Whether Wegovy is worth it depends on how you respond to the medication and how much money you’re willing to invest into your health and weight loss goals.
For example, if you’re spending over £300 a month on Wegovy and you’re not seeing the weight loss results you were expecting, or the side effects aren’t manageable, then Wegovy won’t seem worth it.
On the other hand, if you’re achieving your weight loss goals and you’re not experiencing side effects, or the side effects are manageable, then Wegovy might be worth it for you.
Is Wegovy worth it for weight loss?
Research has shown that Wegovy (semaglutide 2.4 mg) can lead to a weight loss of around 16% of your body weight, or 16-17 kg, after 68 weeks.
Most of this weight loss occurs in the first 32 weeks (9 months) and plateaus as the body adapts to the medication and patients find a sustainable way of eating.
Lifestyle interventions without semaglutide tend to lead to an average weight loss of around 5-10%.
Losing and maintaining weight loss of more than 10% is associated with significantly reducing complications related to obesity, including hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.
A recent paper published in The Lancet showed that nearly 20% of participants in lifestyle interventions without medications gain weight, around 40% lose between 1-10% of their body weight, and just 13% lose more than 10%.
In comparison, less than 5% of participants combining semaglutide with lifestyle interventions gain weight, around 10% lose between 1-10%, and 87% lose more than 10%.
This research shows that 47% more people lose more than 10% of body weight on lifestyle interventions with semaglutide compared to those without the medication.
If you need to lose weight and have made several unsuccessful attempts to do so in the past, feeling like you’ve exhausted all options, then Wegovy might be worth considering for weight loss.
Is Wegovy worth the money?
In the UK, Wegovy will cost anywhere between £179 to £375 a month for a prescription. The cost is typically linked to the dosing so that the lower doses will cost less, and the higher doses will cost more.
Whether you feel Wegovy is worth the money will depend on how much you’re willing to spend on improving your health and losing weight and how much you feel you benefit from the medication.
Let’s say you can comfortably afford Wegovy, and the price isn’t a problem. You might have more flexibility regarding how long it takes to lose weight and how many side effects you’ll tolerate.
On the other hand, if you’re on a tight budget and the cost of Wegovy could be a bit of a stretch; you’ll likely have less flexibility and expect more from the treatment.
You’d likely expect significant weight loss quickly, so your budget isn’t stretched for too long.
However, even if you are on a tight budget – the short-term outlay on the medication is worth it for the potential life-extending benefits of losing a significant amount of weight.
So, whether Wegovy is worth the money will depend on your situation, budget, and health goals.
Wegovy is a safe and highly effective weight-loss medication and is more than twice as effective as other weight-loss solutions, but it might not be appropriate for everyone.
Is Wegovy worth the side effects?
Whether Wegovy is worth the side effects will be down to your personal medication experience and how you progress.
Let’s say you’re experiencing some mild but uncomfortable side effects, but you’re losing weight at a healthy, sustainable rate, and feeling much healthier overall, despite the side effects. In this case, you might feel Wegovy is worth the side effects.
On the other hand, say you’re experiencing more severe side effects that adversely impact your quality of life. In this case, you might feel Wegovy won’t be worth the side effects.
At least 80% of patients who take Wegovy will experience side effects at least once, and at any given time, at least 20% of people taking Wegovy will be experiencing side effects.
The most common side effects of Wegovy and Ozempic are nausea, constipation, vomiting, and other symptoms affecting the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, like diarrhoea.
These symptoms most commonly occur around the time of the injection, during dose escalation, and are typically transient and will ease after you’ve adapted to the medication.
However, everyone responds differently to these medications; some people won’t experience any side effects, while others will have to discontinue their medication due to the discomfort the side effects cause.
While not cited in the literature, there are also reports of fatigue from taking Wegovy. The mechanisms underlying this possible link aren’t clear, but it could be an indirect effect of the drug lowering appetite and people not eating enough calories.
There are possible links to rare and more severe side effects such as pancreatitis and thyroid cancer. However, this has not yet been shown in the clinical trials for semaglutide.
Take home message
The recent innovations in GLP-1 medications are pretty remarkable and have caused quite a stir in the world of healthcare.
We’re in new territory where obesity and type 2 diabetes medications treat an underlying cause instead of merely treating the symptoms to support better management.
However, these drugs shouldn’t be seen as miracle cures; they’re not designed to be used for life.
They’ve been designed to be taken alongside lifestyle changes that will enable you to eventually come off the medications and maintain your lower weight for the long term.
If you’re considering taking Wegovy for weight loss, weighing up the pros and cons of the medications and understanding your experience will be different to others.