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Weight Loss Injections UK

Mike Gibbs
Written by

Mike Gibbs

Medically reviewed by

Fiona Moncrieff

5 min read
Last updated July 2024
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Jump to: What’s the difference between liraglutide (Saxenda) and semaglutide (Ozempic/Wegovy)? | Which weight-loss injection is the best? | How much do weight-loss injections cost? | Am I eligible to buy weight-loss injections? | Where can you buy weight-loss injections online? | Why should I buy weight-loss injections via Second Nature?

In the UK, there are only three weight-loss injections that are currently available as of June 2024: liraglutide (Saxenda), semaglutide (Wegovy), and tirzepatide (Mounjaro).

You can either buy these weight-loss injections privately, or you may be able to get them prescribed through the NHS. In both routes, you must abide by the eligibility requirements, which we’ll discuss later in this article.

All weight-loss injections have different ‘brand names’ to the name of the drug itself.

Medicines/drugs having different brand names can sometimes be confusing, so one analogy to explain this is with the well-known painkiller medicine, Nurofen; the brand name is Nurofen, but the drug itself is called ibuprofen.

Liraglutide: the brand name for this drug is Saxenda. Liraglutide is taken as an injection once a day, and you increase the dose over time until you reach the maximum prescribed dosage.

Semaglutide: the two brand names for this drug are called Ozempic and Wegovy. Semaglutide is also taken as an injection but only once per week, and similarly to liraglutide you increase the dose over time until you reach the maximum prescribed dosage.

Tirzepatide: the brand name for this drug is Mounjaro. Tirzepatide is also taken as an injection but only once per week, and similarly to liraglutide and semaglutide you increase the dose over time until you reach the maximum prescribed dosage.

Currently the Wegovy brand form of semaglutide is available for people looking to lose weight in the UK, as long as you’re eligible.

The Ozempic brand form of semaglutide is no longer available in the UK for people looking to lose weight, and is only available for those people living with type 2 diabetes.

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What’s the difference between liraglutide (Saxenda) and semaglutide (Ozempic/Wegovy)?

In a nutshell, semaglutide has better reported weight-loss outcomes than liraglutide, and also a lower % of reported side effects.

In 2022, a randomised controlled trial was run which looked at the weight loss achieved by people living with obesity. The trial directly compared semaglutide and liraglutide.

The results showed that people taking semaglutide lost more weight (15.8%) compared to those people taking liraglutide (6.4%).

The study also showed that fewer people stopped taking their weight loss injections when taking semaglutide (approximately 1 in 8 people) compared to liraglutide (approximately 1 in 4 people).

If you’d like to read more about the differences between liraglutide and semaglutide, we’ve got a much more detailed guide here: Saxenda vs Ozempic

Which weight-loss injection is the best?

If your question to judge what constitutes ‘best’ is: what injection leads to the highest weight loss, based on the published evidence?

Based on this, we would say the best weight-loss injection is tirzepatide (Mounjaro).

Research has shown that tirzepatide supports an average weight loss of around 25% after one year. This study also showed this weight loss was maintained after 20 months on the medication.

Tirzepatide is a weight-loss injection that you administer once a week and is manufactured by the pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly.

How much do weight-loss injections cost?

Weight-loss injections are not cheap. In the UK you could expect to pay around £299 per month for something like semaglutide. At Second Nature, our medication-supported programme starts at £229 for the first 3 months and then moves up to £299 for the higher doses of Wegovy.

Am I eligible to buy weight-loss injections?

To buy a weight-loss injection of semaglutide or liraglutide, there are strict eligibility criteria.

You’ll normally have to take an online quiz to see if you are eligible. In an ideal world, online providers will then double check your answers with your NHS records, and also validate things like your weight when you start your injections, to make sure your actual weight is what you said it was in the quiz.

For example, Second Nature will send you a set of digital Bluetooth weighing scales in the post. These are mainly used for you to track your weight-loss progress over time, but we also use them to validate people’s starting weight to make sure they’re truly eligible for a weight-loss injection.

You can sometimes get a semaglutide or liraglutide prescription through the NHS. The eligibility criteria for the NHS typically are the follows:

  • Semaglutide (Ozempic): GPs can prescribe semaglutide to those people living with type 2 diabetes who also have other eligibility criteria. This might include having a BMI of over 30, and where treatment with metformin (the first drug that is typically prescribed to people living with type 2 diabetes) is deemed inappropriate. However, given the current national shortage of semaglutide (Ozempic) in the UK, it’s unknown how many GPs are still giving out new Ozempic prescriptions.
  • Liraglutide (Saxenda): GPs typically won’t prescribe liraglutide directly, but instead refer people to what’s called a ‘tier 3 weight management service’. This service is typically for people with a BMI of over 35, and for those people where other methods of weight loss have failed in the past. On a tier 3 weight management service, it’s sometimes possible to be prescribed liraglutide. It’s also possible to be prescribed semaglutide on a tier 3 weight management service.
  • Tirzepatide (Mounjaro): Mounjaro isn’t currently available on the NHS as of June 2024.

Where can you buy weight-loss injections online?

You can purchase weight-loss injections through online pharmacies and other providers of weight-loss services, like Second Nature.

Other examples of companies providing weight-loss injections would be Boots, Superdrug, Manual, Numan, myBMI, and Juniper.

Why should I buy weight-loss injections via Second Nature?

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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