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{"id":556290900041,"title":"Wegovy Review: Are Weight Loss Injections Safe?","created_at":"2022-03-11T13:17:19-05:00","body_html":"\u003cscript type=\"application\/ld+json\"\u003e\/\/ \u003c![CDATA[\n{\n \"@context\": \"https:\/\/schema.org\",\n \"@type\": \"Article\",\n \"headline\": \"Wegovy Review: Are Weight Loss Injections Safe?\",\n \"keywords\": \"wegovy, wegovy review, wegovy reviews, wegovy cost, wegovy side effects, wegovy weight loss, wegovy vs ozempic, wegovy vs saxenda, wegovy side effect, wegovy injection, wegovy weight loss reviews\",\n \"description\": \"Our MD and research team reviews the medical research on Wegovy to determine if it’s likely to be safe and effective for weight loss, and we highlight its side effects. We compare Wegovy to other popular weight loss injections like Saxenda.\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/wegovy-review\",\n\"author\": {\n \"@type\": \"Person\",\n \"name\": \"Taylor Graber MD\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/pages\/taylor-graber\",\n \"sameAs\": \"https:\/\/www.linkedin.com\/in\/taylor-j-graber-md-81351642\/\",\n \"jobTitle\": \"Content Partner\",\n \"knowsAbout\": \"medicine, health, anesthesiology, iv therapy, science, drugs, pharmaceutical, medical research, scientific research, medical journals, entrepreneurship, healthcare, orthopedic surgery, biomedical engineering\",\n \"alumniOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"EducationalOrganization\",\n \"name\": [\n \"University of California San Diego\",\n \"Arizona University\",\n \"University of Arizona College of Medicine\"\n ]\n },\n \"memberOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\"\n }\n},\n\"contributor\": {\n \"@type\": \"Person\",\n \"name\": \"Calloway Cook\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/pages\/calloway-cook\",\n \"sameAs\": \"https:\/\/www.linkedin.com\/in\/calloway-cook\/\",\n \"jobTitle\": \"President\",\n \"knowsAbout\": \"entrepreneurship, dietary supplements, herbal supplements, eCommerce, medical research\",\n \"alumniOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"EducationalOrganization\",\n \"name\": \"S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University\"\n },\n \"memberOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\"\n }\n},\n\"editor\": {\n \"@type\": \"Person\",\n \"name\": \"DJ Mazzoni\",\n \"honorificSuffix\": [\n \"M.S.\",\n \"R.D.\",\n \"C.D.N.\",\n \"C.S.C.S.\"\n ],\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/pages\/dj-mazzoni\",\n \"sameAs\": \"https:\/\/www.linkedin.com\/in\/dj-mazzoni-rd-cdn-cscs-00a33038\/\",\n \"jobTitle\": \"Medical Reviewer\",\n \"knowsAbout\": \"exercise, drugs, pharmaceutical, health, workout, strength and conditioning, nutrition, dietetics, medicine, medical research, scientific research, scientific method, healthcare, patient care, wellness\",\n \"alumniOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"EducationalOrganization\",\n \"name\": [\n \"State University of New York College Oswego\",\n \"D’Youville College\"\n ]\n },\n \"memberOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\"\n }\n},\n\"image\": {\n\"@type\": \"ImageObject\",\n\"url\": \"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Wegovy_Review_Article_Header_Image_Optimized.png?v=1647023108\",\n\"width\": \"2114\",\n\"height\": \"2114\"\n},\n\"citation\": [\n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/33567185\/\", \n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/33667417\/\",\n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/28110911\/\",\n\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/labs\/pmc\/articles\/PMC8189979\/\",\n\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/labs\/pmc\/articles\/PMC7988425\/\",\n\"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/saxenda-review\",\n\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/labs\/pmc\/articles\/PMC8466858\/\",\n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/30122305\/\",\n\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/labs\/pmc\/articles\/PMC6124841\/\",\n\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/labs\/pmc\/articles\/PMC6768815\/\",\n\"https:\/\/www.novocare.com\/wegovy\/cost-navigator.html\"\n],\n\"mentions\": [{\n \"@type\": \"Thing\",\n \"name\": \"semaglutide\"\n},\n{\n\"@type\": \"Thing\",\n \"name\": \"thyroid tumors\"\n},\n{\n\"@type\": \"Thing\",\n \"name\": \"dietary fiber\"\n}\n],\n\"datePublished\": \"2022-03-11\",\n\"copyrightHolder\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\"\n},\n\"publisher\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/\",\n \"description\": \"Illuminate Labs is the most transparent supplement company in the U.S., and is a leading publisher of research-based health information.\",\n \"knowsAbout\": \"supplements, science, nutrition, exercise, health, medication, pharmaceutical, wellness, diet, weight loss, medical research\",\n \"publishingPrinciples\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/pages\/editorial-guidelines\",\n \"logo\": {\n \"@type\": \"ImageObject\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Illuminate_Labs_Logo.png?v=1641249064\", \n \"width\": 150,\n \"height\": 150\n},\n \"foundingDate\": \"2019-01-30\",\n \"Address\": {\n \"@type\": \"PostalAddress\",\n \"streetAddress\": \"50 Union Street, Unit 9\",\n \"addressLocality\": \"Northampton\",\n \"addressRegion\": \"Massachusetts\",\n \"postalCode\": \"01060\",\n \"addressCountry\": \"US\"\n},\n \"sameAs\": [\n \"https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/illuminatelabs\",\n \"https:\/\/twitter.com\/illuminatelabs\",\n \"https:\/\/www.linkedin.com\/company\/illuminate-labs-supplements\",\n \"https:\/\/www.youtube.com\/channel\/UCpgSJAsIPb-fZ25djtTxBEA\"\n ]\n }\n}\n\/\/ ]]\u003e\u003c\/script\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003ci\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e\u003cimg src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Wegovy_Review_Article_Header_Image_Optimized.png?v=1647023108\" alt=\"\"\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/i\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003ci\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eDisclaimer: None of the information in this article constitutes medical advice, and is just the opinion of the writer(s). We recommend that patients follow their doctor’s guidance in regard to prescription medication.