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Wegovy has been proven an effective medication to help with weight loss and weight management in people who are overweight or obese. Wegovy is FDA-approved and comes in the form of subcutaneous semaglutide injections given once a week. Although this medication is safe and effective, like many drugs, it is not right for everyone.

Get At-Home Medical Weight Loss Therapy

Lose weight with FDA-approved semaglutide weight loss injections (the same ingredient in Wegovy & Ozempic). If you are eligible, in-home medical weight loss treatments may help you reach your health goals.

Common Wegovy side effects

There are some common side effects of Wegovy that need immediate medical attention and some that do not. The side effects of Wegovy can vary based on your age, health conditions and illnesses, and other medications you take.

Side effects of Wegovy that need immediate attention

You will need to contact your doctor or go to the hospital if you experience any of the following side effects from Wegovy:

  • Allergic reaction
  • Increased risk of thyroid cancer in animal studies; unknown if it increases the risk to humans
  • Increased heart rate
  • Pancreas inflammation and damage caused by pancreatitis
  • Gallbladder problems such as gallstones or gallbladder inflammation
  • Low blood sugar

If you have a mild allergic reaction to Wegovy, you may experience itchiness, skin rashes, or unusually increased warmth and redness of your skin. A severe allergic reaction to Wegovy can cause swelling under the skin of your eyelids, feet, hands, or lips, as well as swelling in your tongue, throat, or the inside of your throat that can make it hard for you to breathe. Contact your doctor immediately or the emergency room if you experience severe symptoms.

Side effects of Wegovy that do not need immediate attention

You can ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain each of the side effects of Wegovy or learn more about them by reading the prescribing information. Some of the mild side effects of Wegovy include:

  • Stomach pain
  • Vomiting
  • Redness or swelling at the injection site
  • Tenderness at the injection site
  • Bloating
  • Burping
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Gas
  • Acid reflux
  • Headache
  • Heartburn
  • Indigestion
  • Nausea (the most common side effect reported in studies)

Mild side effects should go away on their own within a few days to a couple of weeks, but if your symptoms worsen or don’t go away, you should tell your doctor or pharmacist.

Serious Wegovy side effects and health complications

Some of the serious side effects of Wegovy have been reported more than others. Some of the most commonly reported side effects of Wegovy (in addition to the side effects discussed above) include:

  • Anxiety
  • Blurry vision
  • Chest tightness
  • Chills
  • Cold sweats
  • Confusion
  • Cool, pale skin
  • Cough
  • Dark urine
  • Depression
  • Fever
  • Increased hunger
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nervousness
  • Nightmares
  • Seizures
  • Slurred speech
  • Weakness
  • Yellow eyes or skin

There are also some health complications that you may experience from taking Wegovy. You may develop anti-semaglutide antibodies, which cause the working ingredient in Wegovy to become less effective or stop working. However, only up to 1% of patients in clinical trials developed anti-semaglutide antibodies. If you have type 2 diabetes, Wegovy may increase your risk for diabetic retinopathy (damage to the blood vessels in your eyes) and hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).

Interactions

Wegovy can interact with many other medications you may be taking, including prescriptions and any drugs that are taken by mouth (tablets, capsules, or liquids).

Examples of prescription drugs that interact with Wegovy are insulin and sulfonylureas, used to treat diabetes. Taking Wegovy with insulin (such as Lantus, Tresiba, or Levemir) or with sulfonylurea (such as Diabeta, Amaryl, or Glucotrol) can increase your risk of low blood sugar. Wegovy can make it difficult for your body to absorb any medications you take by mouth, prescription, or otherwise.

medicine-dosage

No interactions between Wegovy and any herbs or supplements have been found, but you should check with your doctor before you take Wegovy with any herbs or supplements. There also haven’t been any negative interactions between Wegovy and any foods, but Wegovy works best when used while you are also on a low-calorie diet.

There aren’t any interactions between Wegovy and alcohol, so you should be able to safely drink moderate amounts of alcohol while taking Wegovy.

Precautions

You should speak with your doctor about taking Wegovy because it can increase your risk of developing or worsening certain health conditions.

Common Wegovy side effects

There are some common side effects of Wegovy that need immediate medical attention and some that do not. The side effects of Wegovy can vary based on your age, health conditions and illnesses, and other medications you take.

Wegovy and thyroid cancer

As mentioned above, Wegovy was found to increase thyroid cancer in animal studies involving rats. Still, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which regulates Wegovy and other medications, has issued a boxed warning for increased risk of thyroid cancer due to Wegovy. A boxed warning is the strongest type of warning from the FDA, and it is intended to increase doctors’ and patients’ awareness of possible dangerous drug effects.

Your doctor is not likely to prescribe Wegovy for you if you have an elevated risk of thyroid cancer because of a history (yourself or in your family) of medullary thyroid carcinoma (a rare type of thyroid cancer) or multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome types 2.

