wegovy prescribing info

Wegovy vs Ozempic: Similarities and Differences

By 
, reviewed by
 â€“ Updated May 8, 2023
By 
, reviewed by
Linley-Boulden
 â€“ Updated May 8, 2023
Table of Contents
Table of Contents

The article compares two popular drugs — Wegovy and Ozempic. They both contain the same active ingredient. The same company manufactures the medicines. And they are available in the same dosage form. However, these two drugs have many differences this article describes.

Is Wegovy the same as Ozempic?

Formally, this statement is true. Both drugs contain the same active ingredient, Semaglutide. The company Novo Nordisk is the manufacturer of both medications. Both Wegovy and Ozempic are available as single-use pre-filled injector pens. And you inject both drugs once a week.

Is Wegovy like Ozempic? You cannot give a positive answer to the question. The medications are licensed for treating different diseases, intended for different categories of patients and have many differences. Ozempic, compared to Wegovy, significantly differs in indications and dosages, although they contain the same active substance.

What’s the difference between Ozempic and Wegovy

 OzempicWegovy
Indication
  • To control glycemic levels in people with type 2 diabetes (combined with diet and exercise);
  • To reduce the risk of complications in people with type 2 diabetes or diseases of the cardiovascular system.
They use the drug for continuous weight control in adults with the following body mass index:

  • 30 kg/m2 or more, which is obesity;
  • 27 kg/m2 or more, which is overweight. Having at least one weight-related illness is an additional condition. The diseases include dyslipidemia, increased blood pressure or type 2 diabetes.
Active ingredientSemaglutide
DosingThree types of disposable injector pens:

  • 2 mg/1.5 ml (1.34 mg/ml) providing a single injection dose of 0.25 mg, 0.5 mg or 1 mg;
  • 4 mg/3 ml (1.34 mg/ml). They use the pen to administer a dose of 1 mg per injection;
  • 8 mg/3 ml (2.68 mg/ml). They use the pen to administer a dose of 2 mg per injection.
A single type of injector pens: a pre-filled pen providing a single injection dose of 0.25 mg, 0.5 mg, 1.7 mg or 2.4 mg.
Maximum dose2.0 mg weekly2.4 mg weekly
The required number of injector pens per month at the maximum dosage

1

4

Treatment duration12 weeks21 weeks
First approved in AustraliaAugust 28, 2019September 1, 2022

General conclusions:

  • Ozempic vs Wegovy ingredients — the same active ingredients;
  • Wegovy vs Ozempic dosage.   Wegovy dose vs Ozempic dose is higher, and the maximum dose is 2.4 mg vs 2 mg;
  • It is recommended to use Ozempic instead of Wegovy after consulting a doctor. It is because doctors prescribe these medicines for different conditions, even though they have the same active substance
  • Which is better for weight loss, Ozempic or Wegovy? Only a doctor can answer this question based on your general health.

Wegovy vs Saxenda vs Ozempic

All three drugs simulate the action of the GLP-1 hormone, which decreases appetite, thereby reducing food intake and, accordingly, calories. The main difference is that you inject Saxenda every day and Ozempic and Wegovy — only once a week. By its indications, Saxenda is the same as Wegovy and different from Ozempic.

Wegovy vs Ozempic side effects

 WegovyOzempic
Common mild side effects
  • Diarrhea
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Constipation
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal distension and pain
  • Dizziness
  • Burping
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach upset
  • Heartburn
  • Stomach upset
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Heartburn
  • Burping
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
Serious side effects
  • Increased heart rate
  • Allergic reaction
  • Pancreatitis
  • Gallbladder problems
  • Thyroid cancer risk
  • Vision impairment
  • Tachycardia
  • Mood swings
  • Neck swelling, trouble swallowing
  • Intermittent breathing

Can you take Wegovy and Ozempic together?

No. These two drugs contain the same active substance, Semaglutide. For this reason, taking these drugs together is unacceptable and can lead to an overdose of the active substance and side effects.

Switching from Wegovy to Ozempic. Is it possible?

In theory and practice, switching from Ozempic to Wegovy is possible since both drugs have the same active ingredient, Semaglutide. For those who, for some reason, cannot use injectables, Semaglutide is also available in tablets known as Rybelsus. However, you should consult a doctor about using Ozempic instead of Wegovy.

According to a clinical study published in 2020, switching from one GLP-1 receptor agonist to another is not yet well understood. However, the subject seems to be very promising due to the growing number of similar medicines on the market, including oral ones, which was not the case before. So, the scientists believe it requires further study.

Conclusion

By their ingredients, Wegovy and Ozempic are the same drugs used for different diseases. Mostly, they use the former to facilitate weight loss and the latter — to treat type 2 diabetes.

These medicines have the same dosage form — injector pens. You inject both Wegovy and Ozempic once a week. The dosages of injector pens are also used based on the purpose of the drug. A doctor prescribes a treatment regimen, and you only should follow it carefully.

However, you should know that similar drugs are not the same. That’s why, although switching from Wegovy to Ozempic and vice versa is possible, you should consult on what medication to use with your doctor.

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