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Ozempic is a glucagon-like peptide (GLP-1) medication that can help control type 2 diabetes and may help people lose weight. Other medications that work similarly, such as Mounjaro and Saxenda, are available online from telehealth companies.

Ozempic (semaglutide) is a once-weekly semaglutide injection that helps manage blood sugar (or blood glucose) levels in people with type 2 diabetes. It is a GLP-1 medication that increases incretin hormone levels. The enteroendocrine cells release these stomach hormones into the blood within minutes of eating, helping the body produce insulin.

Ozempic also delays stomach emptying, reducing a person’s appetite and leading to weight loss. While the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved Ozempic for weight management, some healthcare professionals may prescribe it off-label for this condition.

Learn how to get Ozempic online and in person.

Semaglutide, the main ingredient in Ozempic, helps control blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. It can also help them lose weight if they adhere to a balanced diet with lifestyle changes. A recent study found that people with obesity or overweight can lose up to 10.9% of their body weight within 6 months of using this drug.

Currently, there is a shortage of Ozempic, which means people may find it difficult to purchase this medication. However, there are alternative options for both type 2 diabetes and weight management.

Alternative drugs to Ozempic for type 2 diabetes include:

  • Mounjaro (tirzepatide): This injectable medication activates glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide and GLP-1 pathways to help regulate blood sugar. Similar to Ozempic, it also slows down food digestion.
  • Trulicity (dulaglutide): This is an injectable medication for adults and children over 10 years of age. It improves blood sugar and helps reduce the risk of major cardiovascular events. It also slows down food digestion.
  • Rybelsus (semaglutide): This medication contains the same active ingredient as Ozempic and works the same way. However, it comes in tablet form.

Alternatives to Ozempic for weight loss that have FDA approval for this condition include:

  • Wegovy (semaglutide): This drug has the same active ingredient as Ozempic and works in the same way. It is an injectable medication with FDA approval for weight management.
  • Saxenda (liraglutide): This injectable medication is suitable for adults and children ages 12–17 with overweight or obesity who also have weight-related conditions.

There are three main GLP-1 alternatives for type 2 diabetes to Ozempic. Healthcare professionals may prescribe these medications if the drug does not control a person’s blood sugar well or if they are experiencing adverse side effects.

Rybelsus (semaglutide)

Rybelsus (semaglutide) contains the same active ingredient as Ozempic and works in the same way. However, this medication is in tablet form, which may be easier for people who find it difficult to use injectable drugs.

Healthcare professionals may prescribe Rybelsus to people in addition to metformin to achieve more blood sugar-lowering effects.

The starting dose of Rybelsus is 3 milligrams (mg) once daily for the first 30 days. People need to take the medication with no more than 4 ounces of water and at least 30 minutes before any foods or other beverages.

Healthcare professionals can increase the dosage up to 14 mg once daily.

The FDA does not currently report any shortages of this drug.

Mounjaro (tirzepatide)

Mounjaro (tirzepatide) is an injectable form of medication to improve glycemic control in adults with type 2 diabetes.

Just like Ozempic, Mounjaro imitates incretins, which tell the pancreas to release more insulin after a meal. This medication also slows food movement in the digestive system, which may make a person feel fuller for longer.

People need to inject Mounjara into the stomach, thigh, or upper arm once per week at any time. This drug is suitable to use with or without meals. Healthcare professionals will start people on a dose of 2.5 mg for 4 weeks, after which they may increase up to 5 mg. People should not exceed a 15 mg weekly dose.

At the time of publishing, there is not currently a shortage of Mounjaro in the United States.

Discover how to get Mounjaro.

Trulicity (dulaglutide)

Trulicity (dulaglutide) stimulates the body’s natural production of insulin and stops it from releasing glucagon. Healthcare professionals will prescribe this medication to people who cannot take metformin.

Trulicity is an injectable medication that individuals can take with or without food. The dose starts at 0.75 mg once weekly, which healthcare professionals can increase up to 4.5 mg once weekly if necessary.

At the time of publishing, the FDA is reporting a shortage of Trulicity in the United States.

