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Wegovy is an injectable treatment designed to assist with weight loss. Manufactured by Novo Nordisk, the same company behind Saxenda and Ozempic, Wegovy is administered once a week using pre-filled injection pens.
Wegovy is approved for individuals with a body mass index (BMI) greater than 35kg/m² and at least one weight-related condition. In exceptional cases, it may be prescribed to those with a BMI between 30kg/m² and 34.9kg/m².
Obesity affects 1 in 4 adults in England, leading to various health issues such as cardiovascular illness, diabetes, and certain cancers. The National Health Service (NHS) spends a significant amount each year on treating obesity-related conditions.
The launch of Wegovy in the UK has been delayed due to supply challenges faced by Novo Nordisk, the manufacturer. However, there are positive indications that Wegovy will be available in the UK market in 2023, pending the resolution of the supply issue. We are closely monitoring the situation and will provide updates as soon as the medication becomes accessible. Your health and well-being remain our top priority, and we appreciate your patience during this time.
Wegovy's active ingredient is semaglutide, a glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) analogue. Semaglutide functions by increasing insulin production, which helps regulate blood sugar levels. Additionally, it slows down stomach emptying, leading to a prolonged feeling of fullness and reduced appetite.
Semaglutide has also shown potential in preventing cardiovascular events in individuals with type-2 diabetes, such as heart disease and stroke.
To achieve optimal results, Wegovy should be used alongside a healthy, low-calorie diet and regular exercise.
According to NICE, adults using Wegovy typically experience an average weight loss of 12% of their body weight.
The duration for Wegovy to take effect can vary from person to person due to individual differences in response to medication.
Wegovy is a self-administered sub-cutaneous injection. Each pen contains a concealed needle that administers the medicine just below the skin.
Each Wegovy pen consists of a single dose of semaglutide and a built-in needle, eliminating the need for additional needle attachments or dosage adjustments. To administer the injection, simply remove the cap and press the pen against your skin.
Once you have used the pen to deliver your weekly dose, dispose of the entire pen. The needle will be automatically covered to prevent accidental pricks.
Before using Wegovy, check the solution inside the pen to ensure it is clear and colorless. A small window on the pen allows for inspection of the solution. If the solution appears cloudy, discolored, or contains particulates, do not use the pen. Safely dispose of it in a sharps bin and use a new pen.
Wegovy can be taken at any time of the day, but it is recommended to take it on the same day each week. It can be administered with or without food.
You have the option to inject Wegovy into your abdomen, thigh, or upper arm. It is important to rotate the injection site each week.
Proper storage of Wegovy is essential. Keep it refrigerated between 2°C and 8°C, ensuring that the pens are not placed in the freezer compartment. Wegovy pens can be stored between 7°C and 30°C for up to 28 days.
It is crucial to store Wegovy pens out of reach of children and pets, and always dispose of used pens in a designated sharps bin. Never dispose of Wegovy pens in regular household waste.
The Wegovy dose is increased every 4 weeks over a period of 16 weeks. Initially, patients take a 0.25mg once weekly dose for the first 4 weeks. Then, the dose is gradually increased until reaching the maintenance dose of 2.4mg once weekly starting from week 17. This gradual increase is important to minimize the risk of side effects, which are more likely to occur during the dose-escalation phase but tend to improve over time.
Wegovy (semaglutide) should be injected once a week on the same day each week. It can be taken at any time of day, with or without meals. The injection should be administered subcutaneously into the abdomen, thigh, or upper arm.
The dosage schedule for Wegovy is as follows:
To reach the maintenance dose, you will need to use a total of 16 Wegovy pens, increasing the dosage with each new pen color. It takes approximately four months to reach the maintenance dose.
Clinical trials have provided strong evidence of the effectiveness of Wegovy in weight management. In a trial lasting 68 weeks, individuals treated with Wegovy experienced a significant reduction in body weight compared to those receiving a placebo. The Wegovy group showed a mean change in body weight of 14.9%, while the placebo group only had a 2.4% change.
Furthermore, the trial results revealed that an impressive 83.5% of Wegovy-treated patients achieved a weight loss of 5% or more of their body weight after 68 weeks. In contrast, only 31.1% of individuals in the placebo group achieved a similar level of weight loss. Another clinical trial also demonstrated a significant reduction in body weight when comparing Wegovy to a placebo.
These remarkable trial outcomes have led the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) to recommend Wegovy for weight management in individuals with obesity. The highly positive trial results support the efficacy of Wegovy in helping individuals achieve their weight loss goals.
If you forget to take Wegovy and your next dose is due in more than two days, use Wegovy as soon as possible. However, if less than two days remain until your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosage schedule.
Accidentally using two Wegovy pens in one week can lead to severe side effects such as intense nausea, vomiting, and dangerously low blood sugar levels. If this occurs, go to the nearest accident and emergency department immediately, taking the packaging and any remaining medicine with you.
Common Side Effects of Wegovy:
Frequency of Side Effects:
Improvement over Time:
Severe Side Effects:
Complete List of Side Effects:
Wegovy should not be used if you are pregnant, think you might be pregnant, or are breastfeeding. Stop using Wegovy two months before planning to become pregnant.
It is advisable to limit alcohol consumption while using Wegovy for weight loss. Alcoholic beverages can be high in calories and counterproductive to weight loss efforts.
Wegovy is not expected to impair your ability to drive or operate machinery. However, if you experience side effects like dizziness or visual disturbances, refrain from engaging in such activities until you feel safe to do so.
Wegovy and Ozempic contain the same active ingredient, semaglutide. However, they differ in dosage and pen type.
NICE recommends using Wegovy for a maximum duration of two years.
It is recommended to follow a balanced and healthy diet while taking Wegovy. Limit the consumption of foods high in salt, sugar, and fat, and moderate your alcohol intake to reduce overall calorie intake.
To reach the maintenance dose of 2.4mg per week, you will need to use 16 Wegovy pens in a gradually increasing dosage schedule.
In a randomized clinical trial, Wegovy demonstrated greater weight loss results compared to Saxenda. However, other factors such as individual tolerance and sensitivity to each medication should be taken into consideration. Sources: Novo Nordisk, 2021. Wegovy Website
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