We are continuing to operate, offering all of our treatments and testing services.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Test to see if you have an active current infection – Now available

Ozempic vs Saxenda

Posted 17 February 2021 in Weight Loss

What is Ozempic?

Time to change your bodyRecently, the media have been promoting a product called Ozempic and have quoted many success stories from people who have achieved dramatic weight loss by using it.

However, Ozempic is unlicensed for weight loss and is actually licenced for use in the UK to control type 2 diabetes.

Is Ozempic safe and legal for weight loss?

Before a medicine can be widely used in the UK, it must first be granted a license. While no medicine is completely safe, a marketing authorisation or product licence defines a medicine’s terms of use: its summary of product characteristics outlines, among other things, the indication(s), recommended dose(s), contraindications, and special warnings and precautions for use on which the licence is based, and it is in line with such use that the benefits of the medicine have been judged to outweigh the potential risks. Furthermore, a licensed medicine: has been assessed for efficacy, safety, and quality; has been manufactured to appropriate quality standards; and when placed on the market is accompanied by appropriate product information and labelling.

Licences are only granted if strict safety and quality standards are met. In the UK, licences are granted by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

“Off-label”or unlicenced use means that the medicine has a license for treating some conditions, but that the manufacturer of the medicine has not applied for a license for it to be used to treat your condition.  In other words, Ozempic has not undergone clinical trials to see if it is effective and safe in treating weight loss and so does not have a product license in the UK for treating obesity. It has a product licence for controlling Type 2 diabetes.

Is there an alternative to Ozempic?

There is a very effective product called Saxenda that is licenced in the UK for weight loss by the MHRA and is available now to help make your weight loss journey much more successful. Saxenda dramatically reduces your appetite and combined with a healthy diet and lifestyle can help you to achieve your weight loss goal. Saxenda is a self-injected prefilled pen used once daily. It contains the active substance Liraglutide and helps aid adults with excess weight (BMI ≥28) who also have weight-related medical problems or those with obesity (BMI ≥30) to lose weight and keep the weight off. 

What is the difference between Ozempic and Saxenda?

On reading the media articles it would appear that the main difference between Saxenda and Ozempic is that Saxenda is a daily injection and Ozempic is a weekly injection.

However, the most important difference between the two is that Saxenda is licenced for use as a weight loss medication in the UK and Ozempic is not.

Unfortunately, there are a few unscrupulous websites and weight loss clinics that are selling Ozempic that put profit before safety.

Will Ozempic be available in the future for weight loss?

In fact, Ozempic will never be granted a product licence for weight loss as it is a brand name and it is the active ingredient in Ozempic called Semaglutide that is currently undergoing clinical trials for the treatment of weight loss.

When Semaglutide is granted a product licence for weight loss it will be under a different brand name and will be a different dosage to that used for diabetic control.

As soon as Semaglutide has been granted a product licence by the MHRA we will supply it as an alternative to Saxenda.

In the meantime, it is safer to use the licenced product Saxenda that has been proven to be very effective at helping you to reach your weight loss goal

Medically reviewed by
Superintendent pharmacist Margaret Hudson BSc(Hons) MRPharmS
16 February 2021

We use cookies to help us provide you with a better service, but do not track anything that can be used to personally identify you.

If you prefer us not to set these cookies, please visit our Cookie Settings page or continue browsing our site to accept them.