Ozempic and Wegovy are brand names for semaglutide. That means semaglutide is the active ingredient in both weight-loss medications. They both belong to a class of drugs known as glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1). Weight management through these methods includes increased physical activity and a reduced-calorie diet.

The FDA approved Ozempic in 2017 for people with diabetes and approved Wegovy for people who are overweight or have obesity and at least one weight-related comorbid condition. The two drugs have been used as a weight loss drug. We want to discover these medications' uses, key differences, and similarities.

What Are Wegovy and Ozempic Used for?

Wegovy is a GLP-1 receptor agonist, a hormone that regulates appetite and food intake. It sends signals that the stomach is full to your brain. This makes people feel less hungry and eat less, helping individuals manage their weight.

Ozempic increases insulin secretion, reduces glucagon levels, and slows digestion and gastric emptying. It is often prescribed with exercise and a healthy lifestyle. The active ingredient semaglutide binds with GLP-1 receptors, limiting how much sugar is released into the bloodstream, or when the blood sugar levels spike, it signals to the pancreas to release insulin into the bloodstream.

Wegovy and Ozempic are approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for different uses.

Wegovy is approved for chronic weight management in adults over 18 years old who are;

  • Overweight: Body mass index (BMI) of 30kg/m2 or greater with at least one weight-related medical condition like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or type 2 diabetes.
  • Obesity: Body mass index (BMI) of 30kg/m2 or greater.

Ozempic is approved for reduced risk of cardiovascular health problems like heart attack, stroke, and death in adults with type 2 diabetes and heart disease. It is also for blood sugar control in people over 18 years old with type 2 diabetes. Healthcare professionals can sometimes prescribe Ozempic off-label for weight loss and chronic weight management.

Can You Take Wegovy and Ozempic Together?

Ozempic is developed for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Wegovy is approved for chronic weight management. Ozempic and Wegovy have the same active ingredient, semaglutide. People use this medication to lose body weight. Combining the two drugs is not a recommended practice. The two medications are developed for different purposes. Their use should be guided based on individual health conditions and medical history. The drug interactions between Ozempic and Wegovy have not been studied extensively.

Dosage for Wegovy and Ozempic

Wegovy is in higher doses than Ozempic for a typical maintenance dose. Participants of the clinical trials who took 2.4 mg of Wegovy reported more side effects than those who took 1mg of Wegovy once a week. Ozempic is available in strengths of 0.25mg, 0.5mg, 1.0mg, and 2mg. Wegovy is available in 0.25mg, 0.5mg, 1.0mg, 1.7mg, and 2.4mg single-use pens. Your healthcare professional will increase your dose if you tolerate your semaglutide medication.

A possible Wegovy vs Ozempic dosage schedule:

Wegovy

  • Week 1 to 4: 0.25mg once a week
  • Week 5 to 8: 0.50mg once a week
  • Week 9 to 12: 1mg once a week
  • Week 13 to 16: 1.7mg once a week
  • Week 17 and beyond: 2.4mg once a week (typical maintenance dose and maximum dose).

Ozempic

  • Week 1 to 4: 0.25mg once a week
  • Week 5 to 8: 0.50mg once a week
  • Week 9 to 12: 1mg once a week (typical maintenance dose)
  • Week 13 and beyond 2mg once weekly (for additional blood sugar control and maximum dose).

These semaglutide medications are used as weight loss drugs and administered as a subcutaneous injection. It means it is injected under the skin. Injection can be received on the abdomen, thigh, or upper arm. Dosage starts low with gradually increasing dose to reduce gastrointestinal risk factors. They both come in a pen injector device that makes it easy to self-administer.

A few key differences between Wegovy and Ozempic is how you use their pens. Wegovy's injection pen has a built-in needle designed for one-time use. You dispose of the pen once you receive the injectable. Ozempic comes with detachable needles that are attached before each dose. You dispose of the needle, and you use the pen several times.

Children dosage

The FDA approved Wegovy for weight management use in children 12 years and older. There will be a recommended prescription dosage for your child; the dosage is the same as the adult dose described above.

What Are the Side Effects of Wegovy and Ozempic?

Ozempic and Wegovy are both FDA-approved prescription medications to help lose excess weight. As with any drug, they may have certain risk factors. When starting a new medication, you should talk to a healthcare professional about your medical history.

Common side effects of Ozempic and Wegovy may include:

  • Nausea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Injection site pain or irritation
  • It may reduce as your body adjusts to the medication.

