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Ozempic vs Semaglutide : A Comparison Guide 2024

The use of injectable drugs to treat obesity and type 2 diabetes has drawn more attention in recent years. One can treat type 2 diabetes using medications such as semaglutide and omepic.

However, you’ve probably heard of them because they’ve been in the headlines a lot lately—especially due to the controversy surrounding celebrities’ use of them to lose weight. Ozempic has type 2 diabetes approval.

However, Ozempic may occasionally be prescribed by doctors off-label for weight loss and treatment. Semaglutide, on the contrary, has been authorised to manage and lose weight.

The FDA in the United States has approved these treatments. These are part of a class of pharmaceuticals known as GLP-1 receptor agonists. This is for the treatment of obesity. Despite their apparent similarities, these injectable drugs differ in a few significant ways. 

Continue reading to find out the similarities and differences between these drugs and how they function!

An Overview of Ozempic vs Semaglutide

Semaglutide, commonly referred to as Ozempic, is a prescription medication. It is used in conjunction with diet and exercise. It helps to treat diabetes type 2. Novo Nordisk is a pharmaceutical business that manufactures the medication.

It reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke. It also helps to regulate blood sugar levels. It’s crucial to understand that Ozempic is not insulin and cannot be used to treat type 1 diabetes.

An Overview of Semaglutide

For chronic weight management in adults and teenagers 12 years of age and older, semaglutide is approved. It has been studied in individuals with and without diabetes.

Semaglutide is also licensed to reduce the risk of major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE) in individuals with heart disease who are overweight or obese. The acronym MACE refers to cardiovascular death, stroke, and heart attack.

Both medications are produced by Novo Nordisk. They are fda approved which is where they differ significantly.

Semaglutide vs. Ozempic — Key Differences

The brand-name injectable prescription medications Ozempic and Semaglutide both contain the same active component, semaglutide. Both are members of the medication class referred to as GLP-1s, short GLP-1 agonists, or glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists. Other medications in this class include Victoza, Saxenda, Rybelsus, and Trulicity.

Despite their many similarities, Ozempic and Semaglutide have been approved for different applications by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Ozempic has received FDA approval for:

  • Managing blood sugar in individuals with type 2 diabetes mellitus who are older than 18
  • lowering the risk of serious cardiovascular disease in individuals with type 2 diabetes and heart disease, including heart attack, strokes, and death.

On the other hand, semaglutide has been approved by the FDA for long-term weight management in adults (18 years and older) who have either:

  • Overweight: A BMI of 27 kg/m2 or above accompanied by at least one medical problem related to weight, such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension, or high cholesterol
  • Obesity: a body mass index (BMI) of at least 30 kg/m2  

Using Ozempic and Semaglutide pens differently is another important distinction between the two medications. Every injection pen made with Semaglutide features an integrated needle. The pen should be disposed of in a sharps container after use. In contrast, Ozempic comes with needles that you will need to attach to the injector pen prior to administering each dose. Afterward, you should put the needle in a sharps container and keep using the same pen.

Semaglutide vs. Ozempic for Weight Loss

Research contrasting Ozempic with Semaglutide demonstrates that both medications are useful in assisting people who have been diagnosed as obesity in lowering their body weight. Nevertheless, semaglutide loses weight more successfully than omeprazole.

The mechanism of action of [semaglutide] is not limited to appetite suppression; it also improves the functionality of insulin. And GLP-1 is all about that. GLP-1 is a receptor that is found in the brain and in the intestines.

Compared to Ozempic, Semaglutide delivers a marginally higher maximum dose of the drug. While Ozempic has a maximum dose of 2 mg, patients on the former may attain a maintenance dose of 2.4 mg. When comparing efficacy, semaglutide has a marginal edge over Ozempic due to its greater accessible dose.

Ozempic vs Semaglutide: Use Cases

Although having the same active ingredient, Semaglutide promote weight loss. It prevents heart disease, although Ozempic is meant to treat those with Type 2 diabetes.

Different Uses for Ozempic vs Semaglutide 

  1. Ozempic has been licenced by the FDA to treat Type 2 diabetes in adults and to lower cardiovascular risk in those who have the condition and are known to have heart problems.
  2. fda approved Semaglutide to help adults who have obesity to manage their weight over the long term. In overweight or obese people, it also lowers the risk of cardiovascular mortality, heart attack, and stroke.
  3. Both Ozempic and semaglutide result in decreased appetite. Doctors may prescribe either for both weight loss and maintenance.

Although the intended uses of omeprazole and semaglutide differ, they both decrease hunger and slow digestion. Therefore, to manage weight, physicians may recommend either. Many insurance companies won’t cover Ozempic as a weight loss drug because it is prescribed for an off-label purpose.

Side Effects of Ozempic vs. Semaglutide

The negative effect profile of semaglutide and ozempic is the same. However, since semaglutide is present in higher doses, side effects from semaglutide may be more severe.

Since the active ingredient in these drugs is the same, their adverse effect profiles are also the same. Other medications would be best for you to reach your individual health objectives can be determined with the assistance of your healthcare practitioner.

Although most severe effects of medication go away with time, up to 10% of people have to discontinue taking it due to persistent negative effects. In severe situations, adverse effects that endanger the patient’s health can necessitate hospitalization.

Side Effects of Semaglutide and Ozempic

  • Vomiting
  • Kidney problems
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Gastroparesis

Zempic and semaglutide side effects might range from slight disturbances to major ones. It’s critical to discuss potential side effects with your healthcare provider prior to beginning therapy. Based on that conversation, you can determine whether or not these medications are right for you.

Dosages, Forms, & Administration

The form, dose, and rate of administration of Semaglutide and Ozempic are listed in the table below based on the conditions they treat.

  • Dosage for Adults

The dosages of Ozempic and Semaglutide that are advised for adults with type 2 diabetes and weight control are listed below. Milligrammes per millilitre (mg/mL) of solution is the unit of dosage.

There are single-use, disposable needles included with Ozempic injection pens. Every time you take a dose, the pen needs to have a fresh needle inserted. To choose your dosage, turn the pen’s dose selector. Depending on the strength and dosage that your healthcare professional has ordered, you can use each pen for four or eight doses.

Pens for injecting semaglutide come with a needle attached. Each pen is meant to be used just once. It administers a single dosage of medicine. Every time you take a dosage, a fresh pen will be used.

You must administer a subcutaneous injection to yourself in the belly, thigh, or upper arm for omeprazole and semaglutide. You can learn how to apply the injection pen from your healthcare professional or another medical practitioner. The medication guide that is included with the injection pen has further instructions.

  • Children’s Dosage

The FDA has approved semaglutide for weight treatment in some children 12 years of age and older. The adult dosage mentioned above corresponds to the recommended dosage.

Doctors occasionally recommend Ozempic off-label* to help some kids lose weight. In this instance, the pediatrician will recommend the appropriate dosage for your child.

Why Choose Semaglutide Over Ozempic

Affordability

There’s no need to pay more for the brand name since Semaglutide is now accessible in generic form and produces the same effects.

For a product to be referred to as “generic” when it is introduced to the market, it must replicate the benefits of the brand names.

Once more, compare Tylenol to Acetaminophen, the generic name or component. There is no difference in components between Tylenol and the department store version that you can purchase. Additionally, the generic version will be less expensive!

The injectable Semaglutide is just that: An injectable for weight loss that is less expensive but still effective than Ozempic (the brand name).

No Prescription Necessary

If you’re interested in Ozempic, you’ll need a prescription from your healthcare professional. Since its main purpose is for Diabetes, you’ll need to discuss the off-label use with your provider.

Semaglutide is non-prescription. However, you will need to go through a reputable provider, like a medspa, who can guide you through the process. He will assist you on your journey to weight loss. You never want to take a medication or injectable without experienced professionals’ assistance. 

Precautions for Ozempic and Semaglutide 

If you have certain medical disorders or other circumstances that affect your health, Ozempic and Semaglutide might not be the correct choice. While there are certain similarities between the two medications, there are also some differences. A few of these safety measures are listed below.

  • Boxed warning: Risk of thyroid cancer

The active ingredient in Ozempic and Semaglutide, semaglutide, has a boxed warning on the product about a potential risk of thyroid cancer. The Food and Drug Administration‘s (FDA) most serious warning is boxed. A boxed warning informs doctors and patients about potentially harmful side effects of the drug.

Thyroid cancer in rats and mice can be brought on by semaglutide. It’s unknown if the medication can lead to thyroid cancer in people. Doctors usually won’t prescribe Ozempic or Semaglutide due to the potential risk if:

  • You have multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2, an uncommon genetic disorder that increases your risk of thyroid cancer.
  • You or a member of your close family has experienced medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC)

If you use Semaglutide or Ozempic, see your doctor if you experience any symptoms that could indicate thyroid cancer. These could include a lump in your throat, difficulty swallowing or breathing, or a hoarse voice that does not get better.

  • Precautions

Ozempic and Semaglutide come with additional cautions in addition to boxed warnings.

Before using Ozempic or Semaglutide for weight management or reduction, discuss with your doctor any of the following medical conditions or other relevant health considerations.

There are situations where having these two is not recommended. Take a look at the list of them below:

  • If either of the drugs or any of its constituents had caused an adverse reaction in the past
  • If you are or are considering becoming pregnant
  • In case you are nursing a child or considering it
  • if you’ve already experienced pancreatitis (pancreatic inflammation)
  • if diabetic retinopathy runs in your family
  • If you experience renal issues
  • If you struggle with depression, thoughts of suicide, or other mental health issues

Should I Take Ozempic or Semaglutide?

Your doctor will carefully consider all relevant circumstances before recommending a medication, just like with any other prescription. The choice will be influenced by things including your health history, medical data, and the most recent FDA recommendations.

Other options exist if semaglutide is ineffective, has too many adverse effects, or isn’t available. Numerous other pharmaceutical treatments are available to patients with Type 2 diabetes, such as GLP-1s like liraglutide (Saxenda) and tirzepatide (Mounjaro). There are more non-pharmacological solutions for weight loss, but there are still possibilities.

A healthcare professional can assist in evaluating the risks and advantages of these additional medications for a patient. There are additional surgical treatments, which may be particularly helpful for patients who are very obese. Those who are metabolically at risk, and has not responded well to more conservative management.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. Are semaglutide and ozempic the same thing?

Ozempic: What is it? The U.S. Food and Drug Administration fda approved Ozempic, also known as semaglutide, in 2017 for use in individuals with type 2 diabetes. Ozempic is a weekly injection that stimulates the production of more insulin by the pancreas, hence lowering blood sugar.

  1. Which Ozempic side effect is the most severe?

Gastrointestinal issues were the most often reported side effects of Ozempic to the FDA as of April 2024. The most often reported side effect was nausea, which was followed by constipation in second place and diarrhoea in third.

  1. Why is semaglutide not helping me lose weight?

There are a number of reasons why semaglutide could not be effective, including inconsistent medication adherence, lowering dosages, dietary adjustments, decreased physical activity, and lifestyle modifications.

The Bottom Line

Ozempic and semaglutide are quite similar. Both of them are once-weekly injections of semaglutide. However, there are a few significant distinctions between them as well, such as acceptable uses, dosages, and insurance coverage.

Semaglutide has been explicitly approved for weight loss. One side effect of using Ozempic for Type 2 diabetes is weight loss. However, this use is not authorized.

Speak with your medical staff if you want more information about Ozempic or Semaglutide. They can decide which drug is best for you.

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