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5 reasons Wegovy isn’t working

Reviewed by Felix Gussone, MD, Ro, 

Written by Rachel Honeyman 

Reviewed by Felix Gussone, MD, Ro, 

Written by Rachel Honeyman 

LAST UPDATED: Aug 18, 2023


You’ve started taking Wegovy—a huge step toward losing the weight you and your healthcare provider have determined is right for you and your health.

The only problem? It’s just not working the way you’d hoped. 

You watch all the commercials and read all the articles talking about how effective Wegovy is, and you wonder, “Why am I not losing weight on Wegovy?”

Let’s take a look at what could be going on. 

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How long does it take to lose weight on Wegovy? 

Wegovy (semaglutide) is a type of drug called a glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist (GLP-1 for short). It’s an FDA-approved weight loss drug that gets injected subcutaneously (right under the skin) once weekly into your stomach, thighs, or upper arms. 

Wegovy is highly effective at helping people with obesity lose weight (one clinical trial resulted in participants losing an average of 15% of their body weight by week 68 of the trial when taking 2.4 mg of Wegovy weekly). Most people start seeing results much sooner than that, though. 

Many people taking Wegovy begin losing weight within a few weeks of starting the drug, but it can take up to 20 weeks to see significant results. The studies available at this point have shown continued weight loss for up to 68 weeks, but it may continue past that point.

5 reasons you’re not losing weight on Wegovy

Wegovy works very well for many people, but if you’re not seeing the results you were hoping for, you’re probably feeling quite frustrated! It’s possible Wegovy isn’t right for you, but before stopping, let’s do some troubleshooting. Side note: you should not just stop taking the medication without consulting your health care provider anyways. 

Some key things might be getting in the way of your success with this drug, so it’s worth exploring these options before trying something new. 

1. You may need to give it more time

It’s tempting to want to see quick results when you start anything new, and efforts to lose weight are certainly no exception. You’ve probably tried many things in the past to lose weight before turning to Wegovy, so you know that losing weight is hard. The way Wegovy is talked about in the media, though, it’s no wonder many people think it’s a miracle drug for dropping weight quickly! 

If you started Wegovy recently, it’s important to understand that it can take some time to see results. Many people don’t start seeing significant results for up to 20 weeks, possibly longer. Most people see their peak results by the one-year mark. 

You may need to be more patient if you’re not seeing results as quickly as you hoped. 

2. You may need a higher dose

When starting Wegovy, your provider likely started you at the lowest dose (0.25 mg) to see how you tolerate the drug before increasing your dose. As long as you tolerate the side effects, the typical dose increasing schedule is as follows

  • Weeks 1–4: 0.25 mg injected once weekly

  • Weeks 5–8: 0.5 mg injected once weekly

  • Weeks 9–12: 1 mg injected once weekly

  • Weeks 13–16: 1.7 mg injected once weekly

  • Weeks 17 and beyond: 2.4 mg injected once weekly

This dosing schedule is a big reason it can take up to 20 weeks to see significant results. The higher the dose you’re taking, the more weight loss you can expect to see. 

You might ask: Why wouldn’t your provider just give you a higher dose off the bat? 

Well, just like results are dose-dependent, so are side effects. The higher the dose you take, the more likely you’ll experience side effects. Your provider will only increase your dose if you’re tolerating the side effects. The main side effects are related to gastrointestinal complaints—, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. If you were experiencing uncomfortable side effects but they’ve improved (which often happens with side effects!), your provider may have kept you at a lower dose for a while and it may be time to try increasing your dose. 

3. Other conditions or medications may affect how quickly you can lose weight

Some health conditions (or medications to treat certain health conditions) can make it harder to lose weight with Wegovy. Most notably, people with type 2 diabetes have a more challenging time losing weight than those without—on Wegovy or using any other weight loss method

With semaglutide in particular, studies show that those with diabetes who take this drug lose less weight than those without diabetes. One study resulted in people with diabetes losing around 7% of their body weight after 6 months versus those without diabetes losing nearly 12% of their body weight in the same time period. 

There are also certain medications—such as antipsychotics and some blood pressure medicines—that can cause weight gain. If you’re taking one of these medications while you’re on Wegovy, that’s likely going to slow down your weight loss. 

Even if you have one of these conditions or are taking one of these medications, you can still lose weight on Wegovy. It’s important to understand that your results may not be as dramatic as you’d like them to be, but they are still worthwhile!

4. You may need to adjust your lifestyle habits

Wegovy is meant to be used alongside diet and exercise to help with weight management. If you’re not losing as much weight on Wegovy as you expected, it might be time to reassess your food intake and physical activity levels. 

One large trial showed semaglutide was most effective for weight loss when participants lowered their caloric intake by 500 calories daily and increased their physical activity to 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise (like walking) per week. 

One of the ways Wegovy works is by decreasing appetite, which can help with caloric reduction, but if you’re not seeing great results, it’s possible you need to dial in your food intake a bit more. You may find it helpful to prioritize a high-protein diet, which can increase satiety in many people. An added benefit of a high-protein diet is it can help you maintain muscle mass while losing weight, which can be an issue when losing weight rapidly.  

Exercise is an essential part of weight maintenance—and overall health!—so if you’re not getting regular physical activity, try to prioritize that as you continue your efforts to lose weight. 

