Wegovy (semaglutide) is a prescription weight loss medication suitable for adults with obesity or who are overweight with at least one weight-related condition such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, or high cholesterol.
It is approved for chronic weight management in addition to a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity.
Wegovy works by activating receptors in the brain that regulate appetite and food intake. It helps curb hunger and decrease appetite, making it easier to cut calories. The injection is taken once a week, with the dosage gradually increased over 16 weeks based on weight loss and side effects.
Wegovy is one of the best diabetes drugs being used for weight loss and has shown great results despite the negative feedback concerning side effects and cost.
The recommended starting dose is 0.25 mg injected subcutaneously. This is increased to 0.5 mg at 4 weeks, then 1 mg at 8 weeks, continuing at 1 mg.
To be prescribed Wegovy, patients must meet the following requirements:
- Be 18 years of age or older
- Have a body mass index of 27 kg/m2 or greater (overweight) with at least one obesity-related condition like diabetes or high blood pressure, OR have a BMI of 30 kg/m2 or greater (obese)
- Have failed to lose weight through diet and exercise alone
- Be willing to continue a reduced-calorie diet (around 500 calories less per day than your usual intake) and exercise plan along with the medication
- Agree to take the medication as directed at the prescribed dosage and frequency
- Commit to attending regular follow up visits with your doctor for monitoring
- Women must practice contraception; Wegovy can cause harm to a fetus. Pregnancy testing may be required.
- Have liver and kidney function tests within normal limits before starting Wegovy
Wegovy can produce side effects like nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, constipation, low blood sugar and possible gallbladder or pancreas inflammation. The risks are higher at higher doses. Patients on Wegovy should call their doctor right away if side effects become severe or worrisome.
In summary, Wegovy may be an option for chronically obese adults or overweight adults with weight-related health problems who need additional help losing pounds through calorie reduction and physical activity.
However, it does require an extensive time commitment, a willingness to make long term lifestyle changes, and an understanding of potential risks as well as benefits. Success ultimately depends on sustained lifestyle adjustments maintained long after stopping the medication. Wegovy can provide support, but it is not a cure on its own. Ongoing lifestyle management together with one’s doctor is key
Who is Wegovy Suitable for?
Wegovy is an FDA approved weight loss medication that can help people lose a lot of weight. It works by blocking the body’s ability to absorb fat, which helps people to eat less and feel fuller.
The medicine is injected into the skin using an injection pen that’s filled with a liquid solution. Your doctor will give you instructions for how to use the pen, which is a painless procedure. It’s also important to rotate your injection site each week to ensure you don’t inject the medicine into the same spot each time.
What are the side effects of Wegovy?
Wegovy can cause thyroid tumors (including cancer) in some people. This is why the medicine isn’t suitable for people with a history of thyroid cancer or with multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN 2). If you have any signs of thyroid cancer, call your doctor right away and stop taking Wegovy.
Other serious side effects of Wegovy include inflammation of the pancreas and low blood sugar. These can lead to serious medical problems and even death. Your doctor will check for these side effects before you start taking Wegovy and may prescribe other medicines to treat them.
Are there any other drugs that you should not take with Wegovy?
Wegovy can interact with a variety of other medicines, including some antibiotics. Make sure you tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the drugs you are taking, including prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medicines.
You should not use Wegovy if you have a history of or if you are at risk for medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC). This is the most serious type of thyroid cancer and it can happen in people with a family history of it or who have MEN 2. It is also not suitable for children younger than 6 years old, because this drug could cause their bones to break.
What are the most common side effects of Wegovy?
Nausea and diarrhoea are two of the most common side effects, but there are others as well. Other common side effects include tiredness, sleepiness, headaches, muscle aches and joint pain.
Do not drink alcohol during treatment with Wegovy, because this could increase your chance of getting stomach flu symptoms. This can include vomiting, diarrhea, or stomach cramps.
Avoid smoking while taking Wegovy, because it can interfere with how the medicine works and can cause lung disease, liver damage, and even death. Smoking can also increase your risk of heart disease and stroke.
Your doctor will want to monitor you for these and other side effects, but they are rare. Your doctor will also want to check your blood pressure, cholesterol, and glucose levels.
The most common side effects of Wegovy are stomach pain, diarrhea, constipation, and nausea. If you have these side effects, you should drink lots of water and eat high-fiber, whole-grain foods. Your doctor may also suggest that you see a dietitian to help with diet and exercise.