Is Ozempic approved for weight loss in the UK?

Posted 18 November 2022

Ozempic has not been approved for weight loss in the UK. It only has a licence for controlling blood sugar in type 2 diabetics. The active ingredient in Ozempic is semaglutide which is also the active ingredient in Wegovy.(1)

Wegovy has been approved in the UK for weight loss in overweight or obese adults. In trials used alongside a healthy diet and exercise it helped obese people lose between 15-20% of their body weight – about 2 stone (13kg) on average. Wegovy should be available in the UK early 2023.(2)

Are Ozempic and Saxenda the same thing?

What does the Saxenda pen look like

Ozempic was developed for the management of type-2 diabetes and not for weight loss. It contains the active ingredient semaglutide.

Buy Saxenda online From only £50 per pen Liraglutide belongs to the same family of drugs as semaglutide. Under the brand of Victoza it is an anti-diabetic medicine for use in the treatment of type-2 diabetes and under the brand Saxenda it’s an anti-obesity and chronic weight management drug. If it’s used on a daily basis alongside a healthy diet and increased exercise it’s a very effective tool on your weight loss journey.

What is semaglutide?

Semaglutide, sold in the brand name Ozempic is a medication taken by weekly injection and can be used for the treatment of adults with insufficiently controlled type 2 diabetes to improve glycaemic control alongside diet and exercise.(1)

Semaglutide sold under the brand name Wegovy is effectively a modified gut hormone and can also be prescribed, from early next year, for weight loss for obese or overweight adults with an underlying health issue. As well as helping you to lose weight it can also help with all cardiovascular outcomes. Therefore, semaglutide can help with weight related conditions such as high blood pressure and heart disease.(2)

What is Liraglutide?

Liraglutude known under the trade name Victoza can be used for diabetes to improve blood sugar control.(3)

Liraglutide, used for weight loss, is prescribed as Saxenda and is injected daily using a starting dose of 0.6mg and increased weekly by 0.6mg to the maximum therapeutic dose of 3.0mg.(4)

UK weight loss injections, how does it work?

Weight loss injections work by mimicking a hormone called GLP1, which is typically released when a person feels full after a large meal. They act on the receptors in the brain that control your appetite causing you to feel fuller and less hungry resulting in eating less food and reducing calorie intake. They also delay gastric emptying resulting in you feeling fuller for longer.

How long does one pen last?

The starting dose of Saxenda is 0.6mg and your first pen should last 17 days if you follow the recommended dosage schedule. The dosage is increased each week until you reach the maximum dose of 3.0mg when one pen will last 6 days.

The starting dose of Wegovy is 0.25mg and is used weekly for one month. This dosage is increased per month and the maximum dose of 2.4mg will be reached at the start of month 5. This maintenance dosage is then used until you are no longer overweight. Each Wegovy pen has 4 doses in it and so lasts for a month. Wegovy will be available in the UK early 2023.

Where to buy needles?

Buy Saxenda online From only £50 per pen When an order for Saxenda is placed with us at WebMed pharmacy your needles are included at no added cost. Some online pharmacies do not include needles with an order of Saxenda and you can buy these separately when you order your Saxenda but at an  extra cost.


1) Ozempic (cited November 2022)

2) Wegovy (cited November 2022)

3) Victoza  (cited November 2022)

4) Saxenda  (cited November 2022)

Author: Hayley Pritchard
Medically reviewed by: Superintendent pharmacist Margaret Hudson BSc(Hons)MRPharmS 17/11/2022

Posted in Weight Loss

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