Wegovy is a brand-name prescription drug. It’s FDA-approved for long-term weight management when used with exercise and a low-calorie diet.

Specifically, Wegovy is used for long-term weight loss in adults with either:

Wegovy has limitations of use. For more information about Wegovy and its limitations of use, see the “Wegovy for weight loss and weight management” section below.

Drug details

Wegovy contains the drug semaglutide. It belongs to a group of drugs called glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) agonists.

Wegovy comes as a liquid solution inside a prefilled, single-dose injection pen. It’s typically given once a week as a subcutaneous injection. Your doctor or another healthcare professional will show you how to give yourself Wegovy injections at home.

Effectiveness

For information about the effectiveness of Wegovy, see the “Wegovy for weight loss and weight management” section below.

The active drug of Wegovy is semaglutide. Wegovy is available only as a brand-name medication. It’s not currently available in generic form. A generic drug is an exact copy of the active drug in a brand-name medication. Generics usually cost less than brand-name drugs.

As with all medications, the cost of Wegovy can vary. To find current prices for Wegovy in your area, check out GoodRx.com.


The cost you find on GoodRx.com is what you may pay without insurance. The actual price you’ll pay depends on your insurance plan, your location, and the pharmacy you use.

Keep in mind that you may be able to get a 90-day supply of Wegovy. If approved by your insurance company, getting a 90-day supply of the drug could reduce your number of trips to the pharmacy and help lower the cost. If you’re interested in this option, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or your insurance company.

Before approving coverage for Wegovy, your insurance company may require you to get prior authorization. This means that your doctor and insurance company will need to communicate about your prescription before the insurance company will cover the drug. The insurance company will review the prior authorization request and decide if the drug will be covered.

If you’re not sure if you’ll need to get prior authorization for Wegovy, contact your insurance company.

Cost with insurance

The price you’ll pay for Wegovy with insurance is generally less than you’ll pay without insurance. But your actual cost of Wegovy will vary.

Among other factors, the price depends on your location and the number of injection pens you buy. To find out the exact cost of Wegovy with insurance, talk with your pharmacist or insurance company.

Financial and insurance assistance

If you need financial support to pay for Wegovy, or if you need help understanding your insurance coverage, help is available.

By calling 833-4-WEGOVY (833-493-4689), you can speak with someone who can help explain the cost of Wegovy. They can also help you determine if you’re eligible for savings. For more information about saving money on Wegovy, see right below.

Wegovy coupon or savings card

Novo Nordisk Inc., the manufacturer of Wegovy, offers a savings card to help lower the cost of its drug. This savings card is similar to a coupon.

For more information and to find out if you’re eligible for support, call 833-4-WEGOVY (833-493-4689) or visit the drug’s website. You can also check out this article to learn how to save money on prescriptions.

Mail-order pharmacies

Wegovy may be available through a mail-order pharmacy. Using this service may help lower the drug’s cost and allow you to get your medication without leaving home.

If recommended by your doctor, you may be able to receive a 90-day supply of Wegovy, so there’s less concern about running out of the medication. If you’re interested in this option, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or insurance company. Some Medicare plans may help cover the cost of mail-order medications.

If you don’t have insurance, you can ask your doctor or pharmacist about online pharmacy options.

Generic version

The active drug of Wegovy is semaglutide. Wegovy is not available in a generic form. A generic drug is an exact copy of the active drug in a brand-name medication. Generics tend to cost less than brand-name drugs.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves prescription drugs such as Wegovy to treat certain conditions.

Wegovy is FDA-approved for long-term weight management when used along with exercise and a low-calorie diet.

Specifically, Wegovy is used for long-term weight loss in adults with either:

You can learn more about obesity and weight management by visiting Medical News Today’s weight management hub.

Limitations of use

It’s important to note that Wegovy should not be used with other glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) agonists. (GLP-1 agonists is a group of drugs that Wegovy belongs to.)

It isn’t known if Wegovy is safe or effective when used with other weight loss drugs.

It isn’t known if Wegovy is safe for people with a history of pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) because it wasn’t studied in this group.

Effectiveness for weight loss and weight management

Wegovy has been found to be effective for long-term weight loss and weight management in adults in clinical studies.

For more information on how Wegovy performed in clinical studies, see the drug’s prescribing information.

