Whether you've been trying to lose weight to avoid health risks or you've already been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, you may have heard of semaglutides. Semaglutides are medications used to treat type 2 diabetes, but you may also use them in other situations. Three common brand names exist for semaglutides: Rybelsus, Ozempic, and Wegovy.
If you're uncertain about which semaglutide is right for you, you need to know that there are key differences between the three. These are some of the characteristics of each semaglutide.
Rybelsus is an oral medication that works as a GLP-1 receptor agonist. This medication increases insulin secretion and reduces glucagon secretion. Rybelsus slows the rate of digestion and helps you feel full longer after a meal. That's one of the reasons why taking this medication is best when you first wake up, have an empty stomach, and haven't taken other medications yet.
A doctor may first prescribe a 3-milligram dose of Rybelsus, which will help kickstart treatment. After about one month, the doctor may recommend increasing the dose to 7 milligrams daily. In the meantime, the doctor will monitor your blood sugar targets, potentially increasing your dose to 14 milligrams if they deem it necessary.
The chief advantage of using Rybelsus is that it's the only oral version of this type of medication available. If you don't like injections, Rybelsus may be your best option.
Ozempic is an injectable semaglutide used to treat type 2 diabetes. The medication reduces blood sugar and the risk of heart attack and stroke. It was approved before Rybelsus was available. You'll see the best results if you pair Ozempic with lifestyle changes, including exercise and a healthy diet.
You can inject Ozempic into your abdomen, back of the arm, or thigh, though it should be inserted just under the skin and not into the muscle. You'll get the best results if you inject the medication into the fatty tissue right under the skin. A deeper injection means your body will absorb your medicine too fast, and the effects won't last as long as they're supposed to.
One of the most significant factors that set Ozempic apart from Rybelsus is that it's a non-insulin medication. Additionally, the injectable nature of Ozempic means you don't have to remember to take a daily medication, and you can plan your activities or travel around your injections. Plus, you can inject a missed dose of Ozempic within five days if necessary.
Of course, Ozempic isn't right for everybody. For example, some patients don't like injectable medications or may struggle to give themselves the injections due to a fear of needles. Ozempic may be right for people with cardiovascular disease or an elevated risk of cardiovascular disease. Ozempic is also good for people with kidney disease or heart failure.
The dose of Ozempic begins at 0.25 milligrams each week. After four weeks, your doctor may up your dose to 0.5 milligrams weekly for the remaining four weeks. If a physician is unhappy with the results, they can gradually increase the dose to 1 milligram over time. Doctors recommend using Ozempic once each week, on the same day. You don't have to take it with a meal.
Ozempic does come with some side effects. Some users have experienced nausea, constipation, diarrhea, abdominal pain, fatigue, headaches, dizziness, abdominal distension, and low blood sugar. Heartburn and gas are also common side effects. In rare cases, patients experience serious side effects, including pancreatitis, gallbladder disease, kidney injury, and diabetic retinopathy.
Those who take Ozempic should also know that it can interact with some medications, including those you take to treat type 2 diabetes. For example, if you take oral medications to reduce blood clots, Ozempic may create an interaction. Ozempic can be used with insulin, but your doctor may want to change your dose to be safe.
In 2021, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Wegovy for use to aid weight loss. Wegovy and Ozempic are quite similar, except that Wegovy is approved to treat obesity, and Ozempic is intended for type 2 diabetes. Wegovy works best when users pair treatment with a healthy diet and exercise.
For aid in weight loss, a doctor may prescribe Wegovy at a slightly higher dose than other semaglutides. For example, treatment may be available between 0.25 milligrams and 2.4 milligrams. As with Ozempic, the doctor will start you out with a small dose and work up to the largest dose.
Like Ozempic, Wegovy is an injection you can administer once each week into the abdomen, upper arm, or thigh. These parts of the body tend to accumulate enough body fat to make the injections simple and for the medication to last. It's best if you administer Wegovy on the same day each week, at any time of the day. You can take Wegovy with or without a meal.
The best candidates for Wegovy will have a body mass index categorized as overweight or obese. You may also have a weight-related health condition, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or type 2 diabetes. You may be on a low-calorie meal plan.
The side effects for Wegovy are the same as those for Ozempic. If you're concerned about the risks associated with these medications, you should consult your doctor before taking them. Wegovy can also interact with other medications, which is why you should talk with your doctor about any medications, supplements, and vitamins you take.
Which Medication Is Right For You?
The medication you use will depend on a variety of factors, including whether you've been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes or not. Our team at the biostation can provide assistance if you’d like to use semaglutide medications in your weight-loss journey. We can provide guidance about the bSlim Peptide protocol program, which is doctor-designed and supervised. Meet our team and find out why you should let us guide you through the process of achieving your weight-loss goals.