In clinical trials the Wegovy pens caused side effects preventing normal everyday activities in less than 4% of patients (compared with those taking a placebo dummy injection). However, there are some rare, but potentially more severe Wegovy side effects you should be aware of.
If you experience any of the side effects listed below, stop your treatment immediately and seek medical attention.
Pancreatitis (1 in 500 risk)
Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas gland (part of the digestive system). It is often mild and self-limiting, but can become serious if left untreated. If you experience sharp, persistent pain in the centre of your stomach and that extends to your back, stop using the pens immediately and seek medical attention.
Gallbladder- Related Disorders (about 1 in 100 risk)
The weight loss injections may cause gallbladder-related disorders including gallstones (cholelithiasis). Common symptoms of gallstones include persistent severe stomach pains under the right rib cage, often with a high fever and sometimes associated with yellowing of the whites of the eyes (known as Jaundice). If you experience any of these side effects please stop taking the medication immediately and seek medical attention.
Injection site reactions (1 in 20 risk) and Allergic Reactions
Whilst reactions such as some swelling, tenderness, redness or itching around the injection site are fairly common, a very serious allergic reaction to the pen is rare. However, if you have any symptoms of an allergic reaction such as severe rashes and itching, swelling of the tongue, face throat or lips and difficulty breathing or swallowing, stop using the pens immediately and seek urgent medical attention.
For diabetics – Low blood sugar (hypoglycaemia) – Rare
If you have diabetes, or are taking certain diabetes medications such as insulin or another weight loss injection, taking the pens may lead to low blood sugar. We will ask supplementary questions about your diabetes treatments to assess your suitability for the treatment during the SemaPen programme onboarding process. It is important to make sure to measure your blood sugar levels regularly and speak to your diabetes healthcare professional if you experience any symptoms of hypoglycaemia such as dizziness, anxiety and palpitations, sweating, turning pale or fainting.
Mental health disturbance – Very Rare
Following a small number of case reports in Iceland and the USA, agencies that monitor the safety of new medicines are assessing a potential link between use of weight loss injections and thoughts of self-harm. At the time of writing no causal association has been demonstrated, but our advice is to stop your treatment and seek urgent help from your family doctor or mental health practitioner in the unlikely event that you experience suicidal thoughts whilst on the treatment. In addition, we will send you questionnaires to monitor your mental health during your time on the SemaPen programme.