Wegovy and children

Wegovy isn’t approved for use in children. Clinical studies of the drug have only included adults. So it isn’t known if Wegovy is safe or effective for use in children.

Wegovy is approved for long-term weight management when used along with exercise and a low-calorie diet. It isn’t known if Wegovy is safe or effective when used with other weight loss or weight management drugs.

Note: Wegovy shouldn’t be used with other glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) agonists. (GLP-1 agonists is the group of drugs that Wegovy belongs to.)

Wegovy can cause mild or serious side effects. The following lists contain some of the key side effects that may occur while taking Wegovy. These lists do not include all possible side effects.

For more information about the possible side effects of Wegovy, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They can give you tips on how to manage any side effects that may be concerning or bothersome.

Note: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tracks side effects of drugs it has approved. If you would like to notify the FDA about a side effect you’ve had with Wegovy, you can do so through MedWatch.

Mild side effects

Mild side effects* of Wegovy can include:

Most of these side effects may go away within a few days to a couple of weeks. But if they become more severe or don’t go away, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

* This is a partial list of mild side effects from Wegovy. To learn about other mild side effects, talk with your doctor or pharmacist, or view Wegovy’s prescribing information.

Serious side effects

Serious side effects from Wegovy aren’t common, but they can occur. Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 911 or your local emergency number if your symptoms feel life threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency.

Serious side effects and their symptoms can include:

* For more information about this side effect, see “Side effect details” below.

Wegovy has a boxed warning for this side effect. A boxed warning is the strongest warning required by the FDA. It alerts doctors and patients about drug effects that may be dangerous.

Side effect details

Here’s some detail on certain side effects this drug may cause.

Risk of thyroid cancer

Wegovy may cause thyroid cancer. In fact, Wegovy has a boxed warning for this risk. A boxed warning is the most serious warning from the FDA. It alerts doctors and patients about drug effects that may be dangerous.

Animal studies found an increased risk of thyroid cancer in rats that were given Wegovy. But animal studies don’t always predict what will happen in humans. It isn’t known for sure if Wegovy increases the risk of thyroid cancer in humans.

If you or a family member have a history of medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC), you shouldn’t use Wegovy. MTC is a rare type of thyroid cancer. You also shouldn’t use Wegovy if you have multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN2). MEN2 is a rare genetic (inherited) condition that can cause thyroid cancer.

Symptoms of thyroid cancer can include:

Tell your doctor right away if you have any symptoms of thyroid cancer. They can advise on the cause of these symptoms and recommend treatment options for your condition.

Pancreatitis

Pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) is a rare but serious side effect of Wegovy. To find out how often this side effect occurred in clinical studies, see the drug’s prescribing information.

Symptoms of pancreatitis can include:

  • pain in the center of the abdomen (belly), which may get worse after eating
  • nausea or vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • loss of appetite
  • jaundice (yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes)

Tell your doctor right away if you have symptoms of pancreatitis while taking Wegovy. They’ll check you for this condition. If you have pancreatitis, they’ll likely prescribe a drug other than Wegovy for you.

Gallbladder problems

Gallbladder problems, such as gallstones (lumps in the gallbladder), are a rare but serious side effect of Wegovy. To find out how often these side effects occurred in clinical studies, see the drug’s prescribing information.

Symptoms of gallstones may include:

If you have symptoms of gallbladder problems while taking Wegovy, talk with your doctor. They’ll give you tests to check for this condition. Your doctor can advise if it’s safe for you to keep taking Wegovy.

Allergic reaction

As with most drugs, some people can have an allergic reaction after taking Wegovy. This side effect wasn’t reported in Wegovy’s clinical studies. But allergic reaction has been reported in people taking the drug after it became available on the market.

Symptoms of a mild allergic reaction can include:

A more severe allergic reaction is rare but possible. Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction can include:

  • angioedema (swelling under your skin, typically in your eyelids, lips, hands, or feet)
  • swelling of your tongue, mouth, or throat
  • trouble breathing

Call your doctor right away if you have an allergic reaction to Wegovy, as the reaction could become severe. Call 911 or your local emergency number if your symptoms feel life threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency.

Below are answers to some frequently asked questions about Wegovy.

Are there any reviews available from people who’ve taken Wegovy?

No, the manufacturer of Wegovy hasn’t provided reviews from people who’ve taken the drug.

You can learn more about what to expect with Wegovy by visiting the manufacturer’s website. Or you can read the drug’s prescribing information.

