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Wegovy (Semaglutide)

Wegovy is a once-weekly Semaglutide injection and the recommended first-line treatment for weight loss by our medical experts at myBMI’s weight loss clinic.

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*Ratings based on our prescribers’ own experience with medications provided and are not a reflection of your own suitability for treatment.

Consultations start from €199

We cannot change the strength of your treatment after your consultation is complete. Please double-check the information you provide to our healthcare team to ensure the treatment you receive is correct.

Wegovy (Semaglutide)

Semaglutide is a treatment for type 2 diabetes which has recently been licensed to be used for weight management under the brand name Wegovy.

Now it is readily available in Ireland, it may be prescribed to adults with a BMI of more than 30 (or over 27 if weight-related health conditions are present) who have struggled to lose weight through natural methods such as diet, exercise and other lifestyle changes.

It’s taken as a weekly injection and studies have shown that it has the potential to be a very effective treatment in those who need it.

What is Semaglutide?

Semaglutide is a medicine that was first developed to treat type 2 diabetes in adults, as it helps to reduce blood glucose levels which can often be quite high in people with diabetes.

However, clinical trials showed that people taking Semaglutide also experienced a reduced appetite and weight loss.

Because of this, the drug has undergone further trials to see whether or not it would be effective as a treatment for obesity in adults who don’t have diabetes.

Results are promising so far, with studies currently showing that Semaglutide can significantly help with weight loss in obese adults.

Semaglutide has recently been licensed for weight loss and is going through manufacturing, after this will be available for weight management as Wegovy.

In the meantime, prescribers can prescribe other GLP-1 Receptor Agonists, including Liraglutide, for weight loss.

Our prescribers here at myBMI can offer GLP-1 Receptor Agonists, but they will only do so if they believe that it’s the best possible treatment option for the patient in question.

Is Semaglutide the same as Ozempic or Wegovy?

Ozempic and Wegovy are both brand names for Semaglutide injections.

It’s manufactured by Novo Nordisk, which is the company that invented the medication.

For several years, Ozempic was the only form of Semaglutide that was available.

However, in 2020, Novo Nordisk launched Rybelsus – a tablet version of Semaglutide that’s taken daily.

Now, patients can request their preferred treatment for consideration during a consultation with a qualified prescriber, whether they’d like to take a weekly injection or a daily tablet.

Ozempic is still the most common form of Semaglutide used as a diabetes treatment, as most people who currently take it have been used to using the injections.

Ozempic is the version of Semaglutide that is officially approved and licensed for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes and it can only be used for this purpose.

However, the FDA in the USA have approved Semaglutide for chronic weight management and the UK is swiftly following them, licensing this treatment under the name Wegovy.

The maximum strength of Ozempic available is the 1.0mg pen as this is the dose that gives optimal results in controlling people’s Type 2 diabetes.

However, Wegovy will be released with a therapeutic dose of 2.4mg for the purposes of weight management, meaning that the dose of Semaglutide is higher in Wegovy than it is in Ozempic.

The difference, therefore between the two medications is their licenses – Ozempic is licensed to treat type 2 diabetes mellitus, whereas Wegovy is licensed for weight management, despite both containing the same active drug.

A few weight loss and diabetes medications follow the same licensing and naming conditions.

Here’s an example of some of the most popular treatments that have different names when used for diabetes and weight management.

Active IngredientType 2 Diabetes TreatmentWeight Loss Medication
LiraglutideVictozaSaxenda
SemaglutideOzempicWegovy
TirzepatideMounjaroCurrently unknown

How does Wegovy (Semaglutide) work for weight loss?

Wegovy helps with weight loss because of the way it works in your gut.

When we eat, our intestines produce and release a hormone called GLP-1.

This hormone helps our brain to recognise that we’re satisfied and don’t need any more food.

Wegovy is a medicine called a “GLP-1 receptor agonist”, which means that it works in a very similar way to the GLP-1 hormone that our intestines produce naturally.

However, Semaglutide lasts for much longer than the natural version of the hormone, meaning that you’re more likely to feel more satisfied for a longer amount of time – reducing the amount that you eat overall.

This then leads to a decrease in your calorie intake, which when combined with a low-calorie diet and more exercise should lead to successful weight loss.

We have an article dedicated to explaining how Semaglutide works, so if you’d like to know more, please do take a look.

Can you buy Wegovy online?

You cannot buy Wegovy online, as it is only available on prescription from licensed medical professionals.

This is why online retailers like ourselves will ask you to go through a consultation with our prescribing team before we provide any of our treatments.

You can complete your consultation in your own time and our prescribing team will review your responses before deciding whether Semaglutide would be the right treatment for you.

If a prescriber thinks Wegovy, or any other medication would be suitable for you, they will write a prescription for your treatment, which will be fulfilled by our partner pharmacy, My Health Digitial Ltd t/a ePharmNI.

Again, it’s important to remember that Ozempic is not a weight loss medication and won’t be prescribed for that purpose, but Semaglutide can be prescribed for weight loss treatments under the brand name Wegovy.

Is Semaglutide safe?

Semaglutide is safe for most people that need to take it.

