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Ozempic is a medication approved for the management of type 2 diabetes. It’s sometimes used off-label to support weight loss. The only way to get it is through a prescription from a licensed healthcare professional.

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Ozempic (semaglutide) is a prescription-only injectable medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat type 2 diabetes.

When used alongside a well-balanced diet and exercise routine, Ozempic can improve short- and long-term markers of blood sugar regulation, including fasting blood sugar and hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c).

Although Ozempic is not specifically designed to induce weight loss, studies show it’s effective in promoting weight loss in people with diabetes. This is why the medication has become popular among people who want to lose excess body fat.

This article explains the best ways to get Ozempic, both in person and online.

A note on getting Ozempic

Ozempic is FDA-approved only for people with type 2 diabetes, though doctors sometimes prescribe the medication off-label for weight loss. It’s ultimately up to a qualified healthcare professional to determine whether Ozempic is right for you.

Due to occasional supply chain issues, Ozempic may be difficult to obtain, and your healthcare professional may recommend an alternative.

Finally, because of concerns around safety, the FDA does not approve and warns against consuming compounded versions of injectable glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist medications, including tirzepatide and semaglutide.

It’s important to talk with a healthcare professional to ensure you’re receiving non-compounded, FDA-approved GLP-1 medications.

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Ozempic is a prescription-only medication. You must make an appointment with a licensed healthcare professional, either online or in person, to get it.

Whether your medical appointment is in person or online, a healthcare professional will evaluate your medical history and ask questions to determine whether Ozempic or another medication or intervention is the right choice for you.

If a healthcare professional prescribes Ozempic, you can fill your prescription at your local pharmacy or a reputable online pharmacy.

What to expect at your initial appointment

According to Janelle Duah, MD, assistant professor of medicine at Yale School of Medicine, “a comprehensive initial evaluation should include getting details about the person’s weight history, including different diets or medications tried, highest weight as an adult, lowest weight as an adult, current weight, and weight loss goals.”

She also notes people should expect to be asked about their:

  • typical diet
  • exercise regimen and physical activity level
  • stress level
  • sleep
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With a personalized, in-person health screening

An in-person consultation with a healthcare professional, such as your primary care physician, endocrinologist, or nurse practitioner, is the best way to assess your health needs and determine whether Ozempic is right for you.

If you have diabetes, your doctor may prescribe Ozempic to help manage your blood sugar levels.

If you don’t have diabetes but are interested in taking Ozempic for weight loss, you may be able to get an off-label prescription for Ozempic from a healthcare professional if they determine it’s safe and appropriate for your health needs.

Through telehealth services from companies or programs

Several telehealth platforms and online weight loss programs offer virtual medical evaluations for Ozempic treatment from U.S.-licensed healthcare professionals. However, it’s important to do your research and choose a reputable provider.

Here are three online options that passed our rigorous vetting process:

  • PlushCare: PlushCare offers doctor-led weight loss programs that include Ozempic and other weight loss medication prescriptions for eligible individuals. It stands out from other online options as the program is in network with most major insurance providers.
  • Sesame: Sesame is a telehealth platform that offers a variety of services, including virtual and in-person visits, for a wide range of health concerns. Depending on the healthcare professional, you may even be able to book a same-day appointment.
  • Calibrate: Calibrate is a comprehensive online weight loss program that combines one-on-one coaching, education, and prescription medication for a personalized and holistic approach to weight loss.

Getting a prescription online

Looking for more options? We rounded up the most reputable places you might consider getting Ozempic online.

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Semaglutide is the active ingredient in Ozempic. It’s classified as a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist. This means it works by activating receptors for GLP-1, a hormone that regulates blood sugar levels and appetite.

Ozempic is a weekly injection that works by increasing the production of the blood sugar–lowering hormone insulin, slowing digestion, and decreasing the production of glucose by the liver, all of which help lower blood sugar levels in people with diabetes.

Ozempic slows digestion and increases feelings of fullness, which may help encourage weight loss.

Learn more about how Ozempic works and its potential side effects in this related article.

The current list price for one Ozempic pen is $935.77. Each pen holds 1 month’s worth of medication.

