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Ozempic or Wegovy: What’s the difference?

Ozempic and Wegovy are prescription injections that contain the same active ingredient, semaglutide. Ozempic is not currently licenced in the UK for weight loss but is prescribed for type 2 diabetes. Wegovy is a semaglutide injection approved for weight loss in the UK. Here we explore whether Wegovy or Ozempic is better for weight loss.

What are the key differences between Ozempic and Wegovy?

Wegovy and Ozempic are brand names for semaglutide, a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist. GLP-1 receptor agonists are a class of medication used to treat metabolic conditions, such as obesity and type 2 diabetes. They work by mimicking the digestive hormone, GLP-1, to reduce your appetite, slow the transit of food through the digestive system, and stimulate insulin secretion to lower blood sugar levels.

Despite containing the same active ingredient and being made by the same company, there are some distinct differences between Wegovy and Ozempic.

Active ingredientSemaglutideSemaglutide
ManufacturerNovo Nordisk Inc.Novo Nordisk Inc.
Maximum dose2 mg/week2.4 mg/week
AdministrationPre-filled, self-administered injection penPre-filled, self-administered injection pen
Licenced treatmentType 2 diabetes, not weight lossWeight loss

Ozempic vs Wegovy dose

One major difference between Ozempic and Wegovy is the dosage.

ScheduleWegovy (mg/week)Ozempic (mg/week)
Month 10.250.25
Month 20.50.5
Month 311
Month 41.72
Month 52.4 

The Wegovy dose slowly increases over 5 months, starting at 0.25 mg per week and reaching a maximum or maintenance dose of 2.4 mg.

Ozempic, however, is only available in 4 doses; 0.25 mg, 0.5 mg, 1 mg, and 2 mg.

The higher dose of Wegovy increases its effectiveness for weight loss and gives it an advantage over Ozempic.

Ozempic vs Wegovy regulation

Another key difference between Ozempic and Wegovy is their intended audience or who the medication is approved for.

In the UK, Wegovy is approved for weight loss, as long as you meet the following criteria:

  • A body mass index (BMI) of 30 or above
  • A BMI of 27 or above with at least one weight-related medical issue, such as high blood pressure

Ozempic is not licensed for weight loss in the UK but is available to treat type 2 diabetes in adults over 18.

Does Ozempic help with weight loss?

Ozempic contains the same active ingredient as Wegovy which has been proven to aid weight loss. However, the dose of semaglutide in Ozempic is lower than in Wegovy. Although some people who use Ozempic to control their blood sugar levels may also lose some weight, Ozempic is not approved for weight loss in the UK. It is also not available off-label for weight loss.

If you want a weight loss treatment, alternatives are available, including Wegovy, Mounjaro, and Saxenda.

Want to find out more about Wegovy and Mounjaro? Check out our comprehensive comparison.

Wegovy vs Ozempic side effects

Wegovy and Ozempic can cause similar side effects because they contain the same active ingredient. Side effects may be more common in Wegovy because it is prescribed at a higher dose than Ozempic.

You can learn more about Wegovy side effects in our ‘What are Wegovy side effects and their duration?’ article.

Side effectWegovyOzempic
Feeling sick (nausea)






Being sick (vomiting)












Stomach pain






How effective is Wegovy for Weight Loss?

(Source: NEJM, 2021)

A once-weekly Wegovy (semaglutide) dose of 2.4 mg has been shown to effectively induce and maintain weight loss in overweight or obese people without diabetes. Over 86% lost at least 5% of their body weight and 32% lost at least 20% over 68 weeks.

Is Wegovy better for weight loss than Ozempic?

Wegovy and Ozempic haven’t been directly compared for their effects on weight loss. Even though Ozempic hasn’t been approved for weight loss, clinical trials have shown that while it successfully helps to reduce a person’s average blood glucose level called HbA1c, many also reported body weight loss.

(Source: The Lancet, 2021)

The graph above shows that in a trial where semaglutide reduced HbA1c, many participants experienced weight loss over 40 weeks. The loss was greater for those taking a higher dose of Ozempic but was less than the weight loss seen in trials using the maintenance Wegovy dose (2.4 mg/week).

Ozempic vs Wegovy cost

The cost of Wegovy and Ozempic will depend on the treatment plan agreed with your clinician.

At Prescription Doctor, you can purchase Wegovy for £168.99.

Ozempic and Wegovy are branded versions of semaglutide, but there is currently no generic version available.


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  • Lowers blood sugar
  • Weekly injection
  • Specialist Consultation Included

Summary: Ozempic or Wegovy: Which is better?

If you are looking for an effective weight loss solution, Wegovy is approved for this use in the UK, making it the ideal option. Ozempic is not licenced for weight loss in the UK and is prescribed under certain conditions to type 2 diabetes patients.

Although Wegovy and Ozempic are brand names for semaglutide and are made by the same manufacturer, the higher dose of semaglutide in Wegovy has been used in weight loss trials, leading to its approval by the regulator.


NEJM, (2021). Once-Weekly Semaglutide in Adults with Overweight or Obesity.

The Lancet, (2021). Efficacy and safety of once-weekly semaglutide 2·0 mg versus 1·0 mg in patients with type 2 diabetes (SUSTAIN FORTE): a double-blind, randomised, phase 3B trial.

Authored By

Leanne Edermaniger

Medical Content Writer
Leanne is a science and health content writer focusing on human health and biology while utilising her solid academic background.

Published on: 21/05/2024

Reviewed By

Mohamed Imran Lakhi

MPharm - Lead Pharmacist
Imran Lakhi is the superintendent pharmacist and founder at Prescription Doctor. He has been at the core of our team.

Reviewed on: 21/05/2024
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