Exploring Alternatives To Ozempic For Effective Weight Management


Nov 13, 2023

5 Ozempic Alternatives for Diabetes Type 2 and Weight Loss.

Woman smiling
Woman smiling
Woman smiling

If you’ve ever felt like you’re on a never-ending rollercoaster when it comes to weight management, you’re not alone — especially if you’re dealing with existing health challenges like perimenopause, hormone issues, diabetes, or just the stresses of living this thing called life. In fact, 55% of American adults want to lose weight, and an average of 26% of them are seriously trying to lose weight.¹

You might’ve heard whispers about Ozempic in your quest for weight loss solutions. Its active ingredient, Semaglutide, is a revolutionary GLP-1 weight loss medication that’s been creating quite the buzz among the weight loss community.

Compoun GLP-1 Vial

The overwhelming demand for Ozempic and its high price has made it hard to access the medication. Fortunately, there are several effective alternatives to Ozempic.

Here, we’ll explore some alternatives to Ozempic for diabetes and weight loss. By the end, you’ll have the information you need to make the best choice for you.

An Overview Of Ozempic

Ozempic is an FDA-approved once-weekly injectable medication meant to be used alongside a healthy diet and regular exercise for the treatment of Type 2 Diabetes.² It’s a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) agonist that’s used to help manage blood sugar levels.

It’s also been approved by the FDA as an off-label treatment for overweight and obese adults with at least one weight-related health condition.³

How It Works

Type 2 Diabetes causes the body not to produce enough insulin — the hormone that regulates your blood glucose levels. GLP-1 is a hormone produced in your gut that stimulates your pancreas to release insulin.⁴

As a GLP-1 agonist, Ozempic mimics GLP-1 by binding to your body’s GLP-1 receptor. It increases insulin secretion from bodily systems such as your:

  • Pancreas

  • Heart

  • Kidneys

  • Hypothalamus

  • Gastric mucosa

As a result, it helps you maintain healthy blood sugar levels. It also slows down gastric emptying, the process by which your stomach empties its digested contents (chyme) into the small intestine. This makes you feel full, which reduces your calorie intake and helps you lose weight.⁵

Who It’s For

As we mentioned earlier, Ozempic is designed to treat high blood glucose levels and obesity in people with Type 2 Diabetes, officially known as diabetes mellitus. You can also use it for weight loss if you’re overweight or obese and have at least one other health condition.

A smiling obese woman exercising

Some conditions may disqualify you from taking Ozempic. If you have a known diabetic retinopathy complication, your healthcare provider may need to monitor you closely to ensure your condition doesn’t worsen. People with a known hypersensitivity to Ozempic or any of its ingredients shouldn’t take Ozempic. Those with thyroid cancer also shouldn’t take Ozempic.⁶

Ozempic isn’t the best solution for everyone, so your healthcare provider will assess your situation to decide if you’re a good candidate for Ozempic treatment.

How To Take Ozempic

Either you or your doctor can administer Ozempic as a once-weekly injection in the upper arm, abdomen, or thigh at any time of day. You can administer it with or without meals. It starts at a dosage of 0.25 mg weekly, then is increased in increments every four weeks. It’s delivered in two ways: a single-use pen with a 0.25 mg or 0.5 mg dose per Semaglutide injection or a single-use pen with a 1 mg dose per injection. 

Your clinician will look at your medical history, family history, and other factors to choose the best starting dose for you.

If you miss a dose, you should administer the shot as soon as possible within five days. If it’s been more than five days, skip the missed dose and administer it your next scheduled day. Then, resume your regular injection schedule.⁷

Potential Side Effects

Just like any other medication, Ozempic can cause side effects, including:

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting

  • Constipation

  • Abdominal pain

  • Pancreatitis

  • Hypoglycemia

  • Acute kidney injury

  • Severe gastrointestinal reactions

It may also interfere with the absorption of other oral medications because of delayed gastric emptying and cause injection site reactions.⁸

How Much Ozempic Costs

According to the manufacturer of Ozempic, Novo Nordisk, the list price for Ozempic is $935.77 per month. This price may vary depending on your insurance provider.

A smiling weight management doctor

2 Alternatives To Ozempic For Type 2 Diabetes

If you need Type 2 Diabetes treatment but can’t take Ozempic, there are some promising alternatives worth exploring.

1. Tirzepatide

Tirzepatide (the same medication that’s sold under the brand name Mounjaro) is an FDA-approved GLP-1 medication primarily used to help reduce blood sugar levels and weight for people with Type 2 Diabetes. It’s also used off-label for weight loss.⁹

It’s a weekly subcutaneous injection into your abdomen, upper arm, or thigh. That means it’s injected underneath the top layer of the skin. It’s measured in doses of milligrams per 0.5 milliliters.

