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Getting your hands on Ozempic for weight loss can be tricky and requires a prescription from a medical professional. Here’s how to go about it ethically and safely.

Looking to lose weight? Unless you’ve been living on Mars for the last year or so, you’ve probably heard the buzz about Ozempic — a drug developed for diabetes management that just so happens to work for weight loss.

The only trouble is, the more popular Ozempic becomes, the harder it is to get ahold of. Plus, since it’s technically meant for managing blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes, it can be tough to get for weight loss use.

Challenging — but not impossible. We’ve got the deets on how to get this med ethically and safely for weight management.

Availability FYI

Even though Ozempic is only currently FDA-approved to treat type 2 diabetes, some doctors may also prescribe it “off-label” to help with weight loss. If you’re interested in giving it a go, a healthcare professional can help you figure out whether or not it’s a good fit.

Keep in mind that Ozempic in high demand, and occasional drug shortages can also make it tricky to get your hands on a prescription. In some cases, your doc might recommend trying out another similar medication instead.

Be sure to steer clear of compounded versions of Ozempic, which are made by combining two or more drugs. Not only have they been linked to some serious safety concerns, but they’re also not recommended by the FDA.

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Ozempic is only available via prescription, so the first step toward getting the drug is to talk with your doctor, ideally in person.

In person

Only licensed healthcare professionals like doctors, physician’s assistants, and nurse practitioners can prescribe Ozempic (for weight loss or any other purpose).

Some may require an in-person visit, while others may be comfortable prescribing via telehealth. Your doctor will probably ask about your health history, weight, and lifestyle during your appointment.

If your general practitioner isn’t open to prescribing the med for weight loss alone, you can consider getting a second opinion from a weight loss specialist or a weight loss clinic.

Online

You can also connect with a licensed doctor or nurse practitioner via one of the telehealth services below. Though some other websites offer knock-off versions of semaglutides that you can order without a prescription, we definitely don’t recommend going this route. Faux pharmaceuticals can be extremely dangerous.

Keep in mind that an Ozempic prescription isn’t a free pass to ignore other aspects of health. For optimal results, you’ll still need to make changes in the kitchen and at the gym.

What to do with Ozempic prescription

Once you’ve got that all-important script, you can head to your local pharmacy to fill it. Or research online pharmacies that supply the drug, as they may save you some cash. To find a reputable pharmacy on the web, check out the FDA’s database of state-licensed online options.

The semaglutide drug Ozempic has taken on a reputation as a wonder drug. It’s easy to see why! Though it was created back in the mid-2010s to help people with type 2 diabetes manage their blood sugar, it turns out that the med has the unexpected byproduct of promoting weight loss.

It’s not just a rumor from your hairdresser or a TikTok video — research shows that Ozempic does impact body weight. A 2021 study found that when people took Ozempic over 68 weeks, they lost an average of 14.9% of their body weight.

Despite these remarkable results, the drug is still currently FDA-approved for only two purposes: lowering blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes and reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke in people with type 2 diabetes and known heart disease.

Still, that doesn’t mean you can’t get Ozempic prescribed for weight loss. A healthcare professional can prescribe the med “off-label” (aka for a purpose other than its FDA-approved uses). This practice is legal and super common — so don’t worry that you’re asking your doctor to do something shady.

Of course, some providers are more likely to provide off-label prescriptions than others, so walking away with a script depends mainly on the provider you see.

If you have conditions aggravated by weight — such as back pain, limited mobility, or high cholesterol — you may be more likely to receive an off-label Ozempic prescription.

Also, keep in mind that Ozempic isn’t the only GLP-1 medication on the block. Wegovy (semaglutide), Zepbound (tirzepatide), and Saxenda (liraglutide) have all been given the green light for weight loss by the FDA.

Most insurance plans won’t cover Ozempic as a treatment for weight loss all by itself. (Womp, womp.) Since the drug is supposed to be used solely for its two FDA-approved purposes, many insurance plans aren’t too keen to cover it outside of these areas.

Always check with your insurance, though — you might be pleasantly surprised at its coverage.

And, of course, if your doctor prescribes Ozempic for blood sugar issues (which should be covered by insurance), you may also lose weight as a byproduct.

We won’t sugarcoat it: Ozempic ain’t cheap. In the U.S., without insurance, a 30-day course of Ozempic can cost over $900. Another analysis found that, on average, a pre-filled Ozempic pen (which contains about a week’s worth of the med) costs $195.

If you’re not down to spending hundreds each month on a weight loss drug, some cost-reducing options may help.

Ask your doctor or pharmacy about coupons or patient assistance programs that might reduce Ozempic’s cost. You can also ask whether your pharmacy offers discounts for cash-pay customers. Depending on your insurance coverage, programs like an Ozempic Savings Card could also put a severe dent in the price.

Since Ozempic isn’t FDA-approved for weight loss, there’s technically no weight requirement to get on it. Your doctor will take stock of your health and weight status before deciding whether to prescribe Ozempic off-label for weight loss.

Wegovy and Ozempic are both the same drug (semaglutide). The difference is in the strength that the drugs come in. Additionally, each medication has different uses.

Wegovy is specifically approved for weight management, helping people with obesity to lose weight. Ozempic is primarily used to treat type 2 diabetes by helping to control blood sugar levels.

With an Ozempic Savings Card, people with private or commercial insurance can be eligible to pay as little as $25 a month for their meds. Your prescription must be for a 1-, 2-, or 3-month supply, and you’ll need to answer a few questions to determine if you qualify.

Even though Ozempic is currently only approved to keep your blood sugar in check, it can also be prescribed off-label to help with weight loss, even if you don’t have diabetes.

To be eligible for a prescription, you might still need to meet certain criteria, like having a body mass index (BMI) of above 30, or a BMI over 27 with at least one weight-related condition.

You can chat with your doctor to see whether it might be a good option for you based on your medical history and weight goals.

While Ozempic offers promise for weight management, it’s only FDA-approved for managing type 2 diabetes and reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke in people with diabetes and heart disease.

Because of this, you’ll likely encounter red tape if you only want to use the drug to slim down.

Still, you can ask your doctor about a prescription for Ozempic for weight loss — or consider its sister drug, Wegovy, which is approved for weight loss. It may be easier to get and more likely to be covered by insurance.

Whatever option you choose, meds are only one piece of the weight loss puzzle. To see lasting results, keep up with a balanced diet, good sleep, and regular exercise.

Waiting to meet with your doc? Get a head start on learning about potential side effects of Ozempic and what to expect if and when you stop the medication.