Wegovy

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Alternative medication: Ozempic (semaglutide)

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­WeGovy

(Semaglutide)

What is Wegovy (semaglutide)?

Wegovy (semaglutide) is an injectable medication prescribed for patients 18 years and older who are:

  • Obesity (BMI is greater than 30) or
  • Overweight (excess weight where BMI is greater than 27) and have one or more weight-related conditions such as type 2 diabetes and hypertension.

Wegovy belongs to the drug class, Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists. These medications help the body to increase more insulin after eating, which then lowers blood sugar levels.

What are the Indications for Wegovy?

Wegovy is prescribed as part of a treatment plan for the assistance of weight loss and for maintaining weight loss. Your doctor will work with you to create a treatment plan that includes lower calorie intake meals and increased physical activity.

Wegovy is not recommended:

  • For use with other medications that contain semaglutide
  • If you have had or have a family history of a type of thyroid cancer called medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) or an endocrine system condition called Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia Syndrome type 2 (MEN 2)
  • If you are allergic or have had a severe allergic reaction to semaglutide or any of the ingredients in Wegovy

How is Wegovy used?

Wegovy should be used as prescribed by your doctor by injecting the medication under the skin (subcutaneously).

Instruction

Follow the patient information that comes with your medication. Wegovy comes as a one-time use injection pen to be injected under the skin of your stomach (2 inches away from your belly button), thigh, or upper arm.

Wegovy can be injected with or without food.

  1. Before injecting Wegovy, you will need an alcohol swab, gauze pad or cotton ball, and a sharps disposable container. Make sure to wash your hands thoroughly before preparing the selected injection location.
  2. Select your injection site and clean with an alcohol swab. The injection site should be rotated so as not to be in the exact same location as the last injection.
    1. Do not inject in areas with scars, stretch marks, bruises, or where the skin is tender, hard, or red.
    2. Do not use the injection pen if it appears to be broken or has been used or if it has expired.
  3. Remove the pen cap and inject Wegovy firmly into the selected site. Push until the yellow bar stops moving, and you hear two clicks.
    1. First click signals the injection has started.
    2. Second click signals injection is ongoing.
  4. After the injection, dispose of the injection pen in the sharps disposable container. Do not throw the injection pen in the trash. If you do not have a sharps disposable container, contact your doctor or pharmacist for alternatives.
    1. If there is blood on the skin after the injection, use the gauze pad or cotton ball to press and clean the injection site.

Dosage

Wegovy is prescribed to be administered on a titration schedule where the dose is gradually increased every month until the full dose of 2.4 mg is reached. Each dose or strength comes in a different color so that you can easily identify what strength you are using.

Wegovy should be injected on the same day of the week as the last dose following the titration schedule:

  • In the first month: inject 0.25 mg of Wegovy 1 time per week exactly 7 days apart.
  • In the second month: inject 0.50 mg of Wegovy 1 time per week exactly 7 days apart.
  • In the third month: inject 1 mg of Wegovy 1 time per week exactly 7 days apart.
  • In the fourth month: inject 1.7 mg of Wegovy 1 time per week exactly 7 days apart.
  • In the fifth month: inject 2.4 mg of Wegovy 1 time per week exactly 7 days apart.

Storage

Wegovy injection pens should be stored in the original box in the refrigerator until ready to be used.

Keep out of reach of children.

SIDE EFFECTS

It’s important to understand that although Wegovy is FDA approved, it comes with side effects that may or may not affect you.

Before starting Wegovy, you should discuss possible side effects with your doctor or pharmacist.

Common Side Effects

Not all side effects require medical attention. As your body adjusts to Wegovy, side effects may go away.

Tell your doctor if you experience the following symptoms, and they become severe or do not go away on their own:

  • Constipation
  • Stomach pain
  • Upset stomach
  • Feeling bloated
  • Stomach flu
  • Heartburn
  • Gas
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • dizziness
  • Headache
  • Belching

Serious Side Effects

Severe adverse reactions while taking Wegovy may occur. Seek emergency medical care or call 911 if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Serious allergic reactions: severe rash or itching, swelling in the face, lips, tongue, or throat, rapid heartbeat, fainting or dizziness, or problems breathing or swallowing.
  • Increase low blood pressure in patients with type 2 diabetes
  • New or shifts in mental health such as depression
  • Kidney or pancreas problems
  • Gallbladder problems

 The information above does not list all possible side effects. Contact your doctor or pharmacist if you experience any side effects not listed. You or your doctor may report side effects to the FDA by calling 1-800-FDA-1088.

