Ozempic Vs Wegovy: Which Medicine is Right for Weight Loss?

Ozempic Vs Wegovy: Which Medicine is Right for Weight Loss?

Weight loss medicines, like Ozempic and Wegovy, have become the talk of the town, thanks to A-list celebrities who swear by their effectiveness. These ‘magical weight loss pills’ not only help you quickly knock off those extra pounds but also combat chronic health issues like diabetes and heart diseases.

But are these medicines really effective? Which is better of the two? What are their potential side effects? Here are all the things you must know before you race toward your doctor to get the fine print of the prescription.

Ozempic Vs Wegovy: A Closer Look

Ozempic and Wegovy are two names of the same FDA-approved drug: semaglutide – a GLP-1 receptor agonist that works by mimicking the action of the GLP-1 hormone in the body. This hormone plays a key role in regulating blood sugar levels and appetite. By activating GLP-1 receptors, semaglutide helps to stimulate insulin secretion, inhibit glucagon release, slow down the stomach-emptying process, and reduce food cravings/ intake. This, in turn, leads to less food intake and weight loss.

But, even though both Ozempic and Wegovy belong to the same class of drug and have same mechanism of action, they both differ in:

  1. Dosage: Wegovy is typically prescribed at a slightly higher dosage as compared to Ozempic. Both the medicines come as pre-filled injection pens and are often administered once a week.
  2. Conditions they are used to treat: While Wegovy is an FDA-approved drug for weight loss, Ozempic has been approved by FDA to manage blood sugar levels in adults with type 2 diabetes. Ozempic is also approved for managing or lowering the risk of heart problems in people with type 2 diabetes. Though it aids in weight loss, it certainly is not an approved medication for weight loss. People often buy it off-prescription to lose weight as well as for long-term weight management.

Mechanism of Action

Though both medicines contain semaglutide, they are dosed differently. Wegovy is specifically aimed at weight management in individuals with obesity or overweight-related health conditions. It is administered at higher doses (starting at 0.25 mg and gradually increasing to 2.4 mg once a week) and is aimed at maximizing its appetite-suppressing and weight loss effects.

Ozempic, on the other hand, is primarily prescribed for the management of type 2 diabetes. It is typically administered at lower doses (0.5 mg or 1 mg once a week) compared to Wegovy as per the blood sugar levels of the patient.

Which is More Effective in Losing Weight?

The effectiveness of both medicines depends on individual factors like your current weight, existing health condition, and medication history.

Some studies suggest that Wegovy is more effective for weight loss as compared to Ozempic. In a clinical trial comparing semaglutide 1 mg and 2.4 mg (the maximum dose of Wegovy), the 2.4 mg dose resulted in greater weight loss than the 1 mg dose, which is the typical maintenance dose for Ozempic.

However, this does not mean that Ozempic is not a good option for weight loss. But it is ideal for patients struggling with high blood sugar levels or concurrent health conditions like hypertension, heart disease, or high cholesterol. It is important to consult a board-certified obesity medicine physician like Dr. Lala to understand which weight loss medication is best for your body.

Potential Side Effects of Weight Loss Medications

Since both Ozempic and Wegovy contain the same drug (semaglutide), the side effects are also mostly similar. These include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Bloating
  • Constipation
  • Fatigue
  • Indigestion
  • Heartburn
  • Headache
  • Belching

Some serious side effects may include

  • Increased heart rate
  • Severe allergic reactions
  • Acute (sudden) kidney failure
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Pancreatitis
  • Risk of thyroid cancer

It must be noted that side effects with Wegovy could be higher than Ozempic as it is prescribed in higher doses.

Things to Keep in Mind Before Switching to Wegovy or Ozempic for Weight Loss

  1. Wegovy and Ozempic are not the ideal weight loss medications for everyone, and they must not be taken without a medical prescription from a weight loss physician.
  2. Both Ozempic and Wegovy are aimed for long-term use. If you start losing weight with these drugs (without significant lifestyle modification), you might have to keep taking these medications for the rest of your life to keep the weight off or you may gain weight back relatively quickly.
  3. The drugs are costly and your insurance plan may not cover them.
  4. You must consider their potential (minor and major) side effects before switching to them.
  5. Some people have complained of looking old and gaunt after taking these medications. The aged appearance, known as “Wegovy or Ozempic face,” is due to extensive fat loss in the face.

Owing to the side effects, it is extremely important to take these medicines with extreme caution. Also though these medications suppress appetite, you will still need to reduce your intake of desserts, sugary beverages, and fatty foods, and maintain regular exercise for overall health.

That’s why, instead of just going by the trend, it is important to consult a board-certified obesity medicine physician and adopt a guided approach to weight loss. Your physician can evaluate your existing health conditions and weight loss goals to chalk out an effective and result-oriented weight loss plan – with or without medicine – tailored to your needs.

So, take the first step towards a healthier you! Schedule a consultation with Dr. Lala and get personalized support and guidance for effective weight loss and management.

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