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What is Wegovy?

Weogvy is a new weight loss treatment that has just been licensed in the UK. It contains Semaglutide like Ozempic, but what's the difference?

Wegovy is the brand name for the new 2.4mg Semaglutide injections that have recently been approved by the FDA in the USA.

Wegovy is licensed for chronic weight management in adults who are obese or overweight with at least one weight-related health condition.

Wegovy is a new treatment, but Semaglutide has been used for several years to treat type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). It can also be prescribed off-label for weight loss in the UK in some cases.

Wegovy is the first weight loss treatment to be approved in the USA since 2014.

It’s also the world’s first weight loss medication that’s taken weekly.

Prior to this, the only other GLP-1 receptor agonist that was available for weight management was Saxenda, which has to be injected once a day.

Wegovy has been approved as a result of the STEP trials that were carried out by Novo Nordisk.

These trials investigated whether or not Semaglutide could be used as a treatment for obesity as well as T2DM.

The FDA approved Wegovy after results of the STEP trials showed Semaglutide 2.4mg to be incredibly effective for weight loss.

Side effects were found to be tolerable with a titration period lasting 16-20 weeks.

Results from the trials show that those who took Wegovy lost an average of 15% of their starting weight.

This is compared to just a 2.4% average reduction in weight for participants that took the placebo.

Wegovy seems to be following the same path as Saxenda (also owned by Novo Nordisk).

Liraglutide (Saxenda’s active ingredient) was also used as a diabetes treatment (Victoza) for a few years before being approved for weight loss as Saxenda.

Eli Lilly may not be far behind Novo Nordisk with the GLP-1 receptor agonists for weight loss, as their medicine Tirzepatide is already in stage 3 trials for weight loss.

Can I buy Wegovy? 

Wegovy is currently only available to buy in the United States of America.

This is the only country where Wegovy is currently approved.

Other countries are expected to make a decision on the drug by early next year (2022). 

Although you can’t buy Wegovy outside of America yet, there are alternatives available in the UK that might be suitable for you.

We may prescribe GLP-1 Receptor Agonists as a first-line treatment for obesity to suitable patients.

As our service is operated by weight management specialists, we may prescribe both weekly injections and daily tablets for those that would benefit from using one of them for weight loss.

Remember though, prescribers will only suggest weight loss treatments to suitable patients and they will always have final say over your treatment – if these medications aren’t right for you, they won’t be prescribed for you and that’s that.

Is Wegovy available in the UK? 

Wegovy hasn’t yet been approved for use in the UK or Europe.

However, a decision is expected from regulators by early next year.

If approved, we could see Wegovy in the UK within the next 12 months or so.

Though this depends on if UK healthcare regulators approve Wegovy for use in the country.

Alternatives to Wegovy 

If you live in the UK and want to buy Wegovy, unfortunately you might be in for a bit of a wait.

In the meantime, other Semaglutide injections can be prescribed off-label for weight loss in some circumstances. 

For example, if you have a BMI of over 30 (or over 27 with a weight-related condition), and you’ve struggled to lose weight naturally, you may be eligible to take Semaglutide injections anyway.

This is despite the fact that they aren’t yet licensed for weight loss in the UK.

Whilst the Semaglutide injections that are available in the UK aren’t Wegovy, they still contain the same active ingredient.

Ozempic is also a Semaglutide injection – but it is only used for type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Some places also offer daily tablets as an alternative for those that don’t want to use injections. 

Other alternatives to Wegovy include Saxenda, which is a once-daily GLP-1 receptor agonist injection.

It works in a similar way to Wegovy, but contains Liraglutide instead of Semaglutide. 

Other weight loss medications also exist, such as Orlistat which helps to block 1/3 of dietary fat, or even Mysimba, which works within the brain to suppress your appetite.

How much is Wegovy? 

Novo Nordisk haven’t yet released the prices for Wegovy, so unfortunately we aren’t able to give much information about how much it might cost when it’s released over here.

However, as it’s a stronger dose than other Semaglutide treatments, we can only imagine that it may also be more expensive

Content Written By

Laura Henderson

Laura Henderson

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