Concerns With Wegovy Increasing Liver Enzymes

In our latest question and answer, the pharmacist answers a reader's concerns over Wegovy raising their liver enzymes.

Question

I was on Wegovy for 12 weeks, and now liver enzymes showed up in my urine test. Should I discontinue taking Wegovy?

Asked by DIVA On Jun 21, 2024

Answered by
Medical Content Reviewed By HelloPharmacist Staff

Published Jun 21, 2024
Last updated Jul 18, 2024

Answer

Thank you for reaching out! I certainly understand your concern regarding Wegovy.

Unfortunately, it’s challenging to provide detailed guidance because your question is somewhat vague.

Liver enzymes aren’t typically found in urine; they are measured through blood tests. It is possible that enzymes can be seen in the urine, but urine tests are not typically used to assess liver function.

However, other substances like bilirubin are more commonly found in the urine under certain conditions. 

Bilirubin, which is not a liver enzyme but a byproduct of the breakdown of red blood cells, can appear in urine and may indicate liver stress, injury or disease. It’s important to clarify what was actually found in your urine test.

Wegovy - Liver Concerns

As noted in the prescribing information for Wegovy, there have been observed cases of elevated liver enzymes in both pediatric and adult clinical trials, although it was uncommon.

Specifically, the prescribing information states that increases in alanine aminotransferase (ALT) greater than or equal to five times the upper limit of normal were observed in a small percentage of Wegovy-treated patients. Increases in total bilirubin were also reported, albeit rarely.

Elevated liver enzymes, such as ALT and aspartate aminotransferase (AST), could indicate liver injury or stress. These enzymes can be elevated due to various factors, including medication use, viral hepatitis, alcohol consumption, and other liver conditions.

What To Do Next

Based on the limited information provided, my best advice is to consult your doctor.

They can assess your liver enzyme levels in the context of your overall health and medication regimen. Your doctor may recommend discontinuing Wegovy if they believe it’s the cause of the elevated enzymes, but this decision should be made based on a thorough evaluation.

Your doctor might order additional tests to determine the exact cause of the enzyme elevation. This could include blood tests to rule out things like viral hepatitis or imaging studies to check for gallstones or other liver conditions.

It's also possible that Wegovy isn't responsible for the increase in enzymes, or they aren't increasing to concerning levels. Again, your best move here would be to consult the doctor who prescribed it to you for further guidance.

Final Words

Thanks for reaching out to us. Feel free to contact us again anytime.

References

  • Wegovy Prescribing Information, Novo

About the Pharmacist

Dr. Brian Staiger, PharmD

Dr. Brian has been practicing pharmacy for over 13 years and has wide-ranging experiences in many different areas of the profession. From retail, clinical, program development, and administrative responsibilities, he's your knowledgeable and go-to source for all your pharmacy and medication-related questions! Dr. Brian Staiger also has herbalist training and educational certificates in the field of medical ethnobotany. Feel free to send him an email at [email protected]! You can also connect with Dr. Brian Staiger on LinkedIn.

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