App installation banner

Wegovy vs Ozempic: How to Choose the Right Pen-Filled Injection for Weight Loss or Type 2 Diabetes

Written and medically reviewed by Dorcas Morak, Pharm.D

Updated on May 28th, 2023

Save up to 88% on your medications

Written and medically reviewed by Dorcas Morak, PharmD

Are you struggling to manage your weight or control your blood sugar levels due to type 2 diabetes? You may have heard of Wegovy and Ozempic, two pen-filled injections that contain the same active ingredient, semaglutide. Although they have similarities, they differ in many ways. Wegovy is used for weight loss in obese individuals who have weight-related conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes. Ozempic, on the other hand, is used to manage blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes and has been found to lower the risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke in people with type 2 diabetes.

Both medications contain semaglutide, an injectable GLP-1 receptor agonist which slows down stomach emptying, signals to the brain that the stomach is full, and reduces appetite, leading to weight loss. However, Wegovy contains a higher dose of semaglutide than Ozempic, making it more potent.

Wegovy is available in doses of 0.25 mg, 0.5 mg, 1 mg, 1.7 mg, and 2.4 mg, while Ozempic is available in doses of 0.25 mg, 0.5 mg, 1 mg, and 2 mg. Wegovy is also approved for use in children aged 12 and above, while Ozempic is only approved for adults aged 18 and above.

Both medications can cause similar side effects, such as nausea, diarrhea, and constipation, but Wegovy can also cause hair loss and headaches.

It's important to inform your doctor or pharmacist of any other medications or supplements you are taking because Wegovy and Ozempic can interact with other drugs, such as insulin lispro, glimepiride, sitagliptin, and linagliptin.

Is Wegovy or Ozempic more effective?

Wegovy and Ozempic are both FDA-approved and effective for their specific uses. Wegovy is approved for weight loss, while Ozempic is used to treat type 2 diabetes. According to the ICER Report on Weight Loss Medications, Wegovy is proven to be effective for weight loss.

Who can use Wegovy or Ozempic?

Wegovy is specifically approved by the FDA for people who are obese, with a body mass index (BMI) of 30kg/m2 or higher. But even if you're just overweight, with a BMI of at least 27kg/m2 and one weight-related condition like high cholesterol or diabetes, Wegovy could still be an option for you. On the other hand, if you're dealing with type 2 diabetes, you might want to look into Ozempic. This medication not only treats type 2 diabetes, but it also helps reduce your risk of major cardiovascular events like heart attack or stroke if you have both diabetes and heart disease.

What are the common side effects of Wegovy?

Wegovy and Ozempic may have similar side effects, as they have similar active ingredients. However, since Wegovy has a higher dose of semaglutide, the intensity of the side effects may be higher as well. Some common side effects that you may experience with either medication include nausea, diarrhea, constipation, abdominal or stomach pain, and indigestion. But Wegovy has a couple of additional side effects to be aware of, such as headaches and hair loss.

What are possible drug interactions with Wegovy or Ozempic?

Some possible drug interactions to be aware of include insulin lispro (Admelog), glimepiride (Amaryl), sitagliptin (Januvia), and linagliptin (Tradjenta). Because both medications can delay gastric emptying time, they may also affect the absorption of other oral medications. Your healthcare provider may recommend waiting at least an hour after using Wegovy or Ozempic before taking other medications.

Does insurance cover Wegovy or Ozempic?

Typically, Medicare and private insurance plans don't cover weight loss medications, so it's possible that your insurance policy may not cover Wegovy. However, in some cases, insurance may cover Wegovy with prior authorization. On the other hand, Ozempic is more likely to be covered by insurance plans as it is approved for the treatment of type 2 diabetes.

What do Wegovy and Ozempic cost?

Wegovy can be quite expensive, costing up to $1,500 for a month's supply, while Ozempic can cost up to $1,000 per month. However, you can save up to 88% off the retail price by using an RxLess discount coupon. RxLess is accepted at more than 70,000 pharmacies nationwide, including Walgreens, CVS, and Rite Aid.

Was this article helpful?

Related Articles