Switching From Saxenda To Wegovy: How To Safely Change Drugs

Weight loss drugs like Wegovy and Saxenda are all over the news lately. 

According to CNBC, there is a shortage of some weight loss medications due to a surge in their popularity and news coverage. 

In addition, a survey found that nearly half of Americans expressed interest in taking a weight loss drug.

If you’re taking Saxenda for weight loss and you want to switch to Wegovy for any reason, what things should you consider to keep you safe and ensure the drug is effective?

In this article, we’ll review potential reasons for switching from Saxenda to Wegovy, things to consider when making the switch, and the conversion dose.

Can you switch from Saxenda to Wegovy?

Yes. Saxenda (liraglutide) and Wegovy (semaglutide) work in similar ways and have similar risks and side effects, so it’s possible to switch from Saxenda to Wegovy. However, this needs to be done under the guidance of your healthcare provider.

Saxenda to Wegovy conversion dose

There aren’t any current guidelines on how to convert your dose of Saxenda to Wegovy. Your healthcare provider can offer guidance on how to switch from Saxenda to Wegovy and will likely give you a dosing schedule to follow to make the transition.

One reason there isn’t an exact conversion dose is because Saxenda is taken daily, whereas Wegovy is only injected once per week. 

That means that Wegovy stays in your system much longer with a half-life (the time it takes for half of the dose to be cleared from your system) of seven days compared to Saxenda’s half-life of 13 hours.

When changing from Saxenda to Wegovy, your healthcare provider will likely have you discontinue Saxenda for at least a few days before beginning Wegovy. 

Taking your last dose of Saxenda too close to your first dose of Wegovy could cause increased side effects, which is why following the instructions of your prescribing provider is important for your safety.

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Why do people change from Liraglutide to Semaglutide?

There are many different reasons people might transition from Saxenda to Wegovy, such as:

1) Dosing schedule

One of the main reasons you might switch from Liraglutide to Semaglutide is for the once-weekly dosing. 

Many people prefer the ease of once-weekly dosing since they don’t have to remember to take daily injections. 

If you don’t like injecting yourself, once weekly is a more attractive option than daily, too.

2) Cost

When paying out of pocket without insurance, the cost for Saxenda and Wegovy are slightly similar.

One carton of Wegovy pens (four doses) costs around $1300-$1400, depending on the pharmacy you use and any coupons you might have.

One carton of five pens (five doses) of Saxenda costs around $1300-$1400. 

That means that Saxenda is slightly less expensive than Wegovy per dose.

However, many people use prescription drug coverage through their insurance to make these expensive medications more affordable. 

Depending on your insurance provider, Wegovy might covered by insurance instead of Saxenda, which would be a significant reason to stop taking Saxenda and switch to Wegovy.

(Cost ranges were found based on GoodRx’s estimates at the time this article was written.)

3) Effectiveness

Everyone reacts to medications differently, so weight loss effects vary among individuals. You might switch from Saxenda to Wegory to maximize your weight loss if you weren’t losing weight on Saxenda and meeting your weight loss goals.

Some studies suggest that Wegovy might be more effective at promoting weight loss than Saxenda, which we review later in this article.

4) Side effects

Saxenda and Wegovy have similar potential side effects, such as:

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Injection site redness or reaction

Both medications also come with the risk of rarer side effects like pancreatitis, gallbladder problems, and thyroid tumors.

According to a randomized clinical trial, 28% of participants taking Saxenda discontinued treatment before the study ended, compared to 14% for Wegovy. 

We can assume that part of the reasons for discontinuation had to do with side effects, which might mean that Wegovy could be better tolerated compared to Saxenda.

If you’re having severe side effects that are disrupting your quality of life on Saxenda, your healthcare provider might suggest you try Wegovy to see if you tolerate it better.

5) Allergies

Allergic reactions are a possibility with any medication. Saxenda and Wegovy have different ingredients, so if you were showing signs of a drug allergy to Saxenda, your healthcare provider might recommend you go to Wegovy instead. 

