How to Take Wegovy – Tips for Effective Weight Loss

Dr Babak Ashrafi

Medically reviewed by

Dr Babak Ashrafi

Last reviewed: 10 Apr 2024

At the start of your treatment with Wegovy, you’ll follow a dosing schedule to reach the maintenance dose of 2.4 mg. This can reduce very common side effects. Each Wegovy pen contains 4 doses, which will last 4 weeks. You’ll increase your dose when each pen finishes. Wegovy should be taken alongside a diet and exercise plan for the best weight loss results.

Understanding how to take Wegovy will help you get the most out of your prescription. Below, we look at how to take Wegovy for weight loss, how to use the Wegovy pen, and how to inject Wegovy.

Understanding How to take Wegovy for Effective Weight Loss

Everything you need to know about the Wegovy pen

Wegovy (semaglutide) is used to aid weight loss and is injected once a week. Each pen comes with 4 doses pre-prepared and is easy to use for people with no experience with injections. This makes it easier for people who are worried about administering the correct dose or don’t know how to draw up medication and then inject it. All you need to do is check the dose and press it against your skin to administer it (more on this below).

Each Wegovy pen contains 4 doses, which means it’ll last for 4 weeks. You’ll slowly increase your dose every 4 weeks until you reach 2.4 mg (the maintenance or maximum dose of Wegovy).

Taking Wegovy at the same time and day every week, and following the correct dosing schedule, will improve how effective it is. Always take Wegovy exactly as prescribed. If you struggle with using your pen or get side effects that bother you or that aren’t going away, speak to your doctor.

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The Wegovy course

The Wegovy course is the best way to reach the maintenance dose with as few side effects as possible. Taking Wegovy this way can:

  • get your body used to the medication
  • decrease very common side effects, like nausea (feeling sick) and vomiting (being sick)

The Wegovy course is the same for everyone, even if you’re switching from Saxenda to Wegovy:

Weeks Wegovy (semaglutide) dosage


0.25 mg


0.5 mg


1 mg

13 - 16

1.7 mg

17 onwards

2.4 mg

How many doses are in a Wegovy pen?

There are 4 doses in a Wegovy pen, which means each pen will last for 4 weeks of treatment. We’ve created a guide about the different Wegovy dosages and when to take each one.

Wegovy weekly dose chart to follow for your injections

How to inject: Using the Wegovy pen

Before administering your Wegovy injection for the first time, read the Wegovy instructions in your patient information leaflet. Also, follow any advice that your doctor gives you. If you have trouble with your eyesight, you can ask someone to help you.

Here are a few tips on how to inject Wegovy safely:

  • Make sure you’ve chosen the correct dose for where you are in the dosing schedule.
  • Check the medication before administering it, especially if you take other injectable pens.
  • As Wegovy is an injectable pen, you can take it with or without food.
  • The best place to inject Wegovy is your upper legs or stomach (leaving a 5cm gap around your belly button).
  • Inject Wegovy into a different place each week to minimise the risk of irritation, soreness, and redness at the injection site.

Aside from that these instructions will help you to take Wegovy correctly:

Step 1: Check the needle for signs of damage

Step 1: Check that Wegovy is clear and doesn’t have a colour. You can see the Wegovy injection liquid through the pen window. If it’s not, use a new pen. You also need a new needle for each injection. Check the needle for signs of damage and dispose if unsealed or bent.

Step 2: attach the needle with the cap on

Step 2: Wash your hands and the injection site with an alcohol wipe or soap and water. Then, attach the needle with the cap on until you’re ready to check the flow or inject.

Step 3: check the flow

Step 3: If you’ve not used this Wegovy pen before, you need to check the flow. If you have used it before, you can go straight to step 4.

Remove the outer and the inner needle cap and keep the outer cap for later. Turn the dose selector to ‘flow check’ (2 dots and a line). Point the needle up and press the dose button until it hits 0. You should see a small drop of medication at the tip. The pen is now primed and ready to use. If this doesn’t work, try using a new needle or pen.

Step 4: set your dose

Step 4: Set your dose using the dose selector. Make sure it lines up with the dose pointer (the small arrow beside the window).

Step 5: insert the needle into your chosen injection site

Step 5: If you skipped step 3, it’s now time to remove the inner cap on the needle and save the outer cap for later. Make sure you can see the dose counter then insert the needle into your chosen injection site. Hold down the button until it reaches 0, then count to 6 after this before removing. You’ll hear a click when the injection starts and another during.

Step 6: Remove the Wegovy pen from your skin

Step 6: Remove the Wegovy pen from your skin. A small drop of medication on the needle's tip is normal. You can gently press the area with a cotton pad if you’ve bled. Get rid of the needle carefully by attaching the outer needle cap you saved earlier. Dispose of this in a sharps bin and store Wegovy in a safe place until your next dose is due.

Where do you inject Wegovy?

You should inject Wegovy into your

  • upper legs or
  • stomach (with a distance of 5cm to your belly button).

You can also inject it in the back of your upper arms if you can get someone to help you do this.

Never inject Wegovy into a vein or muscle.

Injection site guide: Where to inject Wegovy

What is the best time of day to inject Wegovy?

Dr Babak Ashrafi, Clinical Lead for Service Expansion for Asda Online Doctor

It’s not important what time you choose to take your Wegovy shot, as long as you always do it on the same day and at the same time for each weekly injection. This makes it more effective and builds up in your system better. Try and find a day and time that work for you in your day-to-day life.” – Dr Babak Ashrafi, Clinical Lead for Service Expansion for Asda Online Doctor.

How often does Wegovy have to be injected?

Wegovy is taken once per week. You shouldn’t inject more than this unless you’ve missed a dose and it’s been 5 days or less (more on this below). If you’re missing Wegovy doses frequently, this could make it less effective.

What if I miss a dose of Wegovy?

If you miss a dose of Wegovy and:

  • it’s been less than 5 days – take your dose then carry on as normal, sticking to your regular Wegovy routine
  • it’s been 5 days or longer – skip the dose and then carry on as normal from your next dose

Never take 2 doses of Wegovy at once to make up for a missed one, as this could cause side effects.

What happens when you stop taking Wegovy?

When you stop taking Wegovy, the effects of the medication will slowly go away. You’ll start to feel hungrier again.

Stopping Wegovy injections too early (less than 16 weeks into the treatment) may mean you put on any lost weight, especially if you stop your diet and exercise plan. If side effects are bothering you or you’re not seeing the results you expected, speak to your doctor.

Does it hurt to inject Wegovy?

All injections can hurt a little bit, but the Wegovy pen has been designed to be as quick and pain-free as possible. Taking it correctly, such as regularly changing injection sites, will minimise any pain or irritation.

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Who should not take Wegovy?

You should not normally take Wegovy injections if you have a body mass index (BMI) below 30 kg/m². You might be able to take Wegovy if your BMI is between 27 kg/m² and 30 kg/m², but only if you’ve got a weight-related health condition or risk factor, such as high blood pressure.

You should not take Wegovy injections if you:

  • are pregnant, want to get pregnant, or are breastfeeding
  • have allergies to semaglutide or any other ingredient in the Wegovy pen
  • don’t have a prescription for it

Wegovy injections might not be suitable for you if have:

  • inflammation of the pancreas
  • severe kidney problems
  • diabetes or complications of diabetes
  • low blood sugar (glucose) levels

Speak to your doctor about your medical history and current medications, as they’ll be able to let you know whether Wegovy is suitable for you.

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Frequently asked questions

Does Wegovy come with needles?

Yes, you’ll get needles with each Wegovy pen to administer your doses.

Can you inject Wegovy cold?

Yes, Wegovy can be injected cold. Before opening your Wegovy pen, store it in a fridge between 2°C and 8°C. Once opened, keep it in the fridge or a safe place away from direct sunlight, below 30°C.

Never freeze Wegovy, try to heat it up, or take a dose if the pen has been frozen.

Should I inject semaglutide in the morning or at night?

It doesn’t matter if you take semaglutide in the morning or at night. Just stick to the same time and day every week and find a routine that works for you.

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

This depends on each person. You may start to feel Wegovy straight away or it may take a few weeks for you to notice it working. This should increase along with your doses. Your doctor should check your progress as you go, because you’ll need to follow the dosing schedule.

Can you take Wegovy while pregnant?

No, you shouldn’t take Wegovy if you’re pregnant. There’s not enough research into how this can affect your baby. If you’ve found out that you’re pregnant and are taking Wegovy, stop it and speak to your doctor straight away.

Medically reviewed by:
Dr Babak Ashrafi Clinical Lead for Service Expansion

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: 10 Apr 2024

(Reviews are for ZAVA UK)

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