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Is Compounded Semaglutide the Same As Ozempic? 6 Differences

How are compounded Semaglutide and Ozempic medications different? Learn about what sets them apart here.

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Ozempic is the brand name of a popular injectable medication. Ozempic is approved for use as a diabetes medication, but is sometimes used off-label for its ability to help people lose weight.

Ozempic and similar medications have become harder to obtain recently due to drug shortages. Because of this, some people are turning to compounding pharmacies to see if they can make up the medication using the raw active ingredient – semaglutide.

Semaglutide is the exact active ingredient inside of Ozempic. And, if you are able to find compounding pharmacies that work with the pure ingredient (not the salt form), you should expect for the medication to be about the same.

Some compounding pharmacies do offer compounded semaglutide, but is this exactly the same thing as Ozempic? Below, we will outline some of the differences that you might see between Ozempic and compounded semaglutide.

1. The container may be a vial rather than a pen device

The brand-name Ozempic container is a pen device that combines the sterile packaging along with the syringe and needle all into one. This differs from most compounded sterile products. Most sterile semaglutide compounds will be dispensed as sterile vials containing the medication. 

This is because compounded medications are made up on-site in a small sterile lab, pursuant to individual prescriptions. Most compounding pharmacies will not have the large-scale manufacturing capabilities to make complex injection devices. However, both should still work appropriately to contain and administer sterile medications. They are just a little bit different from one another.

2. You may need to learn how to draw a compounded medication into a syringe

As mentioned above, sterile compounded medications are usually dispensed in a sterile vial, not in a pen device. This means that you may need to learn how to draw the sterile medication into a needle-tipped syringe in order to inject the medication.

While this may seem intimidating at first, you will likely easily get used to handling a syringe and drawing out your medication in no time. If you aren’t sure of the right technique, or are having trouble with this part, your prescriber or dispensing pharmacy should be able to help you out.

3. The strength of the formula may differ

While how much of the net active ingredient you inject may remain the same when comparing Ozempic and compounded semaglutide, you may notice a difference in the overall volume you inject, or the “strength” of the formula. This shouldn’t be an issue, as long as the amount of the active ingredient in milligrams (mg) you are injecting is the same.

For example, the overall strength of the lowest-strength Ozempic pen is 0.68mg/ml (0.68 mg of semaglutide contained in 1 ml of liquid). But, it is calibrated to only deliver 0.25mg of semaglutide in each injection (for the started dosage), so about 0.375 ml. To compare, as an example, a compounding pharmacy might instruct you to use 1 ml of a 0.25mg/ml solution, or 0.5 ml of a 0.5mg/ml solution. All of these examples will still deliver 0.25mg of semaglutide per dosage, although the volumes may differ.

Talk to your prescriber or the dispensing pharmacy if you are unsure about your dosage, or how much medication you are meant to inject. It is important to inject only your prescribed amount for the best results, and avoidance of adverse events.

4. Your insurance may not cover compounded medications

Most compounded medications are not covered by insurance, so it is less likely that compounded medications will be covered by your plan. (Although, this is not a 100% rule. It is possible that some insurance plans have some level of compound coverage.)

Retail medications like Ozempic might be covered by your insurance. Although, this may depend on your exact plan, your diagnosis, and if this is an off-label usage (like weight loss).

5. The expiration date or storage instructions might differ

Ozempic is a retail medication manufactured on a large scale. This means that the expiration dates may differ from compounded medications which must abide by specific compounding rules for assigned dating. Generally, retail medications may get a longer dating than compounded medications.

Compounds are assigned “beyond-use-dates” based on their composition, how they were compounded, and additional testing requirements. 

If you are unsure how long your medication is meant to last, or how long it remains good for, contact your dispensing pharmacy for instructions. Since semaglutide is normally an injection medication, it is important to abide by all expiration or beyond-use-dates for the safety and effectiveness of the drug.

6. The cost of the medications may be different

You might find that the costs differ between Ozempic and compounded semaglutide formulations. For some people, this difference may be a welcome savings when trying to find a weight loss medication that works for them.

7. Compounded medications are not FDA-approved

Compounded medications do not go through the long and extensive FDA-approval process required of retail manufactured medications. Because of this, technically no compounded medications are FDA-approved. 

However, this does not mean that compounds are not regulated. Compounding pharmacies must adhere to strict compounding rules and standards in order to make medications. Ozempic is FDA-approved for use as a diabetes medication, but is not currently FDA-approved for use as a weight loss drug. If Ozempic is prescribed for weight loss, this is an off-label use.

Strut Health compounded Semaglutide medications prescribed online and shipped free

Here at Strut Health, we offer oral and injectable compounded Semaglutide medications. The compounding pharmacies we work with do not use the salt form of the active ingredient, only the pure Semaglutide.

To learn more about our compounded Semaglutide products, check out our Semaglutide product page. To get started, simply complete a free online questionnaire-based doctor’s consultation. Then, a doctor will review your information and issue a Semaglutide prescription if appropriate. A compounding pharmacy will make up your approved prescription and ship it to your front door with free shipping.

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