Wegovy, designed for weight loss, is awaiting release to the Australian patients. When will Wegovy be available in Australia?

What Is Wegovy?

Wegovy is a once-weekly weight loss injectable pen designed to tackle chronic weight challenges by helping adults lose weight and to keep it off. It contains semaglutide, which is a prescription only medication, and belongs to the class of GLP-1 Receptor Agonists.

Wegovy is a disposable pen with a built-in needle to allow for easy administration. It is injected in the fat tissue around the lower abdomen, thigh or upper arm. 

How Does Wegovy Work?

Semaglutide works by targeting an area in the brain which regulates appetite. It works by delaying the stomach emptying which helps with suppressing appetite while giving the feeling of fullness for longer. 

The Wegovy dose is gradually increased to minimise the possible side effects of treatment. The dose begins at 0.25mg and over the course of 5 months it increases monthly. The maintenance dose is 2.4mg weekly. 

With any weight loss plan, a healthy lifestyle is important. People should follow a reduced calorie meal plan and increased physical activity. These habitual changes are recommended for long term success of Wegovy.

Who can use Wegovy?

It can be used by adults with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or higher. Alternatively, those with a BMI of 27 or more, accompanied by weight-related medical conditions can also benefit from its usage. It can be used by people with type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, or high cholesterol. Patients with type 2 diabetes will need close monitoring of blood glucose upon commencing Wegovy treatment.

If someone is already taking a medication with semaglutide, they shouldn’t use Wegovy at the same time. It’s also not clear how Wegovy interacts with other medications, over-the-counter products, or herbal items, so it’s best to avoid using these together.

Wegovy cannot be used in conjunction with certain conditions. These include pancreatitis, hypoglycemia, acute gallbladder or kidney issues, and diabetic retinopathy.

Is Wegovy Available In Australia?

Wegovy was registered with the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG) in 2022 however it is yet to be released in Australia. The PBS has not yet released a cost associated to Wegovy. However there is a good chance that it would be similar to the cost of other medications from its class. 

Obesity’s potential to trigger serious health complications has elevated it to a chronic global health concern. Therefore the USA released Wegovy in 2021 and Europe released it in mid 2023. It is expected in Australia sometime early 2024.

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What are some alternatives to Wegovy?

As the release date of Wegovy remains uncertain, individuals have the opportunity to start their weight loss journey using other methods. Once Wegovy becomes available, they can seamlessly transition to its use. 

Evidently it is clinically proven that a 5% decrease in body weight will have positive effects on health. It’s essential to understand that all weight loss approaches are most effective when coupled with dietary adjustments and regular physical activity to achieve optimal health outcomes.

A variety of options are available to aid individuals in their weight loss journey. For instance, Ozempic contains the same active ingredient, semaglutide, as Wegovy. Despite its initial release for people with type 2 diabetes in Australia, Ozempic has proven effective as an off-label weekly injection for weight loss.

Saxenda (liraglutide) on the other hand, is a daily injection and belongs to the same class of GLP-1 receptor agonists. Other alternatives could include tablets, injections, or even surgical procedures. To initiate this journey, a beneficial starting point might involve seeking guidance from a registered dietitian or consulting a doctor.

Consult a dietitian

How Does Wegovy® Work? | Wegovy® (semaglutide) Injection 2.4 mg

Wegovy Online Australia – Simple Online Doctor

WEGOVY (Novo Nordisk Pharmaceuticals Pty Ltd) | Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA)

Wegovy® (semaglutide) injection 2.4 mg Official Physician Site (novomedlink.com)