Doctor’s split over weight loss drugs long-term use

When asked doctors about Wegovy’s long-term use, some said they were comfortable prescribing Wegovy knowing a patient might take it for years, while others had major concerns. There are no long-term studies on Wegovy, and patients should be prepared to take Wegovy for years since there isn’t an antibiotic for weight”.

Adverse events for Wegovy are going to happen in some patients. Common side effects include nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, and other gastrointestinal issues, according to Novo Nordisk. Possible serious side effects include pancreatitis, gallbladder problems, kidney problems, and increased heart rate, among other issues, according to the manufacturer.

“Dr. Robert Lustig, a neuroendocrinologist and professor emeritus of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco, says he has a major concern about people potentially taking Wegovy for years or of life, especially teenagers.”

“If Wegovy has all of these side effects, then I predict we’ll end up seeing many more patients with significant side effects as administration ramps up.”

One of the more serious side effects is pancreatitis. Pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas, a serious condition that can lead to complications, according to the National Library of Medicine. According to the prescribing information for the drug, acute pancreatitis has occurred in clinical trials of Wegovy.

Lustig says, “But the underlying chronic metabolic dysfunction is still there — as evidenced by the weight regain when people stop taking Wegovy, Lustig points out. The fix is to change the food Americans eat so that they consume fewer refined carbohydrates and less sugar, which people don’t want to do, he adds.

None of these warnings or lack of data on long-term use will stop patients from using the drug, but the $1000 price tag will. Right now, insurers are not willing to stop covering the drugs they see as a vanity drug. They should, however, consider the cost of the drug versus the costs associated with obesity.

Physicians should challenge Novo for ongoing clinical data as they need to be the first line of information for patients who want to lose weight. Right now, patients have to choose what’s better; taking a drug that may have significant side effects or changing their lifestyle to get in shape. Given how we’ve become an instant gratification society, I’d say Novo has a blockbuster on their hands that’s going to continue to grow.