Wegovy is a weight loss drug that can be used to treat people who are obese or are overweight with other medical conditions. In this article we explain what Wegovy is, who it is suitable for, how it works and possible side effects.
Wegovy is the brand name for a drug called semaglutide. This is a type of drug known as a GLP-1 analogue and these drugs work by increasing the levels of a group of hormones called incretins. These are important hormones that help your body make more insulin when needed and also reduce the amount of glucose being produced by your liver when it is not needed.
They can also slow down your digestion so that sugar (glucose) from your food takes longer to be absorbed into your body, and so they can reduce your appetite which in turn can cause weight loss. This means that most people taking Wegovy also lose weight.
Wegovy is recommended for weight management in people who are obese, or in overweight people who have at least 1 weight-related comorbidity (e.g., diabetes, dyslipidemia, hypertension). The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) issued guidelines in 2023 recommending that it can be prescribed to people with a body mass index (BMI) over 30kg/m2 and at least one weight -related health condition (such as type 2 diabetes), within a specialist weight management service. It is also approved in the US by the FDA as an adjunct to a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity for chronic weight management
Wegovy works by utilising a hormone called GLP-1, or glucagon-like peptide-1, which plays a crucial role in regulating blood sugar levels and appetite. When you inject Wegovy, it introduces semaglutide, a synthetic version of GLP-1, into your system.
Once in your body, Wegovy has several key effects:
Increased insulin production: It prompts your pancreas to produce more insulin when needed. Insulin is crucial for regulating blood sugar levels.
Reduced liver glucose production: Wegovy helps reduce the excessive production of glucose by your liver, especially when your body doesn't require it.
Slower digestion: This medication slows down the digestion process, causing sugar (glucose) from the food you eat to be absorbed more slowly into your bloodstream.
Appetite suppression: One of the significant effects of Wegovy is its ability to curb your appetite. This can lead to reduced food intake and, consequently, weight loss.
Overall, Wegovy combines these effects to help manage blood sugar levels and promote weight loss in individuals who are obese or are overweight with other medical conditions.
The effectiveness of Wegovy can vary from person to person. However, most individuals begin to notice changes in their weight within the first few months of use.
It's important to follow your prescribed dosing schedule and maintain a healthy lifestyle with a balanced diet and regular physical activity to maximise the benefits of Wegovy. Your healthcare provider can provide personalised guidance on the expected timeline for your specific situation.
Wegovy is an injection that you give yourself once a week and is injected under the skin (subcutaneously) of your stomach (abdomen), thigh, or upper arm. Your doctor or nurse will show you how to do this at first so you are confident with using it. It is important that you do not inject it into a muscle (intramuscularly) or vein (intravenously), and you should change the site that you inject yourself every week - do not use the same site for each injection.
Use Wegovy once a week, on the same day each week, at any time of the day. Standard dosing starts at a dose of 0.25 mg per week in your first month, increase this to 0.5 mg in your second month, then to 1 mg in the third month and 1.7 mg each week by the fourth month. From the fifth month onwards, your doctor may either keep you on the 1.7 mg dose weekly, or increase it to 2.4 mg. Please note this dosing may be different from person to person.
If you need to change the day of the week that you inject yourself for any reason, you may do so as long as your last dose of Wegovy was given 2 or more days before.
If you miss a dose and it’s close to your next scheduled dose, skip the missed one and continue with your regular dosing schedule. It's crucial not to double the dose to make up for a missed injection. If you're unsure about what to do, consult your healthcare provider for guidance.
Skipping a dose may result in increased hunger, potentially causing overeating and reducing the medication's effectiveness. When you miss a dose of Wegovy, it lowers the presence of semaglutide in your system. This decrease can diminish the medication's ability to suppress appetite and delay the desired weight loss outcomes. Maintaining a consistent medication schedule as prescribed is crucial to achieve optimal results.
Wegovy is not suitable if:
All medicines have the potential to cause side effects and Wegovy is no different here. The most common ones that may be experienced include:
Other possible side effects include pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas gland), gallbladder problems, allergic reactions and low mood. If you have diabetic eye disease (retinopathy) and are using insulin then Wegovy may lead to a worsening of your vision which may require treatment. If this occurs, inform your doctor.
While taking Wegovy, it's advisable to avoid alcohol consumption. Alcohol can affect blood sugar levels and may interact with the medication. As a result, alcohol can worsen side effects of Wegovy. It can also contribute to weight gain, which is counter to the intended effects of taking Wegovy.
It's best to consult with your healthcare provider regarding alcohol consumption and its potential impact on your treatment plan. They can provide personalised advice based on your medical history and individual circumstances.
When taking Wegovy, it's important to maintain a balanced and nutritious diet. Focus on incorporating a variety of foods rich in nutrients, such as fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains.
Avoid excessive consumption of high-calorie or sugary foods, as this can counteract the weight loss benefits of Wegovy. Your healthcare provider or a registered dietitian can help you create a personalised meal plan that aligns with your treatment goals.
You can buy Wegovy right here at Healthwords. To determine if Wegovy is suitable for you and to obtain a prescription, it's essential to assess your circumstances using our BMI calculator. Please find the BMI calculator above.
Please use our BMI calculator above to see if Wegovy is suitable for you.
No, Wegovy and Ozempic are not the same medications, although they both contain semaglutide as their active ingredient. Wegovy is specifically formulated for weight management, while Ozempic is primarily used to treat type 2 diabetes. The dosages and administration schedules also differ between the two drugs. Always consult your healthcare provider for guidance on which medication is appropriate for your condition.
Wegovy and Ozempic should not be considered interchangeable without consulting your healthcare provider. They have different approved uses and dosing regimens. Your healthcare provider will determine which medication is suitable for your specific medical condition and needs.
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