Is Ozempic generic available?
- There is currently no generic alternative or biosimilar to Ozempic available.
- There is no estimate time as to when the generic will become available.
- There are several alternative medications to Ozempic that can save you money.
Ozempic is a diabetes medication manufactured by Novo Nordisk Inc that was approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2017. It is classified as a glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist.
As of January 2023, there is currently no generic version of Ozempic available. It is not known when the first generic version of Ozempic will become available but based on the patents and regulatory protections, it appears that the earliest date for generic entry will be December 5, 2031.
Learn more about the earliest potential release date for generic Ozempic and options to save money on this medication.
What is Ozempic?
Ozempic (semaglutide) is a GLP-1 receptor agonist that is approved:
- Along with diet and exercise to improve glycemic control in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM)
- To reduce the risk of serious adverse cardiovascular events such as stroke and heart attacks in adults with T2DM and known heart disease
The safety and effectiveness of Ozempic have not been established in patients with pancreatitis and other diabetic treatment should be considered. This medication should not be used for the treatment of type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM).
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What dosage forms and strengths of Ozempic are available?
- 2mg/3ml in a single-patient-use pen that delivers 0.25mg or 0.5mg per injection
- 2mg/1.5ml in a single-patient-use pen that delivers 0.25mg or 0.5mg per injection
- 4mg/3ml in a single-patient-use pen that delivers 1mg per injection
- 8mg/3ml in a single-patient-use pen that delivers 2mg per injection
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Are there cheaper alternatives to Ozempic?
There are other prescription medications you can take for blood sugar control if Ozempic is not right for you. These medications have different strengths, dosages, and indications.
How much will the generic cost once it’s available?
As there are no generic alternatives currently on the market, it is impossible to estimate the price of generic Ozempic. However, the drug price of generics are typically much less expensive than brand-name medications, so you should expect to save money on Ozempic once the generic alternative is available for sale. The cost of generic Ozempic will vary based on the health insurance plan and copay you may have.
When will generic Ozempic become available?
It is not known the exact date when the generic of Ozempic will be released. However, the drug patents for Ozempic are expected to expire in December of 2031, which is the earliest an Ozempic generic could become available for sale. This may change due to patent challenges or generic licensing by the manufacturer.
How do you take Ozempic (semaglutide)?
- You should use Ozempic exactly as your healthcare provider prescribes it to you. You should not change your dose or stop taking this medication without discussing it with them first.
- Your healthcare provider will show you how to use Ozempic before you administer your first dose.
- Ozempic is usually injected under the skin (subcutaneously) of your stomach, thigh, or upper arm. You should not inject this medication directly into a muscle (intramuscularly) or vein (intravenously).
- Ozempic is typically given once a week, on the same day each week, at any time of the day. You can change the day of the week you take Ozempic if your last dose was administered 2 or more days before. You can take this medication with or without food.
- If you miss a dose of this medication, take it as soon as you remember as long as it is within 5 days after your missed dose. If it has been more than 5 days since the missed dose, skip the missed dose and take the next dose on its regularly scheduled day.
- You should not mix Ozempic and insulin in the same injection. You can inject Ozempic and insulin in the same body area, but not right next to each other.
- Rotate your injection site each time you administer Ozempic. Don’t use the same site with each injection.
- You should regularly check your blood glucose levels while on this medication. Your doctor should tell you how often to check your blood glucose and what your target glucose levels should be.
- Stay on your prescribed diet and exercise program while using this medication.
- Make sure you can recognize and manage symptoms of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and high blood sugar (hyperglycemia). Symptoms of low blood sugar include rapid heartbeat, shaking, sweating, nervousness, irritability, dizziness, and hunger. Symptoms of high blood sugar include increased thirst, dry mouth, frequent urination, blurred vision, unintentional weight loss, and recurrent infections.
- Your healthcare provider will monitor your diabetic treatment with regular blood tests, including your blood sugar levels and your hemoglobin A1C.
What should you tell your doctor before starting Ozempic?
You should not take Ozempic if you personal or family history of medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) or an endocrine system condition called multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN 2). You should also avoid this medication if you have had an allergic reaction to semaglutide or any of the inactive ingredients in Ozempic.
Ozempic should also be used with caution if you have certain medical conditions. You should tell make sure your doctor of all medical conditions you have, including:
- Pancreas problems
- Kidney disease
- History of diabetic retinopathy
- Are pregnant, plan on becoming pregnant, or are breastfeeding
Ozempic side effects
The most common side effects of Ozempic seen in clinical trials include:
- Low blood sugar, especially if taken with a sulfonylurea
- Stomach pain
- Upset stomach
Ozempic can sometimes cause serious side effects such as:
- Serious allergic reactions
- Increased risk of thyroid tumors, including a type of thyroid C-cell tumor called medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC)
- Diabetic retinopathy
- Acute kidney injury and worsening of chronic kidney failure
- Gallbladder problems including gallstones
- Increased heart rate
Speak with your prescribing doctor about the possible drug interactions with any other prescription drugs, over-the-counter products, vitamins, and supplements you are taking. These are not all of the possible side effects of Ozempic. You should always seek medical advice for any questions or concerns relating to your medical condition or treatment. You can report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or www.fda.gov/medwatch.
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How long does it take Ozempic to work?
You should start to see a decline in your blood sugar levels within the first week of starting Ozempic at your regular maintenance dose. It may take up to 8 weeks or longer before you see the full effects of this medication.
How much does Ozempic cost?
The estimated cost for #1 prefilled Ozempic pen of 2mg/1.5ml is around $1,000 without insurance.
Why is Ozempic so expensive?
Ozempic is so expensive because it is a brand-name medication with no generic alternative available. Brand-name drugs are always more expensive than generic drugs. In contrast, the FDA-approved generic version of Ozempic will be much cheaper once it becomes available.
Is the generic Ozempic used for weight loss?
The active ingredient of Ozempic is semaglutide. It is used as a weight loss medication in the treatment of obesity under the brand name Wegovy. Wegovy works well for weight management when used along with a low-calorie diet and exercise. It can be used for adults and children 12 years and older with a certain body mass index (BMI).
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A medical professional has reviewed this article.
Dr. Jamie Winn received his Doctor of Pharmacy in 2002 from the University of South Carolina College of Pharmacy, Columbia, SC. Jamie is a medical reviewer for NiceRx.