How to Get Semaglutide for Weight Loss When You're Non-Diabetic


Nov 15, 2023

How to Get Semaglutide for Weight Loss When You’re Non-Diabetic.

Woman on computer
Woman on computer
Woman on computer

You've heard the buzz about semaglutide, a medication approved for managing type 2 diabetes. Maybe you’ve read about how it can help you lose weight by suppressing your appetite and making you feel full faster.¹ You've probably even seen amazing before and after photos of people who've shed pounds after using the medication.

And after reading all those glowing testimonials about how it has changed others' lives for the better, you're willing to give it a try. But there's one problem: you're not diabetic. Though semaglutide was originally developed for type 2 diabetes to lower blood sugar, it is also approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for weight management under the brand name Wegovy.²

But semaglutide doesn't come cheap and most insurance does not cover it. Fortunately, there are other alternatives, like compounded versions, that your healthcare provider can prescribe. In this post, you'll learn how to get semaglutide when non-diabetic and also understand the risks and benefits of the medication.

A woman holding a vial and smiling

What Is Semaglutide? 

Semaglutide is a medicine that belongs to a class of drugs called glucagon-like peptide (GLP-1) agonists. It's an active ingredient that works by mimicking the action of the natural hormone glucagon which lowers blood sugar levels and reduces appetite.³

The treatment can help people with type 2 diabetes or obesity manage their condition and lose weight. It comes in various brands, with the most common being Wegovy, Rybelsus, and Ozempic. Wegovy is approved by the FDA for chronic weight management and can help people lose weight by making them feel less hungry and eat fewer calories. It achieves this by slowing down the digestion process and sending signals to the brain that create a feeling of fullness. It can also protect the heart and prevent cardiovascular diseases associated with obesity, like heart attacks, strokes, and cardiovascular deaths.⁴ A clinical trial involving more than 17,000 adults with heart disease and obesity showed that the treatment reduced the risk of these events by 20% compared to a placebo.⁵ Wegovy is taken as a weekly injection under the skin.⁶

Rybelsus and Ozempic have a similar mechanism of action and can treat type 2 diabetes by stimulating the pancreas to release insulin to help lower blood glucose.⁷ The main difference between the two is that the former is taken orally, while the latter, like Wegovy, is taken as a weekly injection.⁸

Because of a shortage of semaglutide, the need for customizable doses and administration, and price-related concerns, patients can get compounded — also known as off-label — Ozempic to treat obesity. It’s formulated by compounding pharmacies to suit patients’ needs and preferences using FDA-approved ingredients. 

Semaglutide has been shown to be effective in various clinical trials. For example, a study on overweight adults found the medication led to an average weight loss of 15% after 68 weeks.⁹

Can Semaglutide Be Prescribed for Non-Diabetics? 

Semaglutide can be prescribed to non-diabetic patients under the brand name Wegovy for weight loss purposes. It's FDA-approved for chronic weight management and prescriptions can be given to patients if they meet certain criteria. For example, individuals should be considered overweight or obese and have one weight-related health problem, like high blood pressure or high cholesterol.¹⁰

But the treatment is not a miracle drug or a quick fix. Rather, it's a tool that can assist in the process of achieving and maintaining a healthier weight. To achieve and maintain weight loss, individuals should commit to lifestyle changes by eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly.¹¹

Ozempic is another viable option for those looking to shed a few pounds. Although it is prescribed for people with type 2 diabetes and not officially FDA-approved for weight loss, some practitioners may–under their professional judgment–prescribe it off-label to address obesity. Similar to Wegovy, the patient's weight and weight-related health problems would be taken into account to prescribe the appropriate dose. 

If you’re wondering about the effectiveness of the medication in trimming excess weight, you’ll be pleased to know that it does work. Studies have shown that semaglutide can help people lose weight compared to a placebo or other medications. Among a group of 102 overweight or obese patients, after 6 months on semaglutide, 89 (87.3%) achieved a weight loss of 5% or more, 56 (54.9%) achieved a weight loss of 10% or more, 24 (23.5%) achieved a weight loss of 15% or more, and 8 (7.8%) achieved a weight loss of 20% or more.¹²

It's important to note that longer studies are needed to evaluate its safety and effectiveness. Also, individual results may vary depending on starting weight, dose, duration, and adherence to lifestyle changes.

Doctor holding semaglutide and writing prescription

Side Effects of Semaglutide

Though semaglutide is generally well tolerated, it can cause temporary side effects. These are usually mild and improve over time as the patient's body adjusts to the medication. Some of the common side effects include:¹³

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting

  • Diarrhea

  • Headache

  • Constipation

  • Abdominal pain

Some people may experience injection site reactions, like redness, swelling, or itching. But this should dissipate within a few days. If patients want to prevent this, they are advised to rotate the injection sites and avoid injecting into areas that are bruised, tender, or scarred.¹⁴

While the above side effects are manageable, there are adverse symptoms patients should look out for. If a patient experiences any of the following, they should reach out to their healthcare provider immediately:¹⁵

  • Sudden and severe stomach pain, chills, constipation, nausea, vomiting, fever, or lightheadedness.

