Wegovy vs Ozempic is a debate among those struggling with weight loss. Wegovy is for obesity while Ozempic is marketed for diabetes.
Wegovy and Ozempic are two of the most popular weight loss drugs on the market and ones that are seen advertised routinely on television. Both drugs are used to help with weight loss as they both include the same active ingredient – semaglutide. In fact, both Wegovy and Ozempic are by the same pharmaceutical company, Novo Nordisk, but they are not the same. Let’s take a look at Wegovy vs Ozempic when it comes to the brands and how they work.
WEGOVY VS OZEMPIC ARE WEIGHT LOSS INJECTABLES
Both drugs are manufactured by the same company and both drugs include the same active ingredient. Both drugs are also once-a-week injectables. So, what makes the Wegovy vs Ozempic different?
Ozempic is the brand name and the older of the two drugs, being approved by the FDA in 2017 as a drug to help treat type 2 diabetes. Wegovy was introduced and FDA-approved in 2021 and it is being marketed specifically as a treatment for obesity and weight loss. Although they both contain the same active ingredient, the main difference between the two is that Wegovy contains a higher dosage of semaglutide than Ozempic.
WEGOVY VS OZEMPIC – BOTH CONTAIN SEMAGLUTIDE
Semaglutide was developed by Novo Nordisk in their attempt to fight type 2 diabetes. The drug is a GLP-1s (glucagon-like peptide 1s) receptor agonist and is best known as an antidiabetic medicine because of how it can modulate blood sugar. Let’s break this Wegovy vs Ozempic comparison down a little bit further.
Our bodies produce the GLP-1 hormone, which is an incretin hormone. This means that this hormone is released naturally within the body when people eat. The hormone targets the areas of the brain that help with regular food intake and appetite.
GLP-1 is also a major factor in managing blood sugar levels within the body. It can improve blood sugar levels in those living with diabetes (type 2) and there isn’t any danger of causing hypoglycemia. One thing to note is that semaglutide is not the same as insulin, which is why it is not being marketed to those with type 1 diabetes. However, it can be used for those with type 1 diabetes to help with their weight loss.
Semaglutide has been around for a decade, having been developed in 2012 by a team out at Novo Nordisk, a Danish pharmaceutical company. Semaglutide was developed to be an alternative to the already existing GLP-1 liraglutide. What Novo Nordisk found was that semaglutide was longer-lasting, requiring a once-a-week injection versus liraglutide’s once-daily injection, making it much more convenient for patients.
WEGOVY IS FOR WEIGHT LOSS WHILE OZEMPIC IS FOR DIABETES
Technically speaking, yes, both Wegovy and Ozempic are exactly the same as they both are the brand name of semaglutide, and both are meant to help with weight loss. Where the two differ, though, is the amount Wegovy and Ozempic offer in their injection pens. And again, Wegovy is specifically being marketed as a drug for overweight and obesity while Ozempic is marketed as the treatment for those with type 2 diabetes.
So, it basically comes down to the injectable pens, which act much like epi-pens. Wegovy comes in slightly higher doses than Ozempic. With Wegovy, patients will find them in doses of 0.25 mg, 0.5 mg, 1.0 mg, 1.7 mg, and 2.4 mg pens.
Ozempic offers only three doses of pens. These are 0.25 mg, 0.5 mg, and 1.0 mg. Both Wegovy and Ozempic begin with the same 0.25 mg dose and then increase over the course of the following weeks and months.
WEGOVY VS OZEMPIC – NEITHER ARE THE CURE-ALL FOR OBESITY OR DIABETES
When considering Wegovy vs. Ozempic, it’s important to know drugs are definitely game changers for many people experiencing obesity or type 2 diabetes. But with most things involving weight loss and control, medications aren’t the end all, be all. One must do a little more in order to help out with the medications.
So, both Wegovy and Ozempic say that their drugs will help but in order to make them help best, patients will also need to be more cognizant of their food intake as well as increase their exercise routines. As many have probably already experienced, keeping to a solid weight control regimen is much easier said than done and studies have shown that 95% of the weight loss is put back on within five years. Much easier said than done.
To get the full benefit of either Wegovy or Ozempic, one must consider the four main factors of Metabolic Health. These include food, exercise, sleep, and one’s emotional health. If those four factors are taken into consideration and maintained, then Wegovy and Ozempic can be used to their full effect.
EACH HAS DIFFERENCES IN WHO QUALIFIES FOR THE DRUG
Wegovy is designed for weight loss. So, those with the following criteria may be perfect to start with Wegovy.
- If one’s body mass index (BMI) puts you in the “obese” category, which is a BMI greater than or equal to 30, or overweight, which is a BMI greater than or equal to 27.
- Weight-related medical conditions such as type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, or high blood pressure (hypertension)
Ozempic is designed to help fight diabetes. If one meets the following criteria, one can be the perfect candidate to start with Ozempic.
- You present with type 2 diabetes.
- Your A1C remains uncontrolled with other types of interventions.
- You have heart failure or kidney disease.
- You either have cardiovascular disease or you are at a high risk of cardiovascular disease.
BOTH DRUGS HAVE DISTINCT SIDE EFFECTS
Side effects are often seen with many prescribed drugs and the same goes with Wegovy vs Ozempic. Since both drugs contain the same active compound – semaglutide – they both can bring about the same side effects. The following are some of the possible side effects for both Wegovy and Ozempic.
- Abdominal pain
There are also possible severe side effects that patients need to be aware of and thusly take seriously. If a patient considering taking Wegovy vs Ozempic begins to experience any of these symptoms, they should seek medical attention immediately. These are:
- Rash or itching
- Swelling of the eyes, mouth, face, throat, or tongue
- Difficulty breathing or swallowing
- Fainting or dizziness
- Pain in the upper stomach
- Ongoing pain that begins in the middle or upper left of the stomach and can spread to the back, and may include vomiting
- Decreased urination
- Swelling of the legs, ankles, or feet
- Rapid heartbeat
- Vision changes
WEGOVY VS OZEMPIC – BOTH CAN COST UP TO $800 PER MONTH
As with any medication in the United States, Wegovy and Ozempic can be a costly proposition. Of course, it all comes down to insurance coverage and if yours will cover the cost of these two medications. If they don’t a patient could be facing an $800 or more per month bill compared to around $25 a month if your insurance covers it.
As you have seen, both medications contain the same active ingredient – semaglutide. It is meant to help those fighting obesity as well as help with the seemingly never-ending battle with diabetes. Both Wegovy and Ozempic need a little assistance if they are going to reach their full capabilities, but if both are used correctly, weight loss and diabetes can be dealt with.
Talk to your doctor about either medicine. Remember, both are once-a-week injectables, so if needles aren’t your thing, you may have to consider another alternative to getting semaglutide into your body.