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What is Wegovy®? How does it work?

In the UK, obesity, a chronic disease, is increasingly prevalent. While the body naturally resists weight loss to preserve fat stores, a new weight loss medication has shown effectiveness in overcoming this challenge. How do these medications work? And what is it?

Azeem Yussouf
Azeem Yussouf
Medical doctor
What is Wegovy®? How does it work?

Obesity is a chronic disease, and more British people than ever are now living with severe obesity. One of the challenges of weight loss is the body's own biology. When you try to lose weight, your body will try to hold on to its fat stores - this is what nature has coded it to do to survive in times of crisis.

Nevertheless, it can make it difficult to lose weight, but a new Danish drug developed by Novo Nordisk has proven effective when weight loss becomes a challenge. Wegovy® is one of the medications used for medical weight loss - and is something we use here at Embla. Find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about Wegovy® here and learn whether you are suitable for a medical weight loss program.

The name of a weight loss medication

Wegovy® is the name of Novo Nordisk's new weight loss medication.

By mimicking the body's satiety hormone, the drug is effective in connection with weight loss, and studies have produced results with weight loss of up to 20% of body weight in test subjects.

Can you get Wegovy® in the UK?

Yes. Wegovy was made available in the UK in September 2023.

The medication treats obesity and mimics the body's appetite-regulating hormones. It reduces feelings of hunger and increases your sense of fullness when you eat, as long as you are on treatment.

Studies have shown that the combination of obesity medication and exercise is twice as effective as medication or exercise alone. Weight loss with the help of medication is only permanent if it is combined with a lifestyle change. That is why all of Embla's medical weight loss programs are combined with coaching and advice on diet, exercise, sleep and other important lifestyle factors.

Where to buy Wegovy®?

Wegovy® can be purchased at UK pharmacies throughout the country. But to buy the medication, you must have a prescription - this can be from your doctor or a doctor at, for example, a regulated weight loss clinic such as Embla. (Embla delivers your medication directly to your home from our pharmacy partner.)

Not everyone can get a prescription for Wegovy®. You must have a BMI over 30 or a BMI between 27 and 30 and at least one weight-related condition. Embla attaches great importance to the fact that the medication should only support your weight loss. It is the lifestyle changes that are most important. The first step is to book a screening, where we can clarify whether you are suitable for our program.

How does Wegovy® work?

Wegovy® is a so-called GLP-1a drug. It mimics the body's satiety hormone, called GLP-1. When you eat, GLP-1 is released in the gut and sends a message to the brain that you are full.

It stimulates the release of insulin and inhibits the release of glucagon, which regulates blood sugar. All this happens entirely naturally in the body.The effect of GLP-1a drugs is the same: they reduce appetite and create a feeling of satiety. In this way, Wegovy® helps to achieve and maintain weight loss.

Does Wegovy® deliver results?

Studies have shown convincing results with weight loss of up to 20% of body weight when Novo Nordisk's obesity medicine, Wegovy®, is used correctly alongside a change in diet and exercise habits. Studies have also shown that the combination of obesity medication and exercise is twice as effective as medication or exercise alone.

Studies also suggest that weekly treatment with Wegovy® can reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by approximately 60% in people with severe obesity.

What is the price of Wegovy®?

The price of Wegovy® varies considerably between pharmacies but typically costs between £150 and £300 when purchased alone without any comprehensive coaching support and close medical supervision.

At Embla, your Wegovy® prescription is included in your total monthly cost of £299.

Is prescription weight loss medication right for you?

Using any prescription medicine for weight loss is a decision that should only be taken in conjunction with expert medical advice. Embla's medical team assesses every member individually to determine the best approach.

For advice and to check suitability for Wegovy®, please book a free consultation.

In this article
Azeem Yussouf
Azeem Yussouf
Medical doctor

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