What is Ozempic®?

Ozempic® is a medicine from Novo Nordisk, initially developed for treating Type 2 diabetes by reducing the sugar content in the blood. A side benefit of the medication is weight loss if it is combined with a healthy diet and more exercise. Today, Ozempic® is prescribed for both diabetes and weight loss, as more people have become aware of the weight loss effects. This is perhaps due to the increased attention from the media.

Are you thinking about starting weight loss medication yourself? Find out more about Ozempic® and find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about the medication below, or read more about medical weight loss here.


What is Ozempic®?

Ozempic® is a medicine with the active ingredient Semaglutide, which can be used to achieve weight loss and weight control. It is similar to the hormone (GLP-1), which is released from the gut into your body after a meal.

How does Ozempic® work?

The active substance in Ozempic® is called semaglutide and mimics a natural gut hormone called GLP-1. Ozempic® (and also your own natural GLP-1) works by affecting the areas of the brain that control appetite. Specifically, it works by causing the pancreas to release more insulin when you eat and causing the liver to hold onto glucagon, which together will lower blood sugar.

GLP-1 sends a message to the brain that you are full, just as it tells your stomach to empty the food into the intestines more slowly than usual. When you are on the medication, you will find that you get full faster and have less hunger and less of an urge to eat. Therefore, the medicine can support weight loss, where you are simultaneously working on changing your lifestyle. At Embla, we intensely focus on combining the medication with all the other relevant elements in a weight loss process: coaching, diet, exercise, sleep and psychology.

Where to buy Ozempic®?

Ozempic® can be bought at UK pharmacies throughout the country. But to buy the medication, you must have a prescription - this can be from your own doctor or a doctor at, for example, a regulated weight loss clinic such as Embla. (Embla delivers your medication directly to your home from our pharmacy partner.)

Not everyone can get a prescription for Ozempic®. You must have a BMI over 30 or a BMI between 27 and 30 and at least one weight-related condition. Embla attaches great importance to the fact that the medicine should only support your weight loss. It is the lifestyle change that is most important. The first step is to book a screening, where we can clarify whether you are suitable for a course.

Are there side effects to Ozempic®?

Like all other medicines, there is also a risk of side effects when using Ozempic®. If you experience side effects, they will most often occur at the beginning of a course. There will be a few side effects from the gastrointestinal tract, as this is precisely where the medicine works. This can be, for example, nausea, diarrhoea or constipation. This is why we slowly increase the dose.

Another side effect is gallstones, which are especially seen with too rapid weight loss (more than 1 kg per week). Gallstones are not dangerous but can be painful. If you experience side effects, you should contact a doctor. If you are undergoing treatment at Embla, you can contact us anytime, and our medical team will assess the scope.

The benefits of weight loss, including a protective effect on the cardiovascular system, a beneficial effect on blood pressure and cholesterol, and a reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes, will usually overshadow any temporary, unpleasant side effects.

What is the price of Ozempic®?

The price of Ozempic® varies between pharmacies but typically costs between £110 and £190 when purchased alone without any comprehensive coaching support. At Embla, your Ozempic® prescription is included in your total monthly cost of £249.

Frequently asked questions

Who can be prescribed Ozempic®?

To be prescribed Ozempic®, you must have a BMI over 30 or a BMI between 27 and 30 and at least one weight-related condition. You cannot be prescribed Ozempic® if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. If you want to start a program at Embla, it is also a prerequisite to get the medication that you are motivated to change your lifestyle.

Is it safe to use Ozempic® even if you do not have diabetes?

Yes. Ozempic® was initially developed for patients with type 2 diabetes, as it has a positive effect on regulating blood sugar. Then it was discovered that it had the side benefit of aiding weight loss, as it reduces appetite and cravings for sweet and fatty things. If you are at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, which many overweight people are, you will reduce your risk significantly by losing weight.

How does Ozempic® differ from Wegovy®?

You may have heard of both Ozempic® and Wegovy®, which are the names of two of Novo Nordisk's products. Both medicines contain the active substance semaglutide. Ozempic® was developed to treat diabetes (but is also used today for weight loss), while Wegovy® is a drug approved specifically to treat obesity. Ozempic® is available in 3 doses: 0.25 mg, 0.5 mg. and 1 mg. Wegovy® is available in 5 doses: 0.25 mg., 0.5 mg., 1 mg., 1.7 mg and 2.4 mg. Wegovy® has a higher content of semaglutide (2.4 mg) than Ozempic® (2.0 mg). Besides those differences, the two drugs are very similar. Currently, Wegovy is not on sale in the UK, but its release is expected later this year.

Why do I have to change my lifestyle when using Ozempic®?

Weight loss medication can be a good support and a great kickstart to losing weight. But if you want a lasting, durable and healthy result, it requires more than just medication. For results that last, you must combine the medication with other lifestyle changes, such as healthy eating and exercise habits. If you change your lifestyle and introduce new habits, there is more to fall back on when you stop taking the medication. In doing so, you create a solid foundation for living without the medication - and without putting on the lost kilos again.

Is there a difference between getting Ozempic® from your GP and from Embla?

Your GP can prescribe Ozempic® if you are suitable. The doctor can also refer you to dietitian and physiotherapy courses but almost certainly will not offer one-to-one coaching for lifestyle changes, nor is there enough time to follow up on how you are doing once you are taking the medication. At Embla, it is also a doctor who prescribes the medication, but it comes in conjunction with a comprehensive health program. At Embla, you can contact us daily if you need to and access your entire health team - consisting of doctors, nurses and coaches- whenever you need support or have questions to ask.

Is Ozempic® right for you?

Using any prescription medicine for weight loss is a decision that should only be taken in conjunction with expert medical advice. At Embla, our medical team assesses every member individually to determine the best approach.

For advice and to check suitability for Ozempic, please book a free consultation.
The next available screening is XXX with YYYY
Book now