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Wegovy FAQs: Everything You Need to Know

Duncan Reid: Patient Safety & Professional Services Manager | minute read
weightloss image, weightloss pens, measuring tape

Wegovy is a clinically proven weight loss treatment that can support patients in reaching a healthy BMI alongside a calorie-controlled diet and regular exercise. If you're considering speaking to a clinician about Wegovy, we've put together these helpful FAQs to ensure you're fully informed before exploring the use of this prescription weight-loss medication.

What is Wegovy?

Wegovy is the brand name for the prescription drug semaglutide, which is used for weight management. Semaglutide is a medication called glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist that affects the hormones produced by the pancreas.

What is Wegovy used for?

Alongside physical exercise and a reduced-calorie diet, Wegovy is used to manage excess weight and obesity. The medication is suitable for patients with a body mass index (BMI) greater than or equal to 30. For patients with a BMI of 27 or higher, it may be considered if they have additional risk factors for weight-related diseases, such as high blood pressure or heart disease.

How does Wegovy work?

Wegovy affects the part of the brain that regulates appetite, making you feel fuller and reducing hunger. In conjunction with a balanced diet and regular exercise, the medication can help reduce overall calorie intake which in turn can promote weight loss.

How do I take Wegovy?

Wegovy is injected into your stomach, thigh, or upper arm using a pre-filled injection pen once a week, on the same day. It should not be injected into a muscle or vein. Whilst you can use the same area of the body to take Wegovy, make sure to use a different spot for each dose

Before administering your dose:

  1. Check the dose to make sure it corresponds with your prescription.

  2. Pull off the pen cap.

  3. Look through the pen window to check the dose is clear and colourless (don’t use the pen if it looks cloudy or coloured).

  4. When you’re ready to administer your injection, take a new needle and check the paper seal and outer needle cap for damages (if you notice any damage, dispose of it and use a new needle.

  5. Tear off the paper tab, push the needle onto the pen, and turn until it is on tight.

  6. Remove both needle caps; dispose of the inner needle cap and keep the outer cap to safely remove the needle after the injection. 

  7. If you’re using a new pen for the first time, test the flow before use.

  8. To check the flow of your pen, turn the dose selector at the base of the pen to the flow check symbol so it lines up with the dose pointer. 

  9. Hold the pen so the needle is pointing up, press and hold the dose button until the counter returns to ‘0’. This should result in a drop of the medication at the tip of the needle, meaning the pen is ready for use (if there’s no drop, check the flow once more. Please note that this should only be done twice. If a drop still isn’t showing, change the needle and check the flow again. Do not use the pen if a drop does not appear). 

  10. Once the flow is checked, turn the dose selector to your prescribed dose.

To administer your dose:

  1. Insert the needle into your skin, making sure you have full view of the dose counter (don’t cover it with your fingers as this may interrupt the injection). 

  2. Press and hold the dose button until the counter shows ‘0’.

  3. Slowly count to 6 whilst pressing the dose button with the needle in your skin (the ‘0’ must line up with the dose pointer, which may result in a click).

  4. Remove the needle from your skin. 

After administering your dose:

  1. Lead the needle tip into the outer needle cap without touching either. Once covered, push the outer cap on.

  2. Unscrew the needle and immediately dispose into a suitable container, such as a sharps bin.

  3. Put the pen cap back on the pen to protect from light.

Your healthcare professional will provide specific guidance on using your Wegovy pen and can also answer any questions you may have about the injection process.

How many doses are in a Wegovy pen?

Wegovy FlexTouch pens are predosed with four doses, equivalent to 4 weeks of treatment.

How long does Wegovy take to work?

Whilst cases vary from patient to patient, taking Wegovy alongside a diet and physical exercise can help people lose weight within the first month. However, Significant weight loss will take longer to notice as the body starts metabolising body fat.

How long can Wegovy be out of the fridge?

Your Wegovy pen should be kept refrigerated, inside the original box to protect it from light. Wegovy can be kept outside of the fridge with the pen cap on for up to 28 days if needed.

Why am I not losing weight on Wegovy?

You may not be losing weight whilst taking Wegovy because you’re not in a calorie deficit. To be in a calorie deficit, you must burn more calories than you consume. The average adult will burn approximately 2500 calories per day if male, and 2000 if female. Factors such as exercise, genetics, and muscle mass can significantly affect these numbers. Speak to a healthcare professional to determine a safe and effective calorie deficit for your weight management goals. 

It’s also important to note that not everyone responds to Wegovy the same way and other factors such as other medications or health conditions may be causing your weight-loss plateau. Consult your doctor if you think this may be the case.

Who makes Wegovy?

Wegovy, manufactured by Danish pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk, was developed by Jesper Lau, Vice President of Diabetes Protein and Peptide Chemistry, in 2012.

When was Wegovy made available in the UK?

Wegovy was made available in the UK on the 4th of September 2023 on the NHS as an option to assist with weight loss alongside a lower-calorie diet and physical exercise.

What is the difference between Ozempic and Wegovy?

Whilst Ozempic and Wegovy contain the same active ingredient, Ozempic typically contains lower-strength semaglutide. They also have different use cases; Ozempic is designed for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, whereas Wegovy is for weight management and the prevention of weight-related diseases.

Where is Wegovy available?

Wegovy is a prescription-only medicine and therefore not available to purchase in the UK without a valid prescription from a healthcare professional. 

If you think that you may need support from a prescription weight loss treatment such as Wegovy, our Online Doctor service offers an easy-to-follow, comprehensive consultation that will help you understand your options, and get independent advice from a qualified GP.