Wegovy vs Ozempic: What's the main difference?

Dr. Babak Ashrafi

Medically reviewed by

Dr Babak Ashrafi

Last reviewed: 10 Jan 2024

Wegovy weight loss medication is an injection that contains the active ingredient semaglutide. Ozempic is a type 2 diabetes treatment that can help to manage blood sugar levels. This also contains semaglutide, but with a lower maximum dose.

Ozempic has been labelled as a diet injection, as it can also help with weight loss, but it’s not been approved for this purpose. Wegovy, on the other hand, is approved for weight loss. You can request a prescription and buy Wegovy online from our online doctor service.

blue and green wegovy vs ozempic injection pen for weight loss treatment

What is Wegovy?

Wegovy (semaglutide) is a new injection for weight loss. It’s a branded medication that contains the active ingredient semaglutide. This works in the same way as a natural hormone in the body called glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1). When you use Wegovy, it makes you feel fuller and reduces your appetite, even while eating less.

What is Ozempic?

Semaglutide can also be found in Ozempic, which is an injectable pen for regulating blood sugar levels. You should only be prescribed Ozempic if you’ve been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

Ozempic is not an approved weight loss medication, although some doctors may prescribe it ‘off label’. This means the medication can still be prescribed if it could be beneficial for a patient, even if it’s not licensed for that condition. Please note: At ZAVA we do not prescribe Ozempic.

Can you buy Wegovy or Ozempic without a prescription?

No, you can’t buy Ozempic or Wegovy without a prescription. You must meet certain requirements to take Wegovy and Ozempic, so it could be unsafe to take these medications if you’ve not been prescribed them.

Your doctor will make sure either Wegovy or Ozempic is a suitable treatment based on your weight or blood pressure, medical history and any other medications you take.

How do Wegovy and Ozempic work?

Wegovy and Ozempic both contain semaglutide, which is a GLP-1 receptor agonist. It works by mimicking the GLP-1 hormone, which is usually released after you’ve eaten. This sends a signal to your body to produce insulin, reducing your blood glucose (sugar) levels.

Semaglutide also sends signals to your brain that you’ve eaten, so you’ll feel fuller and have a reduced appetite. This makes it easier to lose weight safely, by reducing your appetite, making it easier to lower your calorie intake and limiting snacking, without feeling hungry all the time.

What is the active ingredient in Wegovy and Ozempic?

Both Ozempic and Wegovy’s active ingredient is semaglutide, although the available doses of semaglutide can be different during treatment with either medication.

If you’re looking to compare generic semaglutide vs Ozempic, there currently isn’t an unbranded version of semaglutide. This means you’d only be able to consider either Wegovy or Ozempic. The patent for semaglutide doesn’t run out until 2031, so a generic won’t be available until then. Once available it would work the same way but would likely be cheaper since it wouldn’t have to be bought under a brand name.

What is the difference between Ozempic and Wegovy?

If you’re considering taking Wegovy or Ozempic for weight loss, there are some key similarities and differences.

Wegovy Ozempic
Active ingredient



Available doses

0.25mg, 0.5mg, 1.0mg, 1.7mg and 2.4mg

0.25mg, 0.5mg and 1.0mg

Common side effects

headache, nausea, vomiting, constipation

headache, nausea, vomiting, constipation


Once a week

Once a week

Requires a prescription?



What it’s approved for

Weight loss

Type 2 diabetes

Wegovy vs Ozempic for weight loss

There are a few main differences when comparing Wegovy vs Ozempic for weight loss. Firstly, while both can be taken for weight loss, only Wegovy is approved and licensed as a weight loss treatment.

Secondly, because Wegovy is licensed for weight loss and Ozempic isn’t, there is a higher range of available doses. You can take 1.7mg or 2.4mg Wegovy for weight loss but Ozempic’s maximum dosage only goes up to 1.0mg.

It’s usually best to get a weight loss treatment that’s been approved, as more research and clinical studies have been carried out into the effectiveness of the medicine as a weight loss aid. The dosage will also be more exact for weight loss, rather than for the medication's primary use.” – Dr Babak Ashrafi, Clinical Lead for Service Expansion at ZAVA.