  • Gaseous stomach pain, indigestion, recurrent fever.

  • Lump or swelling in the neck, hoarseness, difficulty swallowing, or shortness of breath.

  • Allergic reactions, like rash, itching, swelling of the face, tongue, or throat.

Risks of Semaglutide 

The drug offers potential benefits for individuals looking to manage their weight effectively, but it's not a one-size-fits-all solution and carries inherent risks. Patients with a personal or family history of thyroid cancer, pancreatitis, or diabetic retinopathy should avoid using it because it can exacerbate these conditions. Also, individuals with kidney problems must exercise caution when considering semaglutide.¹⁶

Pregnant or breastfeeding individuals should steer clear of the treatment because it can pose risks to both the mother and the developing child.¹⁷ In fact, the FDA advises against using it if patients are pregnant or planning to conceive. Animal studies have shown that the treatment can cause birth defects, growth problems, and fetal death.¹⁸

Semaglutide may also interact with other medications or supplements. For example, some medicines that lower blood sugar levels may cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).¹⁹ Given the complexity of drug interactions, it's best for patients to be transparent with their healthcare provider about any other treatment they're taking. This can make it easier for practitioners to monitor the patient’s progress and safety while they're on the treatment.

A list of common side effects of Semaglutide

How to Get Semaglutide for Weight Loss 

To get semaglutide, patients will have to visit a healthcare provider. They can do this by scheduling a consultation (online or in-person), where they can discuss their weight management goals. During the consultation, individuals will undergo a comprehensive medical assessment to determine if the treatment is suitable for them. So it is vital they openly discuss their medical history and current medication. If the practitioner deems the medication fit for the patient, they will prescribe an appropriate brand and dose.

The practitioner can prescribe Wegovy, which is administered once a week via injection. Patients can administer it themselves in the comfort of their homes. In some cases, patients may be prescribed compounded semaglutide, usually at a different dose and frequency than the standard Ozempic.

When on semaglutide, it's essential to understand that the medication is most effective when combined with a healthy lifestyle. Patients are often advised to follow a low-calorie diet and increase their physical activity while taking the medication to support sustainable weight loss.²⁰

How Much Semaglutide Is Needed for Weight Loss in Non-Diabetics? 

The dose and frequency of semaglutide varies depending on the condition being treated. For Wegovy, the typical dose is 2.4 mg administered weekly as a subcutaneous (under the skin). But patients don't start with this high dose right away. Instead, a lower dose of 0.25 mg is initiated. Over the course of several weeks — usually every 4 weeks –– the dose gradually increases until it reaches the target dose of 2.4 mg. This helps reduce the risk of side effects, like gastrointestinal problems, and for the body to adjust to the medication.²¹

If the practitioner does provide off-label Ozempic, they will prescribe appropriate doses after a medical evaluation. Patients should also discuss the pros and cons of off-label Ozempic use with their practitioner.

Doctor giving a consultation

How Long Do You Stay on Semaglutide for Weight Loss?

The duration of semaglutide for weight loss (and management) varies from one person to the next and depends on the dose and the individual's response to the drug. Clinical trials suggest that most people who have undergone treatment lost at least 5% of their body weight after 20 weeks, and at least 10% after 40 weeks. The average weight loss — based on consistent use and coupled with a modification in lifestyle -– was about 15% after 68 weeks.²²

These results are not guaranteed for everyone, and some patients may need to use the medication for longer or shorter periods to achieve their weight goals. A consultation with a practitioner is the best way to determine how long you may need to be on semaglutide.

How Much Does a Semaglutide Prescription Cost? 

The cost of a semaglutide prescription depends on the brand, dosage, insurance coverage, and pharmacy. Without insurance, patients can expect to pay around $1,300 per month for a Wegovy prescription.²³

If the patient is insured — and signs up for Wegovy's "We Go Together" support program -– they can expect a significant reduction in costs, and pay as little as $0 per month. This program also offers savings for patients without insurance, who can expect to save up to $500 per month on their prescriptions.²⁴

On the other hand, Ozempic averages around $900 per month. Similar to Wegovy, insurance can alleviate an individual's out-of-pocket expenses. Patients can expect to pay as little as $25 or even nothing at all if covered by a copay assistance program.²⁵

How Compounding Pharmacies Can Help with the Semaglutide Shortage 

Due to increased demand, semaglutide has been on the FDA drug shortage list since May 2023.²⁶ This has affected the availability and affordability of the medication for many patients who need it. But there is a possible solution: compounding pharmacies.