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/i\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e\u003cspan class=\"dc\"\u003eW\u003c\/span\u003eegovy is a prescription weight loss medication that’s injectable. The company claims it can help patients lose weight and keep it off.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eIn this article we’ll review the medical research on Wegovy to determine if it’s likely to be safe and effective, as well as highlight its side effects. We’ll also compare Wegovy to other popular weight loss injections like Saxenda.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eDoes Wegovy Work For Weight Loss?\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eA medical trial on Wegovy \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/33567185\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003ewas published\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e in the respected New England Journal of Medicine in 2021, testing whether the injections could help overweight and obese patients lose weight. Half of the patients received Wegovy injections and half of the patients received a placebo injection. Both groups also practiced lifestyle modifications such as reduced calorie diets.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThe Wegovy group lost significantly more weight than the group receiving placebo injections. The average change from baseline body weight in the Wegovy group was -14.9%, while the average change from baseline body weight in the placebo group was only -2.4%. The trial lasted 68 weeks.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eAnother \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/33667417\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eclinical trial\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e assessed the efficacy of Wegovy for inducing weight loss in patients with type-2 diabetes. The results were similar. Patients on Wegovy injections lost 9.6% of their baseline weight after 68 weeks, compared to only 3.4% baseline weight loss with placebo injections.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThe active ingredient in Wegovy injections, semaglutide, was even shown to be effective in an \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/28110911\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eearlier trial\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e at lower concentrations. Patients in this trial, which used doses of semaglutide ranging from 22% to 44% of the amount in Wegovy, experienced weight loss at a rate higher than placebo.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWe can conclude from the available evidence that Wegovy is likely to be effective for weight loss, and may be more effective than lifestyle factors alone.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eHow Does Wegovy Work?\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThe active ingredient in Wegovy is part of a class of chemical compounds called glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1RA). These compounds have several biological effects that can lead to weight loss.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eGLP-1RAs have \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/labs\/pmc\/articles\/PMC8189979\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003ebeen proven\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e in medical research to reduce appetite, slow the release of food from the stomach, and increase feelings of fullness after eating.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThis class of drugs was initially developed for the treatment of diabetes, and weight loss was noted in the research as a favorable side effect for obese and overweight patients.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eAccording to the linked study, the active ingredient in Wegovy can stimulate certain neurons (POMC\/CART) and inhibit certain peptides (neuropeptide Y) which increase measures of satiation and decrease hunger.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eWegovy Side Effects\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eGastrointestinal effects like nausea and vomiting were the most-reported side effects of Wegovy injections in the previously-linked efficacy trial. 63.5% of patients experienced these effects, which is a high number and significantly higher than placebo.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThe more concerning side effects of Wegovy use are the rare but severe side effects like the increased risk of thyroid tumors, which Wegovy displays in the safety information on their homepage.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eA recent \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/labs\/pmc\/articles\/PMC7988425\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003emedical review\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e of Wegovy reported that 7.7% of patients using the treatment experienced “severe adverse events” which is a relatively high percentage for serious side effects. No patients were noted to have died as a result of Wegovy use.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eOverall we find that Wegovy has a more concerning side effect profile than many prescription medications for weight loss.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eWegovy Vs. Saxenda\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWe recently published a \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/saxenda-review\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eSaxenda weight loss reviews\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e article examining the research backing this prescription medication for weight loss.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThe active ingredients in both drugs have similar safety and efficacy profiles when their clinical results are compared, which is unsurprising since they’re similar chemical compounds (liraglutide vs. semaglutide). \u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eOne \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/labs\/pmc\/articles\/PMC8466858\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003emeta-study\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e examined the two drugs head-to-head and found that the active ingredient in Wegovy was more effective for weight loss than the active ingredient in Saxenda. The doses reviewed in this study are lower than the doses in Wegovy and Saxenda, so these results shouldn’t be directly interpreted that Wegovy is superior.