results found...

How Long Does Semaglutide (Wegovy) Take To Work?

If you’ve recently started weight loss treatment with Wegovy, you’ve likely been told it gets to work right away, but you want to know how long before you’ll see the benefits. Studies show that many people begin to lose weight within 4 weeks of starting treatment with semaglutide (Wegovy) and weight loss should increase, taking around a year to hit your target weight.

Here, we’ll explore in further detail how long semaglutide takes to work for weight loss and what results you can expect from Wegovy.

How long does Wegovy take to work?

Wegovy starts to work from the initial weekly dose of 0.25mg but requires several weeks to reach maximum effectiveness at a dose of 2.4mg. On the first few days of starting treatment, you may notice a reduced appetite. After several weeks, you will feel fuller, less hungry and fewer food cravings – all of which can contribute to weight loss. 

A gradual increase in dose is mainly to reduce the chances of severe stomach and digestive effects such as stomach pains, constipation and diarrhoea. These side effects are more likely if the dose is increased too quickly.

Research shows that Wegovy users start to lose weight within the first 4 weeks of treatment, with an average body weight loss of 15% being achieved after 68 weeks.

How fast can you lose weight on Wegovy?

The total body weight you can lose on Wegovy can be significant but requires time, patience and persistence. Instant weight loss shouldn’t be expected, but rather a gradual decrease over time. 

The graphs below show weight loss percentages at different time points of treatment. Double-digit percentage weight loss is more likely from 6 months and beyond of regular treatment.

The average weight loss after 6 weeks with Wegovy was 6%.

The average weight loss after 28 weeks was 12% with Wegovy.

At 68 weeks, the average weight loss on Wegovy was 15%.

Source: The New England Journal of Medicine

It’s important to note that this average weight loss may not be the same for everyone. How well your body responds to semaglutide will depend on several factors, including:

  • How well do the receptors in your brain respond to Wegovy: As each person’s genetic makeup is different, you could be more sensitive to the medicine, which results in more appetite suppression and leads to greater weight loss. 
  • The lifestyle changes you make alongside weight loss treatment: Three important lifestyle changes which affect weight loss include dietary changes, physical exercise and behavioural changes such as adopting habits e.g. sufficient sleep. 
  • Your dosing schedule: This includes remembering to take the medicine each week, knowing when it’s appropriate to increase the dose and discussing side effects with your doctor. Wegovy’s effectiveness is reduced by missing doses or inconsistent administration.

Wegovy dosage schedule

The typical Wegovy dosing schedule for adults is shown below:

Source: Wegovy

Wegovy pens are available in 5 doses that are injected once per week, and their semaglutide concentration increases every 4 weeks. However, some people take longer to reach the maintenance dose of 2.4 mg while others may stick to the 1.7 mg dose. That’s because different people react differently to Wegovy and may experience side effects that increase the time it takes to titrate up.

Want to know more? Read about the Wegovy Dosage Schedule.

How long do I need to take Wegovy for?

The duration of time you need to take Wegovy depends on your weight loss goals, individual medication response and recommendations from your clinician. 

Individual response to Wegovy is important because if you haven’t lost at least 5% of your starting body weight after 6 months, your clinician needs to weigh up the benefits vs risks of continuing treatment. One potential outcome is they recommend trying an alternative weight loss medicine, such as::

These are all available from Prescription Doctor.

For your weight loss goals, it’s important to consider both short-term and long-term use. With short-term use between 6 months to 1 year, you may see significant weight loss results and consider stopping. For others, long-term use is more beneficial because it sustains weight loss. Weight regain can occur on stopping treatment so continued treatment may be required but this should be a decision made together with your clinician.

Is Wegovy safe for long-term use?

Recent research has shown that Wegovy injections can help overweight and obese people achieve significant and clinically meaningful weight loss for at least 4 years.

The same study also found that semaglutide lowered the risk of major cardiovascular events in 17,604 adults with pre-existing cardiovascular disease by 20%.

The results showed that Wegovy reduced:

  • Heart attacks, strokes and cardiovascular death by 20%
  • Heart attacks in people taking statins by 28%
  • Non-fatal strokes by 7%
  • Cardiovascular-related death by 15%

Therefore, semaglutide (Wegovy) could offer even more benefits alongside weight loss.


Rated 0 out of 5 based on 0 reviews
Rated 0 out of 5 based on 0 reviews
  • Lowers blood sugar
  • Weekly injection
  • Specialist Consultation Included

How to improve the effectiveness of Wegovy

As you increase your dose, the more effective Wegovy will be at helping you to lose weight, but there are things you can do to increase its effectiveness.

  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet
  • Lower the amount of fatty or high-sugar foods you eat
  • Swap sugary or fizzy drinks for water with a slice of lemon or lime
  • Avoid alcohol
  • Increase the amount of exercise you do
  • Make long-lasting lifestyle changes to help keep the weight off once the Wegovy treatment finishes

At Prescription Doctor, we’ve put together an in-depth guide to help you get the best out of Wegovy treatment. Check out our ‘5 Ways to Increase Weight Loss with Wegovy’ guide.


Wegovy contains the active ingredient, semaglutide which has been proven to be an effective weight loss treatment in overweight and obese people. Although it gets to work right away, weight loss isn’t instant. 

Some research shows that the average weight loss in the first 4 weeks of Wegovy treatment is 2%, while it can take 68 weeks to achieve 15% body weight loss.

If you're looking for weight loss treatments, you can use our weight loss service to find the most suitable medication for you.

Authored & Reviewed By

Mohamed Imran Lakhi

MPharm - Lead Pharmacist
Imran Lakhi is the superintendent pharmacist and founder at Prescription Doctor. He has been at the core of our team.

Published on: 12/10/2023 Reviewed on: 01/11/2023
Customer Service