There are some symptoms of a thyroid tumor that you should be aware of and pay attention to while you are on Wegovy. You may experience shortness of breath, have trouble swallowing, or your voice may become hoarse. A thyroid tumor can also cause a lump or swelling in your neck. You should contact your doctor immediately if you have any of these symptoms so they can perform lab tests to check for thyroid cancer. You may need to stop taking Wegovy.

Wegovy and pregnancy and breastfeeding

Experts do not know whether taking Wegovy while pregnant or breastfeeding is safe. There are not currently any studies on the effects of Wegovy on pregnant women, fetuses, or babies born to mothers who took Wegovy while pregnant or breastfeeding.

However, in studies of rats given Wegovy, there has been fetal harm in offspring whose mothers were given Wegovy while pregnant.

For your safety and pregnancy, you should not try to conceive until two months after stopping Wegovy. If you are currently pregnant or plan to become pregnant, you should talk to your doctor about alternatives to Wegovy that may be safer. If you get pregnant while taking Wegovy, you can join a pregnancy registry that will help increase information about how Wegovy affects pregnancy.

Wegovy and other health condition precautions

You may not be able to take Wegovy if you have certain medical conditions or other factors that affect your health, such as:

  • Depression or other mental health conditions, because Wegovy can cause suicidal thoughts or behaviors. You are more likely to develop these side effects if you have depression or another mental health condition.
  • Diabetic retinopathy may develop or worsen while taking Wegovy, so you may need to take an alternative medication or have your eyes checked frequently if you are taking Wegovy.
  • Kidney problems can worsen if you take Wegovy, and you will have a higher risk of sudden kidney failure if you already have other kidney problems.
  • Pancreatitis that you have or have had in the past may make it unsafe for you to take Wegovy.
  • An allergic reaction is caused if you are allergic to Wegovy or its ingredients.

Wegovy is a medication designed for weight management that presents unique considerations when used in elderly patients. Older people can display an increased sensitivity to medication side effects due to age-related changes in metabolism and organ function. Consequently, healthcare providers must proceed with caution when prescribing Wegovy to this population.

A heightened sensitivity to side effects in elderly patients may result in adverse reactions, such as gastrointestinal disturbances or cardiovascular effects. Therefore, a thorough evaluation of each patient’s medical history and baseline health status is essential when gauging their suitability for treatment.

Dosage adjustments may be necessary for elderly patients. Beginning with lower doses may help mitigate the risk of severe side effects while still achieving the desired therapeutic effect. Frequent monitoring and close communication between healthcare providers and older patients can be crucial in ensuring a safe, effective, and timely treatment.

Older patients often have a higher likelihood of requiring multiple medications for various health conditions. Carefully considering the potential for drug interactions between Wegovy and other medications is essential for preventing adverse outcomes and ensuring the combination of drugs is well-tolerated.

Healthcare providers must be diligent in evaluating the comprehensive medication regimen of older patients to reduce the risk of unwanted interactions and complications.

Wegovy Patients with Pre-Existing Conditions

Medical conditions like heart disease and diabetes can significantly impact the risk-benefit profile of Wegovy, requiring careful approaches to treatment.

Patients with heart disease often face an increased risk of cardiovascular events. Wegovy’s potential side effects, such as increased heart rate and blood pressure, need to be closely monitored. Healthcare providers should conduct a thorough cardiovascular evaluation before initiating treatment.

In some cases, collaborating with cardiologists or cardiovascular specialists may be necessary to ensure the safety of Wegovy use. Dosage adjustments may also be needed to minimize cardiovascular stress. Frequent follow-up visits and supervision of cardiac parameters, including ECGs, are vital for early detection of any adverse effects.

Diabetes management involves intricate glycemic control, and the use of Wegovy can positively influence blood sugar levels. Careful coordination between endocrinologists or diabetes specialists and primary care providers is crucial to managing the interaction between Wegovy and diabetes medications.

Dose adjustments for antidiabetic drugs may be necessary to prevent hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) or hyperglycemia (high blood sugar). Frequent blood glucose monitoring and close communication between healthcare providers are imperative to maintain stable glycemic control during Wegovy treatment.

In both cases, comprehensive patient education is essential to fully understand the potential risks and benefits of Wegovy, as well as the importance of adhering to medication and lifestyle recommendations.

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Contact our offices and our team of medical professionals led by founders Dr. Abe Malkin and Dr. Neal Kumar, will answer your queries.

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Final Thoughts

You must undergo treatment with Wegovy (or any other weight loss aid) only under medical supervision and follow your doctor’s directions regarding dosage and frequency of treatment. A house call/concierge doctor can prescribe you Wegovy or another weight loss aid that is right for you so that you can avoid side effects and health complications. Receiving treatment from a house call/concierge doctor allows you to develop a stronger patient-doctor relationship, and it is more convenient than going to a doctor’s office.

Reach Your Weight Loss Goals With Semaglutide

Semaglutide (the same ingredient in Wegovy and Ozempic) is the only proven FDA-approved medication for long-term weight loss and management. Medical weight loss medications can help you on your journey toward your ideal weight.

Book a convenient online consultation and health check followed by a lab test. Eligible individuals will receive a medical weight loss prescription with medications delivered directly to your home.

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