Signs of a drug allergy to watch out for can include:

  • Skin rash or hives
  • Itching
  • Wheezing or other breathing problems
  • Swelling
  • Anaphylaxis, which can cause difficulty breathing due to swelling of the airways and can be life-threatening

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Things to consider when switching from Saxenda to Wegovy

  • Your cost might be higher on Wegovy than Saxenda, depending on your payment method (out-of-pocket versus using insurance). If you have prescription drug coverage, your insurance provider determines how much they’ll pay towards the total cost of Saxenda or Wegovy. If Wegovy isn’t covered, you should know that your costs can be much higher than if Saxenda was covered.
  • Wegovy is meant to be injected just once weekly on the same day of the week. It’s very important to remember this dosing change if you’re used to taking Saxenda daily. Taking Wegovy daily instead of weekly could cause severe side effects.
  • It’ll take time to gradually increase your weekly dose of Wegovy to get to your target dose. Wegovy’s drug manufacturer recommends gradually increasing the dose one month at a time – we’ll summarize the recommendations for increasing the dose next.

How to safely titrate from Saxenda to Wegovy

You should follow the advice of your healthcare provider when titrating your dose of Saxenda to Wegovy. 

Below is the manufacturer of Wegovy’s recommendations on starting Wegovy in general – not specifically for switching from Saxenda to Wegovy.

The doses of Wegovy are either 1.7 milligrams weekly or 2.4 milligrams weekly. Your prescribing provider will offer guidance on which dose you’ll be taking long-term.

Time periodWegovy dose
Month one (week 1-4)0.25 milligrams weekly
Month two (weeks 5-8)0.5 milligrams weekly
Month three (weeks 9-12)1 milligram weekly
Month four (weeks 13-16 or longer)1.7 milligrams weekly
Month five (week 17 and onward)2.4 milligrams weekly (if your dose goes that high)

Does Wegovy work as well as Saxenda?

According to a randomized clinical trial comparing Liraglutide vs Semaglutide, participants taking Wegovy had ‘significantly greater odds of achieving 10% or more, 15% or more, and 20% or more weight loss’ compared to Saxenda.

What does that look like in terms of weight loss? 

For a 250-pound person, a 10% weight loss would be 25 pounds, a 15% weight loss would be around 38 pounds, and a 20% weight loss would be around 50 pounds. 

Another review of several studies concluded that Wegovy was “superior” to other medications (including Saxenda) for weight loss.

Based on these results, it’s reasonable to conclude that Wegovy works better than Saxenda in many instances, so that alone is a major reason you might decide to make the switch to Wegovy.


  • Both Saxenda and Wegovy are medications approved for weight loss. They’re injectable GLP-1 receptor agonists and are approved to treat overweight and obesity in people aged 12 and older.
  • Some of the most likely reasons people switch from Saxenda to Wegovy are preference for once-weekly dosing, effectiveness (Wegovy appears to be more effective in terms of weight loss outcomes according to many study results), cost, and tolerance.
  • When switching from Saxenda to Wegovy, there isn’t a set conversion dose available from the manufacturer. 
  • You should follow your healthcare provider’s guidance when converting from Saxenda to Wegovy.

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wegovy vs saxenda

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  1. Rubino DM, Greenway FL, Khalid U, O’Neil PM, Rosenstock J, Sørrig R, Wadden TA, Wizert A, Garvey WT; STEP 8 Investigators. Effect of Weekly Subcutaneous Semaglutide vs Daily Liraglutide on Body Weight in Adults With Overweight or Obesity Without Diabetes: The STEP 8 Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA. 2022 Jan 11;327(2):138-150. doi: 10.1001/jama.2021.23619. PMID: 35015037; PMCID: PMC8753508.
  2. CNBC. HEALTH AND SCIENCE. Weight loss drugs are still hard to find — but Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly are trying to change that. 2024.
  3. KFF. Poll: Nearly Half of Adults Would Be Interested in Prescription Weight-Loss Drugs, But Enthusiasm Fades Based on Lack of Coverage and Risk of Regaining Weight. 2023.
  4. American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. Drug Allergies.
  5. Wegovy. Wegovy® Dosing Schedule.
  6. Rubino DM, Greenway FL, Khalid U, O’Neil PM, Rosenstock J, Sørrig R, Wadden TA, Wizert A, Garvey WT; STEP 8 Investigators. Effect of Weekly Subcutaneous Semaglutide vs Daily Liraglutide on Body Weight in Adults With Overweight or Obesity Without Diabetes: The STEP 8 Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA. 2022 Jan 11;327(2):138-150. doi: 10.1001/jama.2021.23619. PMID: 35015037; PMCID: PMC8753508.
  7. Singh G, Krauthamer M, Bjalme-Evans M. Wegovy (semaglutide): a new weight loss drug for chronic weight management. J Investig Med. 2022 Jan;70(1):5-13. doi: 10.1136/jim-2021-001952. Epub 2021 Oct 27. PMID: 34706925; PMCID: PMC8717485.

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