They’re big names in the news and have even splashed across our television screens in recent ad campaigns: Both Wegovy® and Ozempic® have been getting attention from the media and elsewhere thanks to their impressive clinical efficacy. And they’re included on the list of potential medications that you might be prescribed by your Calibrate doctor when you join our program, alongside other GLP-1s like Trulicity and Rybelsus.
But what, exactly, do they do? And why are they prescribed for different things when they contain the same active ingredient—semaglutide?
We’re answering those questions and more below. Read on to find out exactly what sets Ozempic® and Wegovy® apart, alongside an analysis of their many similarities.
Is Wegovy® the same as Ozempic®?
As we’ve mentioned, both Ozempic® and Wegovy® are semaglutide, a GLP-1 receptor agonist that’s most widely known as an antidiabetic medication because of its ability to modulate blood sugar.
GLP-1 receptor agonists work by mimicking the natural GLP-1 hormone our bodies produce. GLP-1 is an incretin hormone: A type of hormone released naturally by your body when you eat food. It targets areas of the brain involved in regulating appetite and food intake. GLP-1 also plays a key role in the management of blood sugar levels and can improve blood sugar levels in people living with impaired glucose tolerance or diabetes (without the danger of causing hypoglycemia). .
Semaglutide mimics our natural GLP-1 hormone, making it an effective drug for blood sugar regulation, reduction in A1C levels, and the treatment of overweight and obesity. Note that semaglutide is not the same as insulin and is not currently indicated for use in those with type-1 diabetes. However, it can be used for weight loss in people with type 1 diabetes and insulin resistance.
Semaglutide was first developed by a team of researchers out of Danish pharmaceutical company NovoNordisk in 2012. An alternative to existing GLP-1 liraglutide (commercially known as Saxenda® or Victoza®), semaglutide was found to be longer-acting and therefore more convenient for many patients to use. Where liraglutide requires daily self-administration by injection, semaglutide only needs to be injected once per week.
When referring to the active ingredient, then we can technically say that yes, Wegovy® is the same as Ozempic®: Both are once-weekly injectable preparations of semaglutide. For those who may not be able to tolerate an injectable medication, semaglutide is also manufactured in tablet form under the name Rybelsus.
The key difference between Ozempic® and Wegovy® has to do with the amount of semaglutide available per pen—the injection device that delivers the medication. Read more on dose strength below.
Another difference you might notice when researching these two medications is that Wegovy® is specifically indicated for the treatment of overweight and obesity, whereas Ozempic® is indicated for the treatment of type-2 diabetes. Keep in mind, however, that both have been shown to be safe and effective for weight loss when used in combination with lifestyle changes (including healthy food choices and exercise).
The following are statements provided by NovoNordisk about weight loss with Ozempic® and Wegovy®, respectively:
Ozempic® is indicated as an adjunct to diet and exercise to improve glycemic control in adult patients with type 2 diabetes and to reduce the risk of major adverse cardiovascular (CV) events (CV death, nonfatal myocardial infarction, or nonfatal stroke) in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus and established CV disease. Body weight reduction was a secondary endpoint in clinical trials.
Wegovy® (semaglutide) injection 2.4 mg is indicated as an adjunct to a reduced calorie diet and increased physical activity for chronic weight management in adults with an initial body mass index (BMI) of ≥30 kg/m2 (obesity) or ≥27 kg/m2 (overweight) in the presence of at least one weight-related comorbid condition (e.g., hypertension, type 2 diabetes mellitus, or dyslipidemia).
Ozempic® has been studied and found to be safe for use in adults without diabetes and, as such, can be prescribed for the treatment of overweight and obesity.
Note that while NovoNordisk indicates a “reduced calorie diet” in the language above, the Calibrate program doesn’t involve any calorie counting: Instead, you’ll focus on making healthy food choices and minimizing fast-digesting carbohydrates in favor of healthy proteins and fats. Doing so puts more emphasis on overall wellbeing (rather than a restrictive mindset).
Is Wegovy® stronger than Ozempic®?
