What Dosage of Wegovy Should I Take?
What Dosage of Wegovy Should I Take?
This content has been reviewed and approved for quality and accuracy by James O'Loan (GPhC: 2084549)
Finding the Right Strength of Semaglutide
So, you’re thinking of taking Wegovy (semaglutide) to help you meet your weight loss goals, but how are you meant to know how much to take?
Wegovy pens are available in five different strengths of semaglutide, but which one is right for you?
And what is this titration thing you’ve heard people go on about?
These are all great questions, and you’ll be happy to learn that their answers are surprisingly simple.
We’re here to answer all of them and more, so you can feel confident in finding the right dose for you from the very first time you use your pen until you reach your weight loss goals.
What is titration?
Titration is basically a fancy name for increasing the strength of your medication over time — simple, right?
Lots of medications use titration to help you find a dose that works effectively while controlling potential side effects.
As you start on the lowest possible dose of your treatment you’ll be much less likely to experience side effects than you would on higher doses of the same medication.
This gives you and your healthcare team the time to assess how the medication affects you and increase it as needed to give you an effective treatment without causing unwanted symptoms.
Think of it like Miley Cyrus in Hannah Montana — you get the best of both worlds.
When you start taking Wegovy, you’ll be given the lowest possible dose of semaglutide (the active ingredient in this medication) and will usually titrate your dose up every month as your body gets used to the treatment.
You’ll keep communicating with your prescriber throughout this process and between the two of you, you’ll be able to find a dose that works.
It might seem like titration is an attempt to slow down your treatment, but the truth is that it’s an essential way to keep your treatment controlled, sustainable, and, most of all, safe.
What are the doses of semaglutide for weight loss?
Wegovy pens are available in a few different strengths of semaglutide, making it easier for you to titrate up from the smallest dose until you find one that works for you.
You’ll use each pen only once before disposing of it safely, it will inject the dose you need without you having to measure it out for yourself.
This can make dosing easier than it is when taking Saxenda, a similar weight loss treatment that requires you to set your dose manually every time you use your pen.
Wegovy pens are available in the following strengths of semaglutide:
When you first start taking Wegovy, you’ll use a 0.25mg pen every week for a month.
If this goes well, you’ll usually increase to a 0.5mg dose after your first month, then increase again once a month until you get to 2mg of semaglutide a week or the highest dose that works for you.
Of course, this should only be done under the supervision of a medical professional, who will check in with you to see how your weight loss is going, whether this medication is right for you, and which dose is working best.
Why are dosage amounts for Wegovy different from dosage amounts for Ozempic?
Ozempic is a medication for type 2 diabetes that uses semaglutide as its active ingredient, so it works in the same way as Wegovy.
It helps to increase the amount of insulin your body creates, helping to control your blood sugar levels more effectively.
Naturally, this means that Ozempic has a different purpose to Wegovy, which is why different doses are recommended for the patients who use them.
For example, the highest recommended dose of Ozempic is usually 1mg a week, whereas weekly doses of Wegovy can go as high as 2mg a week.
Remember to always follow the dosage instructions your prescriber gives you for any medication, even if you know that it can also be used for other things, as there are a lot of factors they will have considered when they decided to give you a certain dose.
The safest thing you can do is follow the advice of medical professionals and work with them when it comes to deciding on your treatment in the first place.
What dosage of Ozempic should I take for weight loss?
As we’ve just covered, you shouldn’t be using Ozempic for weight loss, as it’s not a weight loss medication.
With that being said, you may find that you experience weight loss as a side effect of Ozempic, no matter what dose you’re on.
If you have been using Ozempic for type 2 diabetes you probably won’t be able to use Wegovy, as this could interfere with your diabetes treatment or lead to an accidental overdose of semaglutide.
You shouldn’t take more Ozempic than has been prescribed for you, even if it is less than the typical dose of semaglutide prescribed for weight loss, as this has the potential to be very unsafe.
Your healthcare team knows what they’re on about, so let them do what they do best and take their advice.
How often will I inject with the Wegovy pen?
