Wegovy Side Effects And How To Avoid Them

If you are obese or overweight, you may be thinking about trying Wegovy once the weight loss treatment launches in the UK. It’s only natural to have concerns about any potential side effects of the treatment.

This article will let you know the side effects of Wegovy before you take the medication and offer guidance on how to avoid them.

Wegovy Side Effects

Like any drug, there are potential side effects of Wegovy. It’s important to be aware of these potential side effects, and you should always discuss Wegovy with your healthcare provider before you begin taking the medication, as they will be able to offer you the best advice.

The active ingredient in Wegovy is semaglutide, a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist that can promote weight loss by regulating your blood sugar levels. Not everyone will experience side effects from semaglutide.

Among Wegovy’s more common potential side effects are:

  • Swelling
  • Redness or itchiness at the injection site
  • Sickness
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Diarrhoea
  • Constipation

If any of these side effects concern you, get worse or persist, you should tell your doctor.

Serious side effects from Wegovy are unusual. If you experience any of the following symptoms, speak to your doctor or call 999 right away:

  • Signs of a kidney problem, such as swollen feet and ankles, or urinating more or less frequently than normal
  • Changes to your vision
  • Signs of pancreas or gallbladder disease, such as uncontrolled vomiting and severe stomach pain

If you experience any signs of an allergic reaction after taking Wegovy seek immediate help. This includes:

  • Breathing difficulty
  • Trouble swallowing
  • A rash
  • Swelling of the face, hands or throat

How Long Do Wegovy Side Effects Last?

There are various reasons why you could be experiencing side effects or adverse reactions from Wegovy. Depending on the reason for the side effects, some may last longer than others.

The more common side effects of Wegovy are typically temporary, lasting just a few days or weeks. If these side effects bother you, don’t go away or get worse, you should inform your doctor. Serious side effects should be addressed immediately as they require urgent medical attention.

Wegovy Long-Term Side Effects

There are rare potential side effects of Wegovy which can be considered to be ‘long term’. We’ve mentioned some of these side effects in the sections above. They include:

  • Kidney problems
  • Gallbladder problems
  • Depression
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Diabetic eye issues (such as diabetic retinopathy, macular oedema, cataracts, and glaucoma)
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GORD)

Speak to your healthcare provider if you are experiencing any of these long-term side effects or if you are concerned about them before taking the medication. Your doctor can advise you on ways to help prevent these side effects from happening.

Does Wegovy Cause Hair Loss?

While hair loss has been reported by some Wegovy users, it is not covered on the official Wegovy website. However, research has shown that hair loss can be a side effect for a small number of users taking the weight loss treatment.

In a 68-week clinical trial, around 3% of the participating individuals (63 out of a cohort of 2,116) noted hair loss as a side effect that they encountered. The side effect has also been reported by users on internet platforms.

Is Wegovy Safe?

Wegovy is safe provided:

  • You are an eligible candidate
  • You aren't allergic to the drug
  • You aren't taking any medication that may interact with the treatment
  • You take it exactly as prescribed

It's important to speak to your healthcare provider before taking the medication. Your medical history and current weight classification will be reviewed by your doctor before he or she decides whether you are a suitable candidate for Wegovy.

In order to be eligible for Wegovy, you must be obese with a BMI of at least 30, or overweight with a BMI of at least 27 and a weight-related health condition.

You may not be suitable for Wegovy if:

  • You have an allergy to Wegovy
  • You are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • You aren’t obese or overweight with a weight-related medical condition
  • You are taking a medication that interacts with Wegovy
  • You have a disease that interacts with Wegovy

See here for a full list of Wegovy’s interactions.

Wegovy injection pens must be safely stored in a refrigerator. Never freeze Wegovy pens. They should be placed in a secure spot away from children’s sight and reach. Safely dispose of the used Wegovy needles by placing them in a robust, secure container that needles cannot penetrate. Don’t throw the needles away with your household waste.

Side Effects of Stopping Wegovy

If you stop taking Wegovy, there are several potential knock-on effects. After ceasing the use of the weight loss treatment, your appetite may go back to the levels you experienced before you started taking it, and your blood sugar could rise, causing food cravings to return.

Before stopping Wegovy, you should contact your healthcare professional. They will be able to advise you on the best way to stop taking the medication. Usually, it is recommended that you reduce the dose gradually over a period of a few weeks.

How to Avoid Wegovy Side Effects

You must tell your doctor all the information on any medications you are taking or medical conditions you have before you start taking Wegovy, ensuring that you are a suitable candidate.
Carefully following the instructions for your medication – including directions and dosage - is an important way to avoid side effects.

Eating bland foods, low-fat foods, foods that contain water, eating slowly, and avoiding lying down for an hour or so after eating, are effective ways of avoiding potential side effects such as sickness and GORD. Drinking plenty of water can help with Wegovy side effects such as headache, bloating, constipation and diarrhoea. You should get sufficient sleep to combat fatigue brought on by the medication.