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Cheaper Ozempic Alternatives for Weight Loss

Ozempic Alternatives for Weight Loss

If you are paying for Ozempic from your pocket, you are definitely going to become broke in a few months or years.

There are lots of Ozempic alternatives for Diabetes in the markets. Here, we will focus on Ozempic alternatives for weight loss.

What is Ozempic?

Ozempic is the NOVO’s brand of Semaglutide. It is a GLP-1 analog that is very identical to the GLP-1 present naturally in humans.

Semaglutide is also available in oral form under the brand name, Rybelsus. The two injectable forms are Ozempic and Wegovy. The difference between Ozempic and Wegovy is just the strength of the injection.

Ozempic is given weekly as a subcutaneous injection in a dose of 0.25 mg and titrated up to a maximum of 1 mg weekly. Recently 2 mg weekly dose has been set as the maximum dose of Ozempic.

Wegovy is also given in a dose of 0.25 mg weekly and titrated to a maximum dose of 2.4 mg weekly. The right dose used for weight loss is 2.4 mg. It is why Wegovy is the only formulation approved for weight loss.

However, even in low doses, Ozempic has been associated with significant weight loss. Data collected from real-world users of Ozempic showed a significant weight loss of up to 17 lbs over a few months.


Is Ozempic Approved for Weight Loss?


Semaglutide is approved for weight loss, but Ozempic as a brand has not been approved by the FDA for weight loss.

However, with the latest approval of high-dose Ozempic 2 mg, the weight loss effects of Ozempic and Wegovy are probably going to be comparable.

Acceptable maintenance dosing regimens for Ozempic are 0.5 mg, 1 mg, and 2 mg subcutaneously once a week.

The acceptable maintenance dosing regimen for Wegovy is 2.4 mg once a week.

So, although Ozempic as a brand is not approved for the treatment of obesity and weight loss, there is only a 0.4 mg difference between Wegovy and Ozempic. Hence, it may be used off-label for weight loss.


How much weight loss should you expect with Ozempic?

In clinical trials, the average weight loss documented with Ozempic has been 13 lbs (5.9 Kgs)

However, in real-life users of Ozempic, the average weight loss ranges between 0 and 60 lbs (27.2 Kgs) with a mean weight loss of 17.51 lbs (7.94 kgs)

Although the weight loss effects can be observed soon after treatment initiation, one should wait for at least three months to observe significant weight loss.

Some patients respond later. So, it is best to continue Ozempic treatment for at least three months. Meanwhile, other methods of weight loss such as a low-calorie diet and aerobic exercise should be continued.

In the absence of regular exercise and a low-calorie diet, weight loss may be minimal. Furthermore, one may lose weight but healthy weight loss is only possible when Ozempic is combined with diet and exercise.


How Costly is Ozempic?

The cost of one pen regardless of the dose is USD 892.06. For six weeks of treatment, you’ll need two pens since one pen has the following doses:

  • Every 1.5 ml of 0.25 mg/0.5 ml and 1.5 ml of 0.5 mg/1.5 ml will provide three doses of 0.25 mg and 0.5 mg respectively.
  • Every 3 ml of 1 mg/ml and 3 ml of 2 mg/ml will provide three doses of 1 mg and 2 mg respectively.

So, for every six weeks, you require two pens. This means you need to pay 2 x 892.06 = 1784.12 USD per six weeks.

The per capita income of an American in 2021 was USD 59594 (per year). This is equivalent to an average monthly income of 4966 USD.

If you are on Ozempic and do not have insurance coverage, you’ll have to spend USD 15462 per year (equivalent to USD 1288 per month). This is almost one-fourth (26%) of your total income.

So, Yes Ozempic is very costly without insurance coverage.

In Canada, each pen costs USD 285. Canadians have to spend about 12% of their monthly salary on Ozempic.

In Australia, each pen costs around AUD 130. So Australians have to spend about 4% of their monthly income on Ozempic.

The average daily cost of Ozempic in the United Kingdom is £ 2.62, equivalent to a monthly cost of £ 78.6. In the UK, on average, one has to spend about 2.4% of their income on Ozempic.

