What Are The Long-term Effects Of Using Wegovy?

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In a world where health and wellness take center stage, my curiosity about Wegovy is growing bigger than ever now. This prescription-based semaglutide drug is gaining popularity for its weight loss and management benefits, and that’s what makes me curious, amongst many others.

Amongst the myriad of successful results, what’s capturing my attention is “Wegovy Side Effects.” Like any similar drug, this medication has its own set of mild to severe side effects that react differently in individuals.

Thus, before adding it to my or your routine, exploring various aspects of Wegovy, its usage, recommended dosage, benefits, and potential side effects is crucial.

What is Wegovy? How To Use It For Weight Loss?

Wegovy Side Effects

Wegovy is an FDA-approved semaglutide, a drug used for regulating appetite, thus for weight loss and management. This prescription-based injectable drug has been proven to facilitate weight loss in children above 12 and certain adults.

The medication works wonderfully with diet and exercise for those dealing with obesity and excessive weight gain. It is a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor that regulates appetite and thus reduces the overall food intake of an individual.

When administrated once a week, it activates the receptors in the brain. Besides helping with weight, Wegovy also assists in glycemic control and may positively impact cardiovascular health.

Benefits of Wegovy

Wegovy, or semaglutide, has several potential benefits, including the following:

🟩 Weight Loss

Consuming a calorie-deficit diet and regular physical exercise help people achieve significant weight loss.

🟩 Appetite Control

Semaglutide, as a GLP-1 receptor, sends signals to the brain that you are full and thus helps control the appetite/ hunger. In simpler words, it promotes satiety, reducing overall calorie intake.

🟩 Improved Metabolic Health

Consuming it under prescription may improve the metabolic parameters encompassing body composition, energy metabolism, hormonal regulation, and more.

🟩 Glycemic Control

Since Wegovy is a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor, it may be essential in regulating blood sugar levels. Its regular usage may inhibit glucose release and enhance insulin secretion, thus leading to better blood sugar control. Not only that, but it can also improve the body’s ability to respond to insulin effectively. For some individuals, it might even help reduce the risks of hyperglycemia.

🟩 Cardiovascular Benefits

Some studies have observed that this semaglutide may have favorable effects on blood pressure. Besides that, it may help in reducing arterial stiffness and offer anti-inflammatory effects. However, research in this field is limited.

Uses of Wegovy

Some of its common usage include:

  • Weight loss treatment for individuals who are overweight/ dealing with obesity or have any weight-related concerns.
  • For lifestyle modification to support a reduced-calorie diet.
  • Long-term weight management through a pharmacological approach.
  • For managing conditions like high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and Type 2 diabetes manifested due to excessive weight.

Precautions of Wegovy

It is essential to be aware of precautions when considering the usage of Wegovy (semaglutide). Inform your doctor:

  • About your detailed medical history. Remember to mention kidney problems, stomach or intestinal issues, thyroid problems, and pancreatitis history (if any).
  • If you are pregnant, planning for pregnancy, or breastfeeding,
  • If you have a history of any pre-existing (or history) gastrointestinal diseases.
  • If you suffer from low blood pressure.
  • If you are on any antibiotic medication.

Dosage of Wegovy

When starting, the recommended dosage is 0.25 mg once a week. The dosage may further increase every 4 weeks to up to 2.4 mg depending upon the individual’s age, weight, health, and tolerance. Here’s a general overview: 0.5 mg/ weekly for the second month, 1 mg/ weekly for the third month, and 1.7 mg (or 2.4 mg) weekly for the 4th month.

Finally, the maintenance dose typically remains between 1.7 mg to 2.4 mg.

Wegovy side effects

Wegovy side effects can manifest in mild to severe manner. Here’s an overview of the same:

Mild (and common) side effects

  • Gastrointestinal issues include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.
  • Risks of low blood sugar, especially amongst those under any antibiotics.
  • Dizziness and fatigue.
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Mild allergic reaction including rashes, itching, skin peeling, rapid heartbeat.
  • Irritability, anxiety, and mood disorder.
  • These side effects are generally mild and last for a few days or weeks.

Severe side effects

  • Low blood sugar with symptoms like dizziness, confusion, and sweating.
  • Pancreatitis inflammation with symptoms like fever, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal discomfort.
  • Kidney problems with symptoms like nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and changes in urination frequency.
  • Diabetic eye problems with symptoms like blurry vision or vision loss.
  • Depression, suicidal thoughts, lack of interest, and feelings of loneliness/ hopelessness.
  • Changes/ fluctuation in heart rate.
  • Risks of thyroid cancer (found in animal studies; however, relevance to humans is uncertain).
  • Severe allergic reactions.

Takeaway

When considering Wegovy side effects, it is crucial to be mindful of both mild and severe risks. While common Wegovy side effects like nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, etc, go away with time, the severe ones can reoccur or stay for longer.

Individuals using this semaglutide should be cautious about monitoring their blood sugar levels and pancreatic health, especially when taking such drugs for longer or with other medications.

Lastly, always make a safe and informed choice with the personalized advice of an expert healthcare professional. Following a comprehensive and informed approach is crucial when including such medication in the routine.

FAQs

1. Who should not use Wegovy?

Individuals with a history of allergic reactions to semaglutide and its components.

Individuals with a family history of multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN 2).

Individuals with a family history of medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC).

Pregnant or breastfeeding ladies, or the ones trying to get pregnant. 

2. How soon after taking Wegovy do you feel better?

It takes around 4 weeks for Wegovy to show effective weight loss results. However, the full effects may take several weeks as the body adjusts to the drug.

3. What foods to avoid while taking Wegovy?

Although there’s no specific dietary restriction while taking Wegovy, however since the goal is weight loss, it is better to avoid:
Fried food, red meat, carbonated beverages, packed and processed food, sugary snacks, and alcohol.

4. How long do side effects last?

The common and mild side effects subside on their own in a few days or weeks. Meanwhile, the severe side effects may persist until properly addressed and managed. However, the duration of side effects may vary amongst individuals.

5. Is Wegovy safe to take?

Wegovy is FDA-approved and safe under a doctor’s prescription and monitoring.

References

Dr. David G Kiely is a distinguished Medical Reviewer and former General Medicine Consultant with a wealth of experience in the field. Dr. Kiely's notable career as a General Medicine Consultant highlights his significant contributions to the medical field.

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