NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde Area Drug and Therapeutics Committee
Greater Glasgow and Clyde Medicines
Medicines Update

Prescribing Semaglutide: practical considerations

Semaglutide is a new weekly injectable glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) agonist recently added to the GGC Formulary. It is available as a single pen device with 4 doses providing the patient with all they require for a month.

The following risks have been identified with semaglutide:

  • Risk of patients being issued with 2 different GLP-1 agonists if it is unclear that the existing preparation has to be stopped 
  • Risk of patients being prescribed 4 pens in error

Points for consideration if initiating or prescribing semaglutide:

  • If requesting a change of GLP-1 to semaglutide, please advise that the other GLP-1  preparation  should be stopped 
  • If initiating or prescribing semaglutide, please check that other GLP-1 preparations have been discontinued (liraglutide, dulaglutide, exenatide, lixisenatide)
  • Each semaglutide pen contains 4 doses therefore will last 4 weeks
  • Semaglutide is available in 3 different strengths. A different strength of pen should be prescribed for each dose titration e.g. 0.25mg, 0.5mg and 1mg
  • Each pen comes with 4 needles so if changing someone from another GLP-1 to semaglutide, needles are not required and can be deleted from repeats.


Published 11/09/19. Medicines Update blogs are correct at the time of publication.