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.
Wegovy and phentermine are prescription medications used for weight loss. Wegovy was approved in 2021, becoming one of the newest weight loss drugs on the market. Phentermine was first FDA-approved in 1959 and is one of the oldest weight loss medications available today.
There are many differences between the two medications, including side effects, how they work, and intended duration of use. If you’re interested in taking weight loss medication, it’s important to speak with your healthcare provider about your health and weight loss goals to determine which, if either, is the best option.
Read on to learn more about Wegovy and phentermine, including side effects, drug interactions, dosage, and more.
What is Wegovy?
Wegovy is a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) containing the active compound semaglutide. Wegovy gained FDA approval in 2021, becoming the first FDA-approved weight loss medication since 2014.
Wegovy contains a higher dose of semaglutide than the other available semaglutide GLP-1 medication, Ozempic—a medication primarily indicated for treating type 2 diabetes. Wegovy is an injectable medication taken once weekly and intended to treat overweight and obesity.
Wegovy is only approved for certain individuals—people with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or greater or with a BMI of 27 or greater who also have a metabolic health condition, like type 2 diabetes or hypertension. It’s taken alongside behavioral modifications like diet and exercise to help promote weight loss.
How does Wegovy work?
Wegovy, like all GLP-1s, works by mimicking the effect of the GLP-1 naturally produced by the gastrointestinal tract. This effect helps improve insulin production, slow stomach emptying, reduce appetite, lower the amount of sugar produced in the liver, and decrease muscle insulin sensitivity. Because Wegovy contains high doses of semaglutide, it crosses the blood-brain barrier more effectively, which helps increase total weight loss.
If prescribed Wegovy, your provider will start you on a low dose of the medication and gradually increase your dosage over 16-20 weeks. The highest dose available is 2.4 mg per week.
What is Phentermine?
Phentermine is a short-term prescription medication used to decrease appetite. It’s typically used alongside a low-calorie diet and exercise to promote weight loss. Phentermine is not intended for long-term use—it’s meant to jumpstart weight loss and help people lose a significant amount of weight quickly. Most people take the medication for 3-6 weeks, but it’s approved for up to 12 weeks.
Weight loss usually stops when the medication is discontinued. In some cases, people may gain weight back after stopping the medication.
How does phentermine work?
Phentermine supports weight loss by decreasing appetite. It’s usually taken as a single daily dose in tablet form in the morning or three times daily 30 minutes before meals.
Wegovy vs. Phentermine: How Do They Compare?
There are some significant differences to consider when comparing Wegovy and phentermine.
Wegovy has been found to help people lose an average of 6-12% of their body weight. Research also suggests that semaglutide, the active ingredient in Wegovy, can help improve metabolic health and lower the rate of cardiovascular death, non-fatal heart attacks, and non-fatal stroke in people with type 2 diabetes at high risk of cardiovascular disease.
Phentermine has been shown to successfully help people lose weight quickly. One study of almost 800 obese patients found 45.6% of those taking phentermine lost 5% or more of their body weight. The mean weight loss was around 4 kilograms (about 8 pounds). A long-term controlled trial of phentermine took place in 1968 and found that people who took phentermine for one year lost approximately 13% of their initial weight.
Both Wegovy and phentermine can cause side effects. The most common side effects of Wegovy are gastrointestinal, including:
- Abdominal pain
The most common side effects of phentermine include:
- Dry mouth
- Unpleasant taste
The cost of each medication varies depending on several factors, including your insurance coverage and the pharmacy you use. The pricing at pharmacies often varies, so it’s important to compare prices at different pharmacies in your area.
Without insurance, Wegovy can cost over $1,500 per month. With coverage, you may pay as little as $25 per month. Phentermine may cost as little as $8.60 per month with insurance. Companies like GoodRx and SingleCare offer coupons that can help lower the cost.
Both medications are approved by the FDA and have passed FDA safety standards. However, it’s important to talk to your healthcare provider before starting either medication, as they may not be suitable for everyone.
Wegovy should not be taken by people with a personal or family history of medullary thyroid cancer (a rare and primarily genetic type of thyroid cancer) or people with a rare condition called multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN 2).
Phentermine can be habit-forming and should be taken under a healthcare provider’s supervision. It’s also not recommended for people with heart disease, high blood pressure, an overactive thyroid gland, glaucoma, or for people who are pregnant or breastfeeding. It’s important to tell your provider about any other prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) medications you’re currently taking before starting either Wegovy or phentermine.
