Is Wegovy Safe?

January 24, 2024

You might have heard Wegovy and Ozempic are some of the newest weight loss medications. They are seemingly effortless solutions for achieving a healthy weight, especially for those who have struggled with weight issues for a long time.

However, the widespread enthusiasm surrounding weight loss drugs like Wegovy often fails to highlight the substantial risks and concerns associated with their use.

It also neglects to discuss what happens when people stop taking Wegovy once they’ve lost weight. Without a weight management program, they will likely regain the weight they lost.

The purpose of this blog is not to discourage individuals from using Wegovy or to stop taking it; the goal is to provide you with comprehensive information about Wegovy, presenting both its positive aspects and potential drawbacks, as well as help you consider a plan so you can achieve successful long-term weight loss.

Whether you are contemplating starting Wegovy or are already on the medication, we encourage you to delve into the information ahead and carefully consider both the potential risks and benefits associated with Wegovy.


How Does Wegovy Work for Weight Loss?

Semaglutide, the active ingredient in Wegovy, works by mimicking the effects of natural GLP-1, which plays a role in regulating appetite and food intake.

By activating GLP-1 receptors, Wegovy helps in reducing hunger and increasing feelings of fullness, ultimately leading to weight loss.

In June 2021, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Wegovy for weight loss. 


Common Side Effects of Wegovy

While Wegovy is the only semaglutide injection to receive FDA approval to help with weight loss, it still has side effects and risks.

Common side effects of Wegovy include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Bloating
  • Constipation and diarrhea
  • Heartburn
  • Nausea and vomiting

Wegovy may cause rare but serious side effects that result in people developing health conditions like:

  • Gallbladder disease
  • Gastroparesis (stomach paralysis)
  • Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
  • Intestinal blockage
  • Kidney failure 
  • Pancreatitis
  • Thyroid cancer


How Long Do the Side Effects of Wegovy Last?

The more common gastrointestinal side effects, like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and constipation, usually occur at the beginning of Wegovy treatments and clear up after a few weeks.

Some of the more serious health conditions associated with taking Wegovy, such as gastroparesis, kidney failure, and gallbladder disease, are chronic. There is no cure for these conditions, and those who develop them will have to live with them for the rest of their lives.


Who is Eligible to Take Wegovy for Weight Loss?

Wegovy is not for everyone.

To be eligible for Wegovy, adults need to meet the following requirements:

  • A body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher; or
  • A BMI of 27 or higher with a weight-related health condition like high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, etc.


Why Am I Not Losing Weight on Wegovy?

Some people don’t respond to Wegovy. 

When this happens, insurers will stop covering Wegovy if patients don’t experience 5% fat loss in 3 months, pricing these patients out. 

At this point in time, we don’t know why some people respond to Wegovy while others do.

In other cases, people may have such adverse reactions to the side effects they can’t continue treatment with Wegovy.

Wegovy may seem like the best solution for weight loss, but the truth is it does not work for everyone.

Frustrated by lack of results from other weight-loss solutions? Sign up to get our 5 Weight Loss Tips and 5-day email course, free.


Wegovy Alternatives

Wegovy is not the only weight loss solution on the market. 

Here are some others you may want to consider:


Using Ozempic for Weight Loss

Wegovy contains the same active ingredient as Ozempic, a better-known brand-name semaglutide injection used to treat type 2 diabetes.

While Ozempic is not approved for weight loss by the FDA, many medical professionals prescribe it for off-label use—that is, taking a drug to treat a health problem even though that drug has not received FDA approval to treat that specific problem.

Botox, for example, is an FDA-approved anti-aging treatment, but Botox is also used to treat migraines. Off-label use can be an effective option for some. However, off-label use is more expensive, as most insurance companies will not cover the costs of off-label treatments.

A dose of Wegovy contains more semaglutide than Ozempic, and some believe Ozempic’s lower dosage might have fewer adverse effects and could be safer than Wegovy.

Smaller dosage aside, people using Ozempic report side effects and risks that are similar to Wegovy’s. Since Ozempic is not FDA-approved for weight loss, there may be more risks to using it as a weight loss treatment.


Undergoing Bariatric Surgery

Bariatric surgery refers to surgical procedures that modify the digestive system to help patients lose weight.

One of the most common bariatric surgeries is the gastric bypass, which reduces the size of a patient’s stomach. A gastric bypass slows digestion and the amount of food a person can eat—similar to the effects of Wegovy or Ozempic.

Bariatric surgery is usually performed as a last resort, as it often includes long-term risks and complications.


Joining Weight Loss Programs

Weight loss programs come in many different forms. Many focus on losing body weight through diet and exercise. Some programs also include weight management or weight maintenance plans with the intent of ensuring people lose weight and keep it off. This might include lifestyle changes, meal prep, diet alternatives, and more.

Compared to drugs like Ozempic and Wegovy, as well as bariatric surgery, weight loss programs have significantly fewer health risks.


If You Use Wegovy or Ozempic for Weight Loss, You Need a Weight Management Program

Most people who lose excess weight from taking Wegovy experience weight regain after treatment. A 2022 study found that its participants regained two-thirds of the weight they lost one year after stopping Wegovy.

The short-term use of Wegovy is a quick fix for weight loss that brings people right back to where they started. It doesn’t address what caused the weight in the first place.

If you truly want to lose weight and keep it off for good, you need to change your lifestyle—and that’s what Lifelong Metabolic Center can help you do.

Our DNA weight loss program includes a weight management component. Using the findings from a DNA test, we’ll discover what foods are best for you, which ones you should avoid, and find an exercise routine that is effective and enjoyable for you.

If you’re not anywhere near Naperville, Illinois, that’s not a problem! Our medically supervised program is fully remote, so you’ll receive the guidance regardless of your location.

Contact us today for a free consultation.


Results May Vary: Causes for being overweight or obese vary from person to person. Whether genetic or environmental, it should be noted that food intake, rates of metabolism and levels of exercise and physical exertion vary from person to person. This means weight loss results will also vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as typical. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.


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