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWegovy may be slightly more effective, but we need more research to confirm that. For now we would recommend that patients prescribed one of these two medications compare their costs, since there aren’t any clearly differentiating factors between the efficacy and safety of the two treatments.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eWegovy Vs. Ozempic\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eMany patients are confused about the difference between Wegovy and \u003ca href=\"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/ozempic-review\"\u003eOzempic\u003c\/a\u003e.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWegovy and Ozempic contain the same active ingredient: semaglutide. Wegovy is prescribed for obesity and Ozempic is prescribed for type-2 diabetes. Ozempic contains a lower dose of semaglutide, and both medications are injectable.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eFor weight loss, Wegovy is likely to be more effective because semaglutide \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/30122305\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eis proven\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e in medical research to have a dose-dependent effect. This means that the higher the dose (to a limit), the more effective the drug is.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eSince Wegovy contains a higher dose of semaglutide than Ozempic, this means that Wegovy is likely to be more effective for weight loss.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eFor diabetes, we recommend that patients speak with their doctor about Ozempic alone, because Wegovy is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the U.S. for diabetes, even though it’s been shown in some studies to have a glucose-lowering effect.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eBetter Natural Alternatives\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWegovy has been established to be effective for weight loss primarily because it reduces appetite, increases satiation and delays gastric emptying. There’s also a natural food compound that has these exact same effects with no side effect risk: dietary fiber.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWe frequently recommend dietary fiber in our weight loss medication reviews as a natural alternative, because it’s conclusively proven in medical studies to be effective for weight loss.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eMany Americans don’t consume enough fiber through their diet. A \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/labs\/pmc\/articles\/PMC6124841\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003emedical study\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e from 2017 estimated that 95% of Americans don’t achieve the recommended daily intake of dietary fiber from diet.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eFiber intake, just like semaglutide injections, has a \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/labs\/pmc\/articles\/PMC6768815\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eproven dose-dependent effect\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e on weight loss outcomes. The more fiber patients consume, to a reasonable limit, the more weight they lose on average.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eDietary fiber makes you feel full because it occupies space in the stomach with non-caloric plant material.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eFiber intake can be increased by whole foods or via supplements. Whole foods like beans, starchy vegetables, whole grains and fruits of all types are high in fiber.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eFor consumers who prefer a supplement to increase their fiber intake, we recommend a brand with no additive ingredients like sweeteners. Choose a fiber brand with fiber as the main active ingredient and no preservatives or added sugar.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eWegovy Cost\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eLike most prescription medications, Wegovy doesn’t display a fixed cost of their product because it varies based on health insurance coverage. Novocare has a \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.novocare.com\/wegovy\/cost-navigator.html\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eresource page\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e where patients can input their health insurance information and check the cost of Wegovy.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eBecause Wegovy is a recently-approved (2021) drug, there is unfortunately no generic option approved by the FDA that’s available. Pharmaceutical companies typically are granted sole market access for 10+ years after a medication is approved, to recoup the costs of development and marketing of the drug.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWe recommend that patients on a low income who are prescribed Wegovy or Saxenda speak with their doctor about comparing the costs between the two treatments, because they seem similarly effective in medical research.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eConclusion\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWegovy is effective for weight loss, but comes with a risk of side effects that’s greater than many prescription pharmaceutical weight loss meds we’ve reviewed.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eSince there doesn’t appear to be enough medical research proving the superiority of one weight loss injection over another, it seems logical that patients choose the cheapest option.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWe believe that increasing dietary fiber intake through whole foods and\/or supplements can be an effective natural option that patients may want to discuss with their doctor prior to being prescribed weight loss injections.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eFiber has similar biological effects which cause its effectiveness for weight reduction to GLP-1RA drugs like Wegovy.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e","blog_id":49281925193,"author":"Calloway Cook","user_id":26601750601,"published_at":"2022-03-11T14:02:17-05:00","updated_at":"2022-06-18T18:36:48-04:00","summary_html":"We review the medical research on pharmaceutical treatment Wegovy to determine if it’s likely to be safe and effective for weight loss, and we highlight its side effects. We compare Wegovy to other popular weight loss injections like Saxenda.","template_suffix":"","handle":"wegovy-review","tags":"_related:weight-loss"}

