Wegovy is a weight loss treatment that is combined with a low-calorie diet and regular exercise. It is expected to be made available in the UK in 2023. If you are thinking about trying Wegovy, you may be worried that it could interact with a medication you are currently taking, or be anxious that it might cause harm to your baby.
In this article, we’ll address these common concerns about Wegovy. We’ll also discuss how Wegovy is, the medication’s dosage, who can take the treatment, and what the potential risks are.
Wegovy is a new weight loss drug that is available on prescription. It is self-administered via an injection pen. Wegovy contains the active ingredient semaglutide, a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist that binds to and activates the GLP-1 receptor, leading to physiological effects that promote weight loss. It also contains inactive ingredients including disodium phosphate dihydrate and sodium chloride.
When combined with regular exercise and a low-calorie diet, Wegovy can help you to achieve your weight loss goals. The semaglutide in Wegovy imitates the natural GLP-1 hormone that the body produces to control your blood sugar. Semaglutide stimulates insulin release and suppresses glucagon release in the pancreas. The insulin hormone tells your body that blood sugar levels are high enough, and the glucagon hormone is released when your blood sugar levels are low.
Semaglutide affects these two hormones and reduces the rate of glucose absorption into the blood. This regulation of blood sugar levels can reduce your appetite, helping you to consume fewer calories and lose weight.
Who Can Take Wegovy Weight Loss Injections?
Wegovy is for obese and overweight adults and is not recommended for children or adolescents under the age of 18. The treatment’s safety and effectiveness in children are not known.
You may be prescribed Wegovy to help you lose weight if:
- Your body mass index (BMI) is 30 or higher (obese)
- Your BMI is 27 or higher (overweight) and you have at least one weight-related health condition
As with any medication, there are potential interactions of Wegovy. It's important to check with your pharmacist or doctor before taking the medication to ensure it won't interact with anything. You must disclose all of the medications you are currently taking, as well as any allergies, to your healthcare provider before taking Wegovy.
There are 246 drugs known to interact with semaglutide (Wegovy’s active ingredient), as well as six disease interactions and two alcohol or food interactions.
- Moderate interactions of Wegovy include:
- The GLP-1 receptor agonists dulaglutide, exenatide and liraglutide
- Major disease interactions of Wegovy are:
- Suicidal behaviour and thoughts
- Thyroid cancer
- Moderate disease interactions of Wegovy are:
- Gastrointestinal (GI) adverse events
- Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar levels)
- Pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas)
- Retinotherapy (disease of the eye’s retina)
Semaglutide has a moderate interaction with alcohol, which may affect blood sugar levels. It may also interact with certain herbal and vitamin supplements.
Wegovy is taken with an injection pen and it is self-administered. Wegovy is taken once per week on the same day. It can be taken at any time of day.
The medication is prescribed in five different dose strengths:
- 0.25 mg
- 0.5 mg
- 1.0 mg
- 1.7 mg
- 2.4 mg
Wegovy has a 0.25 mg starting dosage. This is increased every four weeks, up to the maintenance dose of 2.4 mg.
Wegovy Risks and Side Effects
Semaglutide, the active ingredient of Wegovy, has some potential side effects. Not everybody will get side effects from Wegovy.
The more common potential side effects of Wegovy include:
- Itchiness at the injection site
If any of these effects worsen or don’t go away, you should inform your doctor.
Serious side effects from Wegovy are rare. See a doctor or call 999 if you experience:
- Symptoms of kidney issues, like urinating more or less than usual
- Swollen feet and ankles
- Vision changes
- Symptoms of pancreas or gallbladder disease, including severe stomach pain and frequent vomiting
Wegovy is safe, provided you are a good candidate for the medication and take it as prescribed.
Your doctor will only issue you with a prescription for Wegovy after reviewing information such as your medical history and current weight category.
A good candidate for the medication will typically be an obese person with a BMI of 30 or higher or an overweight person with a BMI of 27 or higher and at least one weight-related health condition.
You are not a suitable candidate for Wegovy if:
- You are not obese or overweight with a weight-related health condition
- You are under 18
- You are pregnant
- You are breastfeeding
- You have an allergy to semaglutide or any of the other ingredients in Wegovy
- You are taking another medication that has an interaction with Wegovy
- You have a disease that has an interaction with Wegovy
Not everyone experiences side effects from Wegovy, and you can reduce the risk of adverse effects by carefully following the instructions provided by your doctor or pharmacist for the medication. Wegovy injection pens should be stored in your refrigerator, away from the sight and reach of children. You shouldn’t freeze Wegovy pens. Wegovy needles should be placed in a hard, securely closed container that needles can’t penetrate, and not thrown away with your household rubbish.
Where Can I Buy Wegovy?
Wegovy isn’t currently licensed in the UK at the time of writing, but it will be available later this year (2023).
Once Wegovy is launched, the Cloud Pharmacy clinical team will work with the pharmaceutical provider to treat suitable candidates for the weight loss treatment. In the meantime, we are happy to answer any questions you may have relating to Wegovy.
** To be added to our mailing list for when Wegovy is in stock, please email us with the subject 'WEGOVY" at: [email protected]