Which Weight Loss Medication is Right For Me?
Wegovy and phentermine can help people lose weight. However, they work in different ways and have different side effects. It’s important to talk to your healthcare provider before starting either medication to ensure it’s right for you.
Wegovy is best for those who want to lose a significant amount of weight and improve their metabolic health. Behavioral modifications are essential to treatment with Wegovy, and you’ll need to be committed to changing your diet, exercise habits, and stress management.
Phentermine is best for those who want to kickstart their weight loss journey and lose a few pounds quickly. Phentermine is not meant as a long-term solution, and you may need to take it for only a few weeks or months before tapering off.
If you’re struggling to lose weight on your own, medication may help. Wegovy and phentermine are two options that can boost weight loss. However, these medications are not for everyone and have potential side effects. Talk to your healthcare provider about which weight loss medication is right for you.
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Frequently Asked Questions
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 medication is comparable to Wegovy?
Wegovy is a type of medication called glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1). It contains the active compound semaglutide. Another GLP-1 medication that contains semaglutide is called Ozempic, but it contains smaller doses of semaglutide and is primarily used as a medication for type 2 diabetes. Examples of other GLP-1s include liraglutide (Saxenda) and dulaglutide (Trulicity).
How much weight can you lose on Wegovy?
According to clinical trial results cited by the FDA, people who take Wegovy lose an average of 6-12% of their body weight.
What are the risks of GLP-1 agonists for weight loss?
For most people who meet the BMI and health criteria for taking GLP-1s for weight loss, the medications are generally safe to use. The most common side effects are gastrointestinal, including nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. However, people with a personal or family history of medullary thyroid cancer (a rare and primarily genetic type of thyroid cancer) and people with a rare condition called multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN 2) should not take GLP-1s.
K Health articles are all written and reviewed by MDs, PhDs, NPs, or PharmDs and are for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute and should not be relied on for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment.
K Health has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We avoid using tertiary references.
FDA Approves New Drug Treatment for Chronic Weight Management, First Since 2014. (2021.)
Pharmacological Treatment of Overweight and Obesity in Adults. (2021.)
Postmarketing Surveillance Study of the Efficacy and Safety of Phentermine in Patients with Obesity. (2013.)
Updates About Wegovy. (2022.)
Wegovy (semaglutide): a new weight loss drug for chronic weight management. (2022.)
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.Which is better for weight loss semaglutide or phentermine? ›
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.What weight loss medicine is better than phentermine? ›
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.What is the safest weight loss injection? ›
Botox injections are typically safe and without risk of serious side effects when used for weight loss.What kind of weight loss medication is most effective? ›
Some popular examples of weight loss pills are Contrave (naltrexone/bupropion), Qsymia (phentermine/topiramate ER), and phentermine (Adipex-P). Some clinical studies suggest that Qsymia is the most effective weight loss pill.Is Wegovy more effective than phentermine? ›
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.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).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.What is the closest alternative 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.
Ozempic has an average rating of 5.9 out of 10 from a total of 953 ratings on Drugs.com. 44% 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 2987 ratings on Drugs.com.
The story so far: The dramatic weight loss of Kim and Khloe Kardashian and other celebrities has been rumoured to be the work of an injectable drug, Ozempic, that's been called 'Hollywood's worst kept secret'.How much weight can you lose in a 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.Which weight loss injection is more effective? ›
The results showed that semaglutide was more effective at weight loss (15.8% body weight loss) than liraglutide (6.4% body weight loss) Semaglutide was also better tolerated than liraglutide, with fewer participants discontinuing treatment due to side effects, but GI-related issues were common in both groups.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.
Tirzepatide, an Eli Lilly and Co. drug approved to treat type 2 diabetes under the brand name Mounjaro, helped people with the disease who were overweight or had obesity lose up to 16% of their body weight, or more than 34 pounds, over nearly 17 months, the company said on Thursday.What weight loss medication works the fastest? ›
- PhenQ - Best for Losing More Than 30 lbs.
- Trimtone - Best Appetite Suppressant.
- PhenGold - Best Metabolism Booster.
- Phen24 - Best for Women.
- PrimeShred - Best for Men.