Wegovy Review: Are Weight Loss Injections Safe?

Wegovy Review: Are Weight Loss Injections Safe?


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Read our Editorial Guidelines to learn more about what makes our site the premier resource for online health information.
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Read our Editorial Guidelines to learn more about what makes our site the premier resource for online health information.


Read our Editorial Guidelines to learn more about what makes our site the premier resource for online health information.

Disclaimer: None of the information in this article constitutes medical advice, and is just the opinion of the writer(s). We recommend that patients follow their doctor’s guidance in regard to prescription medication.

Wegovy is a prescription weight loss medication that’s injectable. The company claims it can help patients lose weight and keep it off.

In this article we’ll review the medical research on Wegovy to determine if it’s likely to be safe and effective, as well as highlight its side effects. We’ll also compare Wegovy to other popular weight loss injections like Saxenda.

Does Wegovy Work For Weight Loss?

A medical trial on Wegovy was published in the respected New England Journal of Medicine in 2021, testing whether the injections could help overweight and obese patients lose weight. Half of the patients received Wegovy injections and half of the patients received a placebo injection. Both groups also practiced lifestyle modifications such as reduced calorie diets.

The Wegovy group lost significantly more weight than the group receiving placebo injections. The average change from baseline body weight in the Wegovy group was -14.9%, while the average change from baseline body weight in the placebo group was only -2.4%. The trial lasted 68 weeks.

Another clinical trial assessed the efficacy of Wegovy for inducing weight loss in patients with type-2 diabetes. The results were similar. Patients on Wegovy injections lost 9.6% of their baseline weight after 68 weeks, compared to only 3.4% baseline weight loss with placebo injections.

The active ingredient in Wegovy injections, semaglutide, was even shown to be effective in an earlier trial at lower concentrations. Patients in this trial, which used doses of semaglutide ranging from 22% to 44% of the amount in Wegovy, experienced weight loss at a rate higher than placebo.

We can conclude from the available evidence that Wegovy is likely to be effective for weight loss, and may be more effective than lifestyle factors alone.

How Does Wegovy Work?

The active ingredient in Wegovy is part of a class of chemical compounds called glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1RA). These compounds have several biological effects that can lead to weight loss.

GLP-1RAs have been proven in medical research to reduce appetite, slow the release of food from the stomach, and increase feelings of fullness after eating.

This class of drugs was initially developed for the treatment of diabetes, and weight loss was noted in the research as a favorable side effect for obese and overweight patients.

According to the linked study, the active ingredient in Wegovy can stimulate certain neurons (POMC/CART) and inhibit certain peptides (neuropeptide Y) which increase measures of satiation and decrease hunger.

Wegovy Side Effects

Gastrointestinal effects like nausea and vomiting were the most-reported side effects of Wegovy injections in the previously-linked efficacy trial. 63.5% of patients experienced these effects, which is a high number and significantly higher than placebo.

