Wegovy is a once-weekly injectable medication approved by the FDA for weight management. Its mechanism involves mimicking a hormone that regulates appetite and food intake, making you eat less and less often. However, the drug has strict dozing instructions that must be followed judiciously to achieve the best weight loss result with little or no unwanted side effects.
Let's dig deeper into the Wegovy dose schedule and what it means for weight management.
- Wegovy is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to help obese and overweight individuals achieve their weight loss goals.
- It is an under-skin injectable medication approved for both adults and children aged 12 and older.
- Wegovy comes in 5 different dose strengths, starting from 0.25 mg once a week and gradually increasing monthly. Your doctor may eventually select either 1.7 mg or 2.4 mg for your maintenance dose at month 5.
- In the event that you miss a dose of Wegovy, promptly take it as soon as you recall, provided your next regularly scheduled dose is more than 48 hours away.
- If your next regular dose is within the 48-hour timeframe, it is advisable to skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule.
What is the Typical Wegovy Dosage?
There are five different Wegovy pen doses, ranging from 0.25 mg to 2.4 mg. Each dose has its own color, making it easy for you to distinguish between them. You'll begin with a weekly dose of 0.25 mg, gradually increasing it every four weeks. Your doctor can then choose either 1.7 mg or 2.4 mg as your maintenance dose.
Wegovy comes in a ready-to-use injection pen to be used weekly at any time that suits you. You have three injection sites to choose from: the stomach, upper arm, or upper thigh. Always dispose of your injection pen appropriately after use.
Wegovy Dosage Schedule
If your doctor recommends Wegovy for your weight management, they will have you commence with a 0.25 mg dose once a week in the initial month and progressively step up your dosage in the following months:
- Second month: Increase to a weekly dose of 0.5 mg.
- Third month: Elevate your weekly dosage to 1 mg.
- Fourth month: Further increase to a weekly dose of 1.7 mg.
- From the fifth month onwards: Choose to maintain either 1.7 mg or escalate to 2.4 mg.
Consider reaching out to your doctor to decide how and when to escalate your dose based on your individual needs. They will monitor your progress and identify effective strategies to achieve the desired results with minimal side effects.
Always discuss any bothersome or persistent side effects with your healthcare provider.
What To Do If You Miss a Dose of Wegovy
Consistency is key when taking Wegovy (Semaglutide) or any other GLP-1 receptor agonist. But sometimes, even the most judicious people default on their routines and miss their doses. That said, here are some steps you can take if you miss a dose of Wegovy:
- If your next dose is in less than 2 days, skip the missed dose and resume your regular schedule.
- If your next dose is over 2 days away, take the missed dose as soon as possible.
- Avoid doubling up on doses to compensate for a missed one, as this may cause overdosage and unwanted side effects.
- If you've missed Wegovy doses for more than 2 weeks, either take the next dose on schedule or consult your healthcare provider to discuss restarting your treatment.
Contact your healthcare provider if you have any concerns or questions about missed doses.
What To Do If You Overdose on Wegovy
If you inject excessive Wegovy, reach out to your healthcare provider or contact Poison Control for advice. In the case of severe or life-threatening side effects, promptly seek assistance at your nearest emergency room or call 911.
Wegovy overdosage may present symptoms like severe nausea and vomiting. You may also experience severe low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), which may cause tremors, sweating, heart palpitations, dizziness, rapid heart rate, confusion, fainting, and seizures.
It's essential to note that the recommended Wegovy doses typically do not lead to low blood sugar. However, the risk of low blood glucose may increase if you overdose on Wegovy or are using Wegovy with other diabetes medications.
Side Effects and Safety Considerations
Wegovy can cause mild side effects in some patients who stick to their doctor's dosing instructions. Although rare, severe side effects also occur in some patients. That's why, for safety reasons, we recommend working closely with your doctor, who will assess how you respond to treatment and adjust your dosage if your side effects become worrisome.
Some common mild side effects reported by patients treated with Wegovy include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, stomach (abdomen) pain, stomach upset, headache, fatigue, dizziness, belching, gas, stomach flu, and heartburn.
Other rare but more severe side effects associated with Wegovy include inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis), gallbladder problems, kidney issues, temporary worsening of diabetic retinopathy, and serious allergic reactions. Wegovy may also increase the risk of low blood sugar levels and has a boxed warning of possible links to thyroid cancer.
You can read more on the side effects of Wegovy here.
Wegovy Safety Considerations
Here are some safety concerns that may influence your doctor's decision on whether to place you on Wegovy:
Your doctor may not prescribe Wegovy if,
- You or any member of your family have a history of medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) or if you have an endocrine system condition called Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN 2).
- You have a history of diabetic retinopathy.
- You are pregnant or want to get pregnant.
- You are breastfeeding or intend to breastfeed.
- You have or have had mental health issues like depression or suicidal thoughts.
Please inform your healthcare provider about all medications and supplements you are using. Wegovy can influence the efficacy of certain drugs and vice versa. So, if you use other medicines like sulfonylureas or insulin to manage diabetes, it's crucial to communicate this to your healthcare provider.
To conclude, we must emphasize the importance of understanding and adhering to the Wegovy dosages as your doctor prescribes. This is essential for successful and sustainable weight management with little or no side effects.
"Jumping to a higher dose is going to be really uncomfortable in terms of side effects. It's really a good idea to stay on the prescribed dosing schedule," says Dr. Meghan, MD.
The gradual dosage escalation, starting at 0.25 mg and potentially reaching 2.4 mg, reflects a thoughtful approach targeted at individual needs. Regular consultation with healthcare providers, especially during dosage adjustments, ensures a personalized and effective treatment plan.