Patients taking Wegovy lost an average of 35 lbs (15.9 kg), or about 15% of their body weight compared to 6 lbs (2.7 kg), or roughly 2.5% body weight in the placebo group. Overall, after 68 weeks, 83% of adults taking Wegovy lost 5% or more of their weight compared to 31% of adults taking a placebo.Will I gain weight if I stop 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 weight loss shot is comparable to Wegovy? ›
Wegovy (semaglutide) and Saxenda (liraglutide) are both injectable medications FDA-approved for weight loss. Wegovy is injected once weekly. Saxenda is injected once daily.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.
Phentermine 37.5 continuous use for 6 months could reduce 5-7% body weight, while some people witnessed more value than this. A person who weighed around 200 pounds, he/she could lose 10-14 pounds with phentermine within 90 days time frame.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.Who is phentermine not good for? ›
Phentermine is one of the most prescribed weight-loss medicines. But it isn't a good choice for people with heart disease, high blood pressure, an overactive thyroid gland or glaucoma. It also isn't for people who are pregnant, may become pregnant or are breastfeeding.Does phentermine mess with your hormones? ›
Phentermine does not directly disrupt hormone balance or influence estrogen-like hormones. However, it might indirectly do so since a quick weight loss might make hormonal abnormalities more likely.How can I get phentermine without going to the doctor? ›
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.Is plenity the same as phentermine? ›
Plenity (cellulose and citric acid) and Qsymia (phentermine and topiramate extended-release) are used as adjuncts to a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity for chronic weight management in overweight and obese adults. Plenity and Qsymia belong to different drug classes.How to not gain weight after taking phentermine? ›
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.
- Ozempic. Ozempic (semaglutide) is a once-weekly injectable medication that helps control blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetes. ...
- Wegovy. ...
- Saxenda. ...
- Victoza. ...
- Byetta or Bydureon BCise. ...
- Trulicity. ...
If you are looking for a natural and affordable way to reduce excess weight, PhenQ is a cheaper and safer alternative to Wegovy and other Semaglutide injections for reducing body weight.Is there anything better than Ozempic for weight loss? ›
Mounjaro is a more effective drug than Ozempic. As demonstrated above, tirzepatide (the active ingredient in Mounjaro) leads to more clinically significant weight loss and blood sugar reductions than semaglutide (the active ingredient in Ozempic).
- PhenQ ~ Best Fat Burner, Fat Blocker and Appetite Suppressant. PhenQ is a nutritious weight reduction product that works exclusively in the most efficient manner for everyone. ...
- PhenGold. PhenGold is a weight reduction Ozempic Weight Loss Alternative and is both effective and beneficial. ...
- Trimtone. ...
- LeanBean. ...
- Prime Shred.
Billionaire Musk said he used Wegovy to keep in shape. Rumours swirled that reality TV star Kim Kardashian used the drug to fit into Marilyn Monroe's dress, which she has denied.What is the TikTok weight loss drug? ›
As a result, Ozempic has been touted on the Internet as a miracle diet drug. On TikTok, the hashtag #Ozempic already has over 600 million views and counting. Even Twitter's new boss, the billionaire Elon Musk, has credited Ozempic - alongside a similar drug, Wegovy - as one of the reasons he shed 13 kg.What is the TikTok weight loss medication? ›
TikTokers are ordering semaglutide - a medication used to treat diabetes- to try and unshed some unwanted pounds. Kaitlyn Brewster, with Any Lab Test Now, said snatching up meds containing semaglutide is not a good weight loss plan.Is Wegovy just an appetite suppressant? ›
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.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 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.Is Saxenda better than Mounjaro for weight loss? ›
Mounjaro® is more effective than Saxenda® at supporting weight loss and blood sugar reductions. However, Saxenda® seems to lead to fewer side effects and is better tolerated than Mounjaro® However, individuals will vary in their medication response, so choose the right one for you.What is the new weight loss shot? ›
The FDA approved Ozempic for people with diabetes in 2017 and approved Wegovy for people who have obesity or are overweight and have additional health problems in 2021.What not to eat on semaglutide? ›
Fried foods and fatty foods, such as fast food, and foods high in sugar tend to be the toughest for your body to digest and the most likely to cause nausea while taking a GLP-1 medication.
