In today’s world, the prevalence of obesity is reaching alarming levels, making it one of the most significant public health concerns globally. In the United States alone, 41.9% of adults and 19.7% of children are considered obese.
It has driven a surge in the development and utilization of weight loss medications, offering a viable option for many of those who are struggling to lose weight with lifestyle changes alone.
With so many options available, it can be hard to determine which is the right choice for you. That’s why we are diving in and providing an in-depth comparison of Ozempic for weight loss with other leading weight loss medications and Ozempic alternatives.
The analysis will focus on various key factors to help readers make informed decisions about which medication may be most suitable for their weight loss journey.
What is Ozempic Weight Loss Medication (Semaglutide) and Does It Work?
Ozempic is a prescription medication for type 2 diabetes that has gained attention for its effectiveness in aiding weight reduction.
Ozempic’s active component and mechanism of action
Ozempic’s active component is semaglutide, which is a GLP-1 drug approved for the treatment of type 2 diabetes and obesity. GLP-1 receptor agonists like semaglutide simulate the naturally occurring GLP-1 in the body, controlling blood glucose levels promoting weight loss by slowing down how quickly your stomach empties its contents into the small intestine. That means it:
- Tames Your Hunger
- Slows Down Digestion
- Keeps You Fuller Longer
Ozemic results and reviews
Released in 2017 as a once-weekly injectable treatment for type 2 diabetes, it quickly became clear that Ozempic showed promise for weight loss as well. A 2018 study and 2019 study showed it to be an effective tool for weight loss.
While semaglutide is approved for weight loss, Ozempic is not. But, some studies show that even with the dosage available in Ozempic, patients can expect to lose up to 5 pounds per month.
Ozempic pricing and discounts
Ozempic is covered by insurance, but only if it is being used to treat type 2 diabetes. If you are using Ozempic for weight loss alone, you will need to cover the costs out of pocket.
Ozempic is available in an injectable pen, which includes four doses of 1.5 mL (2 mg semaglutide), which costs upwards of $850 per pen. Novo Nordisk, Ozempic’s manufacturer, has a savings program that can cut the cost, but this is only available for those who are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. You can get Ozempic on the Heally Platform for only $299 per month.
Ozempic prescription accessibility and process
While Ozempic is not currently approved for weight loss, many doctors are still prescribing it. In fact, obtaining a prescription for Ozempic for weight loss is a pretty simple process.
- Schedule an Appointment: The first step is to schedule an appointment with a healthcare provider. Heally makes it simple to connect with a licensed physician online or in-person through our online portal.
- Consultation: During your appointment, you’ll discuss your weight management goals and medical history with the healthcare provider. It’s essential to be open and honest about your health, any pre-existing medical conditions, current medications, and lifestyle habits.
- Evaluation and Assessment: The healthcare provider will evaluate your suitability for Ozempic. They may consider factors such as your Body Mass Index (BMI), previous weight loss attempts, and any obesity-related health conditions. Ozempic for weight loss is typically prescribed to individuals with a BMI of 30 or higher, or a BMI of 27 or higher with obesity-related health issues.
- Discussion of Options: Your healthcare provider will explain the available treatment options, including Ozempic and Ozempic alternatives. They will discuss the potential benefits and risks associated with the medication, ensuring that you have a clear understanding of what to expect.
- Prescription: If it is determined that Ozempic is a suitable option for you, the healthcare provider will write a prescription for the medication. They will specify the dosage and provide instructions on how to use it safely and effectively.
- Follow-Up and Monitoring: After receiving your prescription, you’ll likely have follow-up appointments to monitor your progress, assess the medication’s effectiveness, and address any concerns or questions you may have.
Ozempic safety, indications, and side effects
At the 2 mg dosage, Ozempic is generally considered safe for those who meet the criteria. Common Ozempic weight loss side effects include:
- Nausea. This often subsides over time and can be managed by taking the medication with food.
- Diarrhea. Loose stools or diarrhea can be a temporary side effect for some users.
- Stomach pain. Some individuals may experience abdominal discomfort or pain.
- Constipation. While diarrhea is common, the opposite can also be true.
- Vomiting. Occasional vomiting may occur, especially during the initial weeks of treatment.
- Loss of Appetite. While this can be a desired effect for weight loss, a significant loss of appetite can lead to reduced food intake and nutritional concerns.
It should be noted that this is not for those looking to lose just a bit of weight. Ozempic is intended for those with type 2 diabetes, a BMI of 30 or higher, or a BMI of 27 or higher with obesity-related health issues.
