Wegovy is a weight loss or weight management prescription medication. Like all other medications, Wegovy can cause mild side effects such as nausea, diarrhea or vomiting. It can cause serious side effects which are rare but include thyroid cancer, inflammation of pancreas and gallstones.

What is Wegovy?

Wegovy is a weekly weight loss injection delivered through a pen. It is a semaglutide-containing product, which is a prescription medication known as a GLP-1 Receptor Agonist.

It is designed for individuals with a Body Mass Index (BMI) 30 or higher. Alternatively, those with a BMI of 27 or more, with a weight-related medical conditions can also be considered.

The effects of Wegovy are on a specific part of the brain that manages appetite. Its mechanism involves slowing down stomach emptying, helping to curb hunger and provide a lasting sense of fullness. The dosage regime is designed for long term treatment alongside exercise and balanced diet. Though it is a relatively new medication, it has promising results for losing weight.

Information on Wegovy

What are the common side effects of Wegovy?

Like any other medication, Wegovy comes with the potential to have common and rare side effects that individuals should be aware of. How long a side effect lasts can vary from person to person. However, the majority of individuals will see improvement in the side effects as the body adjusts to the medication.

The side effects are headaches, constipation, diarrhoea, stomach pain, nausea and vomiting. These symptoms are usually temporary and usually stop as the body adjusts to the medication. To further minimise the impact of these symptoms, Wegovy dose is slowly and gradually increased. This allows the body to adapt smoothly. Staying hydrated can also help relief some gastrointestinal symptoms, 

A decreased appetite is the desired effect for weight loss however some individuals find it challenging to consume enough calories. Thus can lead to unintended weight loss and nutritional deficiencies. Individuals should work with healthcare professionals to ensure they are still consuming a balanced diet.

It is common for individuals to experience mild irritation or redness at the injection site. It is recommended to regularly rotate injection sites and ensure proper injection technique to help minimise this problem.

What are the serious side effects of Wegovy?

Wegovy can increase the risk of low blood sugar, gallbladder problems, kidney problems, inflammation of pancreas, change in vision and serious allergic reactions. These side effects can be detected early with regular monitoring and management. 

People who may develop hoarseness, trouble swallowing or shortness of breath should consult their doctor straightaway to ensure immediate attention.

Certain studies on animals have shown an increased risk of thyroid tumors with taking semaglutide. However whether wegovy causes thyroid issues in humans is yet not yet confirmed and further monitoring is needed. It is best to avoid Wegovy if you have specific conditions like history of pancreatitis or multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN 2).

Wegovy should not be used in individuals with family history of medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC). Individuals who may be pregnant or planning to become pregnant should stop using Wegovy as it may cause harm to the unborn child. 

Wegovy availability 

Wegovy has been registered since 2022 however is not yet available in Australia. Following the release of Wegovy, it has shown many promising results in other countries.

Once Wegovy is available, it can be a good alternative as it’s proven in studies that it’s as effective as other medications on the market. It is expected in Australia sometime in 2024.

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Consulting a doctor

Patients on Wegovy or considering to start their journey on Wegovy should consult their healthcare professional regarding any concerns. If the side effects are bothersome and an alternative needs to be explored, its best to consult a doctor.

Consult a doctor