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Wegovy is an injectable medication that doctors prescribe for people with obesity or overweight and a related condition. It helps regulate appetite and costs around $1,350 per package without insurance.

Wegovy has become very popular recently, with shortages of the drug developing across the United States. This is because it is a very effective weight loss drug — a 2022 literature review showed that some study participants lost up to 37.5 pounds (17 kilograms) of body weight while using the drug — but people can regain lost weight after stopping the drug.

For those who cannot get Wegovy or want to try a different drug, alternatives are available. This article examines Wegovy’s availability, alternative options, and where to get them.

Novo Nordisk, Wegovy’s supplier, states that there is currently a Wegovy shortage in the United States. Due to the drug’s popularity, the company has faced challenges in keeping pace with demand. However, in 2023, Novo Nordisk announced that it established new production sites to increase supply.

Although all doses are currently available at pharmacies, Novo Nordisk writes that it currently produces limited amounts of the lower doses, including 0.25, 0.5, and 1 milligram (mg) options.

The company advises people to discuss their treatment plans with a doctor and organize their Wegovy prescription refills a few weeks ahead to have the best chance of keeping up with their treatment plan.

Some people may want to consider alternatives to Wegovy if they cannot get their desired dose or if Wegovy is unsuitable for them. We look into each Wegovy alternative in detail below.

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.

Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.


Saxenda is an FDA-approved injectable GLP-1 drug for long-term weight management. It is for people ages 12 years and older with obesity. This includes people who weigh over 132 pounds (lb) and those with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 kg/m2 corresponding to their age and sex.

The FDA notes that those who use Saxenda may lose around 2.65% of their body weight. However, people should use it in conjunction with following a calorie-restricted diet and increased exercise.

However, it is not safe for everyone, including those who are pregnant, allergic to liraglutide, or have a family history of medullary thyroid carcinoma.

People can get prescription discounts through Optum and get Saxenda from the following pharmacies:

  • CVS Pharmacy
  • Walmart
  • Walgreens
  • Target
  • Meijer

Learn more about Saxenda.

KHealth for Saxenda

  • Price: $49 a month subscription, $1,349.02 list price for a 30-day Saxenda supply

KHealth is a telehealth company that offers Saxenda for weight loss. People can talk with KHealth’s medical team to discuss their health goals and decide on a treatment plan. The doctor will support a person as they use Saxenda, adjust their plan as needed, and work with a person’s insurance provider to ensure the plan is sustainable and affordable.

People must complete an online questionnaire to see if they are eligible for Saxenda with KHealth. Eligibility criteria include having a BMI signaling a person may have overweight or obesity and at least one weight-related medical condition. This can include high blood pressure or cholesterol and type 2 diabetes.

Children ages 12–17 with obesity and a body weight of over 132 lb may also be eligible.

The KHealth service costs $49 a month and includes unlimited contact with the medical team, prescription management, and urgent care for family members. While the list price of Saxenda is over $1,000 for a 30-day supply, people can get a savings card from Saxenda or insurance coverage to reduce the cost to around $25 for a 30-day supply.


Orlistat belongs to a class of medications called lipase inhibitors and is FDA-approved for weight management. It helps prevent the intestines from absorbing around 30% of the free fatty acids from the food a person consumes. The body then gets rid of the unabsorbed fats through bowel movements.

Orlistat is available as a capsule. Research from 2022 recommends taking it three times per day within 1 hour of eating a fatty meal.

The study also notes that healthcare professionals may not recommend orlistat to people who are pregnant or have:

Pharmacies and telehealth companies stock orlistat. These include:

  • Blink Health
  • CVS Pharmacy
  • PlushCare
  • Walmart
  • Price: $14.99 a month plus copay with insurance, $14.99 a month plus $129 for the first visit without insurance

PlushCare for Orlistat

PlushCare is a telehealth company that offers Orlistat under the brand name Xenical.

The platform requires customers to book an appointment with a PlushCare doctor before getting a prescription for Orlistat. If the doctor thinks it is appropriate, PlushCare will send the medication to a local pharmacy.

The services are available for people without insurance. Orlistat costs around $730 for 90 tablets, but there is also the prescription discount card which allows users to save up to 80%.

A PlushCare membership costs $14.99 a month. With insurance, people will pay the copay for their first visit. Without insurance, people will pay $129 for their first visit and $99 for subsequent visits.


Qsymia is another FDA-approved medication for chronic weight management. It contains phentermine and topiramate, two ingredients that help reduce appetite and improve satiety.

The FDA explains that this drug is not safe to use during pregnancy. Individuals may have to present a negative pregnancy test before starting treatment, as Qsymia has an increased risk of causing congenital anomalies.

Other side effects include dizziness, depression, and insomnia.

In a 2021 study, 7.5 mg per 46 mg and 15 mg per 92 mg of Qsymia helped participants lose 4.8% and 7.1% of their total BMI.

