Wegovy MOA (Mechanism of action of Semaglutide) – Ozempic

Wegovy MOA

wegovy moa

Wegovy is the injectable formulation of Semaglutide. It is administered as a 2.4 mg once-weekly injection.

Ozempic is another once-weekly formulation of Semaglutide, however, it is administered in a dose of 0.5 mg and 1 mg once-weekly compared to 2.4 mg Semaglutide.

Another formulation of Semaglutide is the oral tablets administered in a dose of 3 mg, 7 mg, and 14 mg once daily.

Wegovy MOA (Mechanism of action of Semaglutide):

Wegovy is a GLP-1 analog. It is 94% identical to the endogenous GLP-1 present in the human body.

Wegovy has a very long half-life and the drug stays in the blood for about five weeks when administered subcutaneously in contrast to the endogenous GLP-1 which has a very short half-life.

Among the three formulations of Semaglutide, Wegovy is FDA approved for weight loss in overweight and obese individuals with or without diabetes.

Wegovy is FDA-approved for weight loss

GLP-1 (Glucagon-like peptide 1) is a peptide hormone that is released by the gut in response to a meal. GLP-1 and GIP (Glucose-dependent insulinotropic peptide, previously called gastric inhibitory peptide) are also called incretins.

The first time incretins were discovered was when scientists noticed that the administration of oral glucose resulted in a greater release of insulin compared to the intravenous administration of glucose. The term “incretins” (INtestinal seCRETion of INsulin) was suggested.

Tirzepatide Mechanism of Action: Mounjaro for Diabetes & Weight Loss

The first Incretin, Exenatide, was produced from the saliva of the GILA monster. Later, other GLP-1 analogs were discovered including Dulaglutide, Liraglutide, albiglutide, and Semaglutide.

liraglutide semaglutide glp 1 gila monster venom
Exenatide (Byetta) was produced from the venom (Saliva) of the GILA monster!

Wegovy MOA as an antidiabetic Drug:

Wegovy is a once-weekly high-dose Semaglutide that is administered subcutaneously. All the three formulations of Semaglutide (Rybelsus as oral tablets, Ozempic, and Wegovy as subcutaneous insulin) are indicated for the treatment of Diabetes Mellitus Type 2.

Semaglutide activates the incretin receptors, resulting in the release of insulin in a glucose-dependent manner. It also suppresses the release of glucagon, thereby, inhibiting hepatic glucose output via inhibiting gluconeogenesis and glycogenolysis.

Semaglutide is an incretin mimetic drug

Wegovy is thought to preserve the beta-cells of the pancreas, unlike most other anti-diabetic drugs. It inhibits the apoptosis of Beta-cells slowing Beta-cell loss. It also causes the suppression of appetite and inhibits gastric emptying, hence, reducing postprandial hyperglycemia.

Indirectly, it suppresses the appetite center of the brain via direct stimulation of the satiety centers in the hypothalamus and also as a result of stomach stretch.

Wegovy (Semaglutide): Full FDA Prescribing Information

Thus, it reduces food cravings, especially for fatty meals and diets rich in carbohydrates. Semaglutide causes the slow release of food into the intestine and reduces the glucose spike which is the primary stimulus for insulin and weight gain.

Wegovy controls blood glucose via multiple mechanisms

Wegovy MOA as an anti-obesity Drug:

wegovy 2.4 mg semaglutide injection fda approval step trials obesity diabetes

Wegovy is an extended once-weekly formulation of Semaglutide that is administered subcutaneously. It has been studied in obese individuals with and without diabetes for its weight-losing effects.

Wegovy MOA as a weight-losing drug is thought to be its direct and indirect effects on the appetite. When used as an antidiabetic drug, it causes the release of insulin only when the blood glucose is elevated.

Thus, it does not cause significant hypoglycemia which is the main reason for increased appetite in diabetic patients.

Wegovy does not cause hypoglycemia

It also causes the inhibition of gastric motility. Thus, individuals feel full all the time. Inhibition of gastric motility results in postprandial fullness.

A stretch of the stomach wall stimulates the afferent nerve endings. These nerve endings suppress the appetite by stimulating the appetite center in the hypothalamus.

Semaglutide has direct and indirect weight losing effects

The suppression of satiety via the stimulation of the appetite center in the hypothalamus is common with all GLP-1 analogs.

However, compared to other GLP-1 analogs, Semalgutide causes more weight loss. This disproportionate weight loss is thought to be a direct appetite suppression of the satiety centers by the Semaglutide [Ref].

Ozempic and Fatty Foods (Fried Foods): What Foods to Eat & Avoid

Semaglutide suppresses hunger, and food cravings especially for fatty diets and foods with high glycemic indices, and better controls eating.

It also may induce vomiting and inhibits the absorption of nutrients resulting in weight loss.

In Clinical Trials, the STEPS Trials, it resulted in a weight loss of up to 16%

What do you think?

Written by Diabetes Doctor

I am an Internist practicing medicine for the last fifteen years. Over the years, I have learned that medicine is not about prescribing pills. True medical practice is helping people.
I do prescribe pills as well but the best results I get are when I motivate people to overcome their problems with little changes in their lifestyles.
Since most of my patients are obese, have diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol levels, I am writing at when free.
Dibesity, I know the correct word is diabesity. Ignore this! Be with us.

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