You’ll only need to inject your Wegovy pen once a week, that dose is all you’ll need for your treatment to be effective all week long.
This is much more convenient than Saxenda weight loss injections, which need you to take your medication once every day.
You’ll inject semaglutide on the same day every week, ideally at a similar time of day.
Injecting at the same time every week can help you remember when you’re taking your medication, so try taking yours at a time that you’ll find easy to remember.
You can take your treatment at any time of day, it doesn’t matter if you take it before or after a meal, first thing in the morning, or last thing before you go to bed, so find a time that works for you and stick to it every week.
Wegovy dosing titration chart
You’ll usually start taking 0.25mg doses of Wegovy at the beginning of your treatment and then increase your dose once a month until you’re taking 2mg a week.
The following chart outlines the average Wegovy treatment plan, to help you keep track of how it will progress over time:
This is a typical treatment plan, but you should be aware that this can differ from person to person.
You may find that you increase your dose more slowly or stop increasing your weekly dose earlier.
This is totally fine, just follow the plan agreed with your prescriber and you’ll be taking the right dose for you.
As Miley once sang, “Ain't about how fast I get there, ain't about what's waiting on the other side, it's the climb.”
(Although I should stress that climbing isn’t necessary to get the best out of Wegovy, I’m just in a Miley kind of mood.)
Will I need to titrate to the highest possible dose of semaglutide?
You may not need to titrate up to the highest dose of semaglutide throughout your treatment.
Whether you’ll need the highest dose will depend entirely on you, how your body is responding to your treatment, and whether you’re losing weight at a steady pace.
Many people find that they can maintain their treatment at a dose somewhere between 0.5 - 1.7mg a week, as this gives them all they need to keep their weight loss going.
The highest dose you end up taking will ultimately be decided between you and your prescriber, as you keep them up to date with how you’re feeling and how much weight you’ve lost during your treatment.
Your body is unique, so why would your weight-loss treatment be any different?
How long will I need to take semaglutide?
The duration of semaglutide treatment will be different for everyone, as it will depend on how quickly you lose weight and how long you need to continue using the medication to maintain your weight.
We usually recommend that you gradually reduce your dose of Wegovy when you’ve reached a healthy weight and manage to maintain it for a little while, taking as long as you need to come off the medication.
This will help you get used to continuing the lifestyle changes you’ve made without the help of semaglutide to manage cravings.
You may find that you need to continue taking this medication for a while to help you maintain your weight, and that’s totally fine!
As long as you keep talking to your doctor or prescriber openly about your weight loss plan and how you’re feeling about maintenance, eventually ending your treatment can happen at your own pace.
Can I start at the highest possible dose of Wegovy?
You shouldn’t start taking Wegovy at its highest possible dose of 2.4mg, as your body needs time to adjust to this medication properly.
By starting at the lowest possible dose, you give yourself the chance to see how this treatment works for you, for example, how your appetite will change and whether you’ll experience side effects.
As you slowly increase your dose over time, you may find that you don’t need to continue up to the highest dose, as you’re getting the results you want with a lower dose.
If you were to start taking the highest possible dose of semaglutide from the word go, you may find that you experience worse side effects than you would otherwise, as your body just won’t be used to the treatment — it won’t even guarantee more weight loss in the long run.
To stick with the Miley Cyrus references, the highest dose could come in like a wrecking ball if you don't work up to it and nobody wants that.
Make sure to always follow your prescriber’s instructions when it comes to dosing, as they’ll be able to assess the results you’re seeing as well as any side effects you’re experiencing and adjust your treatment as needed to give you the best possible treatment.
Now you know all there is to know about starting Wegovy and why you need to increase your dose slowly over time.
Remember, if you’re ever having any trouble you should talk to your prescriber, doctor, or pharmacist and ask for their advice.
They’ll be able to point you in the right direction, make sure that your weight-loss treatment is working as well as it can, and help you get the results you want to see.
Now I’m off to listen to Miley Cyrus’s greatest hits and imagine I’m a medical content writer by day and a pop star by night.