Wegovy vs Semaglutide

Wegovy is an injectable weight loss medication containing the active ingredient semaglutide. It has been approved for use in the UK, but it has not yet reached the market. Wegovy is expected to become available in the Spring or Summer of 2023. 

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How Does Semaglutide Work?

Semaglutide is a type of medication known as a GLP-1 receptor agonist. That means that semaglutide mimics a hormone called GLP-1, that is normally produced by your body. GLP-1 helps to regulate blood sugar levels, making it very useful in the treatment of diabetes. However, it also slows down the movement of food from your stomach into your intestines. This makes you feel fuller for longer and helps to reduce your appetite. In this way, semaglutide can help you lose weight. 

Why is Weight Loss Important?

Obesity is linked to more chronic health conditions than smoking, alcohol and poverty combined. Weight loss can reduce the risk of chronic diseases like high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes; in turn, this helps to reduce your chance of developing cardiovascular disease, heart attacks or strokes. Weight management is incredibly important, helping to ensure you are the healthiest you can be. Whilst weight loss has clear benefits for your physical health, it can also improve your general well-being and your quality of life for years to come

How Can Wegovy Help You Lose Weight?

Wegovy is intended for adults with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more. It can also be used by adults with a BMI of 27 or more if they also have a weight-related medical condition such as high blood pressure or type 2 diabetes. 

Wegovy is an injection taken once a week. Typically, you start off on a lower dose and build up to the maintenance dose of 2.4mg over the course of 17 weeks. Wegovy must be combined with a healthy diet and exercise to maximise the results of the treatment. 

The STEP 1 clinical trial found that over a 68-week period, over 80% of people lost more than 5% of their initial body weight and around one-third of people lost over 20% of their body weight on Wegovy. This is particularly impressive when compared to the placebo treatment, in which less than 2% of people lost more than 20% of their body weight. 

Wegovy vs Ozempic

Wegovy and Ozempic are both brand names for semaglutide. Ozempic is the version of semaglutide that is used in the treatment of type 2 diabetes, while Wegovy is used for weight loss. 

Both Wegovy and Ozempic contain the same ingredients and work in similar ways, but they are not totally interchangeable. Ozempic is only available in 0.25mg, 0.5mg and 1mg pens, whereas Wegovy is also available at higher doses in 1.7mg and 2.4mg pens. This range of available pen doses makes it easy to follow the clinically proven weight loss dose schedule. Ozempic should not be used primarily for weight loss, although this may be a side effect of taking the medication. 

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Wegovy vs Other Weight Loss Medications

Currently, there are three weight loss medications approved for use in the UK: orlistat, Saxenda (liraglutide) and Wegovy (semaglutide). Saxenda and Wegovy are similar treatments, as they are both injectable weight loss medications and they work in a similar way. However, Saxenda is a daily injection, while Wegovy is once weekly. Nevertheless, studies have shown that Wegovy may have better long-term results than Saxenda. 

Orlistat is a weight loss tablet. It is available over the counter, under the brand name Alli, or you can get a higher dose on prescription. To date, there are no trials directly comparing Orlistat and Wegovy; however, the XENSOR study compared weight loss after 7 months of taking orlistat or Saxenda. Almost 65% of people taking Saxenda lost 5% of their initial body weight compared to just 27.4% of those taking orlistat. In a trial of Wegovy, 83.5% of people were found to have lost at least 5% of their initial weight. This suggests that Wegovy may be the best weight loss medication currently on the market, but the trial did take place over a much longer time frame (68 weeks), so it is not entirely fair to compare the treatments in this way. Nevertheless, Wegovy and Saxenda have both been found to be highly effective weight loss treatments.

Wegovy is expected to launch in Spring of Summer 2023 – sign up for e-mail updates here to know when Wegovy is available! 

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  • Wegovy is a new weight loss medication that contains semaglutide as the active ingredient.
  • Semaglutide helps to reduce your appetite which can help you lose weight.
  • Wegovy is expected to become available in the UK in Spring or Summer 2023. 

Prescription weight loss treatments available today



Wegovy Patient Information Leaflet

Ozempic Patient Information Leaflet

Effects of GLP-1 on appetite and weight

The XENSOR study