Ozempic tablets for weight loss

You may have heard about Ozempic tablets for weight loss, which are called Rybelsus. These are a new pill and are currently only used in the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Rybelsus also contains the active ingredient semaglutide.

Is Wegovy or Ozempic more effective for weight loss?

Wegovy is a more effective treatment for weight loss because Ozempic is not a weight loss medication. There have also been some studies of Ozempic for weight loss, but the results are not as good as with Wegovy.

According to this study – when taking the maximum dose of Wegovy (2.4mg once a week), 89.8% of people lost at least 5% of their initial starting weight by month 6.

According to this study – when taking 1mg of semaglutide weekly (the standard dose of Ozempic), 66.9% of people lost at least 5% of their initial starting weight after 24 months.

Does Wegovy or Ozempic have less side effects?

Wegovy and Ozempic contain the same active ingredient, which means the side effects are the same. The only difference is that the standard dose of Wegovy is 2.4mg, while Ozempic’s standard dose is between 0.5mg and 1.0mg. This means you may be more likely to get side effects from Wegovy as the dosage is higher.

Your doctor will monitor your side effects while taking either medication. Speak to them if you have any concerns or get side effects that don’t go away.

Ozempic vs Wegovy side effects

Wegovy Ozempic
Very common

headache, diarrhoea, nausea or vomiting

nausea, diarrhoea


upset stomach, dizziness, burping or gas, reflux or heartburn, reactions at the injection site, diabetic eye retinopathy complications

vomiting, low blood sugar, diabetic eye retinopathy complications


fast heartbeat, an increase in pancreatic enzymes, delayed gastric emptying

changes in taste, fast pulse, allergic reactions, reaction at the site of injection, delayed gastric emptying

Serious (requires immediate medical treatment)

severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis), an inflamed pancreas

severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis), an inflamed pancreas

Wegovy vs Ozempic: dosage charts

Wegovy dosage and Ozempic dosage aren’t the same, as they are used to treat different conditions. Below we look at the semaglutide dosage for Wegovy and Ozempic and the standard dosing schedule for each.

When taking Wegovy, every 4 weeks, your dose can be increased as follows:

  • weeks 1 to 4: 0.25mg
  • weeks 5 to 8: 0.5mg
  • weeks 9 to 12: 1.0mg
  • weeks 13 to 16: 1.7mg
  • weeks 17 onwards: 2.4mg

Ozempic’s starting dose is 0.25mg, which is increased after 4 weeks to 0.5mg. Your doctor will monitor your blood sugar levels every 4 weeks and can increase your dose up to 1.0mg. You’ll only need to increase your dose if a lower dose isn’t controlling your blood sugar well enough. The maximum dose of Ozempic is 1.0mg.

Is Wegovy stronger than Ozempic?

Wegovy can have a stronger effect on appetite than Ozempic once you reach the maximum dose of 2.4mg. This dose is most effective for weight loss but may not be suitable for type 2 diabetes treatment. It also comes with a higher chance of side effects, so you can choose to stay at a lower dose if that works for you.

What is the price difference between Ozempic and Wegovy?

The price difference between Ozempic and Wegovy depends on where you get it. They are usually around the same price, but it may be difficult to find Ozempic as an approved alternative.

Wegovy Ozempic

From £179.00 per pack

From £179.00 per pack

How long does it last?

1 month

1 month

How many doses are included?

4 doses

4 doses

Switching from Ozempic to Wegovy

Ozempic is only licensed for diabetes but Wegovy can be used by people with or without diabetes. If you have diabetes and are on either Wegovy or Ozempic, you may be able to switch.

A doctor will be able to advise you on which treatment is right for you based on your blood sugar levels, weight and other health factors. They will also be able to provide advice on switching from one to the other.

If you do not have diabetes and you’re taking Ozempic off-licence, you may be able to switch to the Wegovy at the same dose of semaglutide, or one higher if you’ve been taking your current dose for more than 4 weeks.

If you don’t have diabetes, switching to Ozempic from Wegovy is not usually necessary since Wegovy is licensed for weight loss in people without diabetes and Ozempic isn’t.

Is Wegovy the same as Ozempic?

Wegovy and Ozempic are similar medications since they both contain the same active ingredient, semaglutide. They are not exactly the same though since they are licensed for different things. Wegovy is licensed for weight loss and Ozempic is licensed for diabetes treatment. Also they have different available doses, with Wegovy doses going as high as 2.4mg and Ozempic usually only going to 1.0mg.

