Too busy for the full read? Here’s what you need to know:
- Both Wegovy and Phentermine are FDA-approved weight loss medications.
- Wegovy, a newcomer in 2021, employs a novel injectable delivery method and works by reducing appetite through GLP-1 mechanisms, which makes it suitable for long-term use.
- As a stalwart since 1959, Phentermine is an oral medication that stimulates energy levels and suppresses hunger, approved predominantly for short-term use.
- Each medication boasts proven effectiveness, with both demonstrating statistically significant weight loss outcomes in clinical trials.
- It’s crucial to note the distinctiveness of each medication: they come with their own set of side effects, cost implications, and contraindications that must be carefully considered.
- As per FDA recommendations, the simultaneous use of Wegovy and Phentermine is not advised.
With new drugs such as Wegovy being made available to the US market, the choice of weight loss medications is becoming more extensive.
As part of our series on popular weight loss drugs, we will compare the latest medication, Wegovy, with the most widely prescribed drug, phentermine, so that you can decide if one of these anti-obesity medications might assist you with losing weight.
What Is Wegovy?
Only approved by the FDA in 2021, Wegovy is the latest weight loss drug launched to support chronic weight management.
Unlike many oral weight-loss drugs, Wegovy is injected once a week using a pre-filled injector pen. The pen contains semaglutide, a drug that mimics a hormone called glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1). Semaglutide, sold as well under the brand name Ozempic, reduces the appetite, making it easier to lose weight. (1)
Across several clinical trials, Wegovy led to statistically significant weight loss. Non-diabetic participants who took part in a 68-week trial showed an average weight loss of 17-18%. This weight loss was sustained throughout the trial without weight regains occurring.
In a study of patients with type 2 diabetes, individuals who received Wegovy lost around 6.2% of their baseline body weight. (2) (1)
Unlike many other weight loss medications, Wegovy can be taken long-term, which may lead to more successful weight loss outcomes. Wegovy has also been prescribed as a successful treatment strategy for weight regain occurring after bariatric surgery.(3)
What Is Phentermine?
Phentermine was first approved by the FDA in 1959 for treating obesity.
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Available as capsules or tablets, this weight loss medication contains phentermine hydrochloride, a stimulant with similarities to amphetamine. Phentermine rouses the central nervous system and causes the release of neurotransmitters, including epinephrine.
Due to its potential for side effects and the risk of dependency, phentermine is typically prescribed for short-term use, often for a period of 12 weeks or less, along with diet modifications and exercise.
This aids weight loss as the heart rate increases, energy levels are boosted, and the appetite is reduced. Phentermine will work best if taken alongside a low-calorie diet. (4)
As phentermine is an older drug, it has been studied in many clinical trials. Of participants taking the maximum dose of phentermine (37.5mg daily) for 3 months, around 50% can expect to lose at least 10% of their baseline body weight.
This average weight loss is considered clinically significant and beneficial to overall health.
Wegovy vs. Phentermine: A Side-by-Side Comparison
Wegovy and phentermine have both been proven to aid weight loss, but the two drugs work in different ways to achieve this. In the following table, we will compare Wegovy vs. phentermine to make it easier to understand the differences and similarities between the two.
Can You Take Wegovy and Phentermine Together?
You must not take Wegovy and phentermine together. The FDA recommends that only one weight loss product be taken at one time, including prescription drugs, over-the-counter preparations, and herbal remedies. (1)
Phentermine or Wegovy – Which One Is Better for Me?
If you are weighing up the pros and cons of Wegovy vs. phentermine, it is encouraging that both anti-obesity drugs have led to significant weight loss in clinical trials.
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With an average weight loss of 17-18% for non-diabetic patients, Wegovy is an excellent choice for chronic weight management. The slow escalation schedule may help some people to avoid Wegovy’s digestive side effects.
However, this injectable has also been linked to thyroid tumors and is contraindicated in people with certain medical conditions. Wegovy is also a very expensive drug, especially if taken long-term.
As an older drug, phentermine has a long history of supporting weight loss and reducing the body mass index of obese and overweight people.
A generic pill is available, so it is an affordable option. Phentermine is available in a range of doses, and can therefore be titrated to avoid or minimize side effects. As an older drug that is commonly prescribed, some people may feel more comfortable trying phentermine as a first-line treatment for obesity.
It is important that you discuss pharmaceutical weight loss options with your doctor prior to treatment to ensure you take the right drug for your individual circumstances.
What are the main differences between Wegovy and Phentermine?
Wegovy, approved in 2021, is a weekly injectable medication that reduces appetite for long-term weight management. Phentermine, available since 1959, is an oral medication used short-term to increase energy and curb hunger.
Which weight loss drug is more effective, Wegovy or Phentermine?
Both drugs have proven effective in clinical trials, but the effectiveness can vary depending on personal health circumstances, specific weight loss objectives, and responses to medication. Always consult with a healthcare professional before choosing a weight loss medication.
Is semaglutide better than phentermine for weight loss?
While both semaglutide (the active ingredient in Wegovy) and phentermine aid in weight loss, they function differently. Semaglutide is designed for long-term usage and can lead to substantial sustained weight loss. On the other hand, phentermine is geared towards short-term use and can assist in rapid weight loss over a shorter duration.
Which drug is better for long-term weight management, Wegovy or Phentermine?
Wegovy is intended for long-term weight management, while Phentermine is typically prescribed for short-term use due to its potential side effects and risk of dependency.
Are Wegovy and Phentermine covered by insurance?
Wegovy may be covered by insurance, or you may be able to arrange coverage with Novo Nordisk directly. Some insurance plans may cover phentermine.
1. FDA.gov (Wegovy Approval).
2. NovoNordisk.com (Wegovy Trials).
3. Gazda CL et al. Pharmacotherapies for Post-Bariatric Weight Regain: Real World Comparative Outcomes. Obesity. 2021; 29 (5): 829-836.
4. FDA.gov (Phentermine Label).
5. Phentermine.com (Phentermine).
6. RxList.com (Wegovy).
7. Phentermine.com (Phentermine Dosage).
8. NovoMedlink.com (Wegovy Dosage).
9. Phentermine.com (Side Effects).
10. Phentermine.com (Phentermine Warnings).
11. Wegovy.com (Wegovy Use).
12. Novocare.com (Wegovy Cost Navigator).
13. BlinkHealth.com (Buy Generic Phentermine).
14. PushHealth.com (Buy Wegovy).
15. Drugs.com (Generic Wegovy).
Is semaglutide better than phentermine for weight loss? Semaglutide and phentermine are two different medications used to support weight loss. In higher doses, Wegovy (semaglutide) can support sustained weight loss with long-term use. Phentermine can also assist weight loss, but is only intended for short-term use.What appetite suppressant is similar to Wegovy? ›
- Rybelsus ("Wegovy in a pill") An obvious replacement for Wegovy is Rybelsus - which contains the same active ingredient as Wegovy, Semaglutide, but is taken as a pill. ...
- Saxenda (Liraglutide) ...
- Trulicity (Dulaglutide) ...
- Orlistat / Xenical. ...
- So, don't worry, we've got you covered.
Many people who want to lose weight choose a phentermine alternative over the prescription medication. Adipex and Lomaira are two of the best known phentermine alternatives. Both are available on the market and can be purchased online.Which is better phentermine or semaglutide? ›
People whose BMI is 30 or higher are better candidates for taking Phentermine to lose weight. For people with a body mass index (BMI) of 27 or higher and other health conditions, such as type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure, Semaglutide may be a better option.Is Wegovy just an appetite suppressant? ›
Wegovy and weight loss
Wegovy can lead to weight loss because it is designed to suppress appetite so you eat less. It mimics the action of a gut hormone called GLP-1, which is released after eating, and it slows down the movement of food in your gut so you stay full for longer.
That's less than 5.5 lbs per month (1.3 lbs per week). Many people lose more than that with diet and exercise.Is there an over the counter drug similar to Wegovy? ›
Over the Counter Alternatives to Wegovy
Both PhenQ and Zotrim are available otc without a prescription. They are considered to be the most effective over the counter Wegovy alternatives for losing weight by industry critics.
“For prescribing Wegovy for weight loss, a person must have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or greater. It's also approved for use in people with a BMI of 27 or greater, who have an accompanying overweight- or obesity-related condition, such as high blood pressure or sleep apnea,” Dr. Dominguez says.Is there an oral version of Wegovy? ›
Key Takeaways. A daily oral version of the blockbuster weight loss drug semaglutide appears to be as effective as the weekly injectable sold as Wegovy. Drug maker Novo Nordisk shared the data via press release last week. Oral semaglutide is already available for diabetes treatment under the brand name Rybelsus.What is the closest pill to phentermine? ›
- PhenQ: Best phentermine alternative for weight loss.
- PrimeShred: Best fat burner for men.
- Leanbean: Best metabolism booster for women.
- PhenGold: Best natural appetite suppressant.
- Trimtone: Highly rated over the counter diet pills.
Phentermine is one of the most effective weight loss medications. However, it is only indicated for short-term use. The GLP-1 agonists liraglutide (Saxenda) and semaglutide (Wegovy) are also approved for weight loss and have been shown to be particularly effective.Is there a safer alternative to phentermine? ›
TrimTone is the appropriate alternative to phentermine HCl for all women. It is safe and tailored to users' specific requirements. Users suppress cravings, rev up one's metabolism and help them achieve the desired physique.Can you lose 20 pounds in a month on phentermine? ›
In general, phentermine can help you lose 3-7% of your body weight. You can expect to lose anywhere from 3 lbs to 5 lbs a month on phentermine. Remember that phentermine is for short-term use only (a few weeks).What can I take with phentermine to make it work better? ›
To help get all the essential nutrients that you might be missing on your diet, take some vitamins and supplements. Magnesium, chromium, biotin, and vitamins A, C, and E are highly recommended (6). By taking Phentermine at the right time using the most appropriate dosage, you'll surely make the most of this diet pill.How many pounds can you lose in a month with semaglutide? ›
We did have patients who lost a moderate amount but we also had patients losing over 15 pounds and even over 20 pounds in the first month!How quickly do you see weight loss with Wegovy? ›
Weight loss may begin within the first 4 weeks of treatment with Wegovy, but the full effects of treatment may not be seen for several months or longer.How long will it take me to lose weight on Wegovy? ›
The time it takes to lose weight using Wegovy® (semaglutide) can vary. One study showed that on average people lost ~6% of their starting body weight by 12 weeks, ~10% by 20 weeks, and ~15% at the one year mark. Note that patients in the study used Wegovy in combination with healthy nutrition and physical activity.How long does it take for Wegovy to start working for weight loss? ›
When does Wegovy start working? Wegovy starts working right after you inject a dose. But it may take several weeks or months before you notice weight loss or a decrease in appetite.How common is hair loss with Wegovy? ›
Hair loss is not listed as a side effect of Ozempic, but in clinical trials for Wegovy, 3% of people reported hair loss, compared to 1% of people who got a placebo.What is the most effective weight loss injection? ›
Some of the most effective prescription injectable weight loss medications available include: Mounjaro, Ozempic and Wegovy - these are diabetes drugs originally and now used to treat obesity. Although these injectable drugs can help users lose weight there are some dangers and caveats!
For someone taking Wegovy, a good diet plan includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. These foods provide the body with necessary nutrients, fiber, and energy to function correctly.Why can you only take phentermine for 3 months? ›
Phentermine is not recommended for a long-time duration, this indicates the excessive use of this diet pill can be causing addiction, dependence, and psychological adverse reactions.What is the actual cost of Wegovy? ›
Without insurance, the list price of Wegovy is $1,349.02 per package, which breaks down to $269.80 per week or $16,188.24 per year.Is Wegovy like metformin? ›
Metformin and Wegovy are two entirely different medications, used to treat different conditions in the body. Metformin is an oral diabetes drug used to treat type 2 diabetes mellitus. It works by reducing the amount of glucose produced by the liver and also helps to increase the sensitivity of body tissues to insulin.Do you gain weight back after using Wegovy? ›
Most people do regain weight after stopping Wegovy. One study looked at people a year after stopping semaglutide and lifestyle intervention, which consisted of diet counselling every 4 weeks and 150 minutes of physical activity per week. The study showed they regained two-thirds of the weight they'd lost on the drug.What are the requirements to qualify for Wegovy? ›
Eligibility for Wegovy
The FDA approved Wegovy for people with obesity, or those with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 kg/m2 or greater. It's also approved for overweight people, or those with a BMI of 27 or greater, who also have a medical condition caused by their weight.
Wegovy (semaglutide) is used to help people lose weight and maintain weight loss. It is used with a reduced calorie diet and exercise. There is currently no generic alternative to Wegovy.What is the new pill for weight loss 2023? ›
Wegovy is one of several new “miracle” drugs that promise to revolutionize the weight-loss industry. Praised by celebrities and social media influencers, Wegovy was approved for use in the U.S., as well as in the U.K.'s free healthcare system, where it will be available to patients in spring 2023.How do I get a script for Wegovy? ›
Call 1-833-4-WEGOVY (1-833-493-4689) between 9:00 AM and 9:00 PM ET, Monday–Friday.What is Pfizer's new weight loss pill? ›
In May 2023, Novo Nordisk announced that obese or overweight adults who took a once-daily 50 milligram dose of oral semaglutide for 68 weeks lost 15% of their body weight. The findings are based on results from a phase 3 study that involved 667 people.
This is because it is a prescription diet pill that you cannot use without your doctor's permission. However, you can buy legal phentermine through its official website without a prescription. The most effective and safest weight loss formula is over-the-counter Phentermine, which poses no risk to your health.What is the strongest phentermine pill? ›
Phentermine 37.5 mg is the maximum daily dosage of phentermine, and by far the most commonly prescribed. But why? 37.5 mg is the highest dosage – since phentermine can only be taken for a limited time, this means that patients get the maximum benefits in the minimum time.Is Adderall similar to phentermine? ›
Phentermine does not work as powerful as Adderall, which means that it isn't a substitute for ADHD. Its primary goal is weight loss and has passed thorough FDA tests to confirm this usage.What pills make you lose weight rapidly? ›
- Bupropion-naltrexone (Contrave)
- Liraglutide (Saxenda)
- Orlistat (Xenical, Alli)
- Phentermine-topiramate (Qsymia)
- Semaglutide (Wegovy)
- Setmelanotide (Imcivree)
- PhenQ - Best for Losing More Than 30 lbs.
- Trimtone - Best Appetite Suppressant.
- PhenGold - Best Metabolism Booster.
- Phen24 - Best for Women.
- PrimeShred - Best for Men.
The medication semaglutide (Wegovy) received FDA approval for treatment of obesity in 2021. More common prescription weight loss drugs which have been in use longer include liraglutide (Saxenda), naltrexone-bupropion (Contrave), orlistat (Alli, Xenical), and phentermine-topiramate (Qsymia ).What antidepressant is similar to phentermine? ›
Association with Affective Disorders. The actions of phentermine are similar to those of bupropion, a widely used antidepressant, in that both increase synaptic NE and DA levels.What herb is like phentermine? ›
- Caralluma fimbriata.
- Griffonia simplicifolia.
- Garcinia cambogia.
Plus, beginning a workout schedule can help you maintain your weight loss transformation even after you stop taking phentermine. Your doctor will help you create an exercise regimen based on your abilities and lifestyle. It is important to ease into exercising in order to avoid overexerting yourself.
Wegovy and phentermine are both FDA-approved prescription weight-loss medications. Wegovy is a GLP-1 medication intended for long-term use, while phentermine is an appetite-reducing medication approved for short-term use. The best weight loss medication for you depends on your needs and weight loss goals.
Ozempic has an average rating of 5.9 out of 10 from a total of 963 ratings on Drugs.com. 45% of reviewers reported a positive effect, while 34% reported a negative effect. Phentermine has an average rating of 8.7 out of 10 from a total of 2988 ratings on Drugs.com.What is the average 1 month weight loss on phentermine? ›
95% of patients who use Phentermine experience positive results, with an average weight loss between 4-8 pounds per month.Why do I feel so good on phentermine? ›
Phentermine suppresses appetite and increases your metabolic rate so you feel less hungry and burn more calories. It works by raising your noradrenaline levels which increases your sympathetic nervous system (“fight or flight”). There is a lot of variability in the older trials of Phentermine.What should you not mix with phentermine? ›
Do not use this medicine if you also take an MAO inhibitor (MAOI), such as isocarboxazid (Marplan®), phenelzine (Nardil®,), selegiline (Eldepryl®), or tranylcypromine (Parnate®), or if you have used an MAOI within the past 14 days. Using these medicines together may cause serious unwanted effects.Why am I losing weight so fast on phentermine? ›
Phentermine may help lower your appetite, so people who take phentermine tend to eat less. This can lead to an energy deficit (meaning you are burning more calories than you are eating) and potential weight loss.How much weight can you lose in one month with Wegovy? ›
In clinical trials, Wegovy was shown to reduce body weight in people with body mass indexes, or BMIs, of 27 or greater by around 15% over 68 weeks. People on average lost about an eighth of that weight in the first month.What are the results of phentermine after 3 months? ›
Phentermine results in a weight loss of 3% to 5% after three months, and 5-7% after six months. Some people experience even greater weight loss than this. The combination of phentermine-topiramate had the highest chance of losing at least 5 percent of the initial body weight, compared to the other drugs.How fast do you start losing weight on semaglutide? ›
While taking semaglutide, some people begin to see results within the first eight weeks, but most begin to see results within 12 weeks. Clinical trials have shown that study participants taking a weekly dose of semaglutide had an average reduction in body weight of 5-10 percent.What kind of weight loss medication is most effective? ›
Phentermine is one of the most effective weight loss medications. However, it is only indicated for short-term use. The GLP-1 agonists liraglutide (Saxenda) and semaglutide (Wegovy) are also approved for weight loss and have been shown to be particularly effective.Does Wegovy cause hair loss? ›
Hair loss is not listed as a side effect of Ozempic, but in clinical trials for Wegovy, 3% of people reported hair loss, compared to 1% of people who got a placebo.
Eating protein-rich foods while taking Wegovy is important. Protein is an essential nutrient your body needs for growth, repair, and maintenance of tissues in your body. Eating protein-rich foods such as lean meats, legumes, poultry, tofu, and fish can help maintain your lean muscle mass while you lose weight.What kind of diet should I be on while taking Wegovy? ›
For someone taking Wegovy, a good diet plan includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. These foods provide the body with necessary nutrients, fiber, and energy to function correctly.Will doctors prescribe Wegovy for weight loss? ›
“For prescribing Wegovy for weight loss, a person must have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or greater. It's also approved for use in people with a BMI of 27 or greater, who have an accompanying overweight- or obesity-related condition, such as high blood pressure or sleep apnea,” Dr. Dominguez says.What is the King Kong of weight loss drugs? ›
Tirzepatide: The 'King Kong of Weight Loss Drugs'
The drug, sold under the brand name Mounjaro by the pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly, was originally meant to treat diabetes.
- Count calories. ...
- Drink more water. ...
- Increase your protein intake. ...
- Reduce your refined carb consumption. ...
- Start lifting weights. ...
- Eat more fiber. ...
- Follow a sleep schedule. ...
- Set reasonable goals and stay accountable.
The research concluded that within 2 weeks, around 90% of patients lost over 5% of body weight and more than 50% noticed a 10% weight reduction overall. In conclusion, they stated the short-term trial of phentermine has a more impressive profile of the results than long-term treatment.What are the weird side effects with Wegovy? ›
The most common side effects of Wegovy® may include: nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, constipation, stomach (abdomen) pain, headache, tiredness (fatigue), upset stomach, dizziness, feeling bloated, belching, gas, stomach flu, heartburn, and runny nose or sore throat.Does anyone gain weight on Wegovy? ›
Many people gain the weight back. Drugs like Wegovy and Ozempic lower a person's appetite to help with weight loss, but experts say the weight can come back if they're no longer used.