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Saxenda Vs Ozempic (Liraglutide Vs Semaglutide)

Saxenda Vs Ozempic

Saxenda Vs Ozempic is a comparison of the two highly potent GLP-1 analogs. Both these drugs are commonly prescribed for the management of obesity and diabetes type 2 (Diabesity).

Saxenda and Ozempic are both highly potent GLP-1 analogs. These drugs lower the A1C by more than 1% and are associated with significant weight loss.

In addition, both Saxenda and Ozempic have favorable cardiovascular benefits.

Novo Nordisk manufactures both. Saxenda is mainly used for weight loss whereas Ozempic is primarily used for the management of Diabetes Mellitus Type 2.

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Saxenda Vs Ozempic: Similarities and Differences:

Saxenda and Ozempic are both incretin-mimetics. Both these drugs enhance insulin release in a glucose-dependent mechanism.

In addition, they cause fullness, early satiety, and weight loss through their direct effects on the stomach as well as via central satiety receptors in the brain.

Following are some of the similarities and differences between Saxenda and Ozempic:



Trade Name:

Trade name:

  • Ozempic

Other brand names:

  • Rybelsus oral tablets
  • Wegovy

  • NovoNordisk

  • NovoNordisk

To lower body weight if BMI is more than 30 or more than 27 if associated with at least one weight-related risk factor such as:

  • diabetes,
  • hypertension,
  • deranged lipid profile or
  • Ischemic heart disease

It is used in controlling type 2 diabetes mellitus in conjunction with diet and exercise.

Wegovy is a high-dose Semaglutide that has been approved for the treatment of obesity.


  • GLP-1 analog

  • GLP-1 analog

It is indicated for treating obesity in patients with or without diabetes.

It is indicated if the BMI is above 30 or more than 27 with at least one weight-associated medical condition.


It is FDA-approved for the treatment of diabetes with or without other anti-diabetic agents along with dietary control and lifestyle modifications.

It is not approved as a weight-loss drug, however, its high dose-formulation is approved for weight loss.

Frequency of administration:

  • Once a day

It is available in injection form, at 6 mg/mL, and delivers the following doses:

  • 0.6 mg,
  • 1.2 mg,
  • 1.8 mg,
  • 2.4 mg or
  • 3 mg.
Frequency of administration:

  • Once a week.

It is available as a single-dose pen containing the following doses:

  • 2mg/1.5ml
  • 4mg/3ml
  • 8mg/3ml
Injection method:

  • subcutaneous
Injection method:

  • subcutaneous

Saxenda dose is titrated at weekly intervals until the maximum recommended dose while the dose of Ozempic is titrated at monthly intervals.

Saxenda dose titration:

  • Week 1:
    • 0.6 mg once daily
  • Week 2:
    • 1.2 mg once daily
  • Week 3:
    • 1.8 mg once daily
  • Week 4:
    • 2.4 mg once daily
  • Week 5:
    • 3 mg once daily

The dosing schedule of Ozempic is as follows:

  • Week 1-4:
    • 0.25 mg once weekly
  • Week 5.8:
    • 0.5 mg once weekly
  • Week 9-12:
    • 1.0 mg once weekly
  • Week 13-16:
    • 2.0 mg once weekly

The usual recommended dose of Ozempic is 0.5 mg or 1 mg once a week. However, recently, the maximum recommended dose has been increased to 2 mg once a week.

If blood glucose is controlled and the person is tolerating the dose adequately, lower doses can be continued.

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Saxenda Vs Ozempic for Weight loss and Diabetes:

Saxenda and Ozempic are FDA-approved drugs for weight loss and diabetes respectively. Saxenda is Liraglutide which if administered in lower doses can be used to treat diabetes. Higher doses of 3 mg are recommended for weight loss.

Similarly, Ozempic is FDA-approved for the management of Diabetes. In higher doses, it is approved for weight loss (under the brand name, Wegovy).

The A1C reduction and Weight loss effects of Saxenda are summarized in the table below:

Saxenda Vs Ozempic: Effect on A1C and Weight




Hba1C reduction

Saxenda is not approved for diabetes.

However, Liraglutide in a dose of 1.8 mg daily lowered the A1C by 1.1%.

Ozempic lowers the A1C by 1.2 – 1.8%.

Ozempic 1 mg is superior to Liraglutide 1.2 and 1.8 mg in lowering A1C by 0.47% and 0.3% respectively [Ref]

Weight loss

Saxenda reduces body weight by 7 kg (15.4 pounds).

The percentage weight loss with Saxenda is estimated to be around 8 – 11%

Ozempic is associated with about 17 pounds of weight loss in actual patients.

In clinical trials, it lowers body weight by 13 pounds from baseline. 

There is no doubt that Ozempic is superior to Saxenda in lowering A1C. However, the weight loss effects of both these drugs are comparable.

Ozempic, if administered in higher doses such as 2 mg or as approved for weight loss, 2.4 mg Wegovy, the weight loss effects are much greater compared to Saxenda.

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Saxenda Vs Ozempic: Side effects:

Both Saxenda and Ozempic are GLP-1 analogs. They have comparable side effects profiles. However, Liraglutide (Saxenda) is administered daily and in high doses, the side effects may be more severe in these patients.

In addition, patients using Saxenda have to inject it daily. So, it is not a suitable drug for people who have needle phobia.

The side effects of both Saxenda and Ozempic are summarized here:

Saxenda Vs Ozempic: Side effects



Common side effects:

  • Nausea, vomiting, and epigastric discomfort
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Tachycardia
  • Lethargy
  • Headaches
Common side effects:

  • Abdominal pain and fullness
  • Nausea
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Lethargy
  • Gastric reflux
Serious side effects:

  • Jaundice (yellowing of eyes and skin)
  • Refractory nausea and vomiting
  • Ankle swelling
  • Low blood sugars especially if used with sulfonylureas
  • Extreme lethargy, confusion, and severe malaise
  • Pain during micturition (passing urine)
  • Pancreatitis
  • Renal Failure
  • Medullary thyroid cancer
Serious side effects:

  • Thyroid carcinoma (medullary thyroid cancers)
  • Renal failure
  • Severe pancreatitis
  • Severe allergic reactions
  • Low blood sugars but less common than Saxenda
  • Ozempic retinopathy
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Saxenda Vs Ozempic: Drug Interactions:

Both Saxenda and Ozempic have similar interactions with other drugs because both these drugs belong to the same class of medicines called GLP-1 analogs.

Some medicines when combined with Saxend and Ozempic may cause weight gain, while others may cause hypoglycemia.

NSAIDs, and drugs that slow gastric emptying should also be avoided as they may worsen the gastrointestinal side effects of Saxenda and Ozempic.

Here is a summary of the important drug interactions:

Drug Interactions: Saxenda and Ozempic

Both of these are associated with severe drug reactions (especially hypoglycemia) when used along with one of the fluoroquinolones called Gatifloxacin.

Both these drugs are contraindicated with Bexarotene, a drug that is used to treat skin malignancies.

Both Saxenda and Ozempic should be avoided in persons using another GLP-1 analog, Dual GLP-1/GIP analog (Tirzepatide) or DPP-IV Inhibitors.

Less Severe Drug Interactions


  • Patients having diabetes mellitus using insulin or oral medications like sulfonylureas can cause severe hypoglycemia when given in combination with these drugs.


  • Diuretics, especially hydrochlorothiazide and bumetanide may impair blood glucose, increase the risk of renal failure and pancreatitis

Oral, IV, and Topical corticosteroids:

  • Corticosteroids can blunt the weight-losing and anti-diabetic effects of Saxenda and Ozempic.


  • Beta-agonists, especially long-acting beta agonists like Salmeterol which are used in asthma can cause tachycardia and impair blood glucose.


  • Estrogen-containing drugs like Combined oral contraceptive pills have severe adverse reactions when combined with Saxenda.


  • Antidepressants such as SSRIs, and antiparkinson’s drugs like MAO-I have severe interaction with Ozempic.
  • In addition, most SSRIs cause weight gain.
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Who should not take Saxenda and Ozempic:

Not everyone is a candidate for Saxenda or Ozempic treatment. GLP-1 analogs are contraindicated in certain medical conditions.

One should have a list of their previous and current illnesses when planning to start Ozempic or Saxenda treatment.

Here is a list of the medical conditions when these drugs may not be used:




Saxenda should not be used if you have:

  • allergy to the active component of Liraglutide or any other ingredients which are used in Saxenda
  • MEN-2 syndrome
  • Have DKA
  • Are under 18 years of age
  • Have a family history of thyroid cancers especially medullary thyroid cancers
  • Have a history of recurrent pancreatitis.
Ozempic should not be used you have:

  • Allergy to the active component, Semaglutide, or any other component used in the preparation of Ozempic
  • Type 1 diabetes mellitus
  • MEN-2 syndrome
  • DKA (Diabetic ketoacidosis)
  • under 18 years of age
  • a family history of thyroid malignancy especially of medullary type

Both Saxenda and Ozempic are also contraindicated in advanced liver and kidney diseases. You should seek medical advice if you have any of the following medical conditions or complications of diabetes:

Seek medical advice:



Medical advice should be sought before using Saxenda if:

  • you have chronic renal failure
  • you have liver disease
  • you have ischemic heart disease
  • you are about to conceive or already did
  • you are breast-feeding or are planning to breastfeed
  • you are on another GLP-1 analog or Mounjaro
Medical advice should be sought before using Ozempic if you:

  • are on another GLP-1 analog or Mounjaro
  • Have recurrent pancreatitis
  • Are about to conceive
  • are breastfeeding or about to start
  • Have a history of diabetic retinopathy
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What do you think?

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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