How to switch from Saxenda to Wegovy

If you’re already taking Saxenda it may be possible to switch to Wegovy. This will depend on whether Wegovy is suitable for you, and whether your doctor approves the change. Here, we’ll cover everything you need to know about switching from Saxenda to Wegovy.

Dr Babak Ashrafi Clinical Lead for Service Development

Medically reviewed by

Dr Babak Ashrafi

Last reviewed: 09 Feb 2024

What are the benefits of switching from Saxenda to Wegovy?

Both Saxenda and Wegovy work in the same way, by mimicking the GLP-1 hormone, which targets the areas of the brain that regulate appetite. They make you feel full, so help regulate your appetite, and therefore aid weight loss. With Saxenda about to discontinue in the UK, many consider switching to Wegovy or Mounjaro.

However, there are some key differences between Saxenda and Wegovy that might affect your choice of weight-loss medication.


There are significant differences in doses between Wegovy and Saxenda, as Wegovy is taken weekly, while Saxenda is injected daily. People who feel uncomfortable injecting, have an unpredictable schedule, or who are nervous about needles might prefer a weekly rather than a daily dose.


Trials have shown Wegovy to be around 3 times more effective for weight loss. A 2022 study that compared the effects of Wegovy and Saxenda on people with obesity showed that those taking semaglutide (Wegovy) lost 15.85 % of their body weight on average compared to 6.4 % in the liraglutide (Saxenda) group. Both groups combined the treatment with diet and exercise.

The study also showed that 3.2% of those taking semaglutide (Wegovy) discontinued their treatment due to side effects, while 12.6% of those taking liraglutide (Saxenda) stopped taking theirs. So you’re more likely to keep taking Wegovy than Saxenda, and therefore lose more weight.

However, everyone is different, and you might find that Saxenda works better for you than Wegovy.

Side effects

The side effects of Wegovy and Saxenda are very similar, however overall, studies suggest that semaglutide (Wegovy) is easier to tolerate than liraglutide (Saxenda).

In a randomised trial, 3.2 % of participants in the Wegovy group stopped their treatment because of side effects, compared with 12.6 % of the people taking Saxenda. However, more than 80% of people in both groups reported common side effects and gastrointestinal (or stomach and intestine) issues.

Dosages of both medications are increased gradually in order to minimise side effects and to allow you to be aware of any reactions you might have. The slow increase also gives your body a chance to get used to the drug.

If your side effects are the prime reason for switching medication, you might first want to consider a lower dose of Saxenda.

Find more about the side effects of Saxenda and Wegovy’s side effects.

How to switch from Saxenda to Wegovy

If you already take Saxenda and would like to change to Wegovy, first speak to your GP, medication provider or healthcare professional. They will be able to advise whether it is suitable for you to switch medications and, if taking a new drug is an option, create a plan for you. It’s very important when switching medication to follow the instructions given by your GP or healthcare provider carefully.

In order to switch medication, your BMI must be above or equal to 30, or above or equal to 27 with a weight related condition. You must also be suitable to take Wegovy, which your doctor will evaluate. If switching is possible and you’re changing from Saxenda to Wegovy, you can take your first Wegovy injection the day after your last injection of Saxenda. If you are switching from Wegovy to Saxenda you should wait 5 weeks after your last Wegovy injection before starting Saxenda.

How long does it take to switch?

If switching is safe and suitable for you, you can take your first dose of Wegovy the day after your most recent dose of Saxenda.

Switching because of side effects

If you are changing from Saxenda to Wegovy because of side effects, your GP or medication provider will advise that you wait until your symptoms have disappeared before starting Wegovy on the lowest dose.

Switching for another reason

Step One

If you wish to start taking Wegovy because it’s more effective, or you would rather inject weekly than daily, your first move is asking your GP or medication provider for advice. Your doctor or medication provider will check again whether this kind of medication is still right for you.

If they agree that you can switch, then they will draw up a schedule for starting your new medication. It’s important to follow your dosage schedule precisely, and to follow instructions about storage and how to use your injection pen carefully.

