This content was reviewed and approved for its accuracy on 18/06/2021 by Professor Frank Joseph

Photograph of Professor Frank Joseph, weight loss expert for myBMI

Is Wegovy The Same As Semaglutide?


Wegovy is the name of a newly-approved medication in the UK for chronic weight management.


Throughout its development, it’s been compared to the type 2 diabetes treatment, Ozempic.


Whilst this might sound strange at first (especially if you haven’t heard of Ozempic before), it’s a sensible comparison to make, as both Wegovy and Ozempic contain the same active medicine – Semaglutide.


Semaglutide is the generic name for both medicines, but the important differences lie in what they’re used for and any differences in dosage.


Whilst Ozempic has been used to treat T2DM for several years, Wegovy won’t be prescribed for the same condition. It should be used only for chronic weight management.


Although the two medicines contain the same ingredient, they’re licensed to treat different conditions.


Whilst Ozempic should only be prescribed for type 2 diabetes, Wegovy possesses a specific licence for weight management in the USA and UK.


This means that Ozempic shouldn’t need to be prescribed off-label for weight loss, Wegovy already fulfils this purpose.


Likewise, Wegovy shouldn’t be prescribed to treat type 2 diabetes mellitus and should only be given to patients who are taking it to lose weight.


A similar thing happened a few years back when Saxenda was released as the world’s first injectable weight loss treatment following the success of Victoza in diabetic patients.


Nowadays, Victoza is prescribed for diabetes, whilst Saxenda is prescribed for weight loss.


It’s entirely possible that we will see a similar pattern emerge with Ozempic and Wegovy once it has been released.


Another difference between Wegovy and Ozempic is the dosage of the medications.


The maximum dose for Ozempic is 1.0mg weekly when it’s prescribed for diabetes – this manages blood glucose effectively in most diabetic patients that need to take it.


Ozempic can be prescribed in doses up to 2.0mg a week, but this is only done off-label and isn’t common.


However, the therapeutic dose for Wegovy is up to 2.4mg weekly.


It also comes in single-dose pens rather than 4 doses in one pen as we’re used to seeing with Ozempic.


What is the difference between Wegovy and Ozempic?


As is expected with variations of the same medicine, Wegovy and Ozempic do share a lot of similarities such as how it affects the body and how it’s administered.


However, there are also some differences between Wegovy and Ozempic that are important to know about.


Here’s an at-a-glance look at the similarities and differences between Wegovy and Ozempic:


Wegovy vs Ozempic information table


Wegovy and Ozempic do contain the same ingredient, but its licensing restrictions dictate that they should only be prescribed for the purpose they’re intended for.


If you’re already taking Semaglutide for weight loss, you can expect Wegovy to work in the same way now it’s been approved in the UK.

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Can Semaglutide be Used for Weight Loss?​

Semaglutide is used in both Ozempic and Wegovy, so can it be used for weight loss?


Our team explain how you can get it in the UK.

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How Does Semaglutide Work?

We know that Semaglutide can help to suppress your appetite, but how?


We explain how Semaglutide works in the body.


Is Semaglutide Safe?

It’s natural to question whether new weight loss medication is safe.


We look at safety data so you can make an informed decision about your treatment.


What is Off-Label Prescribing?

Off-label prescribing happens when a medicine is prescribed to a patient for reasons other than what it’s licensed for.


Find out more here.