For more information, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

How does Wegovy compare with Ozempic, Trulicity, and Victoza?

Wegovy, Ozempic, Trulicity, and Victoza all belong to a group of drugs called glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) agonists. But they have some important differences.

Both Wegovy and Ozempic contain the active drug semaglutide. Trulicity contains the active drug dulaglutide, and Victoza contains the active drug liraglutide.

Ozempic, Trulicity, and Victoza are approved to treat type 2 diabetes. Wegovy isn’t approved for this use. Instead, Wegovy is approved for long-term weight management in certain adults when used along with exercise and a low-calorie diet. (For details, see the “Wegovy for weight loss and weight management” section above.)

For more information about how Wegovy compares with Ozempic, Trulicity, and Victoza, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Can I see before and after results from Wegovy treatment?

The manufacturer of Wegovy hasn’t provided before and after results from people who’ve used the drug.

For more information about what to expect with Wegovy, talk with your doctor.

Is Wegovy used to treat type 1 or type 2 diabetes?

No, Wegovy isn’t used to treat type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Wegovy is approved for long-term weight management in certain adults when used along with exercise and a low-calorie diet. (For details, see the “Wegovy for weight loss and weight management” section above.)

But semaglutide (the active drug in Wegovy) is also available as the brand-name drugs Ozempic and Rybelsus. Both Ozempic and Rybelsus are used to treat type 2 diabetes. No form of semaglutide is currently approved to treat type 1 diabetes.

If you’re interested in taking other forms of semaglutide to treat your diabetes, talk with your doctor.

Can I use Wegovy with other weight loss and weight management medications?

It’s not likely. Currently, it isn’t known if Wegovy is safe or effective when used with other weight loss and weight management drugs. Before taking Wegovy with other medications, supplements, herbs, or other weight loss products, talk with your doctor.

Wegovy is meant to be used along with a plan that includes a low-calorie diet and regular exercise. Some people may also benefit from behavioral therapy or guidance from a dietitian. Talk with your doctor about other safe ways to manage your weight along with Wegovy.

Other drugs are available for weight loss and weight management. Some may be a better fit for you than others. If you’re interested in finding an alternative to Wegovy, talk with your doctor. They can tell you about other medications that may work well for you.

Examples of other drugs that may be used for weight loss and weight management include:

  • benzphetamine
  • bupropion and naltrexone (Contrave)
  • liraglutide (Saxenda)
  • orlistat (Alli, Xenical)
  • phendimetrazine (Bontril PDM)
  • phentermine (Adipex-P, Lomaira)
  • phentermine and topiramate (Qsymia)

Typically, your doctor will start you on a low dosage of Wegovy. Then they’ll adjust it over time to reach the amount that’s right for you. Your doctor will ultimately prescribe the smallest dosage that provides the desired effect.

The following information describes dosages that are commonly used or recommended. But be sure to take the dosage your doctor prescribes for you. Your doctor will determine the best dosage to fit your needs.

Drug form and strengths

Wegovy comes as a liquid solution inside a prefilled, single-dose injection pen.

Wegovy comes in several strengths:

  • 0.25 milligrams per 0.5 milliliters of liquid solution (0.25 mg/0.5 mL)
  • 0.5 mg/0.5 mL
  • 1 mg/0.5 mL
  • 1.7 mg/0.75 mL
  • 2.4 mg/0.75 mL

Each Wegovy pen delivers only one dose of the drug. You’ll use a new Wegovy pen for each dose.

Dosage for weight loss and weight management

The usual starting dose of Wegovy for weight loss is 0.25 mg. You’ll inject this dose once per week for 4 weeks.

Then, your doctor will likely increase your dosage every 4 weeks as follows:

  • 0.5 mg once per week during weeks 5 through 8
  • 1 mg once per week during weeks 9 through 12
  • 1.7 mg once per week during weeks 13 through 16

At week 17 and onward, you’ll likely inject 2.4 mg of Wegovy once per week. This is the maintenance (ongoing) dosage of Wegovy. You’ll likely continue this dosage long term, according to your doctor’s instructions.

What if I miss a dose?