Common side effects are:

  • Decreased appetite

  • Nausea or vomiting

  • Constipation

  • Diarrhea

  • Dehydration

It may also lead to acute pancreatitis, acute kidney injury, increased risk of hypoglycemia (when combined with insulin or insulin secretagogues), or acute gallbladder disease. Much like Ozempic, it also can keep other oral medications from absorbing fully because of delayed gastric emptying.¹⁰

So, how does it compare to other GLP-1 weight loss solutions? According to clinical trials, Weekly Mounjaro 10 and 15 mg were more effective at causing weight loss than weekly semaglutide 2.4 mg, daily semaglutide 0.4 mg, or liraglutide 3 mg.¹¹

According to Eli Lilly, Mounjaro’s manufacturer, Mounjaro has a list price of $1,023.04 per month. This price may vary based on your insurance coverage. 

With Henry Meds, you can get Compounded Tirzepatide sent straight to your door for only $449 per month, even if you don’t have insurance.

Mailman delivering a Tirzepatide prescription

2. Dulaglutide

Dulaglutide (sold under the brand name Trulicity) is an injectable GLP-1 medication used along with a balanced diet and exercise to control blood sugar and reduce heart issues in people with Type 2 Diabetes and heart disease or multiple cardiovascular risk factors, such as heart attacks. It’s injected subcutaneously in the abdomen, upper arm, or thigh once weekly at a dose of up to 4.5 mg. It’s administered with or without food. 

People with a history of thyroid cancer, serious gastrointestinal disease, or serious allergic reactions to Dulaglutide or its ingredients can’t take Trulicity.

The most common adverse reactions include: 

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting

  • Diarrhea

  • Abdominal pain

  • Decreased appetite

Dulaglutide may also cause pancreatitis, hypoglycemia (when used with insulin or insulin secretagogue), hypersensitivity reactions, acute kidney injury, severe gastrointestinal disease, and diabetic retinopathy.¹²

According to the manufacturer, Lilly, the list price for Trulicity is $930.88 per month. So it’s a cheaper alternative to Ozempic, but the final price depends on your insurance plan.

2 Alternatives To Ozempic For Weight Loss

Unlike the GLP-1 medications discussed above that are used for treating diabetes, the next two alternatives are medications used for weight management.

A comparative GLP-1 medication chart

1. Liraglutide 

Liraglutide (sold under the brand name Saxena) is a GLP-1 antagonist injection administered subcutaneously in the thigh, upper arm, or abdomen once a week at a dose of up to 3 mg. It helps with chronic weight management in adult patients who are obese or overweight with one comorbid condition, such as high blood pressure. Unlike the other options, it isn’t meant to treat Type 2 Diabetes.

People with a history of thyroid cancer or hypersensitivity to Liraglutide or its ingredients, and women who are currently pregnant or breastfeeding can’t take Liraglutide.

Liraglutide’s most common side effects include:

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting

  • Constipation

  • Diarrhea

  • Dizziness

  • Fatigue

  • Abdominal pain

  • Dyspepsia

  • Increased lipase (a type of digestive enzyme in your pancreas that helps your body digest fats)

In rarer cases, it can also cause acute pancreatitis, heart rate increase, hypoglycemia (when used with an insulin secretagogue), acute gallbladder disease, renal impairment, and suicidal thoughts and behavior. It may also interfere with the absorption of other oral medications because it delays gastric emptying.¹³

According to Saxena’s manufacturer Novo Nordisk, the list price for Liraglutide is $1,349.02 per month. But how much you pay depends on your insurance cost. 

With Henry Meds, our Compounded Liraglutide treatment program costs $297 per month. Your monthly membership covers everything: medication management, telehealth appointments with your provider, and medication shipped straight to your door.

A weight loss telehealth appointment

2. Semaglutide

Semaglutide (sold under the brand name Wegovy) is a GLP-1 receptor agonist used for chronic weight management in obese adults or those who are overweight and have at least one comorbid condition, like high blood pressure or Type 2 Diabetes. Children aged 12 and older can also use it if their body fat percentage is in the 95th percentile or greater for their age and sex. 

Semaglutide is administered as a once-weekly subcutaneous injection in the abdomen, upper arm, or thigh at a dose of up to 2.4 mg per week. You can take it with or without meals.

People with a history of thyroid cancer or known hypersensitivity to semaglutide or any of the components can’t take Semaglutide. The most common symptoms are:

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting

  • Diarrhea

  • Constipation

  • Headache

  • Abdominal pain

  • Dizziness

  • Fatigue

  • Gastroenteritis

  • Hypoglycemia (when used with an insulin secretagogue)

Some less common side effects include:

  • Acute gallbladder disease

  • Acute pancreatitis

  • Acute kidney injury

  • Heart rate increase

  • Suicidal thoughts and behavior

It may also impact absorption of other oral prescription medications due to delayed gastric emptying or cause injection site reactions.¹⁴

According to Wegovy’s manufacturer, Novo Nordisk, it has a list price of $1,349.02 per month, but coverage may depend on your insurance coverage. 

At Henry Meds, our Compounded Semaglutide treatment program is $297 per month. No insurance needed.

How to Find Ozempic and Its Alternatives

We covered several alternatives to Ozempic for treating obesity and diabetes. Having all the information about these medications is important so you can make accurate comparisons and more informed decisions.