Step Two

Saxenda is non-addictive, but when you stop taking it, you may experience changes in appetite, and experience nausea and vomiting. This is due to your body adjusting to the change in hormones. Your doctor may suggest slowly reducing your dose in order to minimise the possibility of these side effects.

Many doctors will advise that you take your first weekly dose of Wegovy the day after your last dose of Saxenda.

Step Three

You will discuss the timing of starting your new course of treatment and how to prepare for the change. It’s often a good idea to switch medications when you have plenty of time to monitor and adjust to any new side effects.

Step Four

You will start your new course of treatment at the lowest dosage and gradually increase the amount you take, in order to allow you to monitor any potential side effects.

Will I get any side effects from stopping Saxenda?

Saxenda does not cause an addiction, but when you stop taking it, side effects can develop. You may for example experience changes in appetite, nausea and vomiting. Your doctor may suggest slowly reducing your dose in order to minimise the possibility of these side effects.

Whether you decrease your dosage slowly or stop suddenly depends on:

  • whether you are experiencing side effects
  • how long you have been taking the medication
  • how much you take daily
  • if Saxenda has been effective

Wegovy can cause very similar side effects to Saxenda, so it’s best to wait until your side effects have disappeared before starting to take Wegovy, so it's clear which adverse reactions each medication causes.

How can I minimise the side effects of Wegovy?

Many side effects of semaglutide are gastro-intestinal (related to your stomach and digestive system). You can manage these kind of symptoms by:

  • eating bland food
  • sitting up after meals
  • eating slowly
  • walking in fresh air
  • staying well hydrated (drinking plenty of water)
  • eating foods that contain plenty of liquids such as soups
  • keeping track of any side effects in a diary
  • listening to your body and speaking to your health care provider about any worries you have

Will I need to start my new medication from the lowest dose?

Yes. You will need to start your new medication at the lowest dose before gradually increasing to a maintenance dose.

Your doctor or health care professional will give you clear advice and instructions about what dosage to take and how to step up your intake. Each dose of Wegovy comes in a different colour pen, which makes taking the correct amount more straightforward.

Can I take Wegovy and Saxenda together?

No, you cannot take Wegovy and Saxenda at the same time. Although they contain different active ingredients, both of the medications work in a similar way and could cause your blood sugar to drop too low.

Where can I buy Wegovy?

It is possible to buy Wegovy online. To order it, you are required to answer a simple online questionnaire. Patients need to have a BMI of 30 or higher, or a BMI of 27 or higher and at least one weight-related health condition.

Can you get Wegovy on the NHS?

Wegovy is available on the NHS. However, it can be difficult to get a prescription, and you will have to try a range of different weight-loss options first.

Weight loss injections are usually prescribed by specialist weight management services (at Tier 3 level), not your GP. Your doctor can refer you to the Tier 3 Weight Management Service.

Prescriptions for Wegovy are only offered to people with at least one weight-related condition such as high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, sleep apnoea or non-diabetic high blood sugar and a body mass index (BMI) of at least 35, or at least 30 under certain criteria, such as unsuccessful conventional treatment.

They are or will be prescribed as part of a weight management programme that might include diet changes, exercise or surgery. If you do get a prescription, you will only have to pay the NHS prescription charge (or get it for free if you are eligible).

Alternatively – or in addition to – a prescription for Wegovy or Saxenda, a GP might recommend alternative routes to weight loss including:

  • joining a local weight loss group
  • exercise on prescription
  • changing your diet
  • trying a diet programme or very low calorie diet
  • increasing time spent exercising
  • setting realistic goals and monitoring your progress

Can I switch from Wegovy to Saxenda?

Yes, it is technically possible to switch from Wegovy to Saxenda. However, the provider Novo Nordisk plans to discontinue Saxenda in the UK. If you would like to switch to another weight loss injection, Mounjaro might be a good option for you.

Patient Reviews