Compounding pharmacies specialize in preparing customized medications for individual patients based on their specific needs and preferences.²⁷ Where the shortage of semaglutide is concerned, these pharmacies can alleviate the strain by using FDA-approved active ingredients and following standards and regulations to compound medication.²⁸ This adherence helps them provide the medication without compromising its quality and safety. 

They can also offer different dosages, formulations, and routes of administration than commercially available medication.²⁹ For example, they can compound semaglutide in capsules, tablets, or injections, based on the patient's preference and medical condition. These pharmacies often work closely with prescribers and patients to ensure the safety, efficacy, and quality of compounded semaglutide.³⁰

A person holding a smartphone with an online pharmacy app

Get Started with Compounded Semaglutide for Weight Loss from Henry Meds 

Accessing Compounded Semaglutide is safe and easy through Henry Meds. Henry Meds works with licensed and accredited compounding pharmacies that can provide you with Compounded Semaglutide during the shortage. The providers on the Henry platform can assist in determining the best dosage, formulation, and route of administration for your weight management goals. They also offer affordable prices and convenient delivery for your treatment. 

If you want to kick start your weight loss journey, speak with a healthcare provider from Henry Meds today. Booking an appointment is a straightforward process. You begin by filling out a short medical intake form online. Once completed, schedule a convenient online visit, and you will receive a confirmation email with all the necessary details of your appointment. During the visit, you will be able to discuss your medical history, current medications, weight management goals, and any concerns you may have. 


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. FDA. (2021, June 4). FDA Approves New Drug Treatment for Chronic Weight Management, First Since 2014. FDA News Release. 

  2. FDA. (Ibid). FDA Approves New Drug Treatment for Chronic Weight Management, First Since 2014. FDA News Release. 

  3. FDA. (2023, May 31). Medications Containing Semaglutide Marketed for Type 2 Diabetes or Weight Loss. 

  4. Novo Nordisk. (2023, August 8) Semaglutide 2.4 mg reduces the risk of major adverse cardiovascular events by 20% in adults with overweight or obesity in the SELECT trial. 

  5. Novo Nordisk. (Ibid) Semaglutide 2.4 mg reduces the risk of major adverse cardiovascular events by 20% in adults with overweight or obesity in the SELECT trial. 

  6. Novo Nordisk. (2023, June 15). Semaglutide Responsible Use.,stroke  

  7. Novo Nordisk. (Ibid). Semaglutide Responsible Use.,stroke 

  8. Novo Nordisk. (Ibid). Semaglutide Responsible Use.,stroke

  9. Chao, A. M., Tronieri, J. S., Amaro, A., & Wadden, T. A. (2023). Semaglutide for the treatment of obesity. Trends in cardiovascular medicine, 33(3), 159–166.

  10. FDA. (Ibid). FDA Approves New Drug Treatment for Chronic Weight Management, First Since 2014. FDA News Release. 

  11. FDA. (Ibid). FDA Approves New Drug Treatment for Chronic Weight Management, First Since 2014. FDA News Release. 

  12. Ghusn, W., De la Rosa, A., Sacoto, D., Cifuentes, L., Campos, A., Feris, F., Hurtado, M. D., & Acosta, A. (2022). Weight Loss Outcomes Associated With Semaglutide Treatment for Patients With Overweight or Obesity. JAMA network open, 5(9), e2231982. 

  13. Ozempic. (2023, August). Possible Side Effects of Ozempic® (semaglutide) Injection. 

  14. Wegovy. (2023, May). How To Take Wegovy. 

  15. Ozempic. (Ibid). Possible Side Effects of Ozempic® (semaglutide) Injection. 

  16. Smits, M. M., & Van Raalte, D. H. (2021). Safety of Semaglutide. Frontiers in endocrinology, 12, 645563. 

  17. Ozempic. (Ibid). Possible Side Effects of Ozempic® (semaglutide) Injection. 

  18. FDA. (2017). OZEMPIC (semaglutide) injection, for subcutaneous use. 

  19. Ozempic. (Ibid). Possible Side Effects of Ozempic® (semaglutide) Injection. 

  20. FDA. (Ibid). FDA Approves New Drug Treatment for Chronic Weight Management, First Since 2014. FDA News Release. 

  21. Novo Nordisk. (2022, August). Wegovy. 

  22. Novo Nordisk. (2023) Wegovy STEP 1 Results. 

  23. NovoCare. (2023, February). What is the list price for Wegovy® and will it impact me? 

  24. NovoCare (Ibid). Wegovy® Savings Offer and WeGoTogether® support. 

  25. (2023). Ozempic Prices, Coupons, and Patient Assistance Programs. 

  26. FDA. (2023, May) Drug Shortages. 

  27. FDA. (2022, June 29).  Compounding and the FDA: Questions and Answers. 

  28. FDA. (Ibid).  Compounding and the FDA: Questions and Answers. 

  29. FDA. (Ibid).  Compounding and the FDA: Questions and Answers. 

  30. FDA. (2023, March 24). Drug Compounding and Drug Shortages. 

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