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FDA Approves Wegovy as a New Weight Loss Medication

Posted on 06/14/2021 at 10:56 AM by Iowa Weight Loss Specialists

Wegovy is a once weekly injection under the skin approved for chronic weight management.  The active ingredient (semaglutide)is also in Ozempic, a medication FDA approved for management and treatment of diabetes since 2017.

Weight loss results with any medication are best when used in combination with a reduced calorie diet and increased physical activity.  Adding behavioral health therapy and nutrition counseling could further improve results.  At Iowa Weight Loss Specialists, we have the necessary resources to maximize the benefits of Wegovy.

Significance:

An estimated 70% of the adult U.S. population is considered overweight or obese based on a body mass index of 25 or greater.  An elevated body mass index is associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer.  Losing just 5%-10% of total body weight has been shown to reduce risk of cardiovascular disease in this population group. Despite millions of patients struggling with increased body weight and associated health conditions, the last FDA approved weight loss medications were in 2014. 

Indication:

Wegovy is approved as a weight loss medication for a BMI over 30.  Approval also exists with a BMI of 27-30 in combination with one weight related condition such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol.

Mechanism of Action:

Wegovy is a GLP-1 agonist that works in multiple ways.  It slows the rate at which food empties the stomach and sends signals to the area of the brain regulating appetite and food intake.  Patients on the medication feel full quickly and desire for high calorie foods reduce.  The end result is a decrease in daily calorie intake leading to weight loss.

Side Effects:

The most common side effects of Wegovy are gastrointestinal.  Nausea, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, or stomach pain are a few worth mentioning as possibilities.  A personal history of pancreatitis or a personal/family history of medullary thyroid tumors are a contraindication for use. 

Results:    

The largest placebo controlled trial in adults without diabetes showed average total weight loss at 12.4% of body weight.  This would equate to a 280 pound adult losing 35 pounds on average.

Conclusion:

FDA approval for Wegovy for chronic weight management is exciting and results look promising.  Consistent with historically new weight loss medications, a major barrier for use of Wegovy is cost.  Health insurance coverage is often limited.  At Iowa Weight Loss Specialists, we’re committed to using all resources available to achieve your weight loss goals and improve health.  Visit iowaweightloss.com or call 515-327-2000 to see if you’re a good candidate for Wegovy.

More information regarding Wegovy can be found at the FDA website here:  https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/fda-approves-new-drug-treatment-chronic-weight-management-first-2014

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