What’s the difference between Ozempic® and Wegovy®? Both Ozempic® and Wegovy® are the same medication: semaglutide. Wegovy®, however, is available in slightly higher doses: 0.25 mg, 0.5 mg, 1.0 mg, 1.7 mg, and 2.4 mg pens. Ozempic® is available in 0.25 mg, 0.5 mg, and 1.0 mg pens.
Both medications are typically started at the same 0.25 mg weekly dose and then gradually increased over the course of several months. With Wegovy®, patients ramp up to a higher sustained dose of semaglutide of 2.4 mg per week.
Wegovy® vs. Ozempic® Dosing Schedules:
Keep in mind that your Calibrate doctor will dictate your specific dosing schedule based on your unique health history and tolerance of the medication. Your dosing schedule may be different from what is shown in the table above.
Using Ozempic® vs. Wegovy® for weight loss
Your Calibrate doctor may prescribe Wegovy® or Ozempic®, or a different GLP-1 receptor agonist, as a part of your Calibrate Metabolic Reset program. Both medications can make it easier to lose weight and stick to healthy habits because of the role they play in promoting a feeling of fullness (or satiety) after meals. However, they must be used in combination with other tactics to support metabolic health and avoid weight regain.
Making significant changes to your health habits is no small feat. Even more challenging is maintaining these habits for the long haul. Without comprehensive support, studies have found that, on average, 95% of lost weight is regained after five years.
The Calibrate program has integrated evidence-based lifestyle recommendations to overcome this statistic and set members up for long-lasting health.
Calibrate’s Four Pillars of Metabolic Health—including food, sleep, exercise, and emotional health—are designed to help participants maximize their success with Ozempic®, Wegovy®, or other GLP-1 medications. As a Calibrate member, you’ll receive 1:1 accountability coaching alongside monitoring and support from a licensed physician who will prescribe your medications.
How much weight can you lose with Ozempic® or Wegovy®?
When taking any GLP-1 medication, whether Ozempic®, Wegovy®, or something else, the primary goal is improving your metabolic health. In doing so, you’ll reduce your risk for a variety of major health issues including cardiovascular disease, heart attack, and stroke, as well as other weight-related causes of death.
One of the core tenets of the Calibrate philosophy is that the treatment of overweight or obesity via weight loss is secondary to the overarching goal of improved metabolic health. Of course, weight loss can still be expected when taking Ozempic® or Wegovy® as a part of the Calibrate program.
Clinical trials of Wegovy® 2.4 mg showed average weight loss of 15.8% after 68 weeks. With Ozempic®, clinical trials showed an average 6% reduction in weight after one year (adults with an average starting weight of 197 pounds on 1.0 mg semaglutide per week). Another 2021 study found “sustained, clinically relevant reduction in body weight” with 2.4 mg of semaglutide once weekly.
These are meaningful results. But it’s the combination of GLP-1 medications with intensive lifestyle intervention that leads to sustained weight loss. Calibrate members have gone above and beyond these benchmarks, achieving sustained weight loss of 15% or more after the completion of the Metabolic Reset involving coaching, curriculum. and doctor-guided prescription of GLP-1 medication. Learn more.
When you join Calibrate, you’ll complete a comprehensive health intake, including blood work, that your Calibrate doctor will carefully review before customizing your treatment plan and prescribing your medication. You’ll then be paired with an accountability coaching team to help keep you on track, monitoring your progress through 1:1 sessions and the app while you learn and absorb the curriculum.
Keep in mind that Wegovy® and Ozempic® are not the right fit for everyone. Calibrate doctors may prescribe other medications based on your unique needs and health insurance coverage.
- Both Wegovy® and Ozempic® are preparations of the GLP-1 receptor agonist semaglutide
- Wegovy® and Ozempic® are two of the possible GLP-1 medications you could be prescribed as a part of the Calibrate program, among several others
- The main difference between Wegovy® and Ozempic® is their dose strengths: Ozempic® is available in doses of up to 1.0 mg, whereas Wegovy® is available in doses of up to 2.4 mg
- Both Ozempic® and Wegovy® are delivered once per week by self-injection
- Ozempic® and Wegovy® are FDA-approved and manufactured by NovoNordisk
- "While Ozempic is FDA-approved for treatment of type 2 diabetes, it is biosimilar to Wegovy and is used off-label for weight loss.