Warnings & Precautions

Before using Wegovy, tell your doctor or pharmacist:

  • If you are allergic to any medications
  • If you have type 2 diabetes and a history of diabetic retinopathy
  • If you have or have had problems with your kidney or pancreas
  • If you have or have had mental health issues, depression, or suicidal thoughts
  • If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant
  • If you are breastfeeding

Overdose

Contact your doctor or seek immediate medical attention if you experience severe vomiting, severe nausea, and severe low blood sugar.

Inflammation of the pancreas (Pancreatitis)

Taking Wegovy may cause inflammation of your pancreas identified by severe pain in your stomach that does not go away. Stop using Wegovy and contact your doctor right away.

Kidney Problems and Failure

Taking Wegovy may cause or worsen symptoms in patients with kidney problems such as diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting, which can cause dehydration. It is important to drink plenty of fluids while taking Wegovy.

Increased Heart Rate

Taking Wegovy may increase your heart rate even while resting. Contact your doctor if you experience an increased heart rate or pounding that lasts more than a few minutes.

Gallbladder Problems

Taking Wegovy may cause gallbladder problems such as gallstones which may require surgery. Contact your doctor if you experience fever, pain in the upper stomach, yellowing of the skin or eyes, or clay-colored stools.

Depression or Thoughts of Suicide

Taking Wegovy may cause sudden changes in your mental health; thoughts, mood, behaviors, or feelings. Contact your doctor right away if you experience any change in your mental health.

Vision Change in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes

Taking Wegovy may change your vision. Contact your doctor if you experience any vision changes.

Increased Risk of Low Blood Sugar in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes

Taking Wegovy may increase your risk of low blood sugar if you have type 2 diabetes and especially if you are taking medications such as insulin. You should monitor your blood sugar before and after taking Wegovy.

Low blood sugar signs and symptoms include blurred vision, dizziness, anxiety, irritability, mood changes, increased heart rate, sweating, slurred speech, hunger, confusion, drowsiness, shakiness, weakness, and headache.

Pregnancy

Taking Wegovy during pregnancy may cause harm to the unborn fetus. Wegovy should be discontinued 2 months prior to becoming pregnant.

Breastfeeding

There is insufficient data to determine if Wegovy will pass through to breastmilk. Consult with your doctor to determine whether you should take Wegovy.

Interactions & Contraindications

Before using Wegovy, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you take any medications, herbal supplements, or vitamins.

Thyroid Tumors and Cancer

Wegovy may cause thyroid tumors and a type of thyroid cancer called medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) or have an endocrine system condition called Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN 2).

Wegovy and medications like Wegovy were found to have caused thyroid tumors including cancer in studies conducted with rodents; however, it is not known if Wegovy will cause the same effect in humans.

Contact your doctor if you experience hoarseness, shortness of breath, trouble swallowing, or develop a lump or swelling in your throat.

Delayed Emptying of Stomach

Taking Wegovy will delay the emptying of your stomach, which may impact the absorption of medications taken orally. Discuss with your doctor to determine if you need to take oral medications at a different time than when you use Wegovy.

Frequently Asked Questions

Wegovy contains the active ingredient semaglutide.

Wegovy contains inactive ingredients: disodium phosphate dihydrate, sodium chloride, and water.

Wegovy is available as an injection that comes in 5 different strengths. Each strength comes in a different color so you are able to easily distinguish them.

Wegoy is approved for adult patients with the following conditions:

  • Obese (BMI is greater than 30) or
  • Overweight (excess weight where BMI is greater than 27) and have one or more weight-related conditions such as type 2 diabetes and hypertension.

You should not use Wegovy if you are allergic or have had a serious allergic reaction to Wegovy, semaglutide, or any of the ingredients in Wegovy.

You also should not use Wegovy if you or a family member have or has had a thyroid cancer called medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) or have an endocrine system condition called Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN 2).

You should not use Wegovy if you are allergic or have had a serious allergic reaction to Wegovy, semaglutide, or any of the ingredients in Wegovy.

You also should not use Wegovy if you or a family member have or has had a thyroid cancer called medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) or have an endocrine system condition called Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN 2).

Follow the patient information that comes with your medication. Wegovy comes as a set of one-time-use injection pens that will need to be injected under the skin of your stomach (2 inches away from your belly button), thigh, or upper arm.

Use gauze or a cotton ball to press down on the injection site.

Wegovy injection pens should be immediately disposed of in a sharps disposable container. If you do not have a sharps disposable container, contact your doctor or pharmacist for alternative solutions.

Results and timelines vary with each person, so there is no definite timeframe. Contact your doctor to determine what the timeframe may look like for you.

Results may vary with each person.

A study was conducted for a 68-week period in which 1,961 patients with obesity took Wegovy while another group of patients took a placebo. The patients who took Wegovy lost an average of 35 pounds, whereas the patients who took the placebo lost on average 6 lbs.