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GLP-1s

Is there an over the counter Ozempic?

Robbie Puddick
Written by

Robbie Puddick

Medically reviewed by

Fiona Moncrieff

4 min read
Last updated June 2024
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Jump to: What’s the difference between orlistat and Ozempic? | How much do Ozempic and orlistat cost? | Should I try Ozempic or orlistat?

You can buy orlistat (brand name: Xenical/Alli) as an over-the-counter alternative to Ozempic in the UK.

However, orlistat is a very different type of weight-loss medication that isn’t as effective as Ozempic in supporting weight loss.

Research has shown that Ozempic can lead to weight loss of around 15%, whilst orlistat may lead to weight loss of 4-8%.

Additionally, Ozempic isn’t approved for weight loss in the UK. It’s only available as a medication for people living with type 2 diabetes.

So, if you’re looking for an over-the-counter weight-loss medication in the UK, orlistat is the only reasonable choice.

It’s worth noting that Wegovy, the brand name for semaglutide that has been approved for weight loss, has now launched in the UK.

Wegovy is available on Second Nature via prescription alongside our award-winning weight-loss programme. Click on the button below to check your eligibility.

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What’s the difference between orlistat and Ozempic?

Orlistat is a weight-loss medication approved for use in the UK. Ozempic is a medication for people living with type 2 diabetes and is only available with a prescription.

They are different medications with distinct dosing schedules, costs, and mechanisms of action on the body.

Orlistat is a lipase inhibitor. Lipases are gut enzymes that break down fat from food, enabling the gut to transport fat into the body to be burnt for energy or stored in our fat cells for later use.

Orlistat blocks lipases, preventing some of the dietary fat from our meals from being digested. This leads to fewer calories being absorbed, which can support weight loss.

Orlistat is a medication produced by two pharmaceutical companies in the UK:

  1. GlaxoSmithKline: Brand name Alli, 60 mg and available over the counter (no prescription)
  2. Roche: Brand name Xenical, 120 mg and available with a prescription

Ozempic is a weight-loss jab manufactured by Novo Nordisk. It’s a weekly weight-loss injection with semaglutide as the active ingredient.

Semaglutide is a GLP-1 receptor agonist that helps reduce hunger and appetite, allowing you to eat fewer calories, lose weight, and manage your blood sugar levels.

How much do Ozempic and orlistat cost?

The over-the-counter version of orlistat will cost around £18 a month, so it’s a very affordable medication.

In comparison, buying Ozempic and the injectable pens required for four weeks would cost anywhere between £180 and £350 a month.

However, if prescribed Ozempic on the NHS, you’d only pay the base fee for a prescription of £9.95 in England.

Should I try orlistat or Ozempic for weight loss?

Orlistat is an affordable medication that is generally well-tolerated. However, it’s less effective than Ozempic. Ozempic is twice as effective as orlistat for weight loss after one year.

But Ozempic is not available for weight loss. The only weight-loss injections you can purchase in the UK are Wegovy and Saxenda as of December 2023.

So, if you’re looking for the most affordable weight-loss pill you can purchase over the counter, then orlistat could be an option.

However, if you have a higher budget and are looking for the most effective weight-loss injection in the UK, Wegovy is likely a better choice.

Wegovy’s not a magic pill

Weight-loss injections are designed as additional tools for healthy lifestyle change and shouldn’t be considered as lifelong medications.

Instead, they should be used to help you kickstart your weight-loss journey whilst you focus on building new, healthy habits.

Consider the use of antidepressants for people living with depression. They’re not designed to cure the condition. Instead, they’re designed to allow room for therapy to treat the condition’s underlying cause.

Mounjaro and Wegovy are similar. These medications can help silence food-related thoughts and also give you a boost of confidence with more immediate weight-loss results.

This helps to buy you the time and headspace to understand why your body may have struggled to lose weight previously, and to build new long-term healthy habits.

The core focus of our medication programmes are to calm down the feeling of food noise, lower your cravings, and to allow you to build healthier habits to keep the weight off for good.

The ultimate goal is to make losing weight feel second nature.

Second Nature’s medication-supported programmes

Second Nature has two medication-supported programmes: a Wegovy weight-loss programme and a Mounjaro weight-loss programme.

If you’ve made the decision to try Wegovy or Mounjaro (assuming you’re eligible), why should you choose Second Nature over other medication providers?

For peace of mind.

Second Nature has worked with the NHS for over 6 years providing weight-loss programmes across the UK.

Whilst our Wegovy and Mounjaro weight-loss programmes are private and not currently used by the NHS, we’ve built the programmes with a focus on scientific evidence, patient safety, and data security.

We hope that our 6+ years of working with the NHS and building a track record of effective weight-loss results will give you peace of mind to give us a try.

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