As with all medicines, Wegovy comes with some potential side effects. Mostly, these should be mild and are likely to lessen or even disappear completely after a few weeks of starting treatment.
Still, we know how tough it can be to experience uncomfortable side effects. Dealing with these while trying to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle can be a real challenge. We’re here to support you on every step of this journey to help you achieve your weight loss goals.
As Wegovy is newly available for weight loss treatment in the UK, it is labelled with a black triangle. This means it is being monitored very closely. If you do get any side effects with Wegovy, whether they are listed in the patient information leaflet or not, please report these via the Yellow Card Scheme.
The most common side effects with use of Wegovy are gastrointestinal in nature: nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and constipation. Fatigue and headache are also very common, mainly as doses are increased.
Other common side effects include: feeling lightheaded, excess wind (flatulence), development of gallstones, gastroesophageal reflux, injection site reactions, hair loss and hypoglycemia in patients with type 2 diabetes.
In rare cases, there can be serious side effects, such as pancreatitis or anaphylaxis.
If you experience symptoms like difficulty in breathing, swelling of the face, lips or tongue and difficulty swallowing you may be having a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) and you need to seek immediate medical help.
If you develop severe abdominal pain with or without persistent vomiting this may be a sign of pancreatitis and you need to get medical help immediately.
Please make sure to read the Patient Information Leaflet carefully before starting treatment.
Find out more about side effects you may experience when using Wegovy and our advice on how to manage these.
You inject Wegovy under the skin once a week using an injection pen. Don’t worry, it’s easier than it sounds and our friendly clinicians are here to answer any questions.
You’ll start with a dose of 0.25mg, which will increase every four weeks until you reach the maximum maintenance dose of 2.4mg.
The best places for injection are areas with the most fat, such as your tummy (but not within 5cm of your belly button), the front of your thighs or your upper arms. It’s important to change injection sites regularly. You can inject in the same area (e.g., upper thigh) but choose a different spot each time.
The recommended maintenance dose for Wegovy weekly injections is 2.4mg semaglutide. Treatment will begin with a low dose, which will gradually be increased over the first 16 weeks to the maximum dose. This will help your body to adjust to semaglutide and allow for the monitoring of any side effects.
Your starting dose of Wegovy will be 0.25mg, injected once a week. The weekly dose is increased every 4 weeks until you reach the maintenance dose of 2.4mg, injected once a week. You’ll then stay at the 2.4mg dose for the rest of your treatment until you reach a healthy body mass index (BMI) or if our clinical team advise you otherwise.
The dose escalation schedule is:
Each Wegovy pen will contain four doses. You will use each pen four times as you’re moving through the dose increase schedule. For example, the first Wegovy pen will contain a total of 1mg of Wegovy, which will give you four doses of 0.25mg to use over weeks 1-4. You will need to set the pen to the right individual dose each time and should use a new needle for each injection. We will send full instructions on how to do this if we prescribe Wegovy for you.
If you experience any side effects, you should not increase the dose you are using until they have settled.
If you accidentally inject more Wegovy than you should, you must contact a doctor. You may experience nausea or vomiting and may require medical treatment.
Yes, store Wegovy in a fridge (with a temperature between 2°C and 8°C) before first use. Once you start using the pen, you can keep it for 6 weeks either at room temperature (below 30°C) or in a fridge (with a temperature between 2°C and 8°C). Do not freeze Wegovy.
Wegovy can be prescribed for adults with a BMI over 30, or a BMI over 27 with weight-related conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease or sleep apnoea.
You should not use Wegovy if you’re pregnant and should stop treatment at least two months before trying to get pregnant. If you become pregnant while taking Wegovy, stop using it immediately and talk to your GP or midwife.
It must not be used if you are allergic to any of the ingredients in Wegovy (such as semaglutide). A full list of ingredients can be found in the Patient Information Leaflet.
The most important thing is to lose weight in a healthy and sustainable manner. Alongside a reduced calorie diet and increased physical activity, the aim while using Wegovy should be for healthy weight loss at a rate of 1-2 pounds (roughly 0.5 to 1kg) per week.
While Wegovy isn’t guaranteed to work for everyone, it has been very effective for a large number of users. 90% of patients in clinical trials lost at least 5% of their starting body weight after using Wegovy for six months. After just over a year of using Wegovy, 60% of patients lost more than 15% of their starting body weight. Nearly 40% of patients lost more than 20% of their starting body weight. All patients in the trial were on a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity throughout.
Clinical trials by Novo Nordisk, who manufacture Wegovy, revealed significant success rates for people using Wegovy for weight loss, stating that “patients experienced significant weight loss; this started from the first week and was sustained beyond one year”. See full details about STEP 1 trial here and STEP 4 trial here.