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How Long Does Semaglutide (Wegovy) Take To Work?

If you've recently been prescribed Wegovy (Semaglutide) or are considering it as a weight loss solution, you're likely curious about its effectiveness and how quickly it can produce results. This article delves into key aspects such as semaglutide efficacy, absorption time, and half-life to comprehensively answer the question: 'How long does semaglutide (Wegovy) take to work?'

Speed of Action

Wegovy gets to work pretty quickly, helping to reduce appetite levels so you can lose weight. This means it can be used to treat and manage obesity, with results in as little as 6 to 8 weeks.

How Quickly Does Semaglutide Work?

You should start to notice a change in your appetite when taking semaglutide within the first few weeks.

How Long Does Semaglutide Take to Absorb?

Semaglutide absorption time is slow, which means after you’ve taken your injection, it’ll slowly be absorbed into your bloodstream. This is why you only need to use it once a week.

Does Semaglutide Work Immediately?

Semaglutide needs time to build up in your system to reach maximum effectiveness. It’ll start to reduce hunger levels straight away, but you will notice a greater effect as your dosage increases.

Treatment Duration

How long you need to take Wegovy depends on your weight loss goals. It's crucial to consult with a qualified medical practitioner or healthcare expert who can devise a personalised weight loss strategy for you.

How Long Semaglutide Takes to Leave the System?

Semaglutide half-life is 7 days if you’re taking a dose of 0.5 to 1.0 mg. This means it takes 7 days for half of the medication to leave your body. It stays effective for around a week, until your next dose. Over time, the dose will build up so it becomes better and better at controlling appetite levels.

Treatment Duration for Different Groups

You can take Wegovy for as long as you need to until you’ve reached your weight loss goals. Your doctor will recommend that you stop taking Wegovy if you haven’t lost at least 5% of your starting weight after 6 months of taking semaglutide consistently.

You should stop taking Wegovy if you become pregnant or are breastfeeding, as it’s not suitable.

Dosage and Factors Affecting Efficacy

Wegovy comes in 5 doses. You’ll start at the lowest dose of semaglutide, before moving up to the next one after 4 weeks of treatment:

  • 0.25mg
  • 0.5mg
  • 1mg
  • 1.7mg
  • 2.4mg

The higher your dose, the more effective Wegovy will become. Pre-existing health conditions or other medications could affect how quickly Wegovy works or what dose you can take, but your doctor will discuss this with you before prescribing.

To improve semaglutide efficacy, you should:

  • follow a diet and exercise regime
  • avoid drinking a lot of alcohol
  • reduce fatty, sugary foods from your diet
  • reach for a calorie-deficit
  • make long-lasting lifestyle changes that you can follow even after you’ve stopped taking Wegovy

Missing a Wegovy dose may also affect how well it works. Try to take Wegovy at the same time each week for best results.


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  • Lowers blood sugar
  • Weekly injection
  • Specialist Consultation Included

What to Do If You Find the Dose Ineffective

If you find your current dose ineffective, wait until you’ve reached the next dose. Increasing your semaglutide dose too quickly will increase the risk of side effects.

You should start to see weight loss results within 6 to 12 weeks. If you’ve only lost a small amount of weight or you still feel hungry, speak to your doctor.


Semaglutide is an effective weight loss injection that gets to work in around 6 to 12 weeks. You can improve semaglutide efficacy by reducing your calorie intake and exercising regularly. It’s absorbed slowly, so you only need to take it once a week.

If you’re looking for obesity treatment, it’s important to speak to a doctor or healthcare professional who can create a tailored weight loss plan. You can also find out more about weight loss medications and Wegovy on our website.



EMC, 2023. EMC: About Medicine.

NHS, 2023. NHS: Obesity Treatment.

NICE, 2023. NICE: TA875.

PubMed, 2023. PubMed: Study on Semaglutide.

Wegovy, 2023. Wegovy: FAQ.

BNF/NICE, 2023. BNF/NICE: Semaglutide.

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
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