WEEKLY WEGOVY (semaglutide) WEIGHT LOSS PROGRAM
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Wegovy (semaglutide) injection once a week for chronic weight management in adults with obesity or overweight with at least one weight-related condition (such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, or high cholesterol), for use in addition to a reduced calorie diet and increased physical activity. This weekly subcutaneous injection is the first approved drug for chronic weight management in adults with general obesity or overweight since 2014. Some are calling it the new gastric by-pass in a syringe.
Semaglutide works by mimicking a hormone called glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) that targets areas of the brain that regulate appetite and food intake. The medication dose must be increased gradually over 16 to 20 weeks to 2.4 mg once weekly to reduce gastrointestinal side effects.
The most common side effects of semaglutide include nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, constipation, abdominal pain, headache, fatigue, indigestion, dizziness, abdominal distension, belching, hypoglycemia in patients with type 2 diabetes, flatulence, gastroenteritis, and gastroesophageal reflux disease.
The prescribing information for semaglutide contains a boxed warning to inform healthcare professionals and patients about the potential risk of thyroid C-cell tumors. Semaglutide should not be used in patients with a personal or family history of medullary thyroid carcinoma or in patients with a rare condition called Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN 2).
Semaglutide should not be used in patients with a history of severe allergic reactions to semaglutide. Patients should stop semaglutide immediately and seek medical help if a severe allergic reaction is suspected. Semaglutide also contains warnings for inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis), gallbladder problems (including gallstones), low blood sugar, acute kidney injury, diabetic retinopathy (damage to the eye's retina), increased heart rate and suicidal behavior or thinking. If semaglutide is used with insulin or a substance that causes insulin secretion, patients should speak to their health care provider about potentially lowering the dose of insulin or the insulin-inducing drug to reduce the risk of low blood sugar.
It’s not known whether it’s safe to use semaglutide during pregnancy. The drug’s manufacturer recommends stopping semaglutide at least 2 months before trying to become pregnant. This clinic will not prescribe semaglutide to patients who are pregnant or breast feeding (no exceptions.)
Week 1 – 4 Dose 0.25 mg Week 13 – 16 Dose 1.7 mg
Week 5 – 8 Dose 0.5 mg Week 17 and onward Dose 2.4 mg (Maintenance)
Week 9 - 12 Dose 1 mg