What to do if you miss a dose of Wegovy depends on a few factors:

  • If you miss one dose of Wegovy and your next dose is more than 48 hours away, take your missed dose as soon as you remember.
  • If you miss one dose of Wegovy and your next dose is less than 48 hours away, skip your missed dose. Then take your next dose according to your usual schedule.
  • If you miss two or more doses of Wegovy in a row, talk with your doctor. They may need to temporarily adjust your dosage.

If you aren’t sure whether to take a missed dose of Wegovy or to skip it, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

To help make sure that you don’t miss a dose, try using a medication reminder. This can include setting an alarm or using a timer. You could also download a reminder app on your phone.

Will I need to use this drug long term?

Yes, Wegovy may be used as a long-term treatment. If you and your doctor determine that Wegovy is safe and effective for you, you’ll likely use it long term.

You should use Wegovy according to the instructions your doctor gives you.

Wegovy comes as a liquid inside a prefilled, single-dose injection pen. It’s typically given as a subcutaneous injection (an injection under the skin) into your abdomen (belly), upper arm, or thigh.

Your doctor or another healthcare professional will show you how to give yourself Wegovy injections at home. For more Wegovy instructions, you can visit the drug manufacturer’s website. Or you can read these detailed instructions.

When to inject

You’ll self-inject a dose of Wegovy once a week on the same day each week. For example, you might inject the drug every Monday. You can inject Wegovy at any time of day.

To help make sure that you don’t miss a dose, try using a medication reminder. This can include setting an alarm or using a timer. You could also download a reminder app on your phone.

Wegovy and food

You can use Wegovy with or without food.

Wegovy is approved for long-term weight loss and weight management in certain adults.

Wegovy belongs to a group of drugs called glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) agonists. The drug mimics the activity of GLP-1, a natural hormone in the body.

GLP-1 works in your brain to regulate your appetite. By mimicking GLP-1, Wegovy helps lessen your appetite and food intake. This can lead to weight loss.

How long does it take to work?

Wegovy starts working right after you inject your first dose. But it may take several weeks for you to notice a decrease in appetite or weight loss.

There aren’t any known interactions between Wegovy and alcohol.

If you drink alcohol, talk with your doctor about how much is safe for you to drink during Wegovy treatment.

Wegovy can interact with several other medications.

Different interactions can cause different effects. For instance, some interactions can interfere with how well a drug works. Other interactions can increase side effects or make them more severe.

Wegovy and other medications

Below is a list of medications that can interact with Wegovy. This list does not contain all drugs that may interact with Wegovy.

Before taking Wegovy, talk with your doctor and pharmacist. Tell them about all prescription, over-the-counter, and other drugs you take. Also tell them about any vitamins, herbs, and supplements you use. Sharing this information can help you avoid potential interactions.

Drugs that can interact with Wegovy include:

  • Insulin. These medications are used to treat diabetes. Taking Wegovy with insulin can raise your risk of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Examples of these drugs include:
  • Sulfonylureas. These drugs are used to treat diabetes. Taking Wegovy with sulfonylureas can raise your risk of hypoglycemia. Examples of these medications include:
  • Drugs taken by mouth. These are drugs that are given as tablets, capsules, or liquid solutions. If you take any of these medications with Wegovy, your body may not absorb them well enough.

If you have questions about drug interactions that may affect you, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Wegovy and herbs and supplements

There aren’t any herbs or supplements that have been specifically reported to interact with Wegovy. But you should still check with your doctor or pharmacist before using any of these products while taking Wegovy.

Wegovy and foods

There aren’t any foods that have been specifically reported to interact with Wegovy. If you have any questions about eating certain foods with Wegovy, talk with your doctor.

It’s not known if Wegovy is safe to take while pregnant. The drug hasn’t been studied in human pregnancy.

Animal studies have shown fetal harm in offspring born to pregnant females that were given Wegovy. But animal studies don’t always predict what will happen in humans.

To be safe, you should wait at least 2 months after your last dose of Wegovy before trying to conceive.

If you’re pregnant or planning a pregnancy, talk with your doctor before starting treatment with Wegovy. They can advise if a different treatment option is better for your condition.

Pregnancy registry

If you become pregnant while taking Wegovy, you can take part in a pregnancy registry. A pregnancy registry helps gather information on how certain drugs can affect pregnancy. To learn more, call 800-727-6500, or talk with your doctor.

It’s unknown if Wegovy is safe to take during pregnancy. If you’re sexually active and you or your partner can become pregnant, talk with your doctor about your birth control needs while you’re taking Wegovy.

