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.[0] Both drugs contain the active ingredient semaglutide and were originally approved to treat type 2 diabetes.[1] However, the side effect of weight loss has now made them a sought-after solution for people wanting to shed pounds.[2]

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.[3] 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.[4]

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.[5]

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.[3] This has created a demand for the drug and caused a shortage of medication among diabetes patients.[6]

What is the distinction between the two medications?[7] The maximum dosage of semaglutide that is approved is greater when using Wegovy than when using Ozempic.[3] Gastric symptoms, such as stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, are common side effects of taking Ozempic and Wegovy.[8] 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.[7]

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.[0] 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.[9]

0. “Losing Weight With Ozempic: Is It Safe and Does It Work? | U.S. News” U.S. News & World Report, 24 Feb. 2023, https://health.usnews.com/wellness/articles/is-ozempic-safe-and-effective-for-weight-loss

1. “Healthy Living: Danger of using diabetes medication for rapid weight loss” ABC7 News, 22 Feb. 2023, https://abc-7.com/news/health/2023/02/22/healthy-living-danger-of-using-diabetes-medication-for-rapid-weight-loss/

2. “Ozempic Weight Loss: Interested Population Struggles To Afford $1,500 Medication” Medical Daily, 22 Feb. 2023, https://www.medicaldaily.com/ozempic-weight-loss-expensive-diabetes-drug-468193

3. “Diabetes drugs in short supply as they grow in popularity as weight-loss tool” Washington Examiner, 22 Feb. 2023, https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/policy/healthcare/diabetes-drugs-short-supply-weight-loss-tool

4. “Why Ozembic? Run on diabetes drug for off-label use has insurance angle” Palm Beach Post, 20 Feb. 2023, https://www.palmbeachpost.com/story/entertainment/local-celebrity/2023/02/20/why-ozembic-run-on-diabetes-drug-for-off-label-use-has-insurance-angle/69894674007/

5. “Type 2 diabetes patients struggle to find Ozempic as demand rises for its weight loss properties” KIRO Seattle, 20 Feb. 2023, https://www.kiro7.com/news/local/type-2-diabetes-patients-struggle-find-ozempic-demand-rises-its-weight-loss-properties/D4DDMLL6EJHYJO2ZL2KXXTAEUY

6. “The Alarming Side Effect Of Ozempic's Popularity As A Weight-Loss Solution” Medical Daily, 19 Feb. 2023, https://www.medicaldaily.com/ozempic-alarming-side-effect-weight-loss-solution-468144

7. “What happens when a drug goes viral?” Harvard Health, 21 Feb. 2023, https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/what-happens-when-a-drug-goes-viral-202302212892

8. “What to Know About Ozempic, Wegovy and the Weight-Loss Market” CNET, 23 Feb. 2023, https://www.cnet.com/health/medical/what-to-know-about-ozempic-wegovy-and-the-weight-loss-market

9. “Weight loss trends create shortage of diabetes medicine” WNEM, 23 Feb. 2023, https://www.wnem.com/2023/02/23/weight-loss-trends-create-shortage-diabetes-medicine

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