Can you take Wegovy and Ozempic together?

No, taking Wegovy and Ozempic together is dangerous. This would mean you are taking more semaglutide than you should, which can cause serious side effects, such as low blood sugar. It can also increase your risk of common side effects like nausea and vomiting.

Risk and benefits of switching from Wegovy and Ozempic

As long as you follow your doctor’s instructions, there aren’t many risks involved with switching from Wegovy or Ozempic. You may get side effects, like with any medication, if you’re switching to another dosage schedule.

Switching from Ozempic to Wegovy can have few benefits, such as:

  • better weight loss results
  • easier to get a prescription
  • getting more for your money, as you’re taking a higher dose is proven to be more effective

You can always switch between weight loss treatments if they aren’t working for you, or you get side effects. You can also switch from Saxenda to Wegovy.

What is an alternative to Ozempic and Wegovy?

Ozempic and Wegovy have a few alternatives, such as Saxenda. This is the main Wegovy alternative if you still want to use an injectable treatment.

Saxenda contains the active ingredient liraglutide, which is a GLP-1 agonist. It’s injected once daily, and the recommended maintenance dose is 3mg. Like Wegovy, you’ll follow a regime to slowly increase the dosage.

At ZAVA we also have weight loss tablets available, such as:

  • Mysimba – a tablet that contains 2 active ingredients, bupropion and naltrexone hydrochloride, taken once daily. This also works on the areas of your brain that control appetite, hunger, and energy levels.
  • Xenical – a weight loss pill that, when taken with a meal, stops around a third of the fat being absorbed. It can be taken up to 3 times a day, but only with meals containing fat. The active ingredient is orlistat.
  • orlistat – an unbranded version of Xenical that works in the same way. As it’s unbranded it costs less.

There’s also an over-the-counter version of orlistat, known as Alli. This contains a lower dose but works in the same way and you don’t need a prescription for it.

To ensure that you are not left alone, ZAVA offers a free holistic support package developed by an in-house nutritionist in collaboration with our doctors, as well as free regular medical check-ins throughout your treatment.

Conclusion: What is better weight loss with Ozempic or Wegovy?

Although Ozempic and Wegovy both contain the same active ingredient semaglutide, Wegovy is the only medication that’s approved for weight loss. For this reason, Wegovy may be a better choice, as the dosage schedule has been created for effective weight loss.

You can still get Ozempic, but it may be harder to find and you’ll need to have it prescribed ‘off label’.

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Frequently asked questions

Can anyone use Wegovy for weight loss?

No, you must get a prescription to use Wegovy for weight loss. Your doctor will make sure it’s suitable based on your BMI, other health conditions, and any medications that you take.

To take Wegovy, you must have a BMI (body mass index) of:

  • between 27 kg/m² and 30 kg/m² and a weight-related health problem
  • 30 kg/m² or more

Where can you buy Wegovy online?

You can buy Wegovy online from trusted and regulated online doctor services, such as ZAVA. To buy Wegovy from us, you’ll need to complete a short medical form that will be reviewed by one of our doctors. If suitable, Wegovy will be sent to your home, with free standard delivery.

What is the cost of Wegovy in the UK?

Wegovy cost in the UK depends on where you get it. You can buy Wegovy from us for £179.00 per pack, which is 4 weeks worth of medication.

How much weight can you lose in a month with Wegovy?

This depends on your circumstances and what type of diet and exercise regime you’re following. Most people lose at least 5% of their initial body weight within 6 months of taking Wegovy.

Is Wegovy a generic of Ozempic?

No, Wegovy is not a generic Ozempic. Wegovy and Ozempic are both branded medications with different uses.

Medically reviewed by:
Dr Babak Ashrafi Clinical Lead for Service Expansion
Accreditations: BSc, MBBS, MRCGP (2008)

Babak studied medicine at King’s College London and graduated in 2003, having also gained a bachelor’s degree in Physiology during his time there. He completed his general practice (GP) training in East London, where he worked for a number of years as a partner at a large inner-city GP practice. He completed the Royal College of GPs membership exam in 2007.

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Last reviewed: 10 Jan 2024

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