You may have heard a lot of chat about Ozempic recently; from celebrity endorsements to a mention at the Oscars! But what is Ozempic, and how is it different from Wegovy?

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What is Ozempic?

Ozempic is a treatment for type 2 diabetes. The active ingredient, semaglutide, is a type of medication known as a GLP-1 agonist. When you eat, your body releases hormones. Some of these hormones, such as GLP-1, can create the feeling of ‘fullness’ (satiety). GLP-1 also increases your insulin production and regulates your blood sugar levels. 

Semaglutide can mimic GLP-1 in the body. For this reason, Ozempic is used in the treatment of diabetes. In binding to GLP-1 receptors, semaglutide also helps you to feel full and reduces your appetite. 

Ozempic is solely designed for use in managing blood sugar in type 2 diabetes. However, the manufacturer, Novo Nordisk, has also applied to have the same medication made available as a weight loss treatment.

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What is Wegovy?

Wegovy is a weight-loss treatment that contains semaglutide. It works in the same was as Ozempic, but the dosage is different. It can help to prevent overeating by making you feel full more quickly. 

 

What is the difference between Wegovy vs Ozempic?

The only difference between the two medications is the dosage; Ozempic starts at 0.25mg, with 0.5mg and 1mg dosages available for those who need a stronger effect. Wegovy, on the other hand, also has 1.7mg and 2.4mg doses available, with the 2.4mg dose considered the “maintenance dose” – this is the dose you should work your way up to, and stay at for the best weight loss results.

Wegovy starts at 0.25mg, and over the course of several months, you work your way up to the maintenance dose. This reduces the prevalence of side effects with this treatment, which can include nausea, constipation, diarrhoea and headaches. Both Wegovy and Ozempic side effects can be reduced by working up from a smaller dose to a larger one over a course of weeks and months.

Both medications come in an injector pen – the only difference between a Wegovy pen and an Ozempic pen is the maximum dosage, alongside some branding differences.

While these medications are chemically identical, it is not advised to use Ozempic for weight loss – in the provided dosages, it is primarily meant for maintaining blood sugar levels, not weight loss.

 

Can I get Wegovy in the UK?

Both Wegovy and Ozempic have been available in the United States for several years, and have helped thousands of patients to manage their diabetes and lose weight respectively. Ozempic is currently available in the UK, as a treatment for type 2 diabetes, both on the NHS and privately. Wegovy should be available for private purchase by mid-2023, and should be available on the NHS at a later date. You can sign up for e-mail notifications to be kept informed of the latest news about Wegovy, and to be alerted when it is available for purchase.

Prescription weight loss treatments available today