There are several FDA-approved GLP-1 medications for weight loss that healthcare professionals may prescribe instead of Ozempic.

Wegovy (semaglutide)

Wegovy (semaglutide) has the same active ingredient as Ozempic and works the same way. It received FDA approval for weight loss in June 2021.

This medication is appropriate for adults and children ages 12 or older with obesity or overweight. People must inject Wegovy into the stomach, thigh, or upper arm once per week on the same day each week, with or without food.

Doses start from 0.25 mg once weekly, though healthcare professionals can increase it up to 1.7 mg once weekly.

The FDA reports that there is currently a shortage of Wegovy.

Saxenda (liraglutide)

Saxenda (liraglutide) is another injectable GLP-1 medication that received FDA approval for use in weight management in April 2020.

This medication works in the same way as Ozempic. People can use this medication with or without food. Doses range from 0.6 to 3.0 mg, and a healthcare professional will monitor the individual to ensure their dose is appropriate.

At the time of publishing, the FDA does not report a shortage of Saxenda.

Below is a chart that compares Ozempic with the other drugs in this article.

Eligibility criteriaFormDose frequency Price
Ozempichave type 2 diabetesinjectiononce per week around $892.06
Mounjarohave type 2 diabetesinjectiononce per weekaround $999
Rybelsushave type 2 diabetestabletonce dailyaround $900
Trulicityhave type 2 diabetesinjectiononce per weekaround $886.56
Wegovyhave overweight and obesity and a weight-related medical conditioninjectiononce per weekno information
Saxendahave overweight and obesity and a weight-related medical conditioninjection once dailyaround $1,349

Ozempic can be difficult to get hold of, while not everyone is eligible for the drug. However, many products are available that are reportedly over-the-counter alternatives to Ozempic. That said, many of these supplements, such as semaglutide, have minimal scientific evidence that they can work effectively.

The FDA has also found that some OTC supplements contain ingredients that may be harmful, including undisclosed prescription medication. It is important to know exactly what is in a product to ensure the ingredients will not interact with other supplements or medication.

Some undisclosed ingredients that may appear in OTC weight loss supplements, such as sibutramine and fenproporex, have severe and potentially fatal side effects. Therefore, companies are not allowed to sell products containing these drugs.

People always need to consult with a healthcare professional before taking any OTC weight loss aids. They also need to watch for warning signs that a product is making fraudulent health claims. Some signs include:

  • promises of a fast and easy fix
  • claims such as “scientific breakthroughs” or “ancient remedy”
  • phrases such as “thermogenesis” and “hunger stimulation point”
  • claims that a product is “natural”
  • unsubstantiated testimonials of fast and easy results by customers and doctors
  • no-risk, money-back guarantees

There are several substances that scientists are investigating that may have similar effects to Ozempic. For example, berberine, a component of the traditional Chinese herb Rhizoma Coptidis, may help reduce body fat. However, these substances require more rigorous study.

It is important not to take so-called natural alternatives to Ozempic without the advice of a healthcare professional.

There are several GLP-1 medications available. People can talk with a healthcare professional to find the type that best suits their needs.

Ozempic alternatives for type 2 diabetes management include Mounjaro and Rybelsus. For weight loss, people can consider Wegovy and Saxenda.

Trulicity can cause weight loss, but the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved it for this use.

No, Trulicity (dulaglutide) is not the same drug as Ozempic (semaglutide).

They are both GLP-1 medications that work similarly and have FDA approval to treat high blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. However, a 2018 study found that low doses of semaglutide may be more effective than low doses of dulaglutide in improving blood sugar levels.

Rybelsus can cause weight loss, but it is not a weight loss drug. It is FDA approved for managing type 2 diabetes.

Ozempic (semaglutide) is a glucagon-like peptide (GLP-1) medication that can help improve blood sugar levels and manage weight. There are several GLP-1 alternatives that have FDA approval for both concerns.

While over-the-counter alternatives exist, it is important not to take them without first discussing them with a healthcare professional. Some of these alternatives may include illegal or harmful ingredients or undisclosed prescription medications.