Doctors may recommend phentermine, one of the active ingredients in Qsymia, if a person finds Qsymia too expensive. People can expect to lose 4.4% of their body weight after 28 weeks of using this drug.

Companies that stock Qsymia include:

  • Blink Health
  • CVS Pharmacy
  • Walgreens

Blink Health for Qsymia

  • Price: $200.47

Blink Health is an online pharmacy company that offers medication at reduced prices. It stocks Qsymia, but people must ask a doctor or pharmacist to forward their prescriptions to Blink Health.

Blink Health then delivers the medication within 3–5 business days.

It lists Qsymia for $200.47 and states that people may get insurance coverage.


Alli is the branded version of Orlistat and is the only over-the-counter medication with FDA approval for weight loss.

Its manufacturer states that Alli is for those who are ages 18 years and older and is effective in combination with regular exercise and following a reduced-calorie diet.

The manufacturer warns that it may not be a suitable drug for people who have had an organ transplant. It may also be unsuitable for people with:

Where to get Alli over the counter

A person can get Alli without a prescription from the following suppliers:


Contrave is an FDA-approved medication that contains two active drugs: naltrexone, an opioid antagonist, and bupropion, an antidepressant. It aims to reduce hunger and cravings. As an oral extended-release drug, it releases the medication slowly, and its effects can last longer.

The authors of a 2019 study found that bupropion-naltrexone weight loss drugs resulted in weight loss of around 5%, although other drugs were more effective.

According to National Library of Medicine, individuals can take two tablets daily, but not with a high fat meal. It can cause several side effects, such as nausea, diarrhea, and excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis).

The doctor may have to adjust the dose if a person takes other medications, including:

Contrave is available from:

  • CVS Pharmacy
  • Blink Health
  • PlushCare
  • Walgreens

Learn more about Contrave.

PlushCare for Contrave

Contrave is available for purchase at PlushCare. Individuals can book an online appointment with a doctor and chat through the smartphone app. People will pick up their prescription at a local pharmacy.

Without insurance, a 30-day supply of Contrave costs $90, but a prescription discount card may offer a discount. Additionally, a person’s insurance may cover Contrave.

There are a range of diabetes medications that may result in some weight loss. These include:

These drugs do not hold FDA approval for weight loss or management. However, healthcare professionals may prescribe them off-label sometimes as part of a weight management treatment plan.

Off-label use means that a doctor prescribes a drug for a different condition or at a different dosage than the FDA has approved.

Learn more about off-label use.

People with diabetes rely on these drugs to regulate their blood sugar, and people should not use them for weight loss unless a doctor has recommended it.

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Some people choose to come off Wegovy because they have achieved their health goals on the drug, they do not like the side effects it can produce, or they cannot obtain the drug due to shortages.

It is not necessary to come off Wegovy slowly. However, a person should notify a doctor before coming off Wegovy so they can support them as they adjust to being off the drug. For instance, people may regain some of their lost weight after stopping Wegovy, their appetite and cravings may return, and their blood sugar levels may change.

One study found that people who stopped using semaglutide for a year gained back almost 66% of their weight loss. While lifestyle changes, such as eating a healthy diet and doing regular exercise, can help keep weight off, people may have to keep taking the drug, which can be costly in the long run.

These changes can be distressing for some people, and support from a healthcare professional is important.

People should speak with a doctor about their weight loss goals, including their reasons for losing weight, and how they would like to lose it.

The American Medical Association lists some questions that a person may ask a doctor:

  • How do weight loss medications work?
  • Do weight loss medications cause side effects?
  • What makes me a good candidate for weight management medication?
  • Does medication lead to weight loss without exercising?
  • How long does it take to notice improvement?
  • Does insurance cover the cost of medication?

Below, we answer some frequently asked questions about Wegovy alternatives.

Is there a cheaper alternative to Wegovy?

Orlistat may be a more affordable option than Wegovy. People can get it for $500–800, while Wegovy can cost around $1,500.

Additionally, many manufacturers offer saving cards and patience assistance programs (PAPs). If a person meets the eligibility criteria, they can receive medication at a reduced cost, or in some cases, for free.

What over-the-counter medication is similar to Wegovy?

Alli (orlistat) is an over-the-counter weight loss medication that people can consider if they do not want to use Wegovy.

Is there a difference between Ozempic and Wegovy?

Ozempic and Wegovy are not interchangeable drugs.

Ozempic helps improve blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. It contains semaglutide and mimics GLP-1, so it may also lead to weight loss. However, it is only FDA-approved for managing diabetes.

Wegovy, although it contains semaglutide like Ozempic, is only FDA-approved for weight management.

Wegovy is a prescription weight management medication for people with obesity or overweight in combination with a reduced-calorie diet and regular exercise. There is a Wegovy shortage in the United States, so people may consider an alternative such as Saxenda, Alli, or Contrave.

People should always discuss weight loss with a doctor and ensure that weight loss medication is safe for them to use.