Ozempic vs. Saxenda for Weight Loss

What is obesity?

Obesity is a chronic condition, which has only recently been recognized as a disease in Canada. The Canadian Medical Association recognized it as a disease in 2015, after the American Medical Associated voted to recognize it in 2013. Obesity is often characterized by an excessive amount of body fat, with BMI over 30, while individuals with BMI over 25 may be considered medically overweight.


Obesity often causes other health conditions and risks such as heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, certain types of cancer and decreases individuals’ life expectancy. Obesity is a multifactorial disease resulting from complex interactions of individual biology, genetics, behavioural and environmental factors, and can be complex to treat. Many individuals take medications to assist with weight care because it can help reduce appetite and cravings, simultaneously improve metabolic markers such as blood glucose, cholestrol or blood pressure, and help them overcome barriers such as insulin resistance.

Ozempic vs. Saxenda: Differences and Considerations

Saxenda vs Ozempic - Which GLP-1 is effective for weight loss?
Ozempic Vs Saxenda comparison

Ozempic and Saxenda are both injectable drugs that belong to a class of medications known as GLP-1 agonists. The active ingredient in Ozempic is called Semaglutide, and Saxenda’s active ingredient is called Liraglutide. These medications act in a similar manner to a natural hormone produced in our gastrointestinal tracts in response to consuming food, and to help our bodies regulate appetite and signal fullness, as well as keep blood sugar in check by regulating insulin.

Ozempic [Semaglutide] is a longer-acting medication at a higher dose, and is taken once weekly whereas Saxenda [Liraglutide] is taken once daily. Semaglutide and Liraglutide are both offered under multiple brand names and approved by Health Canada and FDA for the treatment of diabetes as well as weight-loss.

Who will benefit from Ozempic vs. Saxenda?

Both medications can be prescribed for weight-loss or diabetes, and require the prescribing clinician to complete bloodwork and take a detailed medical history. These products may not be suitable for some individuals due to side effects or prior conditions. A clinician may consider various factors in deciding which medication to prescribe to a patient such as insurance coverage and affordability, patient tolerance of side-effects like nausea which are typically worse for longer-acting formulations, and risk factors such as heart disease.

Which medication is better for weight loss?

In some clinical trials, patients lost more weight on Semaglutide vs Liraglutide, when combined with a healthy diet and lifestyle change. The science and mechanisms behind semaglutide’s higher effectiveness for weight-loss vs. liraglutide is still not fully understood, but may be related to improved GLP-1 receptor binding of the medication and/or the longer half-life of the medication, which keeps it in the body longer.

What are the side effects of Ozempic and Saxenda?

The most common side effects of GLP-1 agonists may include nausea, vomiting, injection site reactions, headaches, tiredness or fatigue, dizziness, diarrhea, stomach pain, constipation, and changes in lipase levels in the blood.

GLP-1 medications may also cause serious side effects, including possible thyroid tumours or cancer, inflammation of the pancreas, hypoglycemia, kidney problems, allergic reactions, or gallbladder issues.

It is important to discuss these side effects with your healthcare provider prior to starting treatment. More information on side effects can be found here: Ozempic, Saxenda

How much weight can I lose with Ozempic or Saxenda?

Weight-loss results for individuals depend on many factors, including medical history, genetics, environment, and lifestyle changes made by the patient, such as exercise, nutritional habits, sleep, and stress management.

  • In trials comparing Semaglutide at 2.4mg/week dosages to Liraglutide at 3mg/day dosages in medically overweight or obese individuals, Semaglutide showed average 15.8% weight-loss on average. In contrast, Liraglutide showed a 6.4% average weight-loss.
  • It is important to note that Ozempic’s maximum dosage is 2mg weekly, and 2.4mg dosage is not commercially available in Canada yet, although it has been approved by Health Canada under the brand name Wegovy.
  • Other studies have shown slightly higher success rates for Saxenda [up to 9.2%]

These results and studies are important to consider as part of your treatment plan, which should be discussed with your clinician. It is also important to recognize that medications require significant lifestyle changes to be fully effective, and patients should commit to a comprehensive approach that prioritizes their overall physical and mental health.

How do I get started with a medical weight-loss program?

Cloudcure’s Metabolic program does provide reliable and safe access to evidence-based, prescription medications through an expert medical team, but it goes far beyond just treatment. The medical team continues to monitor your progress, adjust your medication as required, track your metabolic and overall health with bloodwork, and support you with a curriculum that is evidence-based and influenced by psychological practices and principles.

In addition, