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How to qualify for Ozempic - Top questions answered 

Written by Klarity Editorial Team

Published: Jun 5, 2024

Medically Reviewed by Goldina Erowele, PharmD, MBA

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Do you have questions about how to qualify for Ozempic? If so, you’re in the right place. In this article, we provide answers about Ozempic — what it is and how it works, who qualifies for it and who determines that, and alternative medications if you don’t qualify.

If you’re considering injectable medications like Ozempic, don’t wait for professional advice. Find a weight loss provider on Klarity and have an appointment in as little as 24 hours.

Get a prescription for Ozempic in as little as 24 hours.

What is Ozempic and how does it work?

Ozempic (semaglutide) is a prescription drug U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved to improve blood sugar (glycemic) control and lower A1C in adults with type 2 diabetes. It also reduces the risk of a major cardiovascular event, such as heart attack or stroke, in people with type 2 diabetes and known heart disease. It’s also prescribed off-label (not an FDA-approved use) for weight loss.

As a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) agonist medication, Ozempic mimics the GLP-1 hormone naturally released by your body after eating. GLP-1 works to stimulate insulin release and lower your blood sugar. It also delays your stomach emptying into your small intestine. This effect reduces your appetite, causing you to eat less and potentially lose weight.

How effective is Ozempic for weight loss?

Ozempic was proven effective for weight loss in clinical trials. People with type 2 diabetes taking the maximum Ozempic dose of 2 milligrams a week lost at least 5% — and sometimes up to 10% — of their starting body weight.

Individual experiences with Ozempic vary. How much weight you lose while taking it depends on your unique body chemistry and medical history. Your healthcare provider can help determine whether Ozempic, or a similar weight loss injection, is most effective for you.

Who qualifies for Ozempic?

You qualify for on-label use of Ozempic if you meet the FDA-approved criteria for use. This means having a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes. If you take Ozempic to improve your glycemic control with type 2 diabetes, you may lose weight too. 

While Ozempic is effective for weight loss, this is an off-label use. Your healthcare provider can prescribe Ozempic for weight loss if it’s safe and appropriate for you. Note that if you’re getting Ozempic with insurance, you likely need to meet prior authorization criteria for weight loss to get coverage.

Who shouldn’t take Ozempic?

You shouldn’t take Ozempic if you have a personal or family history of medullary thyroid cancer (MTC) or multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN-2). Ozempic carries a boxed warning, the FDA’s highest warning, that it causes thyroid tumors in animals. It isn’t known if this risk extends to humans.

Ozempic isn’t recommended if you’re allergic to its ingredients or are intolerant of its side effects. Take precaution if you have acute pancreatitis, gallbladder disease, hypoglycemia, acute kidney problems, diabetic retinopathy, rapid heartbeat, or suicidal behavior or thoughts.

Who determines if you qualify for Ozempic?

A licensed healthcare professional can determine if you qualify for Ozempic, including medical providers (MDs), physician assistants/associates (PAs), and nurse practitioners (NPs). You can see your current provider or find a weight loss specialist on marketplace services, like Klarity, and have an online appointment in as little as 24 hours. 

If you qualify for Ozempic, and it’s appropriate for you, your provider will give you a prescription. 

Are there alternatives if you don’t qualify for Ozempic?

If you don’t qualify for Ozempic, talk to your healthcare provider about alternative medications. They can help you determine which, if any, is best for you. Here are some alternatives to consider.

Ozempic alternatives for type 2 diabetes

MedicationFDA-approved usePotential weight loss
Mounjaro (tirzepatide)Improves blood sugar control alongside diet and exercise in people with type 2 diabetesUp to 13.9% body weight in 2 years
Trulicity (dulaglutide)Improves blood sugar control alongside diet and exercise in people 10 years and older with type 2 diabetes. 
Reduces the risk of a major cardiovascular event in adults with type 2 diabetes and known heart disease.
Up to 5% body weight in 1 year
Victoza (liraglutide)Improves blood sugar control alongside diet and exercise in people 10 years and older with type 2 diabetes. 
Reduces the risk of a major cardiovascular event in adults with type 2 diabetes and known heart disease.
Up to 5 pounds in 1 year


Alternatives to Ozempic for weight loss

MedicationFDA-approved usePotential weight loss
Saxenda (liraglutide)Chronic weight management alongside diet and exercise in adults with a body mass index (BMI) of30 or greater,27 or greater with a weight-related health condition,And minors aged 12 and up with a BMI of 30 or greater.Up to 10% body weight in 56 weeks
Wegovy (semaglutide)Chronic weight management alongside diet and exercise in adults with obesity or overweight and pediatric patients over 12 years with obesity.
Reduces the risk of a major cardiovascular event in adults with obesity or overweight and known heart disease.
On average, 14.9% body weight in 68 weeks
Zepbound (tirzepatide)Chronic weight management in adults with a BMI of 30 or greater27 or greater with a weight-related health conditionUp to 20.9% body weight in 52 weeks

Note that Wegovy (semaglutide) is an alternative weight loss medication to Ozempic. In fact, it has the same active ingredient — semaglutide. You might consider Wegovy vs Ozempic when using semaglutide for weight loss. You can also look into compounded semaglutide as an alternative to Ozempic or Wegovy. 

