Alternative weight loss medications
Although Ozempic is not yet available to treat weight loss in the UK, there are alternatives that you could try. There are 2 types of treatment available: injections and tablets.
Weight loss injections
There are weight loss injections available that should be administered alongside a healthy, balanced diet and regular exercise to be effective. These treatments are only available on prescription. For example, Superdrug Online Doctor currently offers Saxenda, but Wegovy will also be available soon.
Saxenda is a prescription-only weight loss injection that contains the active ingredient liraglutide and is injected every day. Saxenda is only prescribed for people who have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or above or 27 or above with weight-related health issues. It works by mimicking a hormone called glucagon-like peptide (GLP-1) which tells your brain that you feel full, making you less hungry. When using Saxenda you can expect to lose at least 5% of your body weight after around 17 weeks of treatment, but how much you can lose in total will depend on other factors such as following a calorie-controlled diet and regular exercise.
Wegovy is another injectable weight loss medication for obese or overweight adults. It is used once a week and mimics the hormone that is responsible for telling your brain that you feel full, GLP-1. Wegovy contains the active ingredient semaglutide and is an effective weight-loss tool. Wegovy is similar to Ozempic because it contains the same active ingredient, although in a higher dose, and is specifically available for weight loss.
Victoza is an injectable drug for the management of type 2 diabetes. Victoza has been shown to help type 2 diabetic patients lose weight. It also mimics the GLP-1 hormone, making you feel full, stopping weight gain. Victoza isn’t approved as a treatment for weight loss.
Trulicity is a once-weekly injection that improves blood sugar levels in adults and children aged over 10 with type 2 diabetes. It has also been shown to help with weight loss. It contains the active ingredient dulaglutide which lowers blood glucose and prevents heart disease. Because it is not approved for weight loss, Saxenda and Wegovy (when it is available) may be more suitable choices.
Weight loss tablets
Weight loss tablets are available to help you lose weight. Some require a prescription while others are available over the counter. Superdrug Online Doctor currently has 4 weight loss tablets available: orlistat, Xenical, Alli, and Mysimba.
Xenical is a prescription only weight loss pill that’s generally prescribed to people who are obese or overweight and have certain medical conditions like type 2 diabetes. Xenical works by blocking the absorption of fat from meals by attaching to the enzyme lipase, which is responsible for breaking down fat in the body. Xenical works best when you also exercise regularly and follow a diet plan. It contains the active ingredient orlistat 120mg.
Alli is an over-the-counter weight loss treatment available in capsule form. It contains the active ingredient orlistat 60mg, and works by attaching itself to the naturally occurring enzymes that break down fat. This stops fat from being absorbed, preventing weight gain, and is passed out of the body as waste in your stools.
Orlistat is the generic name for Xenical. It works in exactly the same way but is often cheaper because it is not a branded medication.
Mysimba is a prescription weight loss tablet that works by suppressing your appetite. Other weight loss tablets work by stopping the absorption of fat. Instead, Mysimba targets the area of the brain that controls appetite, making you feel less hungry and reducing the amount of food you eat. On average, people who take Mysimba lose between 3.7-5.7% of their body weight.