Wegovy vs. Ozempic – What’s the Difference and What You Need to Know
Wegovy and Ozempic are two drugs that are becoming increasingly popular for their weight loss effects. Both drugs contain the active ingredient semaglutide and were originally approved to treat type 2 diabetes. However, the side effect of weight loss has now made them a sought-after solution for people wanting to shed pounds.
The FDA approved Ozempic for type 2 diabetes in 2017, and Wegovy for weight loss and diabetes in 2021. Wegovy is also on the FDA's shortage list due to the high demand for it. Both are administered in self-injectable doses once a week, and the primary difference between the two is the dosage: Ozempic’s maximum weekly dosage is 2 milligrams while Wegovy’s is 2.4 milligrams.
Studies have shown that Wegovy can reduce body weight when combined with lifestyle changes, with patients in the largest placebo-controlled trial losing an average of 12% of their body weight. Ozempic is not approved for weight loss, but many people are using it off-label for that purpose.
The use of Ozempic for weight loss has been magnified by celebrities and other high-profile figures, such as Elon Musk, who have publicized their use of the drug on social media. This has created a demand for the drug and caused a shortage of medication among diabetes patients.
What is the distinction between the two medications? The maximum dosage of semaglutide that is approved is greater when using Wegovy than when using Ozempic. Gastric symptoms, such as stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, are common side effects of taking Ozempic and Wegovy. People who take semaglutide for weight loss must continue taking it to maintain their results, as they may regain two-thirds of their prior weight loss if they stop taking it.
It’s important to note that taking semaglutide should always be done in consultation with a healthcare provider and that it should not be used as a short-term cosmetic fix. A balanced diet and regular exercise are essential for weight loss and body weight management. The cost of Ozempic or similar drugs may vary from $700 to $1,200 per month, depending on insurance and the availability of manufacturer coupons.
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