Wegovy vs. Ozempic for weight loss: Are they the same?
November 24. 2022
The path to losing weight is not always easy. Hundreds of people try to achieve weight loss through diet and exercise every day, but they fail – not due the to lack of effort, but because sometimes they need a little extra help. Obesity and being overweight are serious medical problems that often require aid from medical weight loss supplements to be defeated. Today, two up-and-coming medications are quickly becoming everybody’s favorite weight loss aid; you may wonder which one is for you: Wegovy vs. Ozempic for weight loss.
Wegovy and Ozempic are two different brands of the same medication – semaglutide. Originally, semaglutide was developed to treat type 2 diabetes; it wasn’t meant to be used as a weight loss medication. This drug helps the body regulate blood sugar and keep blood sugar levels at a minimum. But the game changed when an incredible side effect was discovered: its chronic weight management benefits. Since then, thousands of people around the globe – including world-renowned celebrities, such as Elon Musk – have taken advantage of this benefit and lost body weight by taking Wegovy or Ozempic.
Do you want to know more about these drugs and their body weight loss benefits? Our team from our weight loss clinic in Chicago breaks it down for you, so you can decide which is more suitable for you.
What is Ozempic?
Ozempic is a type 2 diabetes medication approved by the FDA in 2017. This drug, manufactured by Novo Nordisk pharmaceutical company, is prescribed for diabetic patients to lower blood sugar levels and prevent health complications. It is supplied in injection pens that need to be injected under the skin once a week; the price is around $700 – enough supply for a month.
When this medication was launched to the market, no one imagined Ozempic and weight loss would eventually become a thing. Nowadays, more and more people turn to this drug every day to lose weight; Ozempic aids all of them. When used for weight management, patients usually start with a low once-a-week dosage. Gradually, the dose is increased following a doctor’s indications; it often goes from 0.25 mg to one weekly dosage of 1.0 mg. The price, of course, is the same no matter which purpose you use Ozempic for – to treat type 2 diabetes or to lose weight.
Ozempic is not a weight loss drug, but its weight loss benefits are too good to be ignored. That is why, a few years ago, Novo Nordisk started manufacturing a new band, specifically aimed to be sold as a weight loss medication: Wegovy.
What is Wegovy?
Wegovy is an FDA-approved weight loss drug. Due to people’s demands and needs, Novo Nordisk conducted a series of studies to prove the effectiveness of semaglutide as a weight loss drug. The pharmaceutical company’s study assessed 1,961 patients for 68 weeks. Some patients were on the drug, while others were on a placebo. Also, both groups had to follow a low-calorie meal plan and perform physical activity. During the time the study took place, patients taking Wegovy lost up to 35 lbs (or 15% of their body weight), while those on the placebo only lost roughly 6 lbs (2.5% of their body weight.) With those encouraging results, Novo Nordisk developed this new weight management drug brand, which was approved in 2021.
How does Wegovy work for weight loss?
Wegovy’s main component, semaglutide, works as a naturally-occurred hormone called GLP -1, or glucagon-like peptide-1. Just like this hormone, semaglutide interacts with our brain receptors involved with our food intake and appetite. When taking semaglutide, you’ll experience appetite suppression, which will help you feel satisfied for longer. That will eventually lead up to losing body mass. As mentioned before, the study showed the average weight loss with Wegovy is 14% of body weight. That is when the medication was combined with a proper diet plan and regular exercise. Some Wegovy users resort to fasting to enhance their weight loss – knowing how fasting works and the different stages of fasting by hour can boost your weight loss journey.
Like Ozempic, Wegovy’s treatment for weight loss starts with weekly lower doses. After a while, your healthcare provider will guide you to regularly increase the dosage, depending on your needs. In the same way, the diet you must follow will depend on your specific situation and how much weight you aim to lose.
To qualify to take Wegovy, you need to either have obesity – a body mass index of 30 or higher – or be overweight, with a body mass index of at least 27. Don’t feel discouraged if you don’t meet those requirements; there are other options you can resort to, such as Lipo C injections.
The difference between Wegovy vs. Ozempic for weight loss
Both brands will help you achieve your weight goal in a very similar way. Still, clinical studies showed that while the average body weight loss with Wegovy is 15%, that of Ozempic is only 6%. That probably occurs because when taking Wegovy instead of Ozempic, the allowed maximum dosage is higher – 2.4 mg per week vs. 1.0 mg per week.
Even though Wegovy was specially developed to aid weight loss, and the numbers obviously are in its favor, most people still choose Ozempic instead. Why is that? That happens due to the main discrepancy between these two brands: pricing. Wegovy doubles the price of Ozempic. While one injection pen of Ozempic – meant to last for a month – costs around $700, the price for one injection pen of Wegovy is about $1400 or more. You have to keep in mind that most insurance coverages don’t include weight loss supplements. Most insurances still fail to see obesity and being overweight as serious health issues. When that happens, and you have to purchase the drugs with out-of-pocket money, the price of Ozempic is much more affordable.
If you are overweight and have type 2 diabetes, a healthcare professional can prescribe you Ozempic. The drug will help you with both problems, and the insurance will pay for it—a win-win situation. With insurance coverage, Ozempic comes with a much more affordable price tag. That is why most patients still choose Ozempic, despite Wegovy being more effective for weight loss.
Wegovy vs. Ozempic: Possible side effects
Phentermine for weight loss, Wegovy, and Ozempic, like all the other appetite suppression medications, come with a list of side effects.
Luckily, most patients describe Wegoby and Ozempic side effects as tolerable and worth enduring due to their unique benefits. The side effects of taking semaglutide usually disappear after the first month; some patients don’t even develop side effects. Among the most common ones are:
- Stomach pain
Besides those common side effects, there are other ones, less frequent but more serious. Ozempic and Wegovy can also cause:
- Kidney problems
- Severe allergies to semaglutide
- Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
- Blurred vision
Wegovy can also provoke thyroid C-cell tumors and suicidal thoughts. If you experience unpleasant side effects for too long, you should immediately contact your healthcare provider. To make sure you are safe while taking Wigovy or Ozempic, always start the treatment under the guidance of an experienced healthcare professional.
After everything you just read, you must be waiting for an answer. Wegovy vs. Ozempic for weight loss, which one should you choose? Both are a good pick; they are, essentially, the same drug. That means both will have the same impact on your body and side effects, and you’ll get almost the same benefits. The side effects can slightly differ due to the dose you take, which varies depending on the drug you choose. And one medication takes you a little further on your weight loss goal. But the real difference is how much they weigh in your budget. Wegovy is more expensive than Ozempic. And when purchasing the medication with out-of-pocket money, that difference turns more palpable.
However, it is true that Wegovy was developed keeping in mind patients that aim to lose weight and their specific needs, making it a more suitable option for weight loss. If you are struggling between Wegovy vs. Ozempic for weight loss or want to know more about these medications and their particular treatments, schedule a call with us. Our team of experts is happy to guide you to your weight loss goal.
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