Ozempic Pills For Weight Loss: Are There Any In 2024?

Dr. Celeste Small, PharmD
Dr. David Miles, PharmD
Ozempic has been hailed as a new and easy way to lose body weight and to keep it off. But is Ozempic available as a pill?
ozempic pills for weight loss
Ozempic is available in an oral version to take daily. Photo: Ba Le Ho

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), obesity in the United States[1] currently affects over a hundred million adults and almost 15 million children. This contributes to major chronic diseases that are prominent in the country. Although there are a variety of ways to lose weight, what everyone really wants to know is how to lose body fat fast. One potential obesity medicine, though not yet FDA-approved for this use, is Ozempic.

Ozempic ( Semaglutide) is an indicated medication used to treat diabetes, but has been recently hailed the “magic drug” for losing weight as seen used by social media influencers and celebrities. Although the medication comes in an injection form taken once a week, many people are questioning whether Ozempic pills for weight loss are available.

Are There Ozempic Pills For Weight Loss?

Yes, currently there is an oral version of Ozempic on the market called Rybelsus. It is not used for weight loss, and can only be prescribed to help treat Type 2 diabetes.

Are There Ozempic Pills For Weight Loss?

ozempic pills for weight loss
Ozempic works best when combined with diet and exercise. Photo: Natalia Varlei/Shutterstock

Ozempic is in the class of glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists. It improves insulin secretion and decreases glucose production by the liver, lowering blood sugar levels. Although GLP-1 receptor agonists were first discovered as an anti-diabetic treatment, it has been recently investigated as a quick solution for weight loss since it has a profound effect on the appetite[2] and slows stomach emptying, thus making you stay full longer and reducing food intake overall. 

The active ingredient in Ozempic, semaglutide, can also be used to treat obesity[3] as well. Currently semaglutide is also available as Wegovy, which is a weekly injection that is an actual weight loss medication and has an accepted use for this condition, and as Rybelsus, which comes in a tablet form that is taken orally but is currently only used to treat high blood sugar and for diabetes management.

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Can Rybelsus Be Used For Weight Loss?

Oral Semaglutide, or also called Rybelsus, was first approved in 2019 which made it the first oral pill in the class of GLP-1 receptor agonists. Although it has the same mechanism of action as both Ozempic and Wegovy, the main difference is that it must be taken daily as opposed to weekly, but must still be started at a low dose and increased to a higher dose over time.

The drug comes in 3 mg, 7 mg and 14 mg tablets. The 3 mg dose tablets are taken once daily for the first month; 7 mg is then taken once daily for the next month and, if tolerated, 14mg can be taken the following month. However, if not tolerated, 7 mg can be the maintenance dose as well.

Rybelsus, like Ozempic, is only approved to treat high blood sugar in adults and therefore cannot be used as a weight loss drug even though it does exhibit these effects. Similar to other medicines in its class, the gastrointestinal side effects of nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain may be seen especially in the higher doses.

Why Are Drugmakers Trying To Make Ozempic Pills?

ozempic pills for weight loss
Ozempic currently only comes in a subcutaneous injection form. Photo: Natalia Varlei/Shutterstock

Due to their weight loss effects,Ozempic and other GLP-1 receptor agonists have grown into a multi-billion dollar industry almost overnight. Although Ozempic itself is only available to treat high blood sugar, Semaglutide is the main ingredient that is currently being looked at for weight loss.

Novo Nordisk, the company responsible for the creation of Semaglutide, currently has two ongoing clinical trials that are observing the effects of various Ozempic oral version dosages for weight loss and diabetes. The PIONEER PLUS[4] trial resulted in a greater reduction of A1C levels in patients with high blood sugar and also about a 10% reduction of their body weight. Additionally, the OASIS 1[5] trial is showcasing how these higher doses can have a more pronounced effect on weight loss resulting in about 20% of reduction. These studies show promising results on the effects they currently have and will continue to have on weight loss.

Other Weight Loss Drugs To Consider

There are a wide variety of other weight loss drugs that can be considered. Patients may find it best to discuss with their doctor the main difference in these medicines and what would work best for them, especially if injections are not an appropriate option.

