Ozempic (Semaglutide)

Weight Loss Injection Treatment

Ozempic is a weekly injectable medication that contains Semaglutide prescribed for type 2 diabetes management, and has been reported to assist with weight loss.
Ozempic (Semaglutide)

What is Ozempic?

Ozempic is a weekly injectable medication used for the treatment of type 2 diabetes to control blood sugar and haemoglobin levels. In addition to its effectiveness in managing diabetes, patients using Ozempic have also reported achieving weight loss.

How does Ozempic work?

Ozempic is classified as a GLP-1 agonist, which means it imitates the actions of certain hormones naturally produced by your body. Specifically, Ozempic mimics the hormone incretin, which is released after eating.

The role of incretin is to regulate insulin release, helping to control blood sugar levels. Furthermore, incretin slows down the rate at which food empties from the stomach, promoting a feeling of fullness and reducing appetite.

By simulating these hormonal effects, Ozempic can effectively support blood sugar level control while also aiding with weight loss.

How long does Ozempic take to work?

Patients who have taken Ozempic have reported experiencing weight loss but the timeline varies among individuals. Some people may start noticing changes within a week or two, while it may take several weeks for others to see significant weight loss.

In general, most individuals tend to observe weight loss results around week 8 of using Ozempic. The effectiveness and timeframe of Ozempic's weight loss effects can be influenced by various factors, including weight, age, gender, genetics, diet, and level of physical activity.

Where can I buy Ozempic in the UK?

Ozempic requires a prescription and is available online from a pharmacy. It is important to note that Ozempic is licensed specifically for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, and it is unlicensed to be prescribed as a weight loss treatment.

Therefore, it is important to use Ozempic under the guidance of a healthcare professional and for its approved use in managing diabetes.

Can I get Ozempic weight loss treatment on the NHS?

Yes, Ozempic is accessible through the NHS for individuals diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

When will Ozempic be available for weight loss in the UK?

Ozempic is not currently approved in the UK for weight loss purposes.

A safe and clinically proven weight loss treatment that is available in the UK is Orlistat, a weight loss tablet that reduces the amount of fat your body absorbs from food.

Is Ozempic safe?

In clinical studies, Ozempic has been proven to be safe and well-tolerated by adults with type 2 diabetes. However, while most individuals can safely use Ozempic, certain patients, such as those with a history of pancreatitis or medullary thyroid cancer, should not take the treatment.

What are the side effects of Ozempic?

As with any medication, Ozempic can cause side effects, although they may not occur in everyone.

Common side effects of Ozempic include:

  • Feeling sick (nausea)
  • Diarrhoea
  • Being sick (vomiting)
  • Indigestion
  • Inflamed stomach (gastritis)
  • Heartburn
  • Stomach pain
  • Bloating
  • Constipation
  • Burping
  • Gallstones
  • Dizziness
  • Tiredness
  • Reduced appetite
  • Gas
  • Hypoglycaemia or retinopathy

Uncommon side effects of Ozempic include:

  • Change in food or drink taste
  • Fast pulse
  • Injection site reactions like bruising, irritation, itching and rash
  • Allergic reactions like rash, itching or hives

Always read the Patient Information Leaflet before starting the treatment.

Is Ozempic the same as Wegovy?

Ozempic and Wegovy are both injectable medications that contain semaglutide as the active ingredient and are both administered weekly.

Ozempic is prescribed for individuals with type 2 diabetes to assist in managing blood glucose levels. However, in some instances, doctors may decide to prescribe Ozempic for weight loss purposes off-label.

Wegovy is specifically formulated for weight loss and is available in weekly higher doses.

Is Ozempic the same as Saxenda?

Ozempic and Saxenda are not the same medication. Both treatments contain different active ingredients and have different dosing regimens.

Saxenda contains liraglutide as its main active ingredient. Saxenda is specifically designed for weight management and is prescribed to obese or overweight individuals with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher, or a BMI of 27–29 with associated risk factors such as heart disease, high blood pressure or high cholesterol.

What are the alternatives to Ozempic in the UK?

There are effective and clinically proven weight loss treatments available in the UK, such as Orlistat - a weight loss tablet that helps to reduce the amount of fat your body absorbs from food.

When combined with a balanced lower-calorie, reduced-fat diet and regular exercise, Orlistat can help lose up to 50% more weight than dieting alone.

 Information Leaflet

Always read the patient information leaflet before commencing treatment.

Written and reviewed by our qualified team

GPhC Number: 2088658

Carolina Goncalves
Authored by: Carolina Goncalves Superintendent
Pharmacist

GPhC Number: 2225869

Rehma Gill
Reviewed by: Rehma Gill Pharmacy
Manager

Find out more about our team of medical content authors and how we ensure the accuracy of our content with our content guidelines.

Content last updated: 24 Jun 2024

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