I was recently coaching a Mom of a teen who wanted my help with her daughter who has struggled with her weight  “all her life”. 


Her daughter is 17 and is begging her Mom to let her take the new GLP-1 medications (saxenda, wegovy, ozempic, mounjaro) and Mom is full of questions and concerns. Mom also has hope that the new medications may help her daughter. 


“What are they and how do they work?
“What are the side effects?”

“Are there studies on long-term effects?”

“Are they forever medications?”

“Do they work?”

“Will they cause an eating disorder?”

“How do you get them?”

“Are they covered by insurance?”

“Is there more than one to try if the first one doesn’t work?”

“What are the other things we need to work on?”

GLP-1 receptor agonists work by reducing the appetite and feelings of hunger, slowing the release of food from the stomach, and increasing feelings of fullness after eating. Some, like mounjaro, have the added action of “quieting the mind” through acting on the G1P receptors in the brain. 

  • Wegovy is semaglutide, a GLP-1 receptor agonist and is given as a weekly injection. It’s approved by the FDA as an Anti-Obesity Medication for 12 years and up.
  • Ozempic is lower dose semaglutide, approved by the FDA for treating type 2 diabetes for 18 years and up. 
  • Liraglutide, also known as Saxenda, is approved for 12 years and up and is a daily injection, and is more easily covered by insurance. 

This is just information and is not a recommendation for use of these medications. There are many considerations to take into account before prescribing the medications. Also, you should know I have zero ties to the pharmaceutical industry and zero conflicts of interest. 

It’s a nuanced, individual, medical, ethical, and family decision to determine if a teen patient should try a medication like wegovy. If you’re ready to start the conversation, check out Metabolic Telehealth for children & adolescents at drkarlamd.com. 

Science is the best,

Karla Lester, M.D., Pediatrician & Certified Diplomate of the ABOM