The more concerning side effects of Wegovy use are the rare but severe side effects like the increased risk of thyroid tumors, which Wegovy displays in the safety information on their homepage.

A recent medical review of Wegovy reported that 7.7% of patients using the treatment experienced “severe adverse events” which is a relatively high percentage for serious side effects. No patients were noted to have died as a result of Wegovy use.

Overall we find that Wegovy has a more concerning side effect profile than many prescription medications for weight loss.

Wegovy Vs. Saxenda

We recently published a Saxenda weight loss reviews article examining the research backing this prescription medication for weight loss.

The active ingredients in both drugs have similar safety and efficacy profiles when their clinical results are compared, which is unsurprising since they’re similar chemical compounds (liraglutide vs. semaglutide). 

One meta-study examined the two drugs head-to-head and found that the active ingredient in Wegovy was more effective for weight loss than the active ingredient in Saxenda. The doses reviewed in this study are lower than the doses in Wegovy and Saxenda, so these results shouldn’t be directly interpreted that Wegovy is superior.

Wegovy may be slightly more effective, but we need more research to confirm that. For now we would recommend that patients prescribed one of these two medications compare their costs, since there aren’t any clearly differentiating factors between the efficacy and safety of the two treatments.

Wegovy Vs. Ozempic

Many patients are confused about the difference between Wegovy and Ozempic.

Wegovy and Ozempic contain the same active ingredient: semaglutide. Wegovy is prescribed for obesity and Ozempic is prescribed for type-2 diabetes. Ozempic contains a lower dose of semaglutide, and both medications are injectable.

For weight loss, Wegovy is likely to be more effective because semaglutide is proven in medical research to have a dose-dependent effect. This means that the higher the dose (to a limit), the more effective the drug is.

Since Wegovy contains a higher dose of semaglutide than Ozempic, this means that Wegovy is likely to be more effective for weight loss.

For diabetes, we recommend that patients speak with their doctor about Ozempic alone, because Wegovy is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the U.S. for diabetes, even though it’s been shown in some studies to have a glucose-lowering effect.

Better Natural Alternatives

Wegovy has been established to be effective for weight loss primarily because it reduces appetite, increases satiation and delays gastric emptying. There’s also a natural food compound that has these exact same effects with no side effect risk: dietary fiber.

We frequently recommend dietary fiber in our weight loss medication reviews as a natural alternative, because it’s conclusively proven in medical studies to be effective for weight loss.

Many Americans don’t consume enough fiber through their diet. A medical study from 2017 estimated that 95% of Americans don’t achieve the recommended daily intake of dietary fiber from diet.

Fiber intake, just like semaglutide injections, has a proven dose-dependent effect on weight loss outcomes. The more fiber patients consume, to a reasonable limit, the more weight they lose on average.

Dietary fiber makes you feel full because it occupies space in the stomach with non-caloric plant material.

Fiber intake can be increased by whole foods or via supplements. Whole foods like beans, starchy vegetables, whole grains and fruits of all types are high in fiber.

For consumers who prefer a supplement to increase their fiber intake, we recommend a brand with no additive ingredients like sweeteners. Choose a fiber brand with fiber as the main active ingredient and no preservatives or added sugar.

Wegovy Cost

Like most prescription medications, Wegovy doesn’t display a fixed cost of their product because it varies based on health insurance coverage. Novocare has a resource page where patients can input their health insurance information and check the cost of Wegovy.

Because Wegovy is a recently-approved (2021) drug, there is unfortunately no generic option approved by the FDA that’s available. Pharmaceutical companies typically are granted sole market access for 10+ years after a medication is approved, to recoup the costs of development and marketing of the drug.

We recommend that patients on a low income who are prescribed Wegovy or Saxenda speak with their doctor about comparing the costs between the two treatments, because they seem similarly effective in medical research.

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Conclusion

Wegovy is effective for weight loss, but comes with a risk of side effects that’s greater than many prescription pharmaceutical weight loss meds we’ve reviewed.

Since there doesn’t appear to be enough medical research proving the superiority of one weight loss injection over another, it seems logical that patients choose the cheapest option.

We believe that increasing dietary fiber intake through whole foods and/or supplements can be an effective natural option that patients may want to discuss with their doctor prior to being prescribed weight loss injections.

Fiber has similar biological effects which cause its effectiveness for weight reduction to GLP-1RA drugs like Wegovy.





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