What is Wegovy?
Wegovy is an FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) approved medication manufactured by Novo Nordisk, Inc. Wegovy is a higher-dose, 2.4 mg version of the diabetes drug Ozempic (semaglutide).
It is a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist indicated as an adjunct to a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity for chronic weight management in adult patients with a body mass index (BMI):
- 30 kg/m2 or greater (obesity)
- 27 kg/m2 or greater (overweight) in the presence of at least one weight-related comorbidity condition such as hypertension, type 2 diabetes mellitus, or dyslipidemia
Wegovy should not be used in combination with other semaglutide containing products or any other GLP-1 receptor agonist. The safety and efficacy of use with other products for weight loss have not been established. Also, Wegovy has not been studied in patients with a history of pancreatitis.
Semaglutide causes thyroid C-cell tumors in rodents at clinically relevant levels. It is not known if wegovy causes thyroid C-cell tumors, including medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC), in humans as the human relevance of semaglutide-induced rodent thyroid C-cell tumors has not been determined.
Wegovy is not recommended in patients with a personal or family history of MTC or in patients with Multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2. It is important to know of the potential risk of MTC and symptoms of thyroid tumors.
Wegovy active ingredients
Wegovy contains semaglutide as the active ingredient.
Wegovy side effects
The most common side effects of Wegovy in clinical trials compared to placebo include:
- Nausea, vomiting
- Diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain
- Headache, dizziness
- Dyspepsia, abdominal distension, eructation
- Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) in patients with type 2 diabetes
- Flatulence, gastroenteritis, and gastroesophageal reflux disease (heartburn)
In rare instances, Wegovy can cause more serious side effects. These can include:
- Thyroid C-cell tumors
- Acute pancreatitis
- Acute gallbladder disease
- Acute kidney injury – monitor renal function when initiating or escalating doses if severe adverse gastrointestinal reactions occur
- Diabetic retinopathy complications in patients with Type 2 Diabetes
- Heart rate increase
- Suicidal behavior and ideation
Your doctor will assess the benefits of using Wegovy against your risk of side effects. Patients are encouraged to report negative side effects or adverse reactions of Wegovy to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Wegovy drug interactions
Wegovy can interact with other medications. These include:
- Concomitantly administered oral medications – may affect absorption
This list is not exhaustive and other prescription drugs may interact with Wegovy. Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
You should not use Wegovy if you:
- Are allergic to the active ingredient semaglutide
- Are allergic to any of the other ingredients in Wegovy
- Have a family history of medullary thyroid carcinoma
- Have multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2
- Are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant
Talk to your doctor about your health issues before using Wegovy if you:
- Are taking any of the medications that could interact with Wegovy
- Are breastfeeding or are planning to breastfeed – it is unknown if this medication passes into breast milk