Wegovy vs Ozempic: what are the differences between these appetite suppressants?

Wegovy vs Ozempic what are the differences between these appetite

Available in France, Wegovy and Ozempic are two drugs popular on social networks for their weight-loss effects but they should not be taken for this indication, at least not by everyone.

Wegovy is a weight loss medication indicated in the treatment of obesity, available in France. It contains semaglutidethe same active molecule as Ozempic®, increasingly misused for weight loss, whereas it is not authorized for this indication, unlike Wegovy®. Clarify.

What is Wegovy?

Wegovy® is an injectable medicine containing semaglutidemarketed by the laboratory Novo Nordisk. It is indicated in adults with an initial body mass index (BMI) of: ≥ 30 kg/m2 (obesity), or ≥ 27 kg/m2 and < 30 kg/m2 (overweight) in the presence of at least one weight-related comorbidity factor such as dysglycemia (prediabetes or type 2 diabetes), arterial hypertension, dyslipidemia, obstructive sleep apnea syndrome or cardiovascular disease. It should be taken in addition toa low-calorie diet and increased physical activitycan we read in an opinion from the High Authority for Health on December 22, 2022.

Photo of Wegovy © Ole – stock.adobe.com

What is the difference with Ozempic?

The main difference between these two drugs is that the indication forOzempic® is diabetes while that of Wegovy® is weight control in obese patients.

Active substanceSemaglutideSemaglutide
LaboratoryNovo NordiskNovo Nordisk

prescribed only in addition to a low-calorie diet and an increase in physical activity for weight control, particularly for weight loss and weight maintenance, in adults with an initial body mass index (BMI) of:

  • ≥ 30 kg/m2 (obesity)Or
  • ≥ 27 kg/m2 and < 30 kg/m2 (overweight) in the presence ofat least one comorbidity factor weight-related such as dysglycemia (prediabetes or type 2 diabetes), high blood pressure, dyslipidemia, obstructive sleep apnea syndrome or cardiovascular disease.
  • prescribed only in adults with poorly controlled type 2 diabetesin accordance with its marketing authorization (AMM)
  • It should not be diverted to lose weight: Ozempic is not licensed for the treatment of obesity
Shapepre-filled pen 4 doses/0.5mlpre-filled pen 4 doses/ 0.25/0.5/1 mg
Available in France Yes, on medical prescription (list I)

Yes, on medical prescription (list I)

Price: €76.58 Refundable at 30%

Wegovy® comes in the form of a pre-filled pen with self-inject under the skin weekly (in the abdomen, thigh, upper arm). This medication works by mimicking a hormone called glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), capable of targeting areas of the brain that regulate appetite as well as food intake, which leads to weight loss. In addition, semaglutide reduces the preference for high fat foods.

Wegovy® obtained its marketing authorization (AMM) on July 21, 2022, according to the Medicines Agency. This medicine is only available on prescription provided that the instructions in its marketing authorization are respected. The prescription must be made by doctor (nutritionist doctor or obesity specialist, specialist in gastroenterology, endocrinology, diabetology, nutrition or a specialized obesity center (CSO) or a university hospital center (CHU)…). Therefore, it is absolutely not recommended to buy Wegovy® without a prescription or Ozempic® without a prescription, on the black market or on the Internet for example.

What is the price of Wegovy? Is it reimbursed?

The price varies depending on the country in which it is sold. In France, the price of a pen would amount to 376 eurosaccording to the website of the Economic Committee for Health Products (CEPS) Since December 2022, Wegovy® has been reimbursed in Francein accordance with the opinion of the High Authority for Health.

What weight loss can you expect with Wegovy?

In a 68-week double-blind trial, the results of which were described by the European Medicines Agency, 611 patients suffering from obesity (BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2) or overweight (BMI ≥ 27 kg/m2 to < 30 kg/m2) and with at least one weight-related comorbidity were randomized to receive semaglutide or placebo. During the trial, all patients received intensive behavioral therapy consisting of a highly restrictive diet, increased physical activity, and behavioral counseling. Treatment with semaglutide for 68 weeks resulted in greater and clinically significant body weight reduction compared to placebo: -16.8 kg lost on average with semaglutide compared to -6.2 kg. Patients on semaglutide lost on average -14.6 cm waist circumference compared to -6.3 cm for patients on placebo.

What are the side effects ?

According to’European Medicines Agency (EMA), the most common side effects of Wegovy® include:

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomitings
  • Constipation
  • Abdominal pain
  • Headaches
  • From fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Risks of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) in patients with type 2 diabetes
  • Flatulence (accumulation of gas),
  • Gastroenteritis
  • A risk of gastroesophageal reflux

Wegovy® should not be used in patients having a history of serious allergic reactions to semaglutide or any of the other components of Wegovy. In this context, patients should stop Wegovy immediately and consult a doctor if a serious allergic reaction is suspected. Patients should seek the advice of their doctor if they have a history or onset of inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis), gallbladder problems (including gallstones), hypoglycemia, acute kidney injury, diabetic retinopathy (damage to the retina of the eye), increased heart rate and suicidal behavior or thoughts.