5. You may need to prioritize sleep and stress management

Diet and exercise are not the only things outside medications that can affect your weight. High stress levels are associated with higher levels of obesity, as is poor sleep

When you’re stressed, you may not have the energy or headspace to exercise and eat well. You may also overeat high-sugar or high-fat foods to give yourself the rush of endorphins you need to deal with stress

When you don’t get enough sleep or your sleep quality is poor, your appetite regulation gets out of whack, and you may feel hungrier than you would otherwise. Fatigue also contributes to stress levels, which can be a vicious cycle. 

Improving stress levels and sleep quality are no easy feat, especially in our high-stress environments, but it’s worth trying to address these issues. Whether trying something like meditation or improving your sleep hygiene, working on these things may help you see better results from Wegovy. 

What happens when you stop taking Wegovy?

Wegovy is meant to be taken long-term. If you’ve seen some weight loss with Wegovy—even if it’s not as much as you’d like—you can expect to regain at least some of the weight when you stop taking it, unless you replace the drug with another weight loss medication that works similar to Wegovy, such as Saxenda

Some people may find it off-putting that they’d need to stay on a drug long-term to continue seeing results, but it’s no different than any other weight loss efforts; if you lost weight by changing your diet and then you returned to eating the way you had before, of course, your weight will revert back to where it was! 

Also, it’s essential to understand that obesity is a disease that, like many other diseases, sometimes requires medications to get it under control. If someone has insulin-dependent diabetes, they must take insulin every day, potentially for the rest of life. Taking Wegovy for obesity is no different. 

Weight loss

Get access to GLP-1 medication (if prescribed) and 1:1 support to meet your weight goals

Wegovy alternatives

If you and your healthcare provider have troubleshooted as best as you can, but you’re still not seeing the results you want from Wegovy, it might be time to try something else. The most effective alternative on the market is a drug called Mounjaro (tirzepatide). 

Mounjaro is a slightly different type of drug than Wegovy. Like Wegovy, it acts on the GLP-1 receptor but also on a different receptor in the brain called GIP receptor. GIP stands for glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide, another hormone responsible for regulating blood sugar and appetite.  

Tirzepatide is not yet FDA-approved for weight loss (though that’s in the works), but many providers prescribe it off-label for that purpose, since it’s so effective. One large study resulted in over half of the participants losing 20% or more of their body weight at the highest dose of Mounjaro.

While other weight loss drugs are available, Mounjaro has shown itself to be the most effective to date. If you aren’t happy with your results on Wegovy, speak to your provider about whether Mounjaro is right for you.


If you have any medical questions or concerns, please talk to your healthcare provider. The articles on Health Guide are underpinned by peer-reviewed research and information drawn from medical societies and governmental agencies. However, they are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

  • Cuevas, A. G., Chen, R., Thurber, K. A., et al. (2019). Psychosocial stress and overweight and obesity: findings from the Chicago Community Adult Health Study. Annals of Behavioral Medicine: A Publication of the Society of Behavioral Medicine, 53(11). doi:10.1093/abm/kaz008. Retrieved from

  • Ding, C., Lim, L. L., Xu, L., & Kong, A. P. S. (2018). Sleep and obesity. Journal of Obesity & Metabolic Syndrome, 27(1), 4–24. doi:10.7570/jomes.2018.27.1.4. Retrieved from

  • Foright, R. M., Presby, D. M., Sherk, V. D., et al. (2018). Is regular exercise an effective strategy for weight loss maintenance?. Physiology & Behavior, 188, 86–93. doi:10.1016/j.physbeh.2018.01.025. Retrieved from

  • Franz, M. J. (2017). Weight management: obesity to diabetes. Diabetes Spectrum: A Publication of the American Diabetes Association, 30(3), 149–153. doi:10.2337/ds17-0011. Retrieved from

  • Ghusn, W., De la Rosa, A., Sacoto, D., et al. (2022). Weight loss outcomes associated with semaglutide treatment for patients with overweight or obesity. JAMA Network Open, 5(9), e2231982. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.31982. Retrieved from

  • Jastreboff, A. M., Aronne, L. J., Ahmad, N. N., et al. (2022). Tirzepatide once weekly for the treatment of obesity. New England Journal of Medicine, 387, 205-216. doi:10.1056/NEJMoa2206038. Retrieved from

  • McCarthy, D. & Berg, A. (2021). Weight loss strategies and the risk of skeletal muscle mass loss. Nutrients, 13(7), 2473. doi:10.3390/nu13072473. Retrieved from

  • Moon, J. & Koh, G. (2020). Clinical evidence and mechanisms of high-protein diet-induced weight loss. Journal of Obesity & Metabolic Syndrome, 29(3), 166–173. doi:10.7570/jomes20028. Retrieved from

  • Novo Nordisk. (2022). Wegovy PI. Retrieved on Aug. 17, 2023 from

  • Wilding, J., Batterham, R. L., Calanna, S., et al. (2021). Once-weekly semaglutide in adults with overweight or obesity. The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), 384(11), 989. doi:10.1056/NEJMoa2032183. Retrieved from

How we reviewed this article

Every article on Health Guide goes through rigorous fact-checking by our team of medical reviewers. Our reviewers are trained medical professionals who ensure each article contains the most up-to-date information, and that medical details have been correctly interpreted by the writer.

Current version

August 18, 2023

Written by

Rachel Honeyman

Fact checked by

Felix Gussone, MD

About the medical reviewer

Felix Gussone is a physician, health journalist and a Manager, Medical Content & Education at Ro.

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