Select a treatment to
get started

What Is My Semaglutide Dosage in Units?: Units, IU, MG, and ML Explained

Learn more about how to figure out or convert your semaglutide dosage into units and mg by reading your product labels.

Read on

Semaglutide is the active ingredient inside of the popular weight loss and diabetes medications; Wegovy, Ozempic, and Rybelsus. And, given the rise in demand for these medications, it only makes sense that people have a few questions about their dosage and the strength of their product.

The reason for some additional confusion on Semaglutide medications is likely because these are usually injectable medications, that are in liquid form. The tricky part of liquid formulations versus, say, a tablet, is that it may get confusing figuring out just how much active ingredient is in each unit or measurement of volume. 

Tablets or capsules are easy. Usually, you will just see “10mg tablets” and know there are 10 milligrams inside each tab. But, when it comes to a vial or pen full of liquid, how do you know how much contains how many milligrams?

Below, we will help explain how to figure out your semaglutide dosage, as well as how to interpret and differentiate between unit, IU, mg, and ml.

Different Semaglutide products are likely to have different strengths and volumes

The first important thing to point out here, is that different Semaglutide products will have different strengths and dosages. This is because there are various brand-name medications, each of these come in a range of strengths. And, there are also compounded formulations available that may have a whole different dosage altogether. So, the key here is becoming familiar with your specific product, reading the label closely, and knowing what these measurement terms actually mean.

If you are still not 100% sure about the strength of your product, or how much you are supposed to use, you should always reach out to your prescribing doctor or dispensing pharmacy to get more information. There can be risks involved with using too much medication. Or, this medication may be less (or not at all) effective if you use too little medication.

What do Semaglutide “units” mean?

When Semaglutide products discuss units, they are simply laying out what amount of liquid they will be discussing, sometimes it’s a whole container. For many of the brand-name products, a unit will be a full “pen” injector. In this case 1 unit = 1 pen. However, there may be products where 1 pen equals multiple units. In these situations, there is likely a dial or some sort of measuring system telling you how many “units” you are injecting. Basically, a unit is a unit of volume chosen for a specific product. And units are not always the same.

For example:

  • One unit of the 0.25mg (lowest strength) Wegovy pen is the full pen. And the pen contains 0.5ml of liquid by volume. So, 1 unit for this Wegovy pen = 0.5ml of liquid, and contains 0.25mg of semaglutide.
  • One unit of the 2.4mg (highest strength) Wegovy pen is the full pen. And the pen contains 0.75ml of liquid by volume. So, 1 unit for this Wegovy pen = 0.75ml of liquid, and contains 2.4mg of semaglutide.

Keep in mind that if you are using a compounded Semaglutide product, you might hear another term – International Units, or IU. IU may be used if your product is a vial of liquid, but you are asked to “pull out” a certain volume of the liquid into a sterile syringe to measure out your prescribed dosage in IU.

(Image: 100 unit diabetic syringe)

IU is a common volume measurement notated on diabetic syringes. It will show the IU “units” marked on the side. These may go up to 100 IU, or be lower only going up to 50 IU or 30 IU. If you are meant to use these syringes, closely follow your prescription’s instructions to know how much to measure out. If you are not sure, your pharmacy will be able to help you identify your volume, or help you learn how to draw up the medication.

In diabetic syringes, the IU volume units are uniform. Specifically, 1 IU on a diabetic syringe equals 0.01 ml of volume. So, for example, if you are injecting 50 IU from your diabetic syringe, that is a volume 0.5 ml. If you are injecting 100 IU from a diabetic syringe, that is a volume of 1ml. And so on.

Important!: Keep in mind that a unit or IU does not tell you the mg of active ingredient contained, it only tells you a volume. The mg contained will need to be figured out from your specific formula, and can differ from product to product, even if you are using the same volume or IU. 

Think of this like caffeinated beverages. You can have 1 cup of tea and 1 cup of coffee (volumes), but the tea may contain 30mg of caffeine and the coffee may contain 100mg of caffeine (weight in mg of the active ingredient) in the same volume. 