It should also be avoided by those who are already suffering from one or more of the less common, serious side effects:
- Kidney problems
- Gallbladder problems
- Thyroid tumors or medullary thyroid cancer
- Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
- Allergic reactions
It is important to schedule regular check-ups to help to identify any potential issues early, such as pancreatitis or changes in thyroid function. Healthcare providers can adjust the dosage as needed and provide guidance on managing side effects.
Comparative Analysis: Ozempic for Weight Loss vs. Ozempic Alternatives
When it comes to your health, you want to ensure you’re making the best choices. That means making informed decisions. Key factors such as efficacy, mechanisms of action, safety, and patient suitability shed light on how Ozempic stands in comparison to alternatives to Ozempic for weight loss.
Mounjaro for Weight Loss (Tirzepatide)
Mounjaro is an Ozempic alternative for the treatment of type 2 diabetes with the active ingredient tirzepatide. Like semaglutide, tirzepatide is a GLP-1 receptor agonist.
This once-weekly injection stimulates insulin release from the pancreas, increases the levels of adiponectin, lower’s appetite.
A 2022 clinical trial of Mounjaro for those considered obese but not suffering from type 2 diabetes showed a 15% reduction in body weight with 5 mg weekly, a 19.5% reduction at 10 mg weekly, and a 20.9% reduction at 15 mg weekly.
Monjouro weight loss side effects include gastrointestinal symptoms like:
- Loss of appetite
- Diarrhea and constipation
- Occasional vomiting and acid reflux
Monjouro is only available via prescription and is not currently approved for weight loss. Without insurance, users can expect to pay about $1000 per month.
Trulicity for Weight Loss (Dulaglutide)
Trulicity is another GLP-1 receptor agonist approved for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Its active ingredient is dulaglutide, which has a similar mechanism of action as any other GLP-1 receptor agonist.
It helps to limit blood sugar levels, prevents excessive glucose production, and promotes satiety (feelings of fullness). While it is not approved for weight loss, those taking Trulicity saw a weight loss of up to 10 pounds
Like other GLP-1 receptor agonists, side effects of Trulicity include nausea, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and fatigue. Other possible serious side effects include:
- Inflamed pancreas (pancreatitis)
- Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
- Acute kidney injury
- Severe stomach problems
- Changes in vision
- Gallbladder problems
- Thyroid tumors and medullary thyroid cancer
Side effects of Trulicity are similar to other weight loss drugs:
Without insurance, you can expect to pay about $840 per month for Trulicity.
Rybelsus for Weight Loss (Semaglutide)
RybelsusRybelsusRybelsusRybelsus became the first oral medication for type 2 diabetes in 2019. Similar to Ozempic, it has semaglutide as the active ingredient. Due to the similarities, Rbelus works the same way as Ozempic and has the same side effects.
This once-daily pill comes in a 7 mg and a 14 mg tablet, which is considered equivalent to the weekly dose of Ozempic. Higher doses of 25 mg and 50 mg are currently being studied for their weight loss potential.
The clinical trial showed results similar to Wegovy, which has led the manufacturer to seek FDA approval for weight loss once the trial is complete.
Without insurance, users can expect to pay about $820 per month for Rybelsus treatment, making it the only cheaper alternative to Ozempic—and not by much.
Wegovy for Weight Loss (Semaglutide)
Wegovy and Ozempic are essentially the same medication, though Wegovy is a higher dosage of semaglutide that is FDA-approved for weight loss. Studies have shown Wegovy weight loss results with average weight loss of 15% of body weight when paired with lifestyle changes.
The common side effects are the same as Ozempic and should fade as your body adjusts.
Wegovy can be approved by insurance if the individual has a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher, or has a BMI of 27 or higher and a weight-related medical condition. Without insurance, you can expect to pay about $1200 per month.
Saxenda for Weight Loss (Liraglutide)
Saxenda is the other GLP-1 receptor agonist that is FDA-approved for weight loss. This once-weekly injection has an active ingredient of liraglutide and is also used to treat type 2 diabetes.
The common and more severe side effects of Saxenda are the same as the other GLP-1 agonists on the list, though Saxenda also lists depression or thoughts of suicide.
Saxenda can be approved by insurance if the individual has a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher, or has a BMI of 27 or higher and a weight-related medical condition. Without insurance, you can expect to pay about $1300 per month.
Should You Choose Ozempic or an Ozempic Alternative?
We’ve explored the effectiveness, safety, and accessibility of Ozempic in comparison to other leading alternatives. We hope this analysis has helped you gain insights into which medication may align best with their weight loss goals.
Above all, we encourage you to consult with healthcare professionals. These experts can provide personalized recommendations based on your unique circumstances. By collaborating with healthcare professionals, you can make choices that align with your goals and health conditions, leading to a safer and more effective path to a healthier you.
Connect with a licensed physician online or in-person with Heally today!