Wegovy and Ozempic are glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) agonists that help people better control blood sugar, lower HbA1c, improve insulin sensitivity, fight insulin resistance, and lose weight.
Although the two drugs are remarkably similar, they have several key differences that may influence your choice. So: Wegovy or Ozempic: Which one to choose?
In this article, we will explain the similarities and differences between the two drugs so that you can make the best choice for you.
What are the active ingredients in Wegovy and Ozempic?
Wegovy and Ozempic share the same active ingredient, semaglutide, which is a GLP-1 agonist.
They are sister drugs and both are manufactured by Novo Nordisk. You should not take either Wegova or Ozempic if you are allergic to semaglutide.
Why do people take Wegovy or Ozempic?
Wegovy and Ozempic have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of various conditions.
Wegovy is approved to treat obesity for weight loss and chronic weight management. Wegovy can lower blood sugar and improve HbA1C, but it is not a diabetes medicine.
People must meet certain body mass index (BMI) criteria to be eligible for Wegovy, including those who have a BMI of 30 or higher.
You may also be eligible for Wegovy if your BMI is 27 and you suffer from one or more weight-related conditions such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure or type 2 diabetes.
Wegovy is approved for long-term weight management in people 12 years of age and older. To qualify for Wegova, a teenager must have a BMI equal to or greater than the 95th percentile for their age and gender.
Ozempic is only approved by the FDA for adults with type 2 diabetes. While many people lose weight while taking Ozempic, it is not FDA approved as a weight loss drug.
If you’ve been prescribed Ozempic but don’t have diabetes, you’re using it “off-label” (without FDA approval). Ozempic is only approved for use in people aged 18 years and over.
How are Wegovy and Ozempic alike?
Wegovy and Ozempic are remarkably similar. Below are the similarities between the two drugs:
They do not replace insulin
While only Ozempic is an approved drug for treating type 2 diabetes, many people with diabetes can be prescribed Wegovy. However, if you are on insulin therapy, these drugs do not replace the need to take insulin.
They may reduce the amount of insulin you need over time, but they are not insulin or an insulin substitute.
These are injectable medications that are taken once a week
Both of these drugs are only available as injections and are taken subcutaneously. They are only taken once a week at the same time on the same day (preferably).
They have similar side effects
The side effects of Ozempic and Wegovy are similar and can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, suppressed appetite, and low blood sugar, especially when you start taking the drug until your body gets used to it.
If you experience debilitating side effects that negatively affect your life, contact your doctor who can either lower your dose or find an alternative medication for you.
They cause weight loss
In studies, both Wegovy and Ozempic caused weight loss in patients by suppressing appetite and inhibiting the liver’s release of glucagon.
In one study, adult participants taking Wegovy lost an average of 15% of their initial body weight. In a separate study, adolescents taking Wegovy lost an average of 16% of their initial body weight.
Studies show that Ozempic also causes weight loss, but since it is not FDA approved as a weight loss drug, there is no recommended dosage to achieve weight loss.
They lower blood sugar and A1C
Both drugs improve insulin sensitivity, lower blood sugar, and improve HbA1C. During clinical trials, Ozempic lowered the average HbA1c value by 1%.
On the other hand, the STEP 2 study looked at the effects of Wegovy on blood sugar and HbA1C levels in people with type 2 diabetes. Researchers found that participants taking the drug not only lost weight, but also saw statistically significant improvements in blood sugar and A1C levels .
They can be taken with or without food
They can be taken with or without food and do not cause acute low blood sugar.
However, if you suffer from nausea after taking the medicine, it may be helpful to take it after a meal or to have a snack of something bland to cover your stomach, such as crackers, soup, toast or rice. help relieve any nausea you may feel.
What’s the difference between Wegovy and Ozempic?
While remarkably similar, Wegovy and Ozempic are different medications that require different prescriptions. They are approved by the FDA for the treatment of various conditions.
The concentration of semaglutide is different
They contain the same active ingredient, semaglutide, but in different concentrations. For the maintenance dose, Wegovy is given at 2.4 mg weekly and Ozempic may vary from 0.5 mg, 1 mg, or 2 mg once weekly.
They are not interchangeable, which can cause unwanted side effects.
The side effects of Wegovy can be more serious
Both Ozempic and Wegovy can cause side effects such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. These side effects tend to increase with increasing semaglutide doses.
An increase in side effects was also noted in the clinical trial with Wegovy.
Side effects are most common when you first start taking semaglutide, until your body has had a chance to get used to the medicine.
They usually decrease or go away after a few weeks. If you notice that side effects do not go away or get worse after taking any of the medications for a month or more, see your doctor.
Frequently asked questions
Unlike Ozempic and Victoza, Ozempic and Wegovy are not interchangeable. This is especially true if you are taking Ozempic for type 2 diabetes, as Wegovy is not approved to treat diabetes.
If you’ve been prescribed Wegovy for obesity or chronic weight management treatment, and you also have type 2 diabetes, it’s usually fine.
If you regularly take Ozempic for type 2 diabetes, it is not recommended to switch to Wegovy without consulting your doctor.
If you are only using Wegovy for weight loss, switching to Ozempic will be less effective for treatment.
NO. You should never take these two drugs at the same time.
Unlike other diabetes and weight loss medications, the combination of Ozempic and Wegovy can cause serious side effects such as debilitating nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and even low blood sugar, which can lead to death if not treated promptly .
If you have accidentally taken both of these drugs at the same time or within 2 days, contact your doctor immediately or seek emergency medical attention.
If you are taking Ozempic for type 2 diabetes and want to lose weight, talk to your doctor to see if you qualify for Wegovy.
If you are taking Wegovy for obesity or chronic weight management and have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, your doctor will help you choose your treatment options.
Ultimately, this choice must be made between you and your doctor. This will depend on your diagnosis, health history, health goals, lifestyle, and preferences.
If you have type 2 diabetes, you will most likely be prescribed Ozempic, and if you are overweight or obese but not diabetic, you will most likely be prescribed Wegovy.
If you have type 2 diabetes and are overweight or obese, it is recommended that you work with your doctor to find the best medication for you.