Reducing Stroke and Heart Attack via Weight Loss Drug, Wegovy

By: Dr. J. Timothy Katzen


Oprah Winfrey and Weight Loss Drugs

"The fact that there's a medically approved prescription for managing weight and staying healthier, in my lifetime, feels like relief, like redemption, like a gift," Oprah Winfrey told PEOPLE Magazine” December 2023. “For 25 years, making fun of my weight was national sport,” Oprah Winfrey said during the opening monologue for An Oprah Special: Shame, Blame and the Weight Loss Revolution. “I come to this conversation with the hope that we can start releasing the stigma and the shame and the judgment, to stop shaming other people for being overweight or how they choose to lose – or not lose – weight and, most importantly, to stop shaming ourselves,” said Winfrey. In late 2023, she revealed was taking two weight loss drugs, Wegovy and Zepbound. Winfrey's talking about weight loss on the drugs has received support as well as backlash. More importantly, she is raising awareness to help those struggling with obesity, one of America’s most common diseases.

Introduction to Wegovy: A Modern Solution to Obesity

The fight against obesity has been greatly enhanced with Wegovy, an injectable prescription medication containing semaglutide. Utilized alongside a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity. This innovative drug is designed to assist adults struggling with obesity. Wegovy is also prescribed for patients who are those overweight with weight-related medical problems in losing and maintaining weight. Wegovy emulates a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) hormone. Since GLP-1 is crucial in regulating appetite and food intake, Wegovy has become a cornerstone in obesity management. Using Wegovy with other semaglutide-containing products or other GLP-1 receptor agonists isn't recommended due to the risk of potential unfavorable effects. These could include increased gastrointestinal issues. Combining multiple GLP-1 medications could lead to an overdose of GLP-1 activity, causing the body to react negatively. For more detailed information, visit Wegovy's official website and the FDA's press announcement.

Recent Advances: Cardiovascular Benefits of Wegovy
In a groundbreaking development, Wegovy has recently received FDA approval for a new application. Wegocy is now approved to reduce cardiovascular risks, like heart attacks and strokes, Wegovy is approved for adults with heart disease who are overweight or obese; to be prescribed Wegovy, these patients do not have to have diabetes. This approval stems from the SELECT trial, a landmark phase three study that underscored the drug's efficacy in decreasing serious cardiovascular complications. Expanding Wegovy's applicability could transform it from merely a weight management solution to a multifaceted therapeutic agent addressing obesity and its cardiovascular comorbidities. To explore the implications of this approval, see the articles on BMJ and CNBC.

Exploring Alternatives to Wegovy
While Wegovy represents a significant advancement in weight loss medication, several alternatives exist for those seeking different options or experiencing Wegovy shortages. These alternatives, include Saxenda (liraglutide), other GLP-1 medications, Qsymia (phentermine/topiramate), and Contrave (naltrexone/bupropion). These Wegovy alternatives offer similar mechanisms of action but vary in their administration, effectiveness, and potential side effects. For instance, Saxenda, another (GLP-1 agonist), is administered via a daily injectable pen, while Qsymia is an oral medication. Each alternative brings its unique profile, catering to diverse patient needs and medical histories. For an overview of these alternatives, visit Ro and Healthline.
Currently, Zepbound is making headlines as the most effective weight loss drug on the market, boasting an impressive average weight loss of 20% of body weight among its users. This remarkable efficacy not only highlights its potential as a game-changer in the treatment of obesity, but also underscores a significant advancement in medical science's approach to weight management. Zepbound targets specific hormonal pathways related to appetite and metabolism. This revolutionary medication offers new hope for individuals struggling with obesity, aiming to achieve substantial and sustainable weight loss outcomes. While Zepbound's effectiveness marks a promising step forward, it's crucial for individuals considering this treatment to consult healthcare professionals. Every patient needs to understand its suitability and potential side effects within their health profiles.

Weight Loss Outcomes and Expectations
The landscape of weight loss medication, particularly GLP-1 receptor agonists, presents a promising yet varied spectrum of outcomes. Medications like Wegovy have demonstrated the potential for significant weight reduction, on average with individuals experiencing nearly 15% body weight loss within 18 months of treatment initiation. However, the effectiveness of these drugs varies across the board; it is influenced by multiple factors, including the patient's adherence to the medication regimen, dietary and lifestyle modifications, and underlying health conditions. The variability in response underscores the importance of setting realistic expectations and working closely with a healthcare provider to optimize treatment strategies. For a deeper dive into the efficacy and expectations surrounding these medications, the Obesity Medicine Association provides an overview of weight loss medications and their outcomes.
How to Take Wegovy
Each Wegovy pen delivers a single weekly dose for injection under the skin in areas like your abdomen, thigh, or arm. Initially, a smaller dose of 0.25 mg is recommended, gradually increasing every four weeks until the full dose is 2.4 mg per week. While many tolerate Wegovy well, it's not suited for everyone, especially those with a history of thyroid cancer. Side effects, more common at the start and can include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. These side effects afflict patients affecting those with type 2 diabetes and pancreatitis more than patients without these conditions. Wegovy is designed to be used with a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity.

Role of Healthcare Professionals
When indicated, doctors, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants can prescribe weight loss drugs. Typically these medications are recommended for individuals who are classified as overweight, obese and often with additional weight-related health issues such as hypertension or type 2 diabetes. For more information on prescribing conditions and approaches, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) offers insights into the guidelines for using prescription medications for overweight and obese patients. Dr. J. Timothy Katzen, is a plastic surgeon in Beverly Hills, who specialized in weight loss solutions and management. If you qualify, Dr. Katzen and his team can prescribe Wegovy and other weight loss medications. After running labs and ensuring proper candidacy, he orders the prescriptions and monitors the patient’s weight loss. Having hundreds of patients in his weight loss program, he sees drastic results within the first three months of taking these medications. Oprah herself endorses

Weight loss medications significantly advance the fight against obesity. However, they must be approached carefully, considering their benefits and risks. Dr. J. Timothy Katzen recognizes the importance of these medications in reducing obesity and, consequently, lowering the risk of related diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. He believes in the fundamental right of all individuals to pursue a healthy life and advocates for a balanced approach to obesity treatment that combines pharmacological interventions with lifestyle and behavioral modifications.

Dr. Katzen's practice is informed by the principle that achieving and maintaining health is a comprehensive process requiring personalized care tailored to each patient's unique needs and circumstances.
Dr. Katzen offers weight loss medications to overweight individuals who qualify. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Katzen, contact 310-859-7770 or email [email protected]. Remember, the right procedure for you is one that not only addresses your physical concerns but also aligns with your lifestyle and expectations.

About the Author
Dr. J. Timothy Katzen is an experienced, board-certified Plastic Surgeon with offices in Beverly Hills, CA, Las Vegas, NV, and Dubai. He specializes in reconstructive plastic surgery after massive weight loss and the removal of silicone injections from the buttocks, breasts, and face. He loves kitesurfing, SCUBA diving, and underwater photography in his spare time.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.