Wegovy vs Ozempic
21% of prescription medicines are off-labeled in the US. Out of these, only 27% of the drugs are safe and efficient for use regardless of their intended purpose. Off-labelled drugs include prescribed medication that doesn’t match their FDA approval status to treat other diseases.
Wegovy and Ozempic fall under this category as they are frequently off-labelled by health professionals to treat varying conditions. This article will discuss the similarities and differences between Wegovy and Ozempic to get a clear picture of their functions.
The similarities and differences between Wegovy and Ozempic
Novo Nordisk is the company that manufactures both Wegovy and Ozempic. The use of these drugs for weight loss is on the rise as they have similar results and function somewhat the same. However, these drugs are FDA approved for different purposes.
Below, we’ll look at the similarities and differences between wWgovy and Ozempic by comparing their usage, dosage, cost, age restrictions, side effects, intended use, and insurance coverage.
Are Wegovy and Ozempic the same?
Wegovy and Ozempic are varying brand names but contain the same active ingredient- semaglutide. The two drugs are part of the GLP-1 agonist group because of how they function. Semaglutide helps in controlling blood sugar levels and is effective in weight loss.
It functions by mimicking the GLP-1 hormone produced by our bodies after eating. The hormone supports the production of the correct quantity of insulin to reduce blood sugar levels in our bodies. It also limits your body from producing glucose. Semaglutide also reduces your appetite by slowing down the emptying of food from your stomach. As much as Wegovy and Ozempic contain the same active ingredient, their uses are quite different. So, what are they approved for?
What are Wegovy and Ozempic approved for?
The medical sector received relief when the FDA approved semaglutide use to manage blood sugar levels and achieve weight loss. Initially, generic drugs like Saxenda- its generic name is liraglutide- were used, but it wasn’t convenient. It must be used daily for effectiveness, while semaglutide medicines are for once every week because they last longer in the body.
However, there are two versions of semaglutide drugs, —Wegovy and Ozempic— in the marketplace. This begs the question, why were they approved?
Ozempic is FDA-approved for the treatment of patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. It reduces blood sugar levels after eating. Other benefits of Ozempic include reducing the chances of contracting any cardiovascular condition, such as stroke. A high dose of 2.0mg Ozempic increases glycemic control and weight loss in adults. Glycemic control is the optimum blood sugar content in diabetic patients.
The sister drug of Ozempic- Wegovy- was later approved by the FDA for control of chronic weight management. This includes people who’re overweight or obese. You should have a BMI of 27kg/m2 to be considered overweight and above 30kg/m2 to be obese. BMI is the measure of your height against your weight.
Have you noticed that Ozempic and Wegony share a common effect? That is achieving weight loss, although they treat different conditions. Now, you’ll know whether Wegovy is better for weight loss than Ozempic.
Is Wegovy better than Ozempic for weight loss?
The weight loss industry will hit $334 billion in revenue by 2030. The current prevalence rate of overweight and obese individuals is around 42%, creating a high demand for weight loss products, including Wegovy and Ozempic. But do they deliver the same results?
Ozempic had weight loss effects during clinical trials. However, it’s effective when you use it at high doses of 2.0mg semaglutide. At such dosages, it results in a weight reduction of around 7% of the initial body weight. It’s because Ozempic isn’t for increasing weight loss, but for treating type 2 diabetes patients. As for Wegovy, its primary purpose is to help in weight loss for overweight or obese individuals. It achieves this by reducing the average weight of people taking it by 10.6% of their initial body weight within a 68-week treatment period.
In general, you can conclude that Wegovy and Ozempic are similar in achieving weight loss, but their difference is visible in their effectiveness over time.
What is the dosage of Wegovy and Ozempic?
Both Wegovy and Ozempic are similar since you inject them into your body once a week because they alter how the brain functions. Thus, the effects take longer for your body to subside. Their effectiveness depends on their dosages. So, let’s look at how health officials prescribe these two drugs.
You must get your body familiarised with the drug by starting with the smaller dose of 0.25mg before advancing to higher doses of Wegovy. This reduces the risk of experiencing gastro intestinal discomfort and other severe side effects. You can get your body accustomed to the drug by sticking to the following dose escalation program
• Take 0.25mg of Wegony weekly for 1 to 4 weeks
• Consume 0.5mg of Wegony weekly from week 5 to week 8
• Double up your dose to 1.0mg weekly from week 9 to week 12
• Increase the dosage to 1.7mg weekly for week 13 to week 16
• Sustain your dosage at 2.4mg weekly for week 17 onwards
The bottom line is that you should increase your dosage after 4 weeks, and you only administer each dose weekly.
Just like Wegony, you must accustom your body to Ozempic. However, the dosage of the medication comes in pens of 0.25mg, 0.5mg, 1.0mg, and 2.0mg of semaglutide.
The increment regimen of the dosage is after 4 weeks depending on the amount of glycemic control you need. If you find the 1.0mg dose is effective for glycemic control, maintain there to avoid adverse side effects.
Remember to maintain your weekly doses of Ozempic and Wegovy, preferably on the same day of the week. You must not miss any dose for optimum effectiveness.
What is the cost of Wegovy and Ozempic?
Wegovy and Ozempic don’t come cheap. Their price tag is dependent on your intended use of the medicine. Medical insurance policies may cover some cost of the drug if you use it for the FDA-approved purpose.
Without an insurance policy, you can expect to part away with an average of $1,050 per month for Ozempic and $1,350 for Wegovy. Each monthly purchase contains the weekly doses of semaglutide. You can get medical assistance funding with Medicare and Medicaid if you’re using the drugs for their manufactured purpose.
Is there an age restriction for taking Wegovy and Ozempic?
Yes, there’s an age restriction for taking Wegovy and Ozempic. Adolescents aged 12+ years, and above the 95th percentile of their age and sex can use Wegovy. Adults with a BMI above 27 or at risk of having a weight-related health condition can also use it. On the other hand, Ozempic isn’t for use by people less than 18 years. Besides, it’s for type 2 diabetic adults.
Are the side effects of Wegovy and Ozempic the same? Semaglutide, the active ingredient in Wegovy and Ozempic, targets specific parts of the brain. As such, the common side effects of Wegony and Ozempic are almost the same as they affect the gastrointestinal. They include the following
• Stomach pain
These side effects can turn out to be mild with subsequent increases in dosage. So, you’re more likely to experience mild side effects with Wegony since it has the highest dosage compared to Ozempic. Besides, many people find Ozempic effective at 1.0mg weekly when controlling blood sugar levels. Mild side effects may include the following
However, you may experience severe side effects if you have a pre-existing medical condition or a history of pancreatitis, kidney complications, diabetic retinopathy, and hypoglycemia. These drugs increase your chances of suffering from thyroid cancer, and you need to avoid using them if you have a medical background of the following
• Multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2
• Medullary thyroid cancer
You must consult your doctor in case you experience mild side effects for a dosage change or alternatives to the drugs. Always keep all your doctor’s appointments to avoid the chances of suffering from severe side effects.
You should also notify them of your medical history, family medical background, and pre-existing conditions so that they prescribe the correct drug for weight loss or blood sugar control.
What is the safety and efficacy of using Wegony and Ozempic?
Wegovy and Ozempic contain the same active ingredient- semaglutide. However, they’re for varying purposes. Wegovy is effective in chronic weight management in overweight and obese individuals, while Ozempic is good at controlling blood sugar levels for type 2 diabetes patients.
The effectiveness of these drugs is determined by their prescription dosages, with Wegovy having the highest maintenance dosage of 2.4mg semaglutide. People with a poor medical background or a pre-existing condition should avoid using these drugs as they may cause severe side effects.