Saxenda vs Ozempic – Which is Best for Weight Loss?

Saxenda vs Ozempic: Which is best for weight loss? 

Prescription weight loss medication such as Saxenda have been proven to help those with a BMI of 30+ to lose excess weight, particularly in instances where lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise have been unsuccessful. Ozempic is yet to be licensed for weight loss in the UK, but clinical trials have shown it to have an affect on weight loss. Saxenda and Ozempic come in the form of an injection and in recent years have caused much controversy within weight loss communities. So just how safe and effective are they? What are the most common side effects of these medications? And do you need to get a prescription to have them? 


Here, we reveal everything you need to know about Saxenda and Ozempic for weight loss.

Saxenda vs Ozempic: A Comparison


Drug Name



Brand Name(s)

Ozempic, Wegovy




£300/month from week 5 of treatment onwards (based on 5 pen discount)





14.9% weight reduction in 15 months

5.4% weight reduction in 12 months

Drug Interactions

Blood pressure medications

Oedema medications

Thyroid medications

Diabetes medications

Blood thinning medicine

Most Serious Side Effects

Inflammation of the pancreas, Changes in vision, Low blood sugar, Kidney problems, Gallbladder problems.

Thyroid tumors, severe depression, severe rash or itching, swelling around the face, fainting or dizziness.

Prescription required in UK?



What is Ozempic?

Ozempic is an anti-diabetic medication designed to treat type 2 diabetes. Secondary clinical studies have also discovered that it can also aid weight loss in those struggling with long-term weight management. 

How do you take Ozempic? 

Ozempic is available in the form of an injection and should be taken once a week on the same day each week, unless otherwise instructed by your doctor. The injection can be administered with or without food at any time during the day.

How does Ozempic work? 

The drug’s primary active ingredient is Semaglutide, which increases insulin secretion to help control blood sugar levels in  those with type 2 diabetes. At higher doses, Ozempic can help to suppress appetite and make you feel fuller for longer after a meal, thereby leading to weight loss.

How much does Ozempic cost?

It costs £160/month

Is Ozempic effective for weight loss? 

Yes. A study of over 2000 overweight and obese patients found that over the 68 week period, those who took a 2.4mg weekly dose of Semaglutide (Ozempic) lost almost 15% of their body weight compared with those who took the placebo who lost just 2.4%.

What are the side effects of Ozempic? 

The most common side effects of Ozempic include: 

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach pain
  • Vomiting


The drug has also been reported to cause some less common, more serious side effects. Namely: 

  • Inflammation of the pancreas
  • Changes in vision
  • Low blood sugar 
  • Kidney problems
  • Gallbladder problems
  • Allergic reactions

Who shouldn’t take Ozempic?

There are some people who Ozempic is unsuitable for. You should not take Ozempic if: 

  • You or any of your family members have ever had MTC (Medullary thyroid cancer)
  • You have MEN 2 (Multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2)
  • You are allergic to semaglutide or any of the ingredients in Ozempic


It’s also advisable to speak with your doctor before starting taking the drug if any of the following apply to you:

  • You have or have had problems with your pancreas or kidneys. 
  • You have a history of diabetic retinopathy.
  • You’re pregnant, breastfeeding or have plans to become pregnant or breastfeed. 

Do I need a prescription to buy Ozempic in the UK? 

Yes. Ozempic is not available over the counter in the UK, however it can be purchased online as long as you have a prescription. If you believe you could benefit from a course of this medication, have a chat with your GP or talk to one of our professionals to arrange a prescription today.


What is Saxenda? 

Saxenda is a form of prescription medication used both in the treatment of type 2 diabetes and in chronic weight management. 

How do you take Saxenda? 

Saxenda is an injection that should be administered at the same time every day, unless otherwise instructed by your doctor. The injection can be taken in your stomach, upper leg or upper arm. Detailed instructions can be found on the enclosed patient information leaflet in the product’s packaging.

How does Saxenda work? 

Saxenda’s active ingredient is the GLP-1 analogue, Liraglutide. It works by helping the pancreas to produce the right amount of insulin when blood glucose levels are elevated. Similarly to Semaglutide, Liraglutide also mimics a hormone produced in the gut, which tells your brain that you’re feeling full. This therefore results in the consumption of fewer calories, and thus aids weight loss. 

How much does Saxenda cost? 

Saxenda costs £300 per month from week 5 of treatment onwards (based on Click2Pharmacy’s 5 pen discount)

Is Saxenda effective for weight loss? 

Yes. A study conducted in 2021 found that those using Saxenda lost 5.4% of their body weight within the space of 12 months, a much higher percentage than that of those in the placebo group. 

What are the side effects of Saxenda? 

Different medications can affect people in very different ways. A medication that causes no side effects for one person may cause many for another, and vice versa, so it’s important to be aware of any possible side effects of a drug before using it. Some of the most common side effects of Saxenda include: 

  • Nausea
  • Stomach pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Tiredness
  • Dizziness
  • Constipation
  • Vomiting
  • Low blood sugar
  • Headache
  • A reaction at the injection site
  • Change in enzyme (lipase) levels in the blood

Who shouldn’t take Saxenda?

Saxenda has not been widely tested on those aged 75 and over, so for that reason, it’s advised that those within this age category do not take this medication. The drug is also unsuitable for those with severe heart failure, kidney problems, liver problems or issues related to the gut such as IBS. And of course, Saxenda should not be used by those who are allergic to any of the medicine’s ingredients. 

Do I need a prescription to buy Saxenda in the UK? 

Yes. Saxenda is not available over the counter in the UK, and has to be purchased with a prescription. If you think you could benefit from a course of this medication, either chat to your GP or talk to one of our professionals to arrange a prescription today.

Should I take Ozempic or Saxenda?

This article has hopefully provided you with a detailed overview of the two medications, their pros, cons, efficacy and things to look out for. But ultimately – it’s up to yourself and your GP to decide which is best for you. For more information about Ozempic, Saxenda, and other weight loss medications, check out our blog here