Medication Series: How does Wegovy Work?
While weight-loss drugs and injectables can be an effective short-term strategy, the long-term success and tolerance for side effects of these medications is still being researched.
Wegovy, also known as semaglutide injection, is a novel prescription medication used for weight management in adults with obesity or overweight conditions. Approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2021, Wegovy represents a breakthrough in obesity treatment.
The active ingredient in Wegovy is semaglutide, a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist. GLP-1 is a hormone that naturally occurs in the body and plays a role in regulating appetite and glucose metabolism. By mimicking the action of GLP-1, Wegovy helps control hunger, reduce calorie intake, and increase feelings of fullness.
The class of medications that Wegovy falls into has traditionally been used to treat type 2 diabetes, because it stimulates the pancreas to make insulin and lower blood sugars. When prescribed for diabetes, the weekly semaglutide injection is branded as Ozempic. These two medications are very similar, but not completely interchangeable, as Ozempic has fewer dose options and patients generally need to have type 2 diabetes for insurance to cover it.
The medication is administered by a subcutaneous injection, typically once a week, making it convenient for patients to incorporate into their routine. The initial dose is low, allowing patients to gradually adjust to the treatment and minimize potential side effects. Over time, the dosage is increased to its full therapeutic level, promoting steady and sustainable weight loss.
In clinical studies, patients taking Wegovy for 68 weeks lost an average of 35 lbs (15% of their body weight). As with any medication, Wegovy may have side effects, including gastrointestinal issues like nausea, diarrhea, or constipation. However, these effects are generally mild and tend to improve with continued use.
“Wegovy is a game-changing pharmaceutical development in the treatment of obesity,” advises Dr. Cynthia Weber, bariatric surgeon at New York Bariatric Group. “There are other similar medications also being reviewed by the FDA. However, Wegovy is not for everyone, and should be discussed as one of many options for weight loss. It also is not meant to be used for a short time like many appetite suppressants. The general medical consensus is that Wegovy will need to be continued long term and taken regularly for many years, if not the rest of your life, to treat the chronic disease of obesity.”
It is also essential to remember that Wegovy is not a “magic pill” for weight loss. It works best when combined with a comprehensive approach to health, including diet and behavioral changes and a supportive healthcare team.
New York Bariatric Group: Weight Loss Leader
New York Bariatric Group’s doctor-supervised medical weight loss program is committed to patient safety and well-being. Patients benefit from regular monitoring and follow-up appointments. This ongoing supervision allows doctors to make necessary adjustments to a patient’s treatment plan based on their progress and any changes in their health status. It ensures that the weight loss journey is personalized and optimized for each individual, leading to more effective outcomes.
New York Bariatric Group is a leader in long-term weight-loss solutions. Their bariatric practice is the best around and they have the numbers to prove it:
- Over 30 surgeons who are leaders in bariatrics, plastic surgery, veins, and medical weight loss.
- 36,000 successful procedures performed with more every day
- The #1 gastric balloon practice by volume – most balloons placed in the United States
- Access to online seminars, support groups, cooking demos, and Q-and-A sessions
- 100s of videos for patients explaining procedures, answering common questions, and showcasing previous patients
- Multiple offices located in three states; NY, NJ, CT
- Since 2000, we boast over 23 years of success!
All of our hospitals are Metabolic Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP) accredited facilities, which is a prestigious designation bestowed upon only the top-quality bariatric programs.
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