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Ozempic vs Wegovy: Which is better for weight loss?

Dr. Mick Singh Health-X

Reviewed by Mick Singh, MD

Ozempic and Wegovy: Which is better for weight loss?

It was revealed that semaglutide 2.4 mg, which is the maximum dosage found in Wegovy, caused higher weight reduction than semaglutide 1 mg, which represents the normal maintenance dose of Ozempic, in a clinical research trial comparing the weekly usage of semaglutide at doses of 1 mg and 2.4 mg.

In another study, participants who followed a diet and exercise plan while taking the standard Wegovy dosage of 2.4 mg of semaglutide lost an average of 15% of their body weight throughout the duration of the 68-week study. On the other hand, people with diabetes who took 1.0 mg of semaglutide, a standard Ozempic dosage, together with a healthy diet and exercise, saw an average 7% drop in body weight during the same 68-week period.

Both Wegovy and Ozempic are effective options for managing weight. Ultimately, availability and insurance coverage should be taken into account while selecting amongst these treatments. The best medication for your unique needs may be determined by consulting with a healthcare expert. In order to support people on their weight loss journeys and help them in maintaining their progress.

What is the difference between Ozempic and Wegovy?

Wegovy and Ozempic, both branded injectable prescription medications, feature the common active ingredient, semaglutide. They both fall into the category of pharmaceuticals known as glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists, or simply GLP-1 agonists. Other members of this drug class include Rybelsus, Saxenda, Trulicity, and Victoza.

While Ozempic and Wegovy exhibit numerous similarities, their approved uses vary, as recognized by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The following uses of Ozempic have received FDA approval:

  • Controlling blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes who are adults (18 and older).
  • Reducing the risk of serious cardiovascular consequences in adults with type 2 diabetes and heart disease, including as heart attacks, strokes, and death.

Wegovy, on the other hand, has received FDA approval for the purpose of chronic weight management in people 18 years of age and older who meet either of the following requirements:

  • Obesity, as indicated by a body mass index (BMI) of 30 kg/m2 or higher.
  • Overweight status, with a BMI of 27 kg/m2 or higher, along with at least one weight-related medical condition, such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure (hypertension), or high cholesterol.

The fact that Ozempic and Wegovy are administered via different pens makes a difference between the two medicines. With Wegovy, each injection pen comes with a built-in needle that should only be used once before being discarded in a sharps container. In contrast, Ozempic comes with separate needles that you attach to the injector pen before each dose, discarding the needles in a sharps container while using the same pen for additional doses.

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What are the side effects of Ozempic and Wegovy?

Semaglutide is the same active ingredient in both Ozempic and Wegovy, so it’s no surprise that their adverse effects are so comparable. When using either Ozempic or Wegovy for the first time or increasing the dosage, adverse symptoms are sometimes more common. It’s vital to remember that Wegovy and Ozempic may increase the probability of side effects with greater doses.

These side effects are commonly associated with both Ozempic and Wegovy:

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Vomiting
  • Adverse reactions at the injection site, such as discomfort or skin irritation
  • Abdominal pain

Serious adverse effects are a possibility with Ozempic and Wegovy, although they occur infrequently. These may encompass:

  • Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) when used in conjunction with insulin or specific diabetes medications such as glimepiride or glipizide.
  • Severe allergic reactions
  • Kidney impairment
  • Pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) or gallbladder issues
  • Diabetic retinopathy

It’s important to consider that when choosing between Wegovy and Ozempic, the risk of having side effects may differ, especially with Wegovy because it’s available in a larger dose than Ozempic. Participants using the 2.4 mg dose of Wegovy each week reported experiencing more adverse effects, according to clinical research comparing the effects of the 1 mg and 2.4 mg doses. Have a conversation with your healthcare professional to evaluate which drug best suits your needs if you have any worries about the potential side effects.

How does Wegovy work?

Wegovy mimics glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), a hormone that affects parts of the brain that control hunger and food intake. To lessen gastrointestinal adverse effects, the medicine dose must be raised gradually over 16 to 20 weeks to 2.4 mg once weekly.

Ozempic operates by mimicking a naturally occurring hormone. As the levels of this hormone rise, it signals your brain that you are satiated, and these molecules transmit this sensation. Furthermore, it extends the duration it takes for food to pass through the body, thereby delaying the digestive process. This results in effects reminiscent of those achieved through bariatric surgery.

At Health-X, our team of board-certified physicians offer access to cutting-edge prescription weight loss medication (GLP-1) including Ozempic and Wegovy. Schedule a virtual consultation:

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Davies M, Færch L, Jeppesen OK, Pakseresht A, Pedersen SD, Perreault L, Rosenstock J, Shimomura I, Viljoen A, Wadden TA, Lingvay I; STEP 2 Study Group. Semaglutide 2·4 mg once a week in adults with overweight or obesity, and type 2 diabetes (STEP 2): a randomised, double-blind, double-dummy, placebo-controlled, phase 3 trial. Lancet. 2021 Mar 13;397(10278):971-984. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(21)00213-0. Epub 2021 Mar 2. PMID: 33667417. Referenced from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33667417

Drug Trial Snapshot: Ozempic - Referenced from: https://fda.gov/drugs/drug-approvals-and-databases/drug-trial-snapshot-ozempic

Once-Weekly Semaglutide in Adults with Overweight or Obesity - Referenced from: https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa2032183

Disclaimer: If you have any medical questions or concerns, please talk to your healthcare provider. The content within the Health-X Knowledge Base is supported by peer-reviewed research and data sourced from reputable medical societies and governmental entities. It is essential to note, however, that these resources do not replace the need for personalized medical guidance, diagnosis, or treatment from a qualified medical professional.

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