Last year in 2021 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Wegovy (semaglutide) for adults that have at minimum one weight-related condition such as hypertension or diabetes and struggle with chronic weight management because they are overweight or obese. Last year Wegovy was the first weight loss drug that was approved by the FDA since the year 2014. The medication works by being injected once a week beneath the skin with the dose increasing every four weeks until 2.4 milligrams is reached per week. There were participants in the study who had injections of Wegovy for 68 weeks and of their body weight it was found that they lost on average 15% to 18%. The results found from the study were comparable to people who have undergone bariatric surgery. Some physicians expressed that there are no other drugs on the market that have been able to achieve these results. Clinical trials for the drug tested the safety and efficacy in more than 4,500 adults that were obese or overweight. The dosages given in the trials were tolerated well and the most common side-effects were gastrointestinal and were short-lived and mild or moderate in difficulty. Physicians commented on the results on the medication and feel it is a breakthrough in improving the lives of those living with obesity. Additionally, some physicians feel there are few medications options currently available for patients with obesity and this is a great clinical option for many patients dealing with chronic weight management.
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Wegovy works by regulating the appetite in the body which is similar to a hormone that is naturally in the body. Wegovy also increases insulin release which is why the medication has also been used in lower amounts to treat diabetes. To suppress the appetite the medication is used in higher doses to act on the brain. The patients that took Wegovy reported feeling fuller quicker when they were eating and lost weight because the number of calories, they were eating decreased.
Physicians caution patients to not solely rely on the medication to do all the work of losing weight, it is encouraged to get regular exercise and eat a lower calorie diet to reach the full potential of the medication. Wegovy may be a great option for adults who want to lose weight that are overweight or obese and want to keep it off.