What is your current activity level?
🧍‍♂️Sedentary
🚶 Moderately active
🏃 Very active
This will help us personalize your experience
Blog
>

The Best Ozempic Alternatives to Consider

Published on
Updated on
The Best Ozempic Alternatives to Consider

Table of Contents

Key Takeaways

  • Ozempic (semaglutide) is a prescription GLP-1 agonist medication that is used to lower blood sugar levels.
  • Many people who take Ozempic also experience weight loss, although it is not FDA-approved for this purpose. 
  • Other GLP-1 agonists that are alternatives to Ozempic include Byetta, Victoza, Tanzeum, Trulicity, and Mounjaro.

Ozempic is a medication used to manage type 2 diabetes in adults.

GLP-1 agonists help decrease a person’s blood sugar levels and lower their A1C (the average blood sugar levels over the last three months).

The medication also protects against cardiovascular events such as heart attack and stroke in people who have diabetes and heart disease

Ozempic is not the only medication in its class.

Several other GLP-1 agonists exist which help manage blood sugar and sometimes encourage weight loss. 

Read on to learn more about Ozempic and other alternative GLP-1 agonist medications.

{{splash}}

What Is Ozempic?

Ozempic is a prescription medication that works alongside lifestyle and dietary changes to keep blood sugar in a healthy range for people with type 2 diabetes.

It comes from the class of glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) agonists. 

GLP-1 agonists have several mechanisms of action in the body. They work by: 

  • Decreasing the number of hormones the liver releases to control blood sugar.
  • Slowing the rate at which food leaves the stomach during digestion.
  • Stimulating the pancreas to release insulin when blood sugar levels start to increase.

Ozempic is a once-weekly medication that you self-inject into your upper arm, thigh, or abdomen.

You can take it with or without food, and it’s important to take it at the same time each week.

People who take Ozempic also tend to experience weight loss.

A 2022 study of 175 people taking semaglutide, the active ingredient in Ozempic, showed an average weight loss of 5.9% at three months and 10.9% at six months of their starting weight.

During clinical trials, participants taking Ozempic lost an average of 8—14 lbs

Side Effects of Ozempic

According to the prescribing information, Ozempic has several side effects.

These may be intense when first starting the medication, but they should decrease over time while your body adjusts. People starting Ozempic take a smaller dose that gradually increases over time.

The most common side effects of Ozempic include nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting.

Redness at the injection site is another common side effect. 

Serious side effects may include:

  • Hypoglycemia: Low blood sugar levels, which can lead to feeling faint, cold, and clammy skin.
  • Allergic reaction: Itching, rash, swelling of the face, mouth, tongue, or throat, trouble breathing or swallowing.
  • Pancreatitis: Inflammation of the pancreas with symptoms of mid-abdominal pain that may spread to the back with or without vomiting.
  • Gallbladder disease: Upper stomach pain, fever, rapid heartbeat, yellowing of the eyes or skin, clay-colored stools.
  • Diabetic retinopathy complications: Damage to delicate blood vessels, which results in vision changes.
  • Acute kidney injury: Swelling of the legs, ankles, or feet, decreased urination.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) assigns  “black box” warnings to medications to alert patients and medical professionals to a serious possible side effect.

Ozempic has a black box warning for the possible increased risk of thyroid tumors. 

During clinical trials, mice and rats experienced more thyroid tumors while on Ozempic.

Currently, experts do not know if this risk applies to humans. 

Speak to your doctor about Ozempic if you have a personal or family history of thyroid cancer or multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2. 

Alternatives to Ozempic

Several other medications are also GLP-1 agonists and work similarly to Ozempic. 

It is important to note that all GLP-1 agonists have the same black box warning as Ozempic and are not appropriate for everyone. People with the following medical conditions should avoid taking GLP-1 agonists:

  • History of pancreatitis.
  • Kidney failure.
  • Type 1 diabetes.
  • Breastfeeding or pregnant.
  • Diabetic ketoacidosis.
  • Multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN 2).
  • Family or personal history of medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC).

At this time, all GLP-1 agonist medications are brand-name medications.

No generic versions are currently available.

The cost of brand-name medication can be high.

However, there are ways to help decrease the cost.