  • 1 cup of tea (unit of volume) contains 30mg of caffeine (weight of active ingredient)
    • Tea caffeine dosage strength = 30mg X 1 cup = 30mg per cup

  • 1 cup of coffee (unit of volume) contains 100mg of caffeine (weight of active ingredient)
    • Coffee caffeine dosage strength= 100mg X 1 cup = 100mg per cup

This example shows that to know the “strength” of your dosage, you must know how many mg are contained within your prescribed volume of liquid.

How to identify how many milligrams (mg) of medication is in your product

Now that we have covered units of volume [Units, IU, milliliters (ml)], we can discuss units of weight [milligrams (mg)] of the pure active ingredient. 

The milligrams contained within your medication may be listed in terms of a full unit, or in terms of ml. Take a look at your label to figure out which one.

If your package says:

  • 0.5 mg per unit – There is 0.5 mg of active ingredient in each unit (remember, “units” may vary between products)
  • 0.5 mg per mL (0.5mg/ml) – There is 0.5 mg of active ingredient in each 1 mL volume of liquid
  • 5 mg per 10 mL (5mg/10ml) – There is 0.5 mg of active ingredient in each 1 mL volume of liquid
  • 0.25 mg per 0.5 mL (0.25mg/0.5ml) – There is 0.5 mg of active ingredient in each 1 mL volume of liquid

As you can see above, there are multiple ways a weight of active ingredient (mg) per volume (ml or unit) can be written, but still mean the same milligram (mg) per milliliter (ml) or unit dosage. Reach out to your pharmacist if you are having trouble figuring out the volume you are meant to use.

Example calculations for total medication contained for different Semaglutide products

Product example 1 (vial of liquid):

Let’s say you have a vial containing a full amount of 10ml. How can you use the printed “strength” on your label to figure out the full amount of pure medication in the entire vial?

If your vial label lists:

  • a “strength” (mg per ml) of 2.5mg/ml
  • A vial total volume of 10ml

You can calculate how much is in the full vial with this process:

[strength (mg/ml)] X [total container volume (ml)] = [total active ingredient in full container (mg)]

2.5mg/ml X 10ml = 25mg semaglutide inside of the full vial

Product example 2 (Brand-name one-unit pen):

Let’s say you have a brand-name pen that lists the strength as 2.4mg/0.75ml. It also says that one full pen is one unit dose, meaning you will use the full pen, and 1 pen = 1 unit.

  • 1 pen = 1 unit = 0.75ml

You can calculate how much is in the full pen with this process:

[strength (mg/ml)] X [total container volume (ml in one unit)] = [total active ingredient (mg)]

2.4mg/0.75ml X 0.75ml = 2.4mg semaglutide inside of the full pen


2.4mg inside of 1 unit X 1 unit = 2.4mg semaglutide inside of the full pen

Why is it important to know the dosages, strengths, and volumes of your Semaglutide products?

It is important to know the dosages, strengths, and volumes of your liquid medications so that you can better understand how much you are using. 

With Semaglutide, it is common for people to increase or decrease dosages, or even use different brands or compounded formulations. If you are switching around to different products, you and your provider may need to do some calculations to find equal dosages.

Knowing how much active ingredient is in what volume is also important in order to avoid using too much or too little of your medication. In emergency situations, you may also need to explain to medical professionals how much active ingredient was used.

Again, if you ever feel uncertain about your dosage or how much volume to use of an injectable medication, reach out to your provider or pharmacist for more information. As you can see, injectable formula calculations can be tricky, and vary from product to product, so do not feel shy or embarrassed about getting help figuring out how much to use.

Strut Health compounded semaglutide products online

Strut Health carries compounded oral and injection semaglutide formulations online. To get started, simply select a product and complete a free online questionnaire-based consultation. A U.S. licensed doctor will be assigned to you and review your information. If you are a good fit for treatment, your medication will be shipped to your front door with fast and free shipping from a U.S. licensed compounding pharmacy.

Free shipping
Free follow-up care
Cancel anytime, no fees
Free online MD visit

Related posts