However, your out-of-pocket monthly cost for Ozempic depends on your treatment plan, pharmacy, and insurance plan.

Does insurance cover it?

If you’re prescribed Ozempic for managing diabetes, then your insurance will likely cover the cost in full, depending on your plan.

However, if a healthcare professional prescribes Ozempic off-label for weight loss, insurance coverage is not guaranteed.

Ozempic is not FDA approved for weight loss, so it’s typically not covered by health insurance when used for that purpose. You’ll likely have to pay out of pocket if you’re using Ozempic to lose weight.

While you may be able to get some of the cost of Ozempic covered by submitting a request for coverage to your health insurance provider, most insurance companies do not cover off-label drugs.

Some companies, like Calibrate, also contact your health insurance provider to determine whether your plan covers Ozempic or other GLP-1 agonist medications for the purpose of weight loss.

Discounts may be available

Certain websites and medical practices offer discounted rates for Ozempic as well as special packages that allow you to prepay for several months’ worth of Ozempic injections at a heavily discounted rate.

Ozempic is not FDA approved for use as a weight loss drug, so it’s up to healthcare professionals to decide whether Ozempic is appropriate for supporting weight loss on an individual basis.

Most healthcare professionals do not prescribe Ozempic for weight loss unless a person has obesity — defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more — and has had difficulty losing weight in the past using traditional methods, such as following a lower calorie diet and being more active.

However, some healthcare professionals may also prescribe Ozempic to people with overweight if they have weight-related health conditions, such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

Who should not take Ozempic

Some people with type 2 diabetes, obesity, or overweight may not qualify for Ozempic because it’s not safe or indicated for everyone.

For example, Ozempic may not be appropriate for people who:

Finally, keep in mind that Ozempic may interact with certain prescription medications. Before taking Ozempic, talk with a trusted healthcare professional about any other medications you’re already taking.

An expert’s take on Ozempic for weight loss

When asked about what people should be aware of with off-label use of GLP-1 medications like Ozempic, Dr. Duah explained, “If [it’s] being prescribed by a physician, then there is no medical issue with taking Ozempic for weight loss, as it is the same [active ingredient] as Wegovy: semaglutide.”

Still, Dr. Duah cautioned, “One, however, may wonder about the ethics of using it off-label given medication shortages and reducing the supply available to people who need it for diabetes management. As well, people should be very careful about purchasing Ozempic from medi-spas and compounding pharmacies as it is hard to verify that you are receiving the true medication.”

Dr. Duah also notes that weight loss results may not be as robust for people without diabetes who take GLP-1 medications.

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Only licensed healthcare professionals, such as doctors and nurse practitioners, can prescribe Ozempic. You cannot buy Ozempic without a prescription.

The FDA has approved Ozempic only for managing type 2 diabetes.

However, some healthcare professionals prescribe Ozempic off-label to people without diabetes if they have obesity or overweight, and the healthcare professional believes the prescription is appropriate and safe for them.

The main side effects of Ozempic tend to be gastrointestinal. They may include diarrhea, nausea, upset stomach, constipation, and vomiting. In rare cases, more serious side effects have been reported, including low blood sugar levels, diabetic retinopathy, and inflammation of the pancreas or gallbladder.

Always consult a healthcare professional if you have any concerns about side effects while taking Ozempic.

The manufacturer of Ozempic offers a savings card for people who have insurance coverage and are using Ozempic for diabetes treatment.

Coupons aren’t currently available to people who are using Ozempic only for weight loss. However, medical practices and online services that prescribe Ozempic for weight loss often offer special discounts to customers who purchase treatment plans that include Ozempic injections.

If you have a prescription for Ozempic, you may be able to purchase Ozempic from Costco. You don’t need to be a Costco member to fill prescriptions at a Costco pharmacy.

Ozempic is an injectable medication that requires a prescription from a licensed healthcare professional.

While it’s currently FDA approved only to treat diabetes, some healthcare professionals prescribe Ozempic off-label for people without diabetes who have obesity or overweight and meet certain qualifications.

If you’re interested in using Ozempic for weight loss but don’t have diabetes, talk with a healthcare professional. If they believe that Ozempic may be safe and appropriate for your health needs, they may prescribe it to help with your weight loss efforts.