For more information about taking Wegovy during pregnancy, see the “Wegovy and pregnancy” section above.

It isn’t known if Wegovy is safe to take while breastfeeding. It’s unknown if it passes into breast milk.

If you are breastfeeding or planning to breastfeed, talk with your doctor about the risks and benefits of Wegovy before taking the drug.

This drug comes with several precautions.

FDA warning: Risk of thyroid cancer

This drug has a boxed warning. This is the most serious warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A boxed warning alerts doctors and patients about drug effects that may be dangerous.

Animal studies found an increased risk of thyroid cancer in rats that were given Wegovy. But it isn’t known for sure if Wegovy increases the risk of thyroid cancer in humans.

If you or a family member have a history of medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC), you shouldn’t use Wegovy. MTC is a rare type of thyroid cancer. You also shouldn’t use Wegovy if you have multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN2). MEN2 is a rare genetic (inherited) condition that can cause thyroid cancer.

Tell your doctor right away if you have any symptoms of thyroid cancer, such as a lump in your neck or trouble breathing, speaking, or swallowing.

Other precautions

Before taking Wegovy, talk with your doctor about your health history. Wegovy may not be right for you if you have certain medical conditions or other factors affecting your health. These include:

  • Depression or other mental health conditions. Wegovy may cause suicidal thoughts or behaviors. You may have a higher risk of this side effect if you have depression or other mental health conditions. If you have these conditions, talk with your doctor before you start taking Wegovy.
  • Diabetic retinopathy. Wegovy may cause severe problems related to diabetic retinopathy. If you have diabetic retinopathy, talk with your doctor before starting Wegovy. They may check your eyes regularly while taking the drug.
  • Kidney problems. Before taking Wegovy, tell your doctor about any kidney problems you have. The drug can cause acute (sudden) kidney failure for some people. Your risk of this side effect may be higher if you already have kidney problems.
  • Pancreatitis. Wegovy may cause pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas). It’s not known if Wegovy is safe to use for people who have a history of this condition. If you have pancreatitis or you’ve had it in the past, be sure to tell your doctor before starting Wegovy.
  • Allergic reaction. If you’ve had an allergic reaction to Wegovy or any of its ingredients, you shouldn’t take Wegovy. Ask your doctor what other medications are better options for your condition.
  • Pregnancy. It may not be safe to use Wegovy during pregnancy. For more information, see the “Wegovy and pregnancy” section above.
  • Breastfeeding. It isn’t known if Wegovy is safe to use while breastfeeding. For more information, see the “Wegovy and breastfeeding” section above.

Note: For more information about the potential negative effects of Wegovy, see the “Wegovy side effects” section above.

Taking more than the recommended dosage of Wegovy can lead to serious side effects. Do not use more Wegovy than your doctor recommends.

Overdose symptoms

Symptoms of an overdose can include:

What to do in case of overdose

If you think you’ve taken too much of this drug, call your doctor. You can also call the American Association of Poison Control Centers at 800-222-1222 or use its online tool. But if your symptoms are severe, call 911 or your local emergency number, or go to the nearest emergency room right away.

When you get Wegovy from the pharmacy, the pharmacist will add an expiration date to the label on the packaging. This date is typically 1 year from the date they dispensed the medication.

The expiration date helps guarantee that the medication is effective during this time. The current stance of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is to avoid using expired medications. If you have unused medication that has gone past the expiration date, talk with your pharmacist about whether you might still be able to use it.

Storage

How long a medication remains good to use can depend on many factors, including how and where you store the medication.

You should store Wegovy pens in the refrigerator at a temperature of 36°F to 46°F (2°C to 8°C) until you use them. Or you can temporarily store unopened Wegovy pens at a room temperature of 46°F to 86°F (8°C to 30°C) for up to 28 days. Wegovy pens should never be frozen.

Wegovy pens should be stored in their original packaging to protect them from light.

Disposal

Right after you’ve used a syringe, needle, or autoinjector, dispose of it in an FDA-approved sharps disposal container. This helps prevent others, including children and pets, from taking the drug by accident or harming themselves with the needle. You can buy a sharps container online, or ask your doctor, pharmacist, or health insurance company where to get one.

This article provides several useful tips on medication disposal. You can also ask your pharmacist for information about how to dispose of your medication.

Disclaimer: Medical News Today has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.