Ozempic (Semaglutide)

The brand name Ozempic is another type 2 diabetes medication which contains semaglutide. This is the same medicine branded under the name Wegovy. Both Ozempic and Wegovy are manufactured by the Danish pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk. Ozempic was approved for release by the FDA in 2017 for the treatment of type 2 diabetes in adults, along with diet and exercise. On the other hand, Wegovy was released for control of weight.

Ozempic for Weight loss or Diabetes Treatment?
Ozempic for Weight Loss? Or Diabetes Treatment?

Both medications contain semaglutide, a GLP-1 agonist. Glucagon Like Peptide 1 is a class of drug known for lowering blood glucose levels and also seems to curb hunger. When activated the hormone forces the body to produce additional insulin. GLP-1 agonist have also shown promise in lowering cholesterol levels and lowers a person’s risk for heart disease, stroke and kidney failure. However, it is not yet known whether these health benefits are caused by the GLP-1 medication or from weight loss.

Ozempic for weight loss is taken as a subcutaneous injection once a week. The first dose begins at .25mg. The dosage is given once a week for the first month. This gives your body time to adjust to the medication. After a month of use, the dosage is increased to .5mg once a week for another 4 weeks. If more control is needed of your blood sugar there are Ozempic pens in 1mg and 2mg.

Ozempic for Weight Loss – Is it the best?

Why two different brands, from the same manufacturer and with the same ingredient of medicine – Semaglutide? With one “Ozempic” marketed for control of type 2 diabetes and the other “Wegovy” marketed for weight loss? This is likely because Ozempic was approved by the FDA first, in 2017. Wegovy on the other hand was approved in 2021 as a weight loss injection. Wegovy also comes in a higher dosage.

Although weight can and probably will be lost by using Ozempic for weight loss, it is best used as a type 2 diabetes treatment. Semaglutide, the main ingredient in both Ozempic and Wegovy is known to cause weight loss. The higher dosage in the latter, leaves it as the better option for losing weight.

Ozempic Side Effects

Diarrhea is a side effect of Ozempic
A Side Effect of Ozempic is Diarrhea

It seems all weight loss injection medication causes some types of side effects. It is no different for Ozempic. However, there seem to be fewer effects then with other GLP-1 medications. The most common Ozempic side effects were:

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach Pain
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation

Additionally, another weird side effect of Ozempic is being reported. Users of Ozempic repoted that they lost their desire to drink alcohol.

Is Ozempic Insulin?

No! Ozempic is not insulin. It is an intestinal hormone known as Glucagon Like Peptide 1. GLP-1 stimulates glucose-dependent insulin secretion among other things. Insulin on the other hand is an essential hormone. It is produced by the body (pancreas) and helps you use sugar for energy. But sometimes your body doesn’t produce enough or can’t use it properly. Man-made insulin is also injected.

Ozempic Versus Saxenda – Are They the Same?

Are Saxenda and Ozempic the same? They are not! Both Saxenda and Ozempic contain a GLP-1 agonist to control blood sugar. This is why they are prescribed for the treatment of diabetes. Ozempic’s main ingredient is semaglutide. Saxenda’s main ingredient is liraglutide. Both induce weight loss and lower energy levels. One is designed to be taken as a once a week injection. The other as a daily injection. However, in studies conducted, the main ingredient in Ozempic (semaglutide) was found to reduce calorie intake more than Saxenda. It was also discovered that Ozempic reduced food cravings when compared to Saxenda. If comparing the two, Ozempic seems to be the better choice.