A summary of Ozempic costs in different countries is presented in the table below:


Per month cost of Ozempic

The average percentage of income spent on Ozempic (without insurance)

United States







$ 173


United Kingdom

£ 78.6




What are other Ozempic alternative weight loss medications?

Until now, seven drugs have been approved by the FDA for the treatment of weight loss. These FDA-approved weight loss drugs are:

  1. Orlistat (Xenical And Alli)
  2. Lorcaserin (Belviq)
  3. Phentermine/ Topiramate ER (Qsymia)
  4. Naltrexone ER/ Bupropion ER (Contrave
  5. Liraglutide (Saxenda)
  6. Wegovy (Semaglutide), Sister formulation of Ozempic.
  7. Zepbound (Tirzepatide), well known as Mounjaro

Lorcaserin has been associated with cancers and since 13th February 2020, the drug has been voluntarily withdrawn from the markets. So, forget Lorcaserin!

We are left with six drugs. Semaglutide and Liraglutide (Saxenda) are both GLP-1 analogs and are FDA-approved for the treatment of Diabetes and Obesity (Diabesity).

Zepbound is a dual GLP-1 analog (twincretin). It is indicated for the treatment of Type 2 Diabetes as Mounjaro and weight loss as Zepbound.

  • Xenical – Ozempic alternative for weight loss:

Orlistat (Xenical, Alli) is purely a weight-loss drug. It has not been recommended for the treatment of any condition other than weight loss.

However, its weight loss effects are modest ranging from 5 to 10% compared to 7 -16% with Ozempic. 

In addition, it is associated with bloating and significant gastrointestinal discomfort including oily stools and flatus.

Because Orlistat acts by blocking the absorption of dietary fat, its efficacy depends on what you eat. If your diet does not contain fat and oily food items, Xenical may not work for you.

weight loss effects of xenical vs semaglutide
Weight loss effects of Xenical vs Semaglutide
  • Topiramate: Ozempic Alternative for Weight Loss:

Topiramate is used as a preventative treatment for migraine. It is also used to treat seizures, apart from being approved as a weight-loss drug.

Topiramate in combination with Phentermine is the only FDA-approved weight loss medicine and is available by the name, Qsymia.

It is associated with significant weight loss and among the conventional weight loss medicines, it is the most effective. However, Qsymia is less effective than Ozempic, Wegovy, and Mounjaro.

wegovy comparison with orlistat, phentermine, lorcaserin, qsymia, contrave
Wegovy comparison with orlistat, phentermine, lorcaserin, Qsymia, and Contrave
  • Bupropion: Ozempic weight loss alternative?

Bupropion, apart from being used as a weight-loss drug, has been approved for the treatment of depression and smoking cessation.

It is only FDA-approved for weight loss in the fixed-dose combination pill, Contrave. Contrave is much less effective for weight loss, however, it may be used as an alternative weight loss medicine in people who have depression and those who are either intolerant to Ozempic or can not use Ozempic due to any reason.


How much weight loss is associated with each FDA-approved weight-loss drug?

Among all the FDA-approved weight-loss drugs, Zepbound is associated with the highest percentage of body weight loss about 24% followed by 16% weight loss by Wegovy (Semaglutide).


Weight loss drugs

Average weight loss after one year [Ref]

Orlistat7.9 %
Phentermine/ Topiramate ER (Qsymia)8 %
Naltrexone ER/ Bupropion ER (Contrave)8.1 %
Liraglutide (Saxenda)9.2%
Semaglutide (Wegovy)16%
Zepbound (Mounjaro)24%

Other drugs that may soon get approved for weight loss are:

These three drugs are associated with significantly greater weight loss compared to Ozempic or Wegovy.

Is There Any Drug Better Than Ozempic for Weight Loss?

Yes. Tirzepatide is a novel class of drug, approved by the FDA for the treatment of Diabetes. It is a dual GLP-1 and GIP agonist, unlike Ozempic which only activates GLP-1.