  • Orlistat (Alli, Xenical): This weight loss drug blocks the absorption of dietary fat and is available as either an over-the-counter drug (Alli) or a prescription (Xenical). It is important to discuss this drug with a healthcare professional as it has specific dietary requirements and any more side effects. 
  • Phentermine-Topiramate (Qsymia): This weight loss drug works as an appetite suppressant (phentermine) and anti-seizure/migraine (topiramate).
  • Phentermine (Adipex-P): This is an appetite-suppressant often prescribed for short-term use.
  • Liraglutide (Saxenda): This is another GLP-1 receptor agonist from its anti-diabetic counterpart (Victoza) used to aid in weight loss. Saxenda is also available as a shot but is taken once daily instead of weekly like the other weight loss drugs in the class. This also has the same gastrointestinal problems as other GLP-1 receptor agonists.
  • Other supplements: Diet pills that include quality ingredients that boosts metabolism and enhances fat-burning are always a good consideration as an addition to weight loss regimen. 

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Although Semaglutide is also found in a tablet form, Ozempic itself is not accepted for weight loss. In fact, the only FDA-approved semaglutide drug that is used to help patients who are overweight and obese achieve their weight loss goals is Wegovy, which are injections. 

While Ozempic tablets for weight loss do not exist, Rybelsus is a pill that works in a similar way. Always discuss any new drugs that you want to take, including Rybelsus, with your doctor before making any changes. Also if taking Ozempic do not change dosages to try to equal Wegovy dosages since they both come in different strengths. Furthermore if on any of these medications do not stop taking without guidance from prescriber. 

In addition to taking medications, learn more about what it takes to lose weight and to keep it off. All in all, reducing and maintaining weight is critical as it can decrease the risk of developing chronic diseases and can improve health overall and longevity. While drugs such as Rybelsus and Ozempic may help you reach your ideal weight, the best long-term solutions lie in maintaining a healthy lifestyle by limiting processed foods, adding regular exercise to your daily routine, eating foods rich in fiber and protein and drinking plenty of water. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Ozempic available in pill form?

The active ingredient in Ozempic, Semaglutide, is available in tablet form called Rybelsus. However, it is only used for type 2 diabetes and not for weight loss. 

Can you lose weight with Ozempic pills?

Yes there is a possibility that you can have a reduction in weight as studies have shown weight loss along with its reduction in A1C.

How do you get Ozempic pills?

Ozempic pills are currently available only as a prescription from a provider and are only used for high blood sugar.

What is a diet pill like Ozempic?

While there are currently diet pills similar to Ozempic, there are other used drugs for weight loss such as phentermine, orlistat, Contrave, and Qsymia.


  1. CDC (2023). HOP 2023. [online] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpao/state-local-programs/fundingopp/2023/hop.html.
  2. Shah, M. and Vella, A. (2014). Effects of GLP-1 on appetite and weight. Reviews in endocrine and metabolic disorders, [online] 15(3), pp.181–187. doi:https://doi.org/10.1007/s11154-014-9289-5.
  3. Anam, M., Shrinkhala Maharjan, Amjad, Z., Abaza, A., Vasavada, A., Sadhu, A., Valencia, C., Fatima, H. and Nwankwo, I. (2022). Efficacy of Semaglutide in Treating Obesity: A Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs). Cureus. [online] doi:https://doi.org/10.7759/cureus.32610.
  4. Aroda, V.R., Aberle, J., Lars Bardtrum, Christiansen, E., Knop, F.K., Sanaz Gabery, Pedersen, S.D. and Buse, J.B. (2023). Efficacy and safety of once-daily oral semaglutide 25 mg and 50 mg compared with 14 mg in adults with type 2 diabetes (PIONEER PLUS): a multicentre, randomised, phase 3b trial. The Lancet, [online] 402(10403), pp.693–704. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/s0140-6736(23)01127-3.
  5. Knop, F.K., Aroda, V.R., Vale, R.D., Holst-Hansen, T., Peter Nørkjær Laursen, Rosenstock, J., Rubino, D. and W. Timothy Garvey (2023). Oral semaglutide 50 mg taken once per day in adults with overweight or obesity (OASIS 1): a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase 3 trial. The Lancet, [online] 402(10403), pp.705–719. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/s0140-6736(23)01185-6.

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