Our Treatments: Semaglutide (Ozempic/Wegovy)

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Ozempic

Ozempic (Semaglutide) is myBMI’s first-line treatment for weight management.

 

It’s prescribed to adults with a BMI of more than 30 (or over 27 if weight-related health conditions are present) who have struggled to lose weight through natural methods such as diet, exercise and other lifestyle changes.

 

If you’re interested in taking Semaglutide for weight loss, please complete an online consultation with one of our weight loss specialists who will be able to advise you.

What is Ozempic?

Ozempic (Semaglutide) is a medicine that was first developed to treat type 2 diabetes in adults, as it helps to reduce blood glucose levels which can often be quite high in people with diabetes.

 

However, clinical trials showed that people taking Semaglutide also experienced a reduced appetite and weight loss.

 

Because of this, the drug has undergone  further trials to see whether or not it would be effective as a treatment for obesity in adults who don’t have diabetes.

 

Results are promising so far, with studies currently showing that Semaglutide can significantly help with weight loss in obese adults.
 

 

 

Semaglutide isn’t currently licensed for weight loss, but at myBMI, our weight management specialists have had working experience of it being an incredibly useful medicine for obesity.

 

Because of this, we are able to prescribe Ozempic for weight loss, alongside a support plan and self-monitoring tools which can be viewed by our medical team.

 

Please note that our prescribers will make the final decision in whether or not Ozempic is suitable for you, as patient safety is at the core of our values.

Is Semaglutide the same as Ozempic or Wegovy?

Ozempic and Wegovy are both brand names for Semaglutide injections.

 

It’s manufactured by Novo Nordisk, which is the company that invented the medication.

 

For several years, Ozempic was the only form of semaglutide that was available.

 

However, in 2020, Novo Nordisk launched Rybelsus – a tablet version of Semaglutide that’s taken daily.

 

Now, patients can choose whether they’d like to take a weekly injection, or a daily tablet.

 

Ozempic is still the most common form of Semaglutide, as most people that currently take it have been used to using the injections.

 

Ozempic is the only brand of Semaglutide injections available due to the fact that the medication is currently patented by the manufacturer.

 

Ozempic and Wegovy both contain the same medicine – Semaglutide.

 

Ozempic is the version of Semaglutide that is officially approved and licensed for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes.

 

However, the FDA in the USA have approved Wegovy for chronic weight management, for which Semaglutide has also been found to be very useful and effective.

 

The maximum strength of Ozempic available is the 1.0mg pen as this is the dose that gives optimal results in controlling people’s Type 2 diabetes.

 

However, Wegovy will be released with a therapeutic dose of 2.4mg for the purposes of weight management, meaning that the dose of semaglutide is higher in Wegovy than it is in Ozempic.

 

The difference, therefore between the two medications is their licenses – Ozempic is licensed to treat type 2 diabetes mellitus, whereas Wegovy is licensed in the USA for weight management, despite containing the same active drug.

 

However, Ozempic may still be prescribed off-label for weight loss if your prescriber believes that it would benefit you. 

 

In the UK, Wegovy isn’t available here yet, as UK approvals for the new medicine aren’t expected until late in 2021.

 

However, Ozempic may be a suitable alternative for you if you have a BMI of over 30 (or over 27 with a weight-related health condition), and have struggled to lose weight naturally by making lifestyle changes. 

 

How does Ozempic (Semaglutide) work for weight loss?

Ozempic helps with weight loss because of the way it works in your gut.

 

When we eat, our intestines produce and release a hormone called GLP-1. This hormone helps our brain to recognise that we’re satisfied and don’t need any more food.

 

Semaglutide is a medicine called a “GLP-1 receptor agonist”, which means that it works in a very similar way to the GLP-1 hormone that our intestines produce naturally.

 

However, Semaglutide lasts for much longer than the natural version of the hormone, meaning that you’re more likely to feel more satisfied for a longer amount of time – reducing the amount that you eat overall.

 

This then leads to a decrease in your calorie intake, which when combined with a low-calorie diet and more exercise should lead to successful weight loss.

 

We have an article dedicated to explaining how Semaglutide works, so if you’d like to know more, please do take a look.

Is Ozempic safe?

Ozempic is safe for most people that need to take it. As it’s a prescription-only medicine, it has to be prescribed to you by a medical professional who will be able to make the best judgement on whether or not Semaglutide is the right treatment for you.

 

There are certain groups of people that should avoid taking Ozempic (Semaglutide), as it may cause them harm due to an underlying condition.

 

If you have any of the following conditions, Semaglutide might not be safe for you;

Semaglutide might also interact with some medicines, so you should let your prescriber know everything that you’re currently taking, including anything that isn’t prescribed.

 

If you’re taking any of the following treatments in particular, you should tell your prescriber so that they can decide if semaglutide is safe for you;

Titration Path

This is the lowest dose available for Ozempic injections, and you’ll usually start by taking this for the first 4 weeks.

 

The main purpose of starting on the lowest dose of Semaglutide is to avoid experiencing any severe side effects, so please don’t be disheartened if you don’t see much movement on the scales whilst you’re taking 0.25mg.

 

Some people do however start to see some weight loss even on this lowest dose.

 

 

Taking 0.25mg Ozempic weekly for the first month of treatment means that your body will be allowed to gradually get used to the medication before you titrate up to a higher dose.
From weeks 5-8, most people move onto 0.5mg Ozempic per week.

 

Although this still isn’t the therapeutic dose, remember that this is still a titration period to allow your body a chance to adjust to the Ozempic (Semaglutide).
 

 

 

You should take the 0.5mg dose weekly throughout your second month of treatment.  
From week 9, you’ll be able to take the full weekly dose of 1.0mg.

 

For most people, this is enough to start seeing results, and many people who take Ozempic injections for weight loss stay at this dosage for as long as they need to.
 

 

 

You shouldn’t ever take 1.0mg straight away without titrating up from a lower dose, as this could cause severe side effects. 
The surge plan is suitable for people that have been taking the 1.0mg dose for a while and have either reached a plateau, or stopped seeing as much success.  

Your prescriber will make the final decision about whether or not a surge plan would be appropriate for you, and if so, how long you should stay on it. 

The maintenance plan is perfect for people that have reached their goal weight with Ozempic and are wanting to maintain it without losing or gaining a significant amount more. 

Ozempic side effects

Most medicines cause side effects in some people, and Ozempic isn’t an exception to this.

 

However, it’s important to know that not everybody experiences side effects when taking Semaglutide, and those that do often find that they go away on their own within a few weeks as the body gets used to the medication.

 

 

Most side effects that are reported with Ozempic tend to involve the gut. For example, some of the most common side effects include;

Other common side effects listed on the patient information leaflet include;

The complete list of side effects is available in the patient information leaflet, which you should read before you start to take Semaglutide.

 

If you do experience side effects whilst taking Semaglutide, myBMI will provide any supporting treatments which might help you to deal with them.

 

For example, if you’re experiencing diarrhoea, one of our team may prescribe loperamide to help to reduce it.

 

This is included in the cost of your consultation, as we want to make sure that patients are supported throughout their weight management journey, and we believe that treatments for side effects should be part of that support.

Is Ozempic available on the NHS?

Ozempic is only available on the NHS for treating type 2 diabetes mellitus.

 

Because of this, the NHS do not offer it as a treatment to those that need help with weight loss.

 

However, you can choose to buy Ozempic privately via a private doctor or online prescribing service.

Where can I buy Ozempic in the UK?

myBMI offer Semaglutide injections (Ozempic) as a first-line treatment for obesity.

 

If you’re considering taking Ozempic for weight loss, please complete an online consultation.

 

Each consultation costs £199, and includes 28 days’ worth of treatment, delivery, needles and a sharps bin, any supporting treatments, and access to the myBMI community, as well as exclusive videos and content from our specialists.

 

 

Rather than just buying Semaglutide, with myBMI, you’re buying a complete weight management package from a specialist-led service.

 

 

Remember, your choice of treatment it the ultimate decision of our prescriber.

What is the cost of Ozempic (Semaglutide)?

myBMI consultations cost £199*, which includes 28 days’ worth of treatment – this may include Semaglutide.

 

One of the benefits of using myBMI is that the price of Semaglutide is always the same, no matter which dose you’re prescribed.

 

This is because any treatment we prescribe to you is included in the cost of your consultation.
 

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