Eli Lilly has marketed Tirzepatide by the brand name Mounjaro. Like Ozempic, it is an injectable medicine, administered once a week.

Tirzepatide has been directly compared with Semaglutide in a head-to-head clinical trial. The weight loss associated with Tirzepatide was much more significant than with Semaglutide.

Semaglutide (Wegovy)


16% Weight Loss 👌

22.5% Weight Loss 💪

At week 40, participants in the Tirzepatide group lost significant weight compared to those who received Semaglutide at a dose of 1 mg per week.

This is shown in the picture below:

weight loss with tirzepatide at week 40 in comparison with semaglutide

Although yet to be approved as a weight loss medicine, the weight loss associated with Tirzepatide is significantly greater than with Semaglutide.

Tirzepatide has also been compared with other GLP-1 analogs like Trulicity. It has superior weight loss results and greater A1C reduction.


Are you looking for cheaper Ozempic Alternatives for Weight Loss?

If price is the main issue, you should try other alternative medications for weight loss.

The cost of alternative FDA-approved weight loss medications, when used at the highest maximum dose, are:



Monthly cost at the maximum dose

Cheaper brands available

Xenical$725 USDYes
Qsymia$ 220 USDNo
Contrave$ 250 USDNo
Saxenda$ 1400 USDNo
Wegovy$ 1430 USDNo
Zepbound $ 1060 USDNo

Xenical is available as other generic brands and can cost as little as USD 100 per month.

Cheaper Ozempic Alternatives are:

  • Phentermine/ Topiramate ER (Qsymia) and
  • Naltrexone ER/ Bupropion ER (Contrave)

These drugs are six times cheaper than Ozempic, or Saxenda. When combined with diet and exercise, these drugs can result in significant weight loss at six times lesser cost.

Furthermore, Qsymia might help your migraine or headaches and Contrave may relieve your anxiety. It may also help you in smoking cessation.


Are you looking for Ozempic Alternatives for Weight Loss because you don’t want to take medicines?

You have very few options here. You are obese, and can’t go out and hunt the Gila monster and suck its venom to get GLP-1.

The first GLP-1 was extracted from Gila monster venom!

It is better to stick to a diet plan that provides a total maximum of 800 Calories per day, try intermittent fasting, drink coffee and green tea extract, and do HIIT exercises.

You can try a diet that contains high amounts of Myricetin, a natural compound found in fruits, vegetables, berries, and tea that probably acts like GLP-1 agonists.

If you are scared of needles but still want to try a GLP-1 for weight loss, you can try Rybelsus. Rybelsus is the oral formulation of Semaglutide.

Compared to Liraglutide, it is associated with comparable weight loss. In addition, higher doses of Rybelsus, 50 mg per day, are being studied for weight loss in non-diabetic individuals and have shown promising results in the OASIS trial comparable to Wegovy.

Other non-GLP-1-like medicines that are available orally are:

  • Xenical (Orlistat)
  • Phentermine/ Topiramate ER (Qsymia) and
  • Naltrexone ER/ Bupropion ER (Contrave)

You can combine these medications with a low-calorie diet and exercise. Remember, Never lose hope, and try to be patient.


Are there any Natural Alternatives to Ozempic for Weight Loss?

Myricetin has been identified to have properties like GLP-1. It is present in tea, berries, fruits, and vegetables.

Myricetin was studied in mice and found to act like GLP-1 agonists [Ref]. However, it is still being studied and the purified form of the supplement is not yet prepared and studied.

In markets, various companies have marketed Myricetin oral supplements, however, these supplements are not FDA-approved.

Furthermore, the efficacy and safety of these oral supplements have not been evaluated in clinical trials.

For the time being, our advice is to restrict yourself to fruits, vegetables, and tea that have anti-diabetic properties rather than take supplements.

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Written by Dr. Ahmed

I am Dr. Ahmed (MBBS; FCPS Medicine), an Internist and a practicing physician. I am in the medical field for over fifteen years working in one of the busiest hospitals and writing medical posts for over 5 years.

I love my family, my profession, my blog, nature, hiking, and simple life. Read more about me, my family, and my qualifications

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