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FDA Approves Wegovy: A Promising Medication for Weight Loss!


The Big News

On June 4th, 2021, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Novo Nordisk’s obesity drug Wegovy, which is based on semaglutide.

It works similarly to human glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) in that it stimulates insulin secretion from the pancreas and metabolizes sugar in addition to suppressing the appetite till the time medication continues.             

Wegovy is only approved for adults who are obese (BMI ≥ 30) or overweight (BMI ≥ 27) and who have specific weight-related medical (comorbid) conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol.

The medication is intended to be used for long-term weight control in combination with a low-calorie diet and increased physical exercise.

Since 2014, this drug has become the first FDA-approved drug for persistent weight control in adults with general obesity or overweight. This will be a prescribed weight loss medication.

Wegovy works by imitating glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) hormone, which targets areas of the brain that regulate hunger and food intake. The drug dose must be progressively raised to 2.4 mg once weekly over 16 to 20 weeks.

Wegovy was authorized by the FDA based on phase 3 results that indicated Wegovy helped 33% of patients lose more than 20% of their body weight throughout a 68-week clinical trial period.

The high-dose form of semaglutide is a first-of-its-kind obesity medicine, as it is administered once weekly.

Wegovy should not be taken in conjunction with any semaglutide-containing products, other GLP-1 receptor agonists, or other weight loss treatments, including prescription, over-the-counter, or herbal medicines.

Obesity or overweight affects around 70% of American people. Obesity or being overweight is a severe health problem.

Merely losing 10% of body weight by diet and exercise can be associated with overall better health.

Different Dosages

Wegovy will be available in single-dose pens. Each pen package will include four single-dose pens in one of five different dosage strengths: 0.25 mg, 0.5 mg, 1, 1.7 mg, and 2.4 mg.

The patient is expected to progress to a higher dosage strength every four weeks until they reach the maximum tolerable dose of 2.4 mg.

Potential Side-Effects

Cholelithiasis was reported by 1.6 percent of individuals receiving semaglutide and 0.7 percent of those on placebo in clinical studies.

In terms of cholecystitis, the rates with the increased dose of semaglutide were 0.6 percent vs 0.2 percent with placebo. These are quite low rates, but they do occur.

There is also worry regarding pancreatitis, so be aware that these conditions can arise and that you should be on the lookout for them if a patient exhibits signs or symptoms of either.

The company is also being careful in creating awareness about the possible serious impact of this drug on the thyroid glands or, the endocrine system in full.

Prior to Wegovy, the FDA authorized other pharmacologic weight loss medications such as Saxenda (2014), Contrave (2014), and Qysmia (2012).

Wegovy, being the latest, looks to be the most promising among all with Novo Nordisk reports of research claiming an average weight loss of 15%. The Saxenda reported an average weight loss of 5% of body weight.

Novo Nordisk has not disclosed the list price of Wegovy but has suggested that it would be comparable to the price of its medication Saxenda, a weight-loss treatment that costs $1,300 per month without insurance.

Big Question

Since the insurance companies will look at it as a lifestyle treatment instead of relating it to a medical concern, they will be reluctant to pay the reimbursement or cover the high cost involved in this weight loss program.



Featured photo: Photo by Total Shape from Pexels

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Navjot Singh
I'm an independent healthcare analyst with a passion for exploring and researching overall well-being. From cutting-edge medications to time-tested traditions, I delve into various perspectives. My extensive analysis covers health, alternative treatments, nutrition, fitness, herbs, and parenting. Every write-up on Bloomposts is churned thoroughly from authentic & published mediums. My aim is to provide valuable information for those who seek it. Now, let's dive into the articles - I hope you find them enjoyable and valuable.

7 thoughts on “FDA Approves Wegovy: A Promising Medication for Weight Loss!

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