Severe but rare side effects of Ozempic and Wegovy may include:

  • Hyplocemia (People with diabetes may have an increased risk of potential low blood sugar, mainly when used with other diabetes medication like glimepiride or glipizide).
  • Kidney disease - there have been cases of acute kidney injury with GLP-1 receptor agonists.
  • Pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas or gallbladder disease)
  • Severe allergic reactions
  • Thyroid cancer - there is a potential risk of thyroid c-cell tumors associated with semaglutide medications.

How Effective is Wegovy and Ozempic

This clinical trial shows how semaglutide medications aid weight loss. Participants who received Wegovy also incorporated a healthy lifestyle to lose weight.

This trial consisted of several trials. Here are the reports for each STEP program:

STEP 1: Wegovy participants lost over 15% of their body weight over 68 weeks.

STEP 2: Participants in this trial with type 2 diabetes who took Wegovy achieved significant weight loss and glycemic control.

STEP 3: A drug evaluation was conducted on participants who do not have diabetes. They experienced substantial weight loss.

Ozempic was initially developed and approved for type 2 diabetes for glycemic control. Weight loss was recorded by a lot of people who use the medication. Further research on semaglutide was done to use it as a weight loss drug. People lose weight differently based on several other factors.

A review of studies has demonstrated the effectiveness of Ozempic and Wegovy for weight loss. The review showed that patients who took 2.4mg of semaglutide (Wegovy) lost more weight than patients who took 1mg of semaglutide (Ozempic). Wegovy can be more effective than Ozempic.

American Diabetes Association recommends semaglutide (Ozempic) as a treatment option for people with diabetes who want to lose weight.

American Gastroenterological Association recommends semaglutide (Wegovy) as a treatment option for people with obesity and overweight who want a drug for weight management.

Cost of Wegovy and Ozempic

The semaglutide medication may cost more than $15000 a year without insurance coverage. The average retail cost for one carton of Wegovy is $1,627 and $907, respectively.

However, spending on Wegovy or Ozempic depends on your treatment plan, insurance coverage, and hospital pharmacy.

Precautions When Using Wegovy and Ozempic

Depending on your medical history, Ozempic and Wegovy may not suit you. It would be best to speak to a doctor before using it. If you have some of the following health issues, you have to tell your doctor.

  • An allergic reaction to the drug.
  • If you are breastfeeding.
  • If you're pregnant or planning to get pregnant.
  • If you have a history of pancreatitis.
  • If you have diabetic retinopathy.
  • If you have kidney problems.
  • If you have mental health problems.

If you stop using Ozempic and Wegovy, you may regain weight. You must combine this weight management method with a healthy lifestyle and exercise.

Can I Switch Between Wegovy and Ozempic?

It is possible to switch between Ozempic and Wegovy. You must consult your doctor before starting, switching, or stopping your prescription medication. Your doctor can recommend the best action based on your needs and situation.

When to Consult a Doctor

Semaglutide is a prescription medication. The doctor regulates your dosage and monitors your reaction. It is best to consult the doctor before taking weight loss medications. The doctor will tell you how your weight loss drug interacts with other medicines.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you lose belly fat on Ozempic?

Studies have shown that Ozempic as a weight loss drug can lead to an average weight loss of 7.5% and can cause a waist circumference change of up to Studies have shown that Ozempic as a weight loss drug can lead to an average weight loss of 7.5% and can cause a waist circumference change of up to 5.09cm.
5.09cm.

Is there a generic for Ozempic or Wegovy?

The Food and Drug Administration has warned people not to purchase generic Ozempic and Wegovy weight loss drugs. The drugs some of these pharmacies and weight loss clinics advertise for weight loss may not work and may be potentially dangerous. A correct medicine is an FDA-approved product.

Why does Ozempic age your face?

There is no proof that Ozempic ages the face. The degree of weight loss may make the skin around the face loose. American Academy of Dermatology Association recommends facial fillers to regain the loss of fullness on the face. Some of the side effects of Ozempic may be rash and itching on your face.

About the Author

Ely Fornoville

Hi, I'm Ely Fornoville, and I am the founder of Diabetic Me. Being a type 1 diabetic since 1996, I developed a passion to help people learn more about diabetes. I write about diabetes and share stories from other diabetics around the world. I currently use a Medtronic Guardian 4 CGM and a MiniMed 780G insulin pump with Humalog insulin.

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