semaglutide) is in a family of medications called glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor (GLP-1) agonists. Novo Nordisk, the manufacturer, first developed this class of medications to treat type 2 diabetes. When researchers found that, besides reducing blood glucose, semaglutide caused significant weight loss, they explored the possibility of using semaglutide as a medication for long-term weight management. After a series of clinical trials demonstrating its effectiveness and safety, Wegovy was U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA)-approved on June 4th, 2021.
At first glance, Wegovy dosing instructions might seem complicated, but the pen injector is easy to use and the dosage protocol is designed to reduce side effects. Learn how Wegovy works, side effects to watch for, and simple Wegovy dosing instructions.
Wegovy is a GLP-1 agonist, which means that it acts in the same way as GLP-1 in the body. It is in a drug class called incretin mimetics. Incretins are hormones that are released by cells lining the gastrointestinal tract (gut). GLP-1 receptors are found throughout the body, including the brain. GLP-1 agonists such as Wegovy:
Wegovy is used with a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity for long-term weight management. It is intended for adults with an initial body mass index (BMI) that indicates overweight or obesity.
All medications have side effects. The most common side effects of all GLP-1 agonists are gastrointestinal. These side effects generally improve as your body adapts to taking Wegovy. However, it is important to never take another medication containing semaglutide or another GLP-1 agonist as long as you take Wegovy (semaglutide). GLP-1 agonists lower your blood sugar. If you take more than the recommended dose or more than one GLP-1 agonist simultaneously, it can cause dangerously low blood sugar and make the side effects of the medication worse.
Some of the more common side effects of Wegovy (semaglutide) (and how often they happened in clinical trials) are:
In the STEPS clinical trials, 5.8% of patients taking Wegovy and 11.6% of patients taking a placebo discontinued treatment due to side effects. Most side effects happen early in treatment or a day or two after an injection, especially if the dose is increased.
More serious side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible include:
Wegovy (semaglutide) should not be taken by people with:
Wegovy (semaglutide) can cause serious health problems, particularly in people who are predisposed to these conditions.
People who are pregnant or plan to become pregnant in the next two months should not take Wegovy (semaglutide).
Wegovy has a maximum approved dose of 2.4 mg per week. It is administered by using a pen injector, which delivers the medication just under the skin’s surface. Before using the full treatment dose, starting and intermediate doses of GLP-1 agonists are given before titrating up to the full treatment dose. This is done to reduce the gastrointestinal side effects of GLP-1 agonists.
Wegovy (semaglutide) comes in five dose strengths:
Following your healthcare provider’s instructions, Wegovy (semaglutide) dosing is according to the following schedule:
According to the manufacturer, you can take Wegovy with or without food. The auto-injecting pen is a single preset dose. The needle is hidden to prevent injury. Before administering Wegovy, check:
Before injecting Wegovy, the needle is hidden inside the pen. After injection, the needle cover will lock into place. There is no best time of day to inject Wegovy (semaglutide), so take it whenever it works best for you.
Wegovy should be stored in the refrigerator, but if needed, before removing the pen cap, Wegovy can be stored from 8°C to 30°C (46°F to 86°F) in the original carton for up to 28 days. Keep Wegovy in its original container to protect it from light.
As with all medications, contact your healthcare provider if you have any questions about your medication dosage or how to administer it. Your monthly supply of semaglutide should include four pen injectors preloaded with the appropriate dose. Administer one dose each week and monitor for any side effects. Contact the medical professionals at Invigor Medical to discuss weight-management options and solutions that best meet your goals.
While we strive to always provide accurate, current, and safe advice in all of our articles and guides, it’s important to stress that they are no substitute for medical advice from a doctor or healthcare provider. You should always consult a practicing professional who can diagnose your specific case. The content we’ve included in this guide is merely meant to be informational and does not constitute medical advice