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What to know about Wegovy, the medication helping to decrease your appetite for weight loss

Wegovy is an injectable prescription weight-loss medication for people 12 years and older who are suffering from obesity.

Losing weight can be challenging. This is why many people are turning to a medication that helps them feel full after a meal, but it's in short supply. 

“Working out 5 to 6 times a week. Nothing was working," said Allison Pike. "I was almost killing myself in the gym.” 

That’s why Pike sought the care of an obesity specialist who prescribed her Wegovy. 

Wegovy is the brand name for semaglutide. It is an injectable prescription weight-loss medication for people ages 12 years and older who are suffering from obesity.

It's important to know that Wegovy is different from Ozempic -- the brand name for semaglutide used to treat diabetes. 

“It really does work. It’s not an overnight thing, it does take time," Pike said. "You are losing weight a healthy way. You’re losing weight over a period of time that’s healthy.” 

Pike has lost nearly 40 pounds in a year on the medication. 

It's a once-a-week shot that she will most likely have to take for the rest of her life. 

She said Wegovy has decreased her appetite, and though she still has cravings, she doesn’t eat as much as she once did. 

Dr. Deborah Horn, an obesity medicine specialist with UT Physicians, said obesity is a big problem in America. 

“Yeah, so we end up in the top 4 every year, globally," she said.

According to Horn, anyone who has “class one obesity” -- which is someone with a Body Mass Index greater than 30 -- is eligible for Wegovy. 

Someone considered overweight with a BMI greater than 27 with one of 237 comorbidities, like diabetes or high blood pressure, is also eligible. 

“Seek care. There’s care available," Dr. Horn said. "You do not have to do this on your own. We would not expect you to manage high blood pressure or diabetes by yourself. We don’t expect you to manage obesity by yourself.” 

Dr. Horn says unchecked obesity can worsen like any other disease. 

Wegovy is not covered by most insurance companies and can cost around $1,300 a month. 

For more on our Health Matters series, click here. 

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