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A Highly Effective Weight Loss Medication That’s Safe for Patients with Cardiovascular Disease

Wegovy (semaglutide) for Weight Loss in Houston TX

Wegovy (semaglutide) was originally developed for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. When combined with diet and exercise, it improves blood sugar levels and reduces the risk of cardiovascular events like heart attacks and strokes. In June 2021, the FDA approved Wegovy (2.4mg) injection for the treatment of obesity. Unlike stimulant-based medications, Wegovy can be prescribed for patients with cardiovascular diseases like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol, helping to improve not just weight but overall health for patients who need it the most.

What is Wegovy?

Wegovy (2.4mg) injection is a treatment for chronic obesity. It’s proven highly effective in clinical trials. It is administered through an injection (generally in the thigh) and is taken once per week. In order to take Wegovy, you’ll need to plan on weekly trips to your healthcare provider or be comfortable giving yourself injections.

Patients on semaglutide have reported losing as much as 80lbs, with clinical trials for Wegovy losing an average of 12.4% of their body weight over 68 weeks. Patients must start Wegovy with a lower dose and gradually increase the dosage over 16-20 weeks in order to reduce the gastrointestinal side effects.

Who is Wegovy For?

Because it is not a stimulant, Wegovy is a good solution for those who may not be able to take stimulant-based appetite suppressants such as phentermine. Stimulants are often not prescribed for patients who have existing cardiovascular disease as they can complicate these conditions. Wegovy can actually reduce the risk of a cardiovascular event while also causing weight loss.

Wegovy can be prescribed for adults with a BMI of 30, or adults with a BMI of 27 and at least one weight-related co-morbidity (not including diabetes). Wegovy is for patients who want to lose weight, especially patients with type 2 diabetes or whose weight puts them at risk of a serious cardiovascular event (like heart attack or stroke).

Wegovy does have a variety of side effects (see below for more). Patients who continue the medication have reported an improvement in side effects after four weeks. Wegovy should not be used in combination with other semaglutide-containing medications.

How Does Wegovy Work?

Wegovy slows down the rate at which your stomach sends food to your large intestine. This results in slower digestion (which improves blood sugar) and a longer feeling of fullness. It also stimulates the pancreas to produce more insulin, removing sugar from the bloodstream.

Patients on Wegovy have reported reduced appetite and a reduced craving for sweets, both of which contribute to weight loss. Patients also report that over-eating while on Wegovy results in unpleasant side effects, which discourages poor eating habits. Wegovy is prescribed in combination with diet and exercise.

What are the Side Effects of Wegovy?

You should be aware of all potential and expected side effects prior to taking Wegovy. Wegovy does have side effects, especially during the first four weeks, after which side effects improve markedly. Some patients may not be able to handle these common side effects, which include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach pain
  • Constipation

Wegovy must be used in combination with diet and exercise to be both effective and in order to manage side effects. Over-eating or eating junk food while taking semaglutide has been reported to increase the intensity of side effects. Eating smaller portions and low calories, low-sugar foods has been reported to reduce the side effects significantly.

Wegovy does have several potentially serious side effects. In laboratory trials it has been shown to cause tumors in the thyroid (including cancer) in some cases. It may also cause inflammation of the pancreas, low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), kidney problems, or serious allergic reactions.

Patients whose family has a history of medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) or Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN 2) should not take Wegovy. You should also not take Wegovy if you are allergic to any of the ingredients in Wegovy. Speak with your healthcare provider if you have kidney problems, pancreas problems, have a history of diabetic retinopathy (loss of vision), or are breastfeeding, pregnant, or plan to become pregnant.

Getting an Wegovy Prescription for Weight Loss in Houston TX

Wegovy is a prescription drug and must be prescribed by a doctor or nurse practitioner. If you have already tried other appetite suppressant medication and have not found success, or if cardiovascular risks like high blood pressure prevent you from taking stimulant medications, Wegovy may be a solution for you. Our nurse practitioners (NPs) at Houston Weight Loss Center will discuss whether Wegovy is a good solution and can prescribe Wegovy if it’s determined to be the best option for you.