Side effects of Wegovy

Side effects and things that can help

Anna avatar
Written by Anna
Updated over a week ago

What are the most common side effects of Wegovy?

Like any medication, Wegovy has some side effects. The most common side effects of Wegovy may include:

  • headache

  • nausea (feeling sick)

  • vomiting

  • diarrhoea

  • constipation

  • stomach pain

  • feeling weak or tired

1 in 10 people may also experience:

  • feeling dizzy

  • upset stomach or indigestion

  • burping

  • gas (flatulence)

  • bloating of the stomach

  • inflamed stomach (‘gastritis’) – the signs include stomach ache, feeling sick (nausea) or being sick (vomiting)

  • reflux or heartburn – also called ‘gastro-oesophageal reflux disease’

  • gallstones

  • hair loss

  • injection site reactions

  • low blood sugar (hypoglycaemia) in patients with diabetes.

Generally, these are mild and tend to diminish or vanish within a few weeks of commencing treatment. We know it can be difficult to deal with these effects while your body adjusts to the medication. To help alleviate discomfort, we've compiled our top tips for managing potential side effects.

Serious side effects of Wegovy:

There may be some serious side effects to Wegovy:

  • Diabetic Retinopathy: Rapid improvements in blood sugar control may lead to a temporary worsening of diabetic eye disease. This may affect 1 in 10 people

  • Acute Pancreatitis: (inflamed Pancreas) may oocur in up to 1 in 100 people. Signs of pancreatitis include severe and long lasting pain in the stomach that might move to the back. If you have any of these symptoms you should call 999 or attend A&E.

  • Severe allergic reaction: reactions may occur in up to 1 in 1000 people. If you have difficulty breathing, or there is swelling of your face, tongue or throat, call 999 or attend A & E.

How can I manage my constipation?

Constipation is a common side effect, impacting more than 1 in 10 individuals using Wegovy.

To address constipation, consider the following steps:

  • Maintain hydration with clear fluids like water and herbal teas.

  • Include small fruits such as prunes, figs, or grapes in your diet.

  • Increase dietary fibre.

  • Add wheat bran, oats, or linseed to your meals.

  • Incorporate regular walks into your routine.

If needed, you can try a mild laxative, available through your local pharmacist. Additional information on dealing with constipation is available on the NHS website.

How can I manage my nausea and heartburn?

Experiencing nausea and/or heartburn is common, affecting up to 1 in 10 users and becoming more prominent with increased doses of Wegovy.

To alleviate symptoms of heartburn, nausea, or vomiting, consider the following recommendations:

  • Stay hydrated by consuming clear fluids, including water and herbal teas.

  • Consume small, regular meals.

  • Opt for ginger, peppermint, or fennel teas.

  • Reduce sugar and high-fat food intake.

  • Ensure sufficient fresh air.

  • Distract yourself with activities like listening to music or watching a film.

  • Avoid cooking or consuming strong smelling foods.

For those adjusting to a higher dose, an over-the-counter antacid medicine may be beneficial, and your local pharmacist can provide assistance.

How can I manage my headaches?

Headaches are a common side effect, affecting more than 1 in 10 users of Wegovy. While these usually subside within a few days, they may persist for a few weeks.

Address headaches by considering the following tips:

  • Consume ample clear fluids.

  • Opt for small, frequent meals.

  • Use a simple pain reliever like paracetamol.

  • Rest in a quiet, dimly lit place.

  • Explore relaxation techniques, including meditation and focused breathing.

  • Engage in DIY scalp/temple massage.

  • Exercise and ensure adequate sleep.

Persistent or worsening headaches should prompt consultation with your GP or NHS 111 for further advice.

Vomiting

Vomiting is experienced by more than 1 in 10 users of Wegovy.

Key steps for managing vomiting and other side effects include:

  • Maintain good hydration by drinking plenty of water.

  • Consume small, regular meals.

  • Opt for ginger, peppermint, or fennel teas.

  • Consider over-the-counter antacid medicine.

If vomiting exceeds three times a day, reconsider the suitability of Wegovy. Dark urine or lightheadedness may indicate dehydration - get advice from if additional fluid intake is not possible, or you are becoming more unwell.

Diarrhoea

Diarrhoea is a prevalent side effect, affecting more than 1 in 10 individuals using Wegovy.

Manage diarrhoea effectively with these steps:

  • Stay hydrated with clear fluids such as water or squash.

  • Rest and consume small, regular meals.

  • Consider a simple pain reliever like paracetamol.

  • Explore oral rehydration salts with guidance from your pharmacist.

If you have persistent diarrhoea, inability to tolerate fluids, bloody diarrhoea, or bleeding from the bottom, contact NHS 111 for further advice.

Injection site reactions

Up to 1 in 10 users of Wegovy experience injection site reactions, including redness, bruising, itching, swelling, and pain.

Manage these reactions by:

  • Allowing time for your body to adjust to the drug.

  • Trying a non-drowsy antihistamine tablet or local antihistamine cream.

  • Consulting your pharmacist for assistance.

If redness and itching persist, seek medical advice from your GP, NHS 111, or A & E.

Gallstones and inflammation of the gallbladder

Gallstones are common, and up to 1 in 10 users of Wegovy may develop gallstones, with 1 in 100 experiencing an inflamed gallbladder.

Manage potential issues by:

  • Discontinuing Wegovy use if known to have gallstones.

  • Seeking medical attention for abdominal pain, particularly on the right side under your ribs.

In case of severe pain, vomiting, blood in urine, or a high temperature, contact NHS 111 or attend A&E. Maintain a consistent intake of small meals and stay well-hydrated to prevent rapid weight loss.

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