As it’s a prescription-only medicine, it has to be prescribed to you by a medical professional who will be able to make the best judgement on whether or not Semaglutide is the right treatment for you.

There are certain groups of people that should avoid taking Semaglutide, as it may cause them harm due to an underlying condition.

If you have any of the following conditions, this treatment might not be safe for you;

  • Allergy to Semaglutide
  • Type 1 diabetes
  • Diabetic eye disease

Semaglutide might also interact with some medicines, so you should let your prescriber know everything that you’re currently taking, including anything that isn’t prescribed.

If you’re taking any of the following treatments in particular, you should tell your prescriber so that they can decide if Semaglutide is safe for you;

  • Warfarin or other blood thinners
  • Insulin (you may need to adjust your dose)
  • Certain other diabetes medications

Titration Path

This is the lowest dose available for weekly injections, and you’ll usually start by taking this for the first 4 weeks.

The main purpose of starting on the lowest dose is to avoid experiencing any severe side effects, so please don’t be disheartened if you don’t see much movement on the scales whilst you’re taking 0.25mg.

Some people do start to see some weight loss even on this lowest dose.

Taking 0.25mg injections weekly for the first month of treatment means that your body will be allowed to gradually get used to the medication before you titrate up to a higher dose.

From weeks 5-8, most people move onto a 0.5mg injection every week.

Although this still isn’t the therapeutic dose, remember that this is still a titration period to allow your body a chance to adjust to treatment.

You should take the 0.5mg dose weekly throughout your second month of treatment.

From week 9, you’ll be able to take the full weekly dose of 1.0mg.

For most people, this is enough to start seeing results, and many people who take weekly injections for weight loss stay at this dosage for as long as they need to.

You shouldn’t ever take 1.0mg straight away without titrating up from a lower dose, as this could cause severe side effects.

The Sustain plan is suitable for people who have been taking the 1.0mg dose for a while and have either reached a plateau or stopped seeing as much success as expected.

Your prescriber will make the final decision about whether or not a surge plan would be appropriate for you, and if so, how long you should stay on it.

The Stay maintenance plan is perfect for people who have reached their goal weight with Wegovy and want to maintain it without losing or gaining a significant amount more.

Wegovy side effects

Most medicines cause side effects in some people, and Semaglutide isn’t an exception to this.

However, it’s important to know that not everybody experiences side effects when taking Semaglutide, and those that do often find that they go away on their own within a few weeks as the body gets used to the medication.

Most side effects that are reported with this treatment tend to involve the gut.

For example, some of the most common side effects include;

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhoea
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach pain
  • Bloating
  • Constipation
  • Burping
  • Gas

Other common side effects listed on the patient information leaflet include;

  • Indigestion
  • Inflamed stomach (gastritis)
  • Acid reflux or heartburn
  • Gallstones
  • Dizziness
  • Tiredness

The complete list of side effects is available in the patient information leaflet, which you should read before you start to take Semaglutide.

If you do experience side effects whilst taking Semaglutide, your healthcare team can provide any supporting treatments which might help you to deal with them.

For example, if you’re experiencing diarrhoea, a prescriber or pharmacist may provide Loperamide to help to reduce it.

If you are one of our patients, any of these supplemental treatments will be included in the cost of your consultation, as we want to make sure that patients are supported throughout their weight management journey, and we believe that treatments for side effects should be part of that support.

Potential risks of higher doses

Wegovy is licenced for a maintenance dose of 2.4mg.

Please be advised that there is a higher risk of side effects such as pancreatitis at higher doses.

We recommend that once you reach your ideal weight, you should either look to gradually come off prescribed weight loss medication, and maintain your weight with lifestyle interventions, or use the lowest dose of treatment necessary to maintain your weight.

Please note that while some patients require 1.7mg or 2.4mg to maintain weight, others have success with this at lower doses, each individual will be different.

Where can I get GLP-1 receptor agonist injections in Ireland?

myBMI offers GLP-1 Receptor Agonists as well as many other weight loss treatments, as a first-line treatment for obesity.

If you’re considering taking weekly injections for weight loss, please complete an online consultation so our prescribing team can consider whether they would be right for you.

Starter consultations costs €199*, and includes 28 days’ worth of treatment, delivery, needles and a sharps bin, any supporting treatments, and access to the myBMI community, as well as exclusive videos and content from our specialists.     Rather than just buying medication, with myBMI, you’re buying a complete weight management package from a specialist-led service.     Again, your choice of treatment is the ultimate decision of our prescriber.

What is the cost of myBMI?

Consultations start from €199*. If it is deemed appropriate for a medicine to be prescribed, the consultation price will include 28 days’ worth of treatment, delivery, needles and a sharps bin, any supporting treatments, and access to the myBMI community, as well as exclusive videos and content from our specialists. With myBMI, you are buying a complete weight management package from a specialist-led service. The choice of treatment, if a treatment is deemed appropriate after completion of the consultation, is ultimately the decision of the prescriber.

*Our higher dosage plans (1mg and higher) are subject to an additional surcharge. Due to high demand and supplier availability, all prices are subject to change.

Content Written By

Laura Henderson

Laura Henderson

Reviewed & Fact-Checked

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