Key takeaway

Ozempic (semaglutide) is a prescription medication FDA-approved to improve blood sugar control in people with type 2 diabetes. It also reduces the risk of a major cardiovascular event in adults with type 2 diabetes and known heart disease. As a GLP-1 agonist medication, Ozempic is effective for weight loss. Based on clinical trial data, you could lose up to 10% of your starting body weight. But, it’s important to note that using Ozempic for weight loss is off-label, or not approved by the FDA. 

To qualify for Ozempic, you need to meet FDA-approved criteria, which include a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes. But, you can take Ozempic for weight loss if your healthcare provider determines it’s appropriate and safe for you. You shouldn’t take Ozempic if you have a personal or family history of thyroid cancer. It also isn’t recommended if you’re allergic to any of its ingredients. Precaution should be taken if you have certain preexisting conditions, including but not limited to pancreatitis, gallbladder disease, or kidney problems. 

If you don’t qualify for Ozempic or it isn’t recommended for you, there are alternatives to consider. Alternatives to improve blood sugar control include Mounjaro (tirzepatide), Trulicity (dulaglutide), and Victoza (liraglutide). Alternatives to Ozempic for weight loss are Saxenda (liraglutide), Wegovy (semaglutide), and Zepbound (tirzepatide). You could also consider compounded semaglutide. Talk to your healthcare provider about which alternative is best for you.

Find out if you qualify for Ozempic with a provider on Klarity

Wondering if you qualify for Ozempic? Find out and book an appointment with a weight loss specialist on Klarity. 

Sources

Cardiovascular Diabetology, Reduction of prevalence of patients meeting the criteria for metabolic syndrome with tirzepatide: a post hoc analysis from the SURPASS Clinical Trial Program, Stephen J. Nicholls et al., Feb. 2024, https://cardiab.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12933-024-02147-9

DailyMed, Mounjaro- tirzepatide injection, solution, https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/drugInfo.cfm?setid=d2d7da5d-ad07-4228-955f-cf7e355c8cc0

DailyMed, Ozempic-semaglutide injection, solution, Sept. 2023, https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/drugInfo.cfm?setid=adec4fd2-6858-4c99-91d4-531f5f2a2d79&audience=consumer

DailyMed, Label: Saxenda- liraglutide injection solution, https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/drugInfo.cfm?setid=3946d389-0926-4f77-a708-0acb8153b143

DailyMed, Label: Trulicity- dulaglutide injection solution, https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/drugInfo.cfm?setid=463050bd-2b1c-40f5-b3c3-0a04bb433309

DailyMed, Label: Wegovy- semaglutide injection solution, https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/drugInfo.cfm?setid=ee06186f-2aa3-4990-a760-757579d8f77b

DailyMed, Label: Zepbound- tirzepatide injection solution, https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/lookup.cfm?setid=487cd7e7-434c-4925-99fa-aa80b1cc776b

Diabetes, Obesity, and Metabolism, Effect of dulaglutide 3.0 and 4.5 mg on weight in patients with type 2 diabetes: Exploratory analyses of AWARD-11, Enzo Bonora, MD, et.al., Jun. 2021, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8518850/

JAMA Network, Continued Treatment with Tirzepatide for Maintenance of Weight Reduction in Adults with Obesity: The SURMOUNT-4 Randomized Clinical Trial, Louis J. Aronne, MD, et.al., Dec. 2023, https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/2812936

The Lancet: Diabetes & Endocrinology, Efficacy and safety of once-weekly semaglutide 2.0 mg versus 1.0 mg in patients with type 2 diabetes (SUSTAIN FORTE): a double-blind, randomised, phase 3B trial, Juan P. Frias et. al., Jul. 2021, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34293304/

The New England Journal of Medicine, A Randomized, Controlled Trial of 3.0 mg of Liraglutide in Weight Management, Xavier Pi-Sunyer, MD, et al., Jul. 2015, https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/nejmoa1411892

The New England Journal of Medicine, Once-weekly Semaglutide in Adults with Overweight or Obesity, John P.H. Wilding, DM, et al., Feb. 2021, https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa2032183

The information provided in this article is for educational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Always seek the guidance of a qualified healthcare professional with any questions or concerns you have regarding your health.

How we reviewed this article: This article goes through rigorous fact-checking by a team of medical reviewers. Reviewers are trained medical professionals who ensure each article contains the most up-to-date information, and that medical details have been correctly interpreted by the author.

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