How Does Wegovy® Work?

Quick overview of what we’ll cover in this blog post:

  • How Wegovy® works for weight loss
  • How Ozempic works for type 2 diabetes
  • How both can fit into your weight loss plan

By now, most of us are at least familiar with Wegovy®. Even if you’ve only just heard the name, you likely still know about this family of treatments anyway, thanks to its more popular sister product, Ozempic.

And of course, why wouldn’t you have heard of it? The commercials are blowing up broadcasts, celebrities can’t stop gossiping about it, and everyone seems to be touting its amazing potential weight loss benefits.

But one thing that’s not immediately clear from all the buzz is how exactly Wegovy® and Ozempic work. What’s the secret behind its mechanism of action? How do they help us lose so much weight? And why is it suddenly the most preferred weight loss option around? We dive into all this and more below.

How does Wegovy® work?

The first thing to know is that Wegovy® and Ozempic have semaglutide as the active ingredient, which belongs to a class of medications known as GLP-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1-RA). These are a rather new discovery initially developed as a better alternative for liraglutide, a popular treatment for type 2 diabetes. In fact, both are developed by Novo Nordisk, and while other GLP-1 agonist treatments have emerged since, this company remains the only source for semaglutide, the most popular GLP-1-RA option.

You may already be asking yourself, why type 2 diabetes? Well, fundamentally, GLP-1-RAs are designed to treat type 2 diabetes, which helps us better understand how these treatments work.

Semaglutide imitates the glucagon-like peptide (GLP-1) hormone. GLP-1 is a natural hormone released from the gut that ultimately sends a signal to the liver, telling it to stop dumping sugar into the bloodstream (in this way it shares a similar therapeutic action to Metformin). This is no trivial matter, as the liver is a glorified “glucose factory”, pumping sugar into the blood for the rest of the organs in our body (especially for our brain).

So what’s the problem, and how does semaglutide address it? In type 2 diabetes, the liver becomes deaf to the signals (i.e. insulin) that tell it to shut down. The result is sky high blood sugar levels, chronic inflammation, damaged blood vessels, and the whole slew of issues that characterize hyperglycemia. As such, semaglutide has historically been prescribed as an antidiabetic medication.

However, semaglutide has another important effect on us that has propelled it into stardom (literally and figuratively): it acts on the digestive system to delay gastric emptying (delaying release of food from the stomach) and modulates brain activity (in the hypothalamus) to suppress appetite. The grand effect of these actions: taking in less calories due to feeling satiated earlier and for longer. This is true for both diabetic and non-diabetic patients, which is why Wegovy® has been FDA approved for weight loss since 2021.

Can you use either Wegovy® or Ozempic for weight loss?

One thing to keep in mind is that Wegovy® is FDA approved for weight loss, while Ozempic is only FDA approved for type 2 diabetes. Despite this, both medications effectively achieve similar goals, though there are some differences between the two that justify separate FDA approvals for both.

For instance, Wegovy® is provided at a higher dose of 2.4mg, which helps amplify the weight loss benefits. Ozempic, on the other hand, has a maximum target dose of 2.0mg, which is less potent for weight loss (especially in non-diabetics).

Nonetheless, it’s totally viable to use Ozempic for weight loss instead of Wegovy®. It was used for weight loss before Wegovy® was approved and continues to be a personal preference for many. However, with both treatments at the height of their popularity, some users are left to resort to Ozempic when supplies of Wegovy® are thin. Both are safe and viable alternatives, but any such option should be cleared with your doctor first.

Of course, if you’re curious about whether Wegovy® is right for you, you don’t have to scour the internet for answers – you have the best source for semaglutide at your fingertips! Learn more about Wegovy®™ and find out if it’s right for you, or schedule a free visit with one of our experts to explore weight loss options.

Note: The above statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Unless otherwise noted, all information as presented here is sourced from Wegovy®™.com.