Prescription weight loss medications like Wegovy have been clinically proven to help those with a BMI of 30+ to lose significant amounts of weight, particularly in instances where lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise have been unsuccessful. Ozempic is not currently licensed for weight loss in the UK, however secondary clinical trials have shown an affect on losing weight. Wegovy and Ozempic, alongside other medications such as Saxenda, come in the form of an injection, and in recent years have caused much controversy both in weight loss communities and the wider media, branded as the ‘Skinny Jab’. So just how safe and effective are these two medications? What side effects occur most frequently? And do you need a prescription to be able to take them?
In this comparison, we share everything you need to know about Wegovy and Ozempic for weight loss, to help you decide which is best for you.
Wegovy vs Ozempic: A Comparison
The first and most important thing to note here? WeGovy and Ozempic are the exact same medication. They both contain the active drug Semaglutide.
|Effectiveness||14.9% weight reduction in 15 months||14.9% weight reduction in 15 months|
|Drug Interactions||Blood pressure medications, oedema medications, thyroid medications||Blood pressure medications, oedema medications, thyroid medications|
|Most Serious Side Effects||Inflammation of the pancreas, Changes in vision, Low blood sugar, Kidney problems, Gallbladder problems.||Inflammation of the pancreas, Changes in vision, Low blood sugar, Kidney problems, Gallbladder problems.|
|Prescription required in the UK?||Yes||Yes|
The Difference Between Ozempic and WeGovy
So what’s the difference between these two drugs then? Well, other than the name, it’s really just the dosages in which it is available. WeGovy is available in 5 different strengths, where Ozempic is available in 3. Both have a gradually increasing dosing schedule which will be outlined with your medication.
What is Ozempic?
Ozempic is an antidiabetic medication designed to help those with type 2 diabetes to manage their blood sugar levels. The drug has also been found to be useful when taken by obese individuals (with a BMI of 30+) to help them lose excess weight. It can also be prescribed to those with a BMI of 27+ who have a weight related illness such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol.
How do you take Ozempic?
Ozempic comes in the form of an injection and should be taken once each week on the same day, unless otherwise instructed by your doctor. The pre-filled injection can be given either with or without food, and may be administered at any time of day.
How does Ozempic work?
ozempic works by increasing insulin secretion, which helps balance blood sugar levels in those with type 2 diabetes. This is thanks to the drug’s primary active ingredient: Semaglutide. When taken at higher doses, Ozempic can also help to reduce appetite, promoting feelings of fullness and therefore causing the user to consume less calories and thus, lose weight.
How much does Ozempic cost?
ozempic costs £160/month, which includes a free consultation with a specialist prescribing pharmacist or doctor at Click2Pharmacy.
Is Ozempic effective for weight loss?
Yes. A study of over 2,000 overweight and obese participants revealed that over the course of the 68 week trial, those who took 2.4mg of Semaglutide (Ozempic) on a weekly basis lost nearly 15% of their body weight. This is in comparison to those who took the placebo, who lost an average of just 2.4%.
What are the side effects of Ozempic?
The most common side effects of Ozempic are:
- Stomach pain
In some cases, the drug has also been found to lead to more rare, yet serious side effects, such as:
- Inflammation of the pancreas
- Kidney problems
- Gallbladder problems
- Changes in vision
- Low blood sugar
- Allergic reactions
Who shouldn’t take Ozempic?
As with any weight loss medication, there are some individuals who should not take Ozempic. If any of the following apply to you, you should not take this medication:
- You have MEN 2 (Multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2)
- You or any of your family members have ever had MTC (Medullary thyroid cancer)
- You are allergic to semaglutide or any of the ingredients in Ozempic
If any of the following criteria apply to you, we advise speaking with you doctor before starting ozempic, to make sure it’s safe for you:
- You have or have had problems with your pancreas or kidneys.
- You’re pregnant, breastfeeding or have plans to become pregnant or breastfeed.
- You have a history of diabetic retinopathy.
Do I need a prescription to buy Ozempic in the UK?
Yes. Ozempic is not available over the counter in the UK, therefore you need a prescription in order to obtain it. This medication can however be purchased online, providing that you have a prescription. If you believe you could benefit from a course of this medication, discuss this with your doctor or talk to one of our professionals to request a prescription. If you’re eligible, and order ozempic, you’ll receive your prescription within just 1 to 2 days.
What is Wegovy?
Wegovy is a prescription medication used in the treatment of chronic weight management in those with a BMI of 30+ or with a BMI of 27+ and weight-related medical problems.
How do you take Wegovy?
Similarly to ozempic, Wegovy comes in the form of an injectable pen which should be administered on the same day once a week, unless otherwise instructed by your GP. The injection can be taken in the stomach, upper leg or upper arm. Detailed instructions are available in the enclosed patient information leaflet in the product’s packaging.
How does Wegovy work?
Similarly to ozempic, the active ingredient in Wegovy is the GLP-1 receptor agonist, Semaglutide. It works in the body by helping the pancreas to produce the optimum amount of insulin when blood glucose levels are high. On top of this, Semaglutide mimics a hormone produced in the gut, which sends signals to the brain, resulting in feelings of fullness. As a result, patients find that they end up eating less, and therefore losing more weight.
How much does Wegovy cost?
The price of Wegovy is yet to be determined, but should be in the region of similar forms of weight loss medication such as ozempic, which is priced at £160. Here at Click2Pharmacy we regularly have discounts on our weight loss injection products, particularly when buying more than one pen, so be sure to keep an eye on the Wegovy page for any updates and more pricing information.
Is Wegovy effective for weight loss?
When used alongside exercise and a healthy diet, Wegovy is effective for weight loss purposes. A 68 weeks trial found that 83% of adults taking Wegovy lost 5% or more of their body weight, compared with just 31% of adults taking the placebo.
As with any weight loss medication, results do vary from person to person.
What are the side effects of Wegovy?
Different medications can affect one person in very different ways than the next, both in terms of effectiveness and possible side effects. That’s why it’s really important to be aware of all potential side effects before starting Wegovy. The most common side effects of this drug are:
- Stomach ache
- Tiredness (fatigue)
- Feeling bloated
- Stomach flu
Who shouldn’t take Wegovy?
Wegovy is not suitable for everyone. People who should not take Wegovy include:
- Those who have – or have a family member who has – a history of medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC).
- Those who have multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN2).
- Wegovy should also not be used by anyone who is allergic to any of the medicine’s ingredients or has ever had a reaction to these ingredients.
You should also check with you GP before taking Wegovy if any of the following apply to you:
- diabetic retinopathy, a type of damage to the eye from diabetes
- low blood sugar
- suicidal thoughts
- acute inflammation of the pancreas
- decreased kidney function
- kidney disease with likely reduction in kidney function
Do I need a prescription to buy Wegovy in the UK?
Yes. Wegovy is not available to buy over the counter in the UK. It must be purchased with a prescription. However, if you think Wegovy could benefit you, either book in with your GP or talk to one of our professionals to arrange a prescription today.
Should I take Ozempic or Wegovy?
In this article, we’ve compared all of the key features of these two weight loss medications, from their levels of effectiveness to potential side effects and dosage instructions. We hope this has provided you with a good overview of these two medications, and helped you to further understand how they work and whether or not either of them are right for you. If you’d like any more information about either of these drugs, book in for a consultation with a member of our in-house team of doctors and prescribing pharmacists today.