How to come off Saxenda onto Wegovy

Dr Crystal Wyllie

Medically reviewed by

Dr Crystal Wyllie

Last reviewed: 12 Jul 2023

Saxenda and Wegovy are similar weight loss treatments. If you’re on Saxenda and it’s not right for you, you might be wondering whether you can make the switch to Wegovy and how to do it.

Saxenda and Wegovy injection pens

Is it possible to switch from Saxenda to Wegovy?

Yes, you may be able to switch from Saxenda to Wegovy. The only other medications that have the same active ingredient as Wegovy are Ozempic and Rybelsus. Since both of these treatments are only meant for people with type 2 diabetes, you would either need an off-label prescription (which the NHS doesn’t do) or you’d need to wait for Wegovy to be launched.

You are be able to switch from Saxenda using our online doctor service.

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Why switch from Saxenda to Wegovy?

If you’re not sure that switching from Saxenda to Wegovy is the right choice, a doctor can help. They can discuss your current weight loss treatment and whether Wegovy is a good alternative. Our doctors are also happy to help. Simply use the free message function in your patient account.

Good to know: Wegovy isn’t right for everyone so a doctor will need to approve your new treatment before you switch to make sure it’s going to be safe and effective.

Reasons for switching

There might be a few reasons why you want to switch, such as:

  • you’re getting side effects you can’t put up with
  • you’re not getting the results you want on Saxenda
  • you’ve heard Wegovy is a better option

If you’re stopping Saxenda because of side effects, your doctor may want to investigate these first because you could get the same side effects from Wegovy, since they’re similar treatments. It could be that you’re not having side effects from Saxenda, but from another treatment or health condition.

If you’re not seeing the results you want on Saxenda, Wegovy could be an effective alternative. Saxenda doesn’t work for everyone who uses it so it could be that Wegovy works for you instead. But remember that neither Saxenda nor Wegovy cause weight loss by themselves. You need to be dieting and exercising in order to see any results on either treatment. Also remember that weight loss takes time, so you may need to be patient if you’ve only just started Saxenda.

If you’ve heard that Wegovy is a better treatment, it’s true that it is a bit more effective for weight loss than Saxenda. But again, neither will work effectively without diet and exercise so if you’re struggling with that part of your treatment, switching might not be the right decision.

How to make the switch

Once you’re sure you want to try switching from Saxenda to Wegovy, follow the steps below:

  • Step 1: Contact your doctor or use an online doctor service like Asda’s to see if they will approve the switch.
  • Step 2: Follow their advice and reduce your dosage of Saxenda.
  • Step 3: Wait until at least 24 hours have passed since your last Saxenda injection before starting Wegovy.
  • Step 4: Take the lowest dose of Wegovy as advised by your doctor.
  • Step 5: Increase your Wegovy dose until you reach the maximum dose.

Which dosage to switch to

Although there are 5 doses of Wegovy, you don’t need to decide which one to try. Everyone starts on the lowest dose and moves up to the highest over the course of 4 months. The doses are:

  • 0.25 mg
  • 0.5 mg
  • 1 mg
  • 1.7 mg
  • 2.4 mg

Your doctor will give you advice on how to take the right dose of Wegovy and when to move up a dose. Always use your medications as instructed. Check the information leaflet that comes with your medication if you need a reminder.

Options to switch to

Wegovy isn’t the only weight loss medication available, but some other options are only available if you have type 2 diabetes.

Available to people with and without diabetes:

Available only to people with type 2 diabetes:

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Stopping Saxenda

Always stop medication with help from a doctor. It’s best to come off Saxenda slowly. That is why your doctor will advise you to lower the dose of Saxenda you’re using until you’re on the lowest dose before recommending you stop altogether.

Can I stop suddenly?

Yes, you can. Stopping suddenly is possible, although it can make you feel sick. Still, you won’t get withdrawal symptoms. However, if you stop suddenly, your appetite will come back suddenly which may interfere with your diet. It’s best to stop gradually by lowering the dose of your Saxenda.

On the other hand, sometimes it’s necessary to stop suddenly, for example if you’re having bad side effects.

How long will Saxenda stay in my system?

It takes about 3 days for Saxenda to leave your system completely. But you may find any side effects will start to improve before then and your appetite may start coming back sooner as well.

Are there any side effects to stopping?

It depends on how you stop. If you stop suddenly, then you can feel sick. If you stop slowly, then you shouldn’t get any side effects. You won’t ever get withdrawal symptoms when you stop Saxenda. The only effects you should experience are your appetite coming back and any side effects clearing up.

Starting on Wegovy

To start Wegovy treatment, you need to see a doctor or use an online doctor service. An NHS doctor will only prescribe Wegovy if you’ve tried diet and exercise and you’ve tried other medications that contain orlistat first. If an NHS doctor prescribed Saxenda before, then you should already be eligible for Wegovy. If you got Saxenda off-label or privately, then you may have to get Wegovy that way too.

Once you’ve stopped Saxenda and at least 24 hours have passed since your last injection, you can start Wegovy. Follow the advice your doctor gives you about starting Wegovy. Usually, that will be:

  • start on the lowest dose of 0.25 mg a week
  • move up to 0.5 mg at week 5
  • move up to 1 mg at week 9
  • move up to 1.7 mg at week 13
  • move up to 2.4 mg from week 17 onwards

You may have some side effects after you start your treatment but these usually go away after a few doses.

Is there a Wegovy shortage?

There was a Wegovy shortage in 2022 because of many people ordering online on the back of a social media trend. As of Spring 2023, the manufacturer Novo Nordisk has been increasing production to help offset this shortage.

Medically reviewed by:
Dr Crystal Wyllie Online Doctor

Crystal qualified in Medicine at Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry in 2010. She then trained as a GP in London hospitals and practices. She has a particular interest in reproductive, sexual, and women’s health.

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Last reviewed: 12 Jul 2023

(Reviews are for ZAVA UK)

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