What is the most effective weight loss pill available? 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.What is the miracle drink for weight loss? ›
Apple Cider Vinegar: Apple cider vinegar is mostly famous for its weight loss benefits and is easy to make at home. Recipe: To make this drink, mix one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with one cup of warm water. Add a teaspoon of honey for better flavour and taste and consume it before your meals.What do the Chinese do to lose weight? ›
Acupuncture is a commonly used method for weight loss in China. For instance, acupuncture helps curb cravings, increase energy, and increase nutrient absorption. When the needles are inserted into certain vital points, they improve and restore the flow of life energy called “Qi”.What medication is similar to Wegovy? ›
- Saxenda (liraglutide) Like Wegovy, Saxenda (liraglutide) is a GLP-1 receptor agonist, so it works similarly and has similar gastrointestinal side effects. ...
- Other GLP-1 medications. ...
- Qsymia (phentermine/topiramate) ...
- Contrave (naltrexone/bupropion) ...
- Xenical (orlistat)
Wegovy is a higher-dose semaglutide injection approved for chronic weight management. The weight loss injection contains the same active ingredient as Ozempic, a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist, but in greater strengths of 2.4 mg, 1.7 mg and 1 mg for weight loss versus 0.5 mg and 1 mg for diabetes.What is the number one prescription for weight loss? ›
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 medications make weight loss harder? ›
Beta-blockers (prescribed for high blood pressure, and some heart conditions) Antidepressants such as amitriptyline (Elavil), imipramine (Norpramin), or trazodone (Desyrel) Hormone replacement therapy. Birth control pills.What's the difference between semaglutide and phentermine? ›
Phentermine causes weight loss primarily through the loss of appetite. Phentermine acts like more of stimulant. Semaglutide slows down the movement of the intestinal tract. Keeping food in the stomach longer keeps you full for longer.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 much weight does the average person lose on semaglutide? ›
After 68 weeks, half of the participants using semaglutide lost 15% of their body weight, and nearly a third lost 20%. Participants who incorporated only lifestyle changes lost about 2.4% of their weight. Since then, additional studies have shown similar results.
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.How long does it take to see results from 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.Which semaglutide is best for weight loss? ›
Ozempic for weight loss: which is better? In a clinical trial that compared weekly use of semaglutide 1 mg and 2.4 mg, semaglutide 2.4 mg (the maximum dose of Wegovy) caused more significant weight loss than semaglutide 1 mg (the typical maintenance dose of Ozempic) (Davies, 2021; Singh, 2022).Does semaglutide help with belly fat? ›
Semaglutide improves body composition by helping patients lose weight and reduce excess fat, including stubborn belly fat. It also increases the proportion of lean body mass. In general, the more weight you lose with semaglutide, the greater the improvements you'll see in your overall body composition across all areas.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 diet works best with Wegovy? ›
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.How much weight can you lose in 3 months on semaglutide? ›
At 3 months, 175 patients achieved a mean (SD) weight loss of 6.7 (4.4) kg, equivalent to a mean (SD) weight loss of 5.9% (3.7%) (P < . 001 from baseline). At 6 months, 102 patients had a mean (SD) weight loss of 12.3 (6.6) kg, equivalent to a mean (SD) weight loss of 10.9% (5.8%) (P < .Do you gain weight back after stopping semaglutide? ›
"This medication has led to significant amounts of weight loss, but when it stops, patients have reported gaining up to two-thirds of that weight back," Sutton said, citing published research.How much weight can you lose in 12 weeks on semaglutide? ›
In one study including 1306 patients taking semaglutide, 2.4 mg, weight loss of approximately 6% was achieved by week 12 and 12% was achieved by week 28. Our results reflect similar weight loss outcomes within the same period, particularly for patients taking doses of 1.7 mg and 2.4 mg.How do I get semaglutide for $25 a month? ›
If you have private or commercial insurance, such as insurance you receive through an employer, you may be eligible to pay as little as $25 for a 1-, 2-, or 3-month prescription (maximum savings of $150 per 1-month prescription, $300 per 2-month prescription, or $450 per 3-month prescription).
Semaglutide is an FDA-approved injectable weight loss medication. Compared to other medications on the market, it may help you lose more weight.Does semaglutide mess up your Metabolism? ›
Semaglutide improves postprandial glucose and lipid metabolism, and delays first-hour gastric emptying in subjects with obesity. Diabetes Obes Metab.