Nationwide GLP-1 Medication Shortage

Currently, the FDA has declared a nationwide shortage of semaglitude and tirzepatide.¹⁵

But all hope isn’t lost! To help address the shortage, FDA-licensed compounding pharmacies and facilities are able to mix, combine, and alter ingredients to make compounded versions of GLP-1 medications.¹⁶

A licensed healthcare provider can prescribe Compounded Semaglutide that’s tailored to each patient’s unique needs by:

  • removing known allergens 

  • modifying the dosage 

  • adding ingredients minimize unwanted side effects

Get Compounded GLP-1 Weight Loss Medication With Henry Meds

At Henry Meds, we believe everyone should be able to access the care they need, at an affordable price.  

If you're interested in learning more about the Compounded GLP-1 medications that are available through the Henry Meds platform, schedule your free consultation today.

We make the process simple: fill out a questionnaire, schedule a telehealth appointment with your provider, and we'll ship your medication straight to your door.

Begin your journey to a healthier, happier you!


How Long Can You Stay On Ozempic For Weight Loss?

Ozempic is considered a long-term treatment. A study showed that one year after withdrawal of once-a-week Semaglutide 2.4mg and lifestyle intervention, two thirds of the study participants regained the lost weight.¹⁷

Which Is Better, Ozempic Or Mounjaro?

Mounjaro (Tirzepatide) has been proven to be more effective for weight loss than Ozempic (Semaglutide).¹⁸

Do People Lose More Weight On Trulicity Or Ozempic?

According to clinical trials, Ozempic (Semaglutide) is significantly more effective than Trulicity (Dulaglutide) at improving blood sugar levels and reducing body weight.¹⁹

To help you trust the information we provide, every article written by Henry relies on peer-reviewed studies and medically-reviewed facts. We ensure that data, ideas, and figures cited are reliable, current, and accurate. Our team of medical reviewers aim to help you cut through the noise with clear and authoritative primary and secondary sources.

Nothing in this article is intended to be prescriptive or medical advice. Talk to your doctor before starting a new diet and exercise plan. Information presented is about our medically supervised weight management programs and is not an advertisement for a specific drug.


  1. Brenan, M. What Percentage of Americans Consider Themselves Overweight? Gallup.com. (2022, January 3).

  2. Scheen, A. J. Semaglutide, once weekly GLP-1 receptor agonist (Ozempic®). Revue Medicale de Liege. (2019, September).

  3. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. FDA Approves New Drug Treatment for Chronic Weight Management, First Since 2014. FDA. (2021, June 4).

  4. Collins, L., & Costello, R. A. Glucagon-like Peptide-1 Receptor Agonists. PubMed. (2020).

  5. Chao, A. M., et al. Semaglutide for the treatment of obesity. Trends in Cardiovascular Medicine. (2021, December).

  6. Collins, L., & Costello, R. A. Glucagon-like Peptide-1 Receptor Agonists. PubMed. (Ibid).

  7. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. HIGHLIGHTS OF PRESCRIBING INFORMATION: OZEMPIC (semaglutide) injection, for subcutaneous use. FDA. (n.d.).

  8. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. HIGHLIGHTS OF PRESCRIBING INFORMATION: OZEMPIC (semaglutide) injection, for subcutaneous use. FDA. (Ibid).

  9. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. HIGHLIGHTS OF PRESCRIBING INFORMATION: OZEMPIC (semaglutide) injection, for subcutaneous use. FDA. (Ibid).

  10. Farzam, K., & Patel, P. Tirzepatide. PubMed. (2022).

  11. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. HIGHLIGHTS OF PRESCRIBING INFORMATION: MOUNJARO (tirzepatide) Injection, for subcutaneous use. FDA. (n.d.).

  12. Alkhezi, O. S., et al. Comparative effectiveness of glucagon‐like peptide‐1 receptor agonists for the management of obesity in adults without diabetes: A network meta‐analysis of randomized clinical trials. Obesity Reviews. (2022, March).

  13. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. HIGHLIGHTS OF PRESCRIBING INFORMATION: TRULICITY (dulaglutide) injection, for subcutaneous use. FDA. (n.d.).

  14. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. HIGHLIGHTS OF PRESCRIBING INFORMATION: SAXENDA (liraglutide [rDNA origin] injection), solution for subcutaneous use. FDA. (n.d.).

  15. Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Drug Compounding and Drug Shortages. FDA. (2023, March)

  16. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. HIGHLIGHTS OF PRESCRIBING INFORMATION: WEGOVY (semaglutide) injection, for subcutaneous use. FDA. (n.d.).

  17. Wilding, J. P. H., et al. Weight regain and cardiometabolic effects after withdrawal of semaglutide: The STEP 1 trial extension. Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism. (2022, August).

  18. Alkhezi, O. S., et al. Comparative effectiveness of glucagon‐like peptide‐1 receptor agonists for the management of obesity in adults without diabetes: A network meta‐analysis of randomized clinical trials. Obesity Reviews. (2022, March).

  19. Pratley, R. E., et al. Semaglutide versus dulaglutide once weekly in patients with Type 2 diabetes (SUSTAIN 7): a randomised, open-label, phase 3b trial. The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology. (2018, April).

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