How Does Wegovy Work For Weight Loss?

What Is Wegovy?

Wegovy is a weight loss treatment used with a low-calorie diet and regular exercise, providing a long-term weight loss solution for obese or overweight people. Wegovy comes in an injectable formula, which is self-administered via a pen.

The drug is available on prescription and contains the active ingredient semaglutide, which is a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist that mimics the body’s GLP-1 hormone, regulating appetite. Wegovy is a branded version of the drug. There isn’t currently a generic version available.

Wegovy is a weight loss drug for adults. The safety and effectiveness of the treatment in children under the age of 18 are not known.

Who Can Use Wegovy?

Wegovy is suitable for obese and overweight adults. If you have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher (classed as obese), or a BMI of 27 or higher (classed as overweight) and at least one weight-related health condition, you may be prescribed Wegovy. The treatment can help you both to lose weight and maintain a healthy weight.

How Does Wegovy Work?

Wegovy is a clinically-proven treatment that - when combined with regular exercise and a low-calorie diet - can help people to achieve their weight loss goals. Semaglutide, the active ingredient in Wegovy, is a GLP-1 receptor agonist that imitates the natural GLP-1 hormone produced by the body to control your blood sugar.

Semaglutide works by stimulating the release of insulin and suppressing the release of glucagon in the pancreas. Insulin is a hormone which tells the body that blood sugar levels are sufficiently high and glucagon is a hormone that is released when your body has low blood sugar. Semaglutide and other GLP-1 receptor agonists affect these two hormones, helping to reduce the speed of glucose absorption into the blood and regulate blood sugar levels. In this way, semagultide can reduce your appetite, helping you to lower your calorie intake and lose weight.

Wegovy Weight Loss Results

In clinical trials, enrolled adults who took Wegovy lost an average of 12.4% of their initial body weight compared to participants who received a placebo. This 68-week study enrolled 1,961 adults who were obese or overweight with a weight-related medical problem. The starting weight of the participants was 232 pounds. Some 83% of adults taking Wegovy lost 5% of their body weight or more, while nearly half (48%) lost 15% or more of their body weight. Factors such as how regularly you exercise and your diet will also affect how much weight you lose while taking the treatment.

As people respond differently to the treatment, the time it takes for Wegovy to produce results can vary. Your healthcare provider can guide you on what could be a realistic weight loss target while taking Wegovy.

Is Wegovy Safe?

You will only be prescribed Wegovy if it is approved by your doctor, who will consider factors such as your weight category and medical history. Not everyone will experience side effects from Wegovy. Among the mild potential side effects of Wegovy are:

  • Burping
  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Diarrhoea
  • Constipation
  • Dizziness
  • Indigestion
  • Heartburn
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

If these side effects don’t subside in a few days or begin to bother you, inform your doctor.

Serious side effects from Wegovy are rare. If you experience problems such as:

  • Gallstone symptoms, such as:
    • Pain in the right shoulder
    • Back pain between the shoulder blades
    • Vomiting or nausea
    • Sudden, intense pain in the upper right or centre of the abdomen
  • Gallbladder inflammation
  • Low blood sugar
  • Increased heart rate
  • Swollen or damaged pancreas (pancreatitis)
  • An allergic reaction

Call 999 or seek immediate medical assistance.

Reduce the risk of side effects by taking Wegovy exactly as instructed by your doctor or pharmacist.

Is Wegovy the Same as Saxenda?

Like Wegovy, Saxenda is a weight loss treatment that is suitable for adults with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher (classed as obese) or a BMI of 27 or higher (classed as overweight) and at least one weight-related health condition. The two treatments are both produced by NovoNordisk, the Danish pharmaceutical company.

One significant difference between the two treatments is their active ingredients. Both medications contain GLP-1 receptor agonists; but while Wegovy ‘s active ingredient is semaglutide, Saxenda contains liraglutide. These active ingredients work in the same way, mimicking the natural GLP-1 hormone and helping you to suppress your appetite, regulating calorie intake.

Saxenda can be prescribed for older children aged 12-17, whereas Wegovy is only suitable for adults 18 and over. In order to be effective, Wegovy and Saxenda both need to be combined with regular exercise and a low-calorie diet.

A study which compared the effectiveness of Wegovy and Saxenda on body weight in adults “with overweight or obesity without diabetes” found that people who took Wegovy lost significantly more weight compared to those who took Saxenda. The study involved 300 adults who combined the respective treatments with a low-calorie diet and regular exercise. While the Wegovy group lost 16% of their starting body weight on average, Saxenda users lost 6%.

For more information, please read our article Wegovy Vs Saxenda.

How Often Do You Inject Wegovy?

Wegovy is injected once per week, on the same day, at any time of day. Your doctor will help you to choose the area of the body to inject Wegovy – this may be an area such as the stomach or thigh. Although you can administer the injection in the same area each week, you shouldn’t inject into exactly the same spot.

To use Wegovy:

  • Pull the pen cap off
  • Push the pen against the skin for about 10 seconds
  • You will hear two clicks, the direct is the injection starting, and the second during the injection
  • After the second click, keep holding the pen to your skin until the yellow bar stops moving and 10 seconds have passed
  • Clean the injection site with an alcohol swab afterwards

How Long Does a Wegovy Pen Last?

Wegovy pens are used once only. A pack contains one pre-set dose, four pens and a needle cover that conceals the needle before and after use. A pack will last you for four weeks.

Where Can I Buy Wegovy?

Wegovy is not currently licenced in the UK. However, Cloud Pharmacy will be working with the pharmaceutical provider to treat patients with the drug once it is launched in 2023. Our clinical team are well trained on Wegovy and is happy to help with any queries.

** To be added to our mailing list for when Wegovy is in stock, please email us with the subject 'Wegovy" at: [email protected]