Coupons are available online, and some manufacturers have programs people can apply to when they need help paying for their prescriptions. 

{{splash}}

Byetta

Byetta (exenatide) is an immediate-release GLP-1 agonist.

It differs from Ozempic in that it is taken twice daily, 60 minutes prior to the morning or evening meal or the two main meals of the day.

Byetta was the first medication of its kind in the GLP-1 agonist class. 

Byetta can be taken in conjunction with other 2 diabetes medications, such as metformin.

Always discuss all your medications with your doctor.

It is important to continue monitoring blood sugar levels daily and A1C twice a year while taking Byetta.

Common side effects include nausea, vomiting, indigestion, and changes to bowel movements.

Pros of Byetta:

  • Helps control blood sugar.
  • Can be taken with other diabetes medications other than short-acting insulins.
  • Helps with weight loss.
  • May reduce the risk of cardiovascular events.

Cons of Byetta:

  • Twice daily injection.
  • Can make birth control pills less effective.
  • Not approved for people under age 18.
  • Can cause hypoglycemia.

Victoza

Victoza (liraglutide) is a once-daily injection.

It differs from Ozempic in that the FDA approves Victoza for children with type 2 diabetes over ten years of age and adults with type 2 diabetes.

During clinical trials, participants taking liraglutide lost an average of 8.1–11.6 pounds between 5–16 weeks. 

Common side effects include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, decreased appetite, and constipation.

Victoza may also cause your heart rate to increase. 

Pros of Victoza:

  • Approved for adults and kids 10 and over.
  • Helps control blood sugar.
  • Reduces appetite.
  • May reduce the risk of cardiovascular events.

Cons of Victoza:

  • Daily injection.
  • May cause blood sugar to drop too low. 
  • Possible large out-of-pocket cost.

{{local}}

Trulicity

Trulicity (dulaglutide) is a GLP-1 agonist for adults with type 2 diabetes to take as a once-weekly injection.

50–60% of participants in clinical trials lowered their A1C to below 7%.

They also lost an average of ten pounds. However, this medication is not a FDA-cleareda weight loss medication.

Common side effects include nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal pain.

Pros of Trulicity:

  • Once-weekly injection.
  • Helps lower A1C to below 7%.
  • Helps with weight loss.

Cons of Trulity:

  • Several side effects.
  • May be cost-prohibitive.
  • Can cause hypoglycemia.

Tanzeum

Tanzeum (albiglutide) is a once-weekly injection that helps adults manage blood glucose alongside lifestyle changes.

Clinical trial testing found it to be safe as monotherapy or in combination with other medications such as insulin glargine, metformin, and thiazolidinedione.

Common side effects include upper respiratory tract infection, nausea, diarrhea, and injection site reaction. 

Pros of Tanzeum:

  • Once-weekly injection.
  • Helps with blood sugar management.
  • Assists with weight loss.

Cons of Tanzeum:

  • Not safe during pregnancy or while breastfeeding.
  • May cause low blood sugar.

Mounjaro

Mounjaro (tirzepatide) is a once-weekly injection medication for adults with type 2 diabetes.

It is a newer GLP-1 agonist, and clinical trials show it helps decrease blood sugar levels.

Many participants in the trials lost 20% of their starting weight.

Because of this, some doctors prescribe Mounjaro as a weight loss medication.

However, this is an off-label use as the FDA has not given approval as a weight loss medication.

The FDA is currently reviewing it as a possible weight-loss medication.

Common side effects include nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, and constipation.

Pros of Mounjaro:

  • Helps with weight loss.
  • Blood sugar management.
  • Convenient once-weekly injection.

Cons of Mounjaro:

  • May cause nausea or vomiting.
  • Newer medication.

Metformin

Metformin has a long history of helping with blood sugar management for people with type 2 diabetes.

It’s an oral medication that you may take once or twice daily.

Metformin is known as being a first-line treatment for people who are showing signs of type 2 diabetes or who already have type 2 diabetes.

It differs a bit from Ozempic in that it will not give you the added weight loss benefits Ozempic has.

People who take metformin may or may not experience slight weight loss. 

Pros of Metformin:

  • Tablet medication.
  • Cost effective.
  • Safe and effective track record.
  • May be safe for children over 10.

Cons of Metformin:

  • Must be taken daily.
  • May cause some nausea or other side effects.

{{splash}}

Are There Non-Medicine Alternatives to Ozempic?

It may be difficult to find a non-medicine alternative if you have type 2 diabetes and need help with blood sugar management.

However, some people can get their blood sugar controlled through diet and exercise. This needs to be done under the direction and supervision of your doctor. 

If you are looking for a non-medicine alternative for weight loss, there are options.

Remember that healthy weight loss takes time and commitment. Taking these approaches is generally less costly and may not have side effects. 

The basic keys to weight management come down to how you eat and your level of physical activity.

Focus on eating a balanced diet of vegetables, fruits, lean meats, and healthy fats.

Eating this way will help you feel satiated, which may help decrease mindless snacking.

Getting at least 30 minutes a day of moderate-intensity exercise is also key.

Exercise helps your body burn excess energy and increase lean muscle, which helps boost your metabolism.

A dietitian can be a valuable resource for helping you manage your weight.

They take a personalized approach and can offer meal planning guidance based on your health and personal preference needs. 

{{splash}}

Supplements For Weight Loss

Several companies claim to make supplements to help you lose weight.

Before trying one of those, understand there is little science backing their claims, and it’s important to discuss this with your primary care provider or dietitian. They are also not typically FDA-approved. 

Several supplements that may help with modest weight loss include:

  • Caffeine.
  • African mango.
  • Carnitine.
  • Green coffee bean extract.
  • Pyruvate.
  • White kidney bean.

Who Might Need an Alternative to Ozempic?

There are several reasons why you may want an alternative to Ozempic.

If You Have a Medical Condition

People with certain medical conditions should avoid using Ozempic or any other GLP-1 medications. These include:

If You’re Pregnant or Breastfeeding

Ozempic and other GLP-1 medications are not approved for people who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

It is currently unclear if the medication could cause harm to the baby. 

The Price Isn’t Within Your Budget

Currently, there are no generic options for Ozempic and other GLP-1 medications.

Because of this, they can be quite expensive.

Your out-of-pocket costs may be extremely high if you do not have insurance coverage for this medication.  

You Don’t Like Needles

If you are one of those people who can’t stand the thought (or sight) of needles, Ozempic may not be the best choice for you.

Ozempic and most of the other GLP-1 medications are injection medications. 

However, for Ozempic, the injection is only once weekly.

Some people who do not like needles may be able to handle a once-weekly injection, while others cannot.

This comes down to personal preference. 

{{local}}

You’re Concerned About the Potential Side Effects 

Ozempic has several side effects that can cause some discomfort.

The most common side effects include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, and stomach pain.

However, these side effects were not too common among clinical study participants, and most of the time the side effects go away within several days. 

To help your body adjust to the medication, your doctor will start you on a smaller dose and slowly work your way up to the therapeutic dose over several weeks. 

Where Can I Get Alternatives to Ozempic?

Where you find an alternative to Ozempic depends on what type of alternative you are looking for. 

If you want to try another GLP-1 medication, talk with your doctor.

Your doctor can review the pros and cons of each medication and how it may affect your current health conditions. 

If you are seeking a more natural approach, talk with a dietitian for a personalized holistic approach. 

In terms of weight loss supplements, there are many options available online or in health food stores.

However, it’s important to approach those with caution as they are not under the strict approval guidelines of the FDA. Keep in mind that many natural supplements may also interact with any medications you take.

It’s best to consult with your doctor before starting any supplements. 

Takeaways

Ozempic is used for better blood sugar control in people with type 2 diabetes. T

his once-weekly injection is a convenient way to improve blood sugar levels, lower A1C, and possibly experience weight loss.

Ozempic works alongside lifestyle and dietary changes. 

Other GLP-1 agonists work the same way and can help keep blood sugar in a healthy range. 

There are several non-medicinal alternatives to Ozempic that can include diet changes, getting exercise, or taking a supplement.

Before making any changes, it’s important to consult with your doctor.

How a Dietitian Can Help You Reach Your Weight Goals

A weight loss registered dietitian can help you manage your weight and give you personalized recommendations so you can make sustainable lifestyle changes. 

Find a dietitian near you that accepts insurance using Nourish.

Frequently Asked Questions

References

View all references
Nourish has strict sourcing policies and prioritizes primary sources, including medical organizations, governmental agencies, academic institutions, and peer-reviewed scientific journals. Learn more about our medical review process and editorial guidelines.

See a Registered Dietitian with Nourish

  • Covered by insurance
  • Virtual sessions
  • Personalized care
Schedule an appointment

Frequently asked questions

No items found.

Find a virtual dietitian in {State}

Find a dietitian near you

Covered by insurance.
Question 1

Are you more thirsty than usual?

Question 1

Are you urinating more than usual?

Question 1

Is your blood sugar level consistently high?

Question 1

Do you experience extreme hunger or fatigue?

Question 1

Do you have blurry vision or numbness and tingling in your hands and feet?

Question 1

Do you experience frequent infections or slow-healing wounds?

Question 1

Do you have a family history of diabetes?

Your Result

Your results are in!

While you don’t seem to be at risk for prediabetes or type 2 diabetes based on this quiz, please contact your healthcare provider with any concerns. If you want to learn more about diet and lifestyle changes with diabetes, find a registered dietitian covered by insurance with Nourish.

Your Result

Your results are in!

You should seek guidance from your healthcare provider about the possibility of prediabetes or type 2 diabetes.

If you want to learn more about diet and lifestyle changes with diabetes, find a registered dietitian covered by insurance with Nourish.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Charleston
SC
South Carolina
32.7884363, -79.9399309
Paterson
NJ
New Jersey
40.916611, -74.172188
Palmdale
CA
California
34.576469, -118.116096
Lancaster
CA
California
34.697472, -118.144524
Murfreesboro
TN
Tennessee
35.845619, -86.390266
Santa Rosa
CA
California
38.547134, -122.816383
Eugene
OR
Oregon
44.052151, -123.091187
Shreveport
LA
Louisiana
32.523659, -93.763504
Clarksville
TN
Tennessee
36.527279, -87.360336
Cary
NC
North Carolina
35.7882893, -78.7812081
Salem
OR
Oregon
44.944099, -123.040283
Newport News
VA
Virginia
37.087082, -76.473015
Chattanooga
TN
Tennessee
35.0457219, -85.3094883
Akron
OH
Ohio
41.0842496, -81.6777863
Providence
RI
Rhode Island
41.823990, -71.412834
Tallahassee
FL
Florida
30.438255, -84.280731
Peoria
AZ
Arizona
33.7528919, -112.4902079
Sioux Falls
SD
South Dakota
43.536388, -96.731667
Yonkers
NY
New York
40.930790, -73.898293
Fayetteville
NC
North Carolina
35.052666, -78.878357
Rochester
NY
New York
43.156578, -77.608849
McKinney
TX
Texas
33.214561, -96.614456
Moreno Valley
CA
California
33.920891, -117.261162
Fremont
CA
California
37.548271, -121.988571
Frisco
TX
Texas
33.150673, -96.823608
Spokane
WA
Washington
47.658779, -117.426048
Boise
ID
Idaho
43.6008183, -116.2421086
Port St. Lucie
FL
Florida
27.273270, -80.342148
Irving
TX
Texas
32.814018, -96.948891
Winston-Salem
NC
North Carolina
36.096260, -80.243736
St. Petersburg
FL
Florida
27.773056, -82.639999
Laredo
TX
Texas
27.507130, -99.507500
Jersey City
NJ
New Jersey
,
Buffalo
NY
New York
42.8867166, -78.8783922
St. Louis
MO
Missouri
38.627003, -90.199402
Chandler
AZ
Arizona
33.3062031, -111.841185
Durham
NC
North Carolina
35.994034, -78.898621
Lincoln
NE
Nebraska
40.806862, -96.681679
Pittsburgh
PA
Pennsylvania
40.440624, -79.995888
Greensboro
NC
North Carolina
36.072701, -79.793900
St. Paul
MN
Minnesota
44.954445, -93.091301
Newark
NJ
New Jersey
40.735657, -74.172363
Lexington
KY
Kentucky
38.040585, -84.503716
Stockton
CA
California
37.957703, -121.290779
Honolulu
HI
Hawaii
21.306944, -157.858337
Cleveland
OH
Ohio
41.499321, -81.694359
Arlington
TX
Texas
32.7355816, -97.1071186
Oakland
CA
California
37.804363, -122.271111
Long Beach
CA
California
33.770050, -118.193741
Raleigh
NC
North Carolina
35.779591, -78.638176
Omaha
NE
Nebraska
41.256538, -95.934502
Colorado Springs
CO
Colorado
38.833881, -104.821365
Fresno
CA
California
36.737797, -119.787125
Albuquerque
NM
New Mexico
35.084385, -106.650421
Memphis
TN
Tennessee
35.117500, -89.971107
Washington DC
WA DC
Washington, DC
38.889805, -77.009056
Las Vegas
NV
Nevada
36.169941, -115.139832
Seattle
WA
Washington
47.606209, -122.332069
Charlotte
NC
North Carolina
35.2272086, -80.8430827
Sacramento
CA
California
38.590576, -121.489906
Richmond
VA
Virginia
37.540726, -77.436050
Surprise
AZ
Arizona
33.629002, -112.330170
Mesa
AZ
Arizona
33.415184, -111.831474
Louisville
KY
Kentucky
38.252666, -85.758453
Des Moines
IA
Iowa
41.586834, -93.624962
Lakewood
CO
Colorado
39.704708, -105.081375
Kansas City
KS
Kansas
39.112701, -94.626801
Reno
NV
Nevada
39.529633, -119.813805
Tacoma
WA
Washington
47.258728, -122.465973
Aurora
CO
Colorado
39.7405111, -104.830994
Oxnard
CA
California
34.197659, -119.175949
Amarillo
TX
Texas
35.221996, -101.831299
Henderson
NV
Nevada
36.039524, -114.981720
Vancouver
WA
Washington
45.633331, -122.599998
Gilbert
AZ
Arizona
33.352825, -111.789024
San Bernardino
CA
California
34.115784, -117.302399
Columbus
GA
Georgia
27.800583, -97.396378
Hayward
CA
California
37.668819, -122.080795
Milwaukee
WI
Wisconsin
43.038902, -87.906471
Lubbock
TX
Texas
33.576698, -101.855072
Norfolk
VA
Virginia
36.850769, -76.285873
Tulsa
OK
Oklahoma
36.153980, -95.992775
Garland
TX
Texas
32.914341, -96.636559
Fort Lauderdale
FL
Florida
26.124161, -80.143593
Tucson
AZ
Arizona
32.248814, -110.987419
Salt Lake City
UT
Utah
40.760780, -111.891045
Corona
CA
California
33.875670, -117.568840
Madison
WI
Wisconsin
43.073051, -89.401230
Huntsville
AL
Alabama
34.7014286, -86.6597495
Kansas City
MO
Missouri
39.099728, -94.578568
Irvine
CA
California
33.684566, -117.826508
Chula Vista
CA
California
32.640072, -117.084038
Denton
TX
Texas
33.215530, -97.132446
Aurora
IL
Illinois
41.7571701, -88.3147539
Baton Rouge
LA
Louisiana
30.4494155, -91.1869659
Columbus
OH
Ohio
39.961178, -82.998795
Baltimore
MD
Maryland
39.2908816, -76.610759
Detroit
MI
Michigan
42.331429, -83.045753
Chesapeake
VA
Virginia
36.7183708, -76.2466798
Atlanta
GA
Georgia
33.7489924, -84.3902644
Birmingham
AL
Alabama
33.5206824, -86.8024326
Scottsdale
AZ
Arizona
33.501324, -111.925278
Cincinnati
OH
Ohio
39.103700, -84.513610
North Las Vegas
NV
Nevada
36.201946, -115.120216
Riverside
CA
California
33.980602, -117.375496
Plano
TX
Texas
33.019844, -96.698883
Minneapolis
MN
Minnesota
44.977753, -93.265015
Salinas
CA
California
,
Anaheim
CA
California
33.836594, -117.914299
Springfield
MO
Missouri
37.208958, -93.292297
Fort Wayne
IN
Indiana
41.077469, -85.137489
Phoenix
AZ
Arizona
33.448376, -112.074036
Bakersfield
CA
California
35.3738712, -119.0194639
Garden Grove
CA
California
33.774269, -117.937996
Anchorage
AK
Alaska
61.2163129, -149.894852
Indianapolis
IN
Indiana
39.768402, -86.158066
Nashville
TN
Tennessee
36.162663, -86.781601
Tempe
AZ
Arizona
33.425522, -111.941254
Mobile
AL
Alabama
30.695366, -88.039894
New Orleans
LA
Louisiana
29.951065, -90.071533
Knoxville
TN
Tennessee
35.960636, -83.920738
Grand Rapids
MI
Michigan
42.963360, -85.668083
Fontana
CA
California
34.102890, -117.435760
Elk Grove
CA
California
38.418129, -121.393257
Cape Coral
FL
Florida
26.5625742, -81.9438802
Grand Prairie
TX
Texas
32.745499, -97.003532
Fort Collins
CO
Colorado
40.588970, -105.082458
Killeen
TX
Texas
31.117119, -97.727798
Modesto
CA
California
37.639095, -120.996880
Oklahoma City
OK
Oklahoma
35.468491, -97.521263
Santa Ana
CA
California
33.745571, -117.867836
Ontario
CA
California
34.063343, -117.650887
Brownsville
TX
Texas
25.9015688, -97.4984005
Montgomery
AL
Alabama
32.379223, -86.307739
Hialeah
FL
Florida
25.857595, -80.278107
Springfield
MA
Massachusetts
42.102051, -72.585762
Toledo
OH
Ohio
41.652805, -83.537865
Pembroke Pines
FL
Florida
26.007765, -80.296257
Overland Park
KS
Kansas
38.974819, -94.683601
Little Rock
AR
Arkansas
34.746483, -92.289597
Glendale
CA
California
34.142509, -118.255074
Roseville
CA
California
38.752125, -121.288010
Wichita
KS
Kansas
37.687176, -97.330055
Huntington Beach
CA
California
33.659485, -117.998802
Augusta
GA
Georgia
33.4709714, -81.9748429
Worcester
MA
Massachusetts
42.271389, -71.798889
Virginia Beach
VA
Virginia
36.852924, -75.977982
Oceanside
CA
California
33.1958696, -117.3794834
Santa Clarita
CA
California
34.456043, -118.571335
Philadelphia
PA
Pennsylvania
39.952583, -75.165222
Corpus Christi
TX
Texas
27.800583, -97.396378
Portland
OR
Oregon
45.512230, -122.658722
Denver
CO
Colorado
39.739235, -104.990250
Boston
MA
Massachusetts
42.3554334, -71.060511
Atlanta
GA
Georgia
33.7489924, -84.3902644
Chicago
IL
Illinois
41.8755616, -87.6244212
Orlando
FL
Florida
28.538336, -81.379234
Jacksonville
FL
Florida
30.332184, -81.655647
Tampa
FL
Florida
27.950575, -82.457176
Long Island
NY
New York
40.757801, -73.940033
Queens
NY
New York
40.728226, -73.794853
Bronx
NY
New York
40.8466508, -73.8785937
Staten Island
NY
New York
40.643501, -74.076202
Brooklyn
NY
New York
40.6526006, -73.9497211
New York
NY
New York
40.712776, -74.005974
San Jose
CA
California
37.342205, -121.851990
San Francisco
CA
California
37.774929, -122.419418
San Diego
CA
California
32.834686, -117.130775
Los Angeles
CA
California
34.052235, -118.243683
El Paso
TX
Texas
31.761877, -106.485023
San Antonio
TX
Texas
29.387428, -98.496574
Dallas
TX
Texas
32.776665, -96.796989
Fort Worth
TX
Texas
32.755489, -97.330765
Houston
TX
Texas
29.760427, -95.369804
Austin
TX
Texas
30.2711286, -97.7436995

Book an appointment with a {category} dietitian

Covered by insurance.

Book an appointment with an online dietitian

Covered by insurance.

Find a

dietitian covered by insurance

No items found.
Weight loss medication
Mental Health
Intuitive Eating