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Wegovy vs Ozempic

Wegovy vs Ozempic

Wegovy is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat specific cardiovascular issues in those with obesity. Ozempic is approved for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes and heart problems in some patients. While the FDA does not approve Ozempic to treat obesity, weight loss has become a popular off-label use of Ozempic.

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Ozempic® and Wegovy® are both semaglutide drugs, but they are approved for different uses. Wegovy is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat specific cardiovascular issues in those with obesity. Ozempic is approved for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes and heart problems in some patients. While the FDA does not approve Ozempic to treat obesity, weight loss has become a popular off-label use of Ozempic.

Keep reading to learn more about the differences between Ozempic and Wegovy.

Semaglutide medicines

Semaglutide is the active ingredient in both Ozempic and Wegovy. Semaglutide is a glucagon-like peptide-1 agonist that mimics the naturally occurring GLP-1 hormone to regulate glucose levels. Patients can use it for long-term weight management or type 2 diabetes.

Semaglutide medicines work by regulating blood sugar and reducing appetite. When you eat, semaglutide slows digestion rates and interacts with the receptors in your brain that signal you to feel full for longer times. It also suppresses your hunger, so you consume less food and fewer calories.

This combination of effects often results in weight loss while taking semaglutide. By reducing hunger and increasing the sensation of fullness, it may be easier to stay on track with your diet and reduce instances of binge eating or overeating.

Approved Uses of Ozempic and Wegovy

Ozempic and Wegovy have multiple approved uses. The FDA has approved Wegovy for a chronic weight loss management to treat obesity and to reduce the risk of certain cardiovascular events. Ozempic is also approved for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes.

Ozempic FDA approvals

The FDA first approved Ozempic to reduce cardiovascular risk and manage blood glucose levels in patients with type 2 diabetes in December 2017. It’s generally administered as a weekly injection. Approved uses include:

  • Improving glycemic control in patients with Type 2 diabetes
  • Reducing the risk of heart disease
  • Reducing the risk of major adverse cardiovascular events in patients with type 2 diabetes

Despite the limited FDA-approved uses of Ozempic, many physicians have also been prescribing this semaglutide drug as a weight loss drug.

Wegovy FDA approvals

In June 2021, the FDA approved Wegovy to combat obesity and promote weight loss in adults who are obese or overweight with at least one weight-related condition. As with Ozempic, it is administered as a weekly injection. Approved uses for Wegovy include:

  • Improve Body Mass Index (BMI)
  • Maintain weight loss on a long-term basis
  • Reduce the risk of cardiovascular death and heart disease
  • Reduce the risk of heart attack
  • Reduce the risk of stroke

Wegovy was the first semaglutide drug approved for weight loss. 

Dosage and administration of Wegovy and Ozempic

Semaglutide is the active ingredient in both drugs, but Ozempic and Wegovy have different dosages.

Ozempic: Weekly shot administered by the patient.

  • Ozempic is usually injected with a pre-filled single-use pen at 0.25 mg – 2 mg per injection. 
  • Patients may start their treatments by giving themselves a 0.25 mg subcutaneous injection. 
  • Treatment may continue with doctors increasing the dosage by 0.5 mg each week. The dosage maximum is 2.0 mg. 
  • Patients can inject Ozempic in their upper arm, thigh or abdomen, with or without meals, on the same day each week.

Wegovy: Weekly shot administered by the patient. 

  • Wegovy is usually injected with a pre-filled, single-use pen at 0.25 mg, increasing on a set schedule to the maximum injection dosage of 2.4 mg.
  • Patients aged 12+ begin treatment with a self-administered dosage of 0.25 mg once each week for four weeks.
  • After four weeks, doctors may increase the dosage to 0.5 mg on weeks 5 – 8, 1.0 mg on weeks 9 – 12, 1.7 mg on weeks 13 – 16 and 2.4 mg on week 17 and every week after.
  • Patients can inject Wegovy in their upper arm, abdomen or thigh.

The maximum dose recommendation for Ozempic is capped at 2.0 mg. For patients taking Wegovy, doctors may prescribe doses up to 2.4 mg.

Connect with a medical drug attorney

If you or a loved one was diagnosed with gastroparesis or gastroenteritis as a result of taking a semaglutide, you may have a claim. Learn about your options by sending us an email or calling 800.768.4026 for more information.

Frequently asked questions about Wegovy vs Ozempic

Many people assume that Wegovy and Ozempic are the same medication. They have the same active ingredient, semaglutide, but the differences between the two may influence patients’ choice of Wegovy or Ozempic.

Is Wegovy the same as Ozempic?

Wegovy is not the same as Ozempic. Although they contain the same active ingredient, the primary difference between Ozempic and Wegovy is the dose of semaglutide in each pen and what it is approved to treat. Wegovy treats obesity at a higher dose of semaglutide. Ozempic treats Type 2 diabetes at a lower dose.

Ozempic can be used for:

  • Controlling glucose levels in patients ages 12+ dealing with type 2 diabetes
  • Reducing the risk of death, stroke or heart attack in adult patients with heart disease or type 2 diabetes

Wegovy can be used for:

  • BMI management in patients 18 years or older
  • Weight management for patients with a weight-related health condition, such as high cholesterol, Type 2 diabetes or hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke in obese or overweight adults with cardiovascular disease

The maximum dosage for Ozempic is typically 2 mg. The maximum dosage for Wegovy is slightly higher at 2.4 mg. The frequency of dose escalations is also different. Dose escalations occur every week with Ozempic but every month with Wegovy. However, with both medications, patients will be expected to continue the prescription long-term to maintain weight loss. Otherwise, weight regain, withdrawal and other semaglutide side effects could occur.

Wegovy vs Ozempic for weight loss

Doctors may prescribe Wegovy or Ozempic for weight loss, but the FDA has not approved Ozempic as a treatment for obesity. In recent clinical trials comparing the use of 1 mg of semaglutide (the main dosage of Ozempic) and 2.4 mg of semaglutide (the maximum dosage of Wegovy), results indicated that the 2.4 mg dose was more effective at reducing weight than the 1 mg dose.

In another trial, patients taking 1 mg of semaglutide lost an average of 7% of their body weight over 68 weeks. Patients taking 2.4 mg of semaglutide lost an average of 15% of their body weight over the same period.

Both trials indicate that the higher dose of semaglutide yields greater weight loss results. However, patients have also been reporting severe side effects and adverse reactions associated with higher doses of both Ozempic and Wegovy.
While Ozempic and Wegovy have led to weight loss in some patients, many allege Novo Nordisk should have better-educated doctors and users about the risks and long-term implications. Through a filed lawsuit, lawyers are advocating for victims by highlighting the company’s failure to advise that:

  • A significant portion of weight loss involves the loss of muscle mass.
  • Users need to take the drugs forever to maintain the weight loss benefits.
  • Users will likely gain weight back if they stop taking the drugs, and the weight will primarily be fat.
  • Weight cycling can occur by stopping the drugs and can cause patients to be metabolically worse than their original state.

Can you take Ozempic and Wegovy at the same time?

You should not take Ozempic and Wegovy at the same time. Both medications contain semaglutide and control your blood sugar levels. You should never take other GLP-1 agonist medications while taking semaglutide. Taking more than the prescribed dosage could result in accidental overdose and severe gastrointestinal issues.

These risks occur most often when patients take adulterated or compounded versions of semaglutide. In fact, over 10 months, the American Association of Poison Control Centers reported nearly 3,000 calls regarding semaglutide overdoses. According to data, in 94% of calls, semaglutide was the only reported medication. Potential symptoms of semaglutide overdose could include:

If you accidentally take more than your prescribed dose of Ozempic or Wegovy or take both at the same time, contact your health care provider immediately or go to a hospital. It is crucial that you get medical assistance immediately if you are experiencing severe symptoms. You can also call the nationwide poison control hotline at 800-222-1222.

What are the side effects of Ozempic or Wegovy?

The common side effects of Ozempic or Wegovy can include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and constipation. More serious side effects include pancreatitis, acute kidney injury, bile duct blockages and gallstone attacks.

Several concerning side effects are not included on Ozempic or Wegovy’s warning labels. Patients taking these semaglutide medications have reported serious gastrointestinal issues, including paralyzed stomach (gastroparesis) and gastroenteritis. Pulmonary aspiration, deep vein thrombosis and gallbladder disease are also among the 11,000+ FDA adverse event reports for semaglutide drugs. Some of these adverse reactions may have long-term implications even after stopping the drug.

People experiencing unexpected side effects are taking action against Ozempic and Wegovy manufacturers by filing semaglutide lawsuits or other diabetes lawsuits. They want to see Novo Nordisk held accountable for aggressively marketing their products as safe and failing to warn about the associated risks of taking Ozempic or Wegovy.

Are Wegovy and Ozempic the same as Mounjaro and Rybelsus?

Wegovy and Ozempic are not the same as Mounjaro™ and Rybelsus®. Ozempic, Wegovy and Rybelsus use semaglutide as the active ingredient whereas Mounjaro’s active ingredient is tirzepatide. Ozempic, Wegovy and Mounjaro are taken as weekly shots, but Rybelsus is taken daily as an oral tablet or shot.

  • Rybelsus (semaglutide): Rybelsus is approved to help adults treat Type 2 diabetes. Rybelsus is not approved as a weight loss medication.
  • Mounjaro (tirzepatide): Mounjaro is approved to treat Type 2 diabetes. It is not an approved weight loss drug.

Our medical drug litigation experience

Our lawyers at Motley Rice have advocated for thousands of individuals who suffer serious injuries and medical conditions as a result of dangerous over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription medication.

If you suspect your use of prescription Wegovy or Ozempic may be responsible for your intestinal blockages, gastroparesis or the death of someone you love, do not hesitate to contact our legal team to discuss your options. We may be able to help by:

  • Gathering valuable evidence to prove the manufacturers’ failure to warn
  • Investigating whether Ozempic or Wegovy is responsible for your symptoms
  • Demonstrating how Novo Nordisk may have failed to comply with FDA regulations
  • Identifying potential problems that could impact your case

Learn more about our medical drug experience here.

Do not stop taking a prescribed medication without first consulting with your doctor. Discontinuing a prescribed medication without your doctor's advice can result in injury or death.

Ozempic, Wegovy, Mounjaro and Rybelsus remain approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

  1. Davies M, Færch L, Jeppesen OK, Pakseresht A, Pedersen SD, Perreault L, et al. Semaglutide 2·4 mg once a week in adults with overweight or obesity, and type 2 diabetes (STEP 2): a randomised, double-blind, double-dummy, placebo-controlled, phase 3 trial. Lancet. 2021 Mar 13
  2. Healthline. Can You Overdose on Ozempic or Wegovy? What to Know About the Symptoms.
  3. Johns Hopkins Medicine. Pancreatitis. 
  4. Mayo Clinic. What happens if you take too much semaglutide?.
  5. National Kidney Foundation. Acute Kidney Injury (AKI).
  6. NovoMEDLINK. Ozempic Dosing and Administration.
  8. Scientific American. Ozempic and Mounjaro Aren’t the Same. Here’s How Weight-Loss Drugs Compare.
  9. U.S. Food & Drug Administration. FDA Approves New Drug Treatment for Chronic Weight Management, First Since 2014.
  10. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. HIGHLIGHTS OF PRESCRIBING INFORMATION: MOUNJARO (tirzapetide) injection, for subcutaneous use.
  11. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. HIGHLIGHTS OF PRESCRIBING INFORMATION: OZEMPIC (semaglutide) injection, for subcutaneous use.
  12. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. HIGHLIGHTS OF PRESCRIBING INFORMATION: RYBELSUS (semaglutide) tablets, for oral use.
  13. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. HIGHLIGHTS OF PRESCRIBING INFORMATION: WEGOVY (semaglutide) injection, for subcutaneous use.
  14. U.S. Food & Drug Administration. Medications Containing Semaglutide Marketed for Type 2 Diabetes or Weight Loss.
  15. Wilding JPH, Batterham RL, Calanna S, Davies M, Van Gaal LF, Lingvay I, et al. Once-weekly semaglutide in adults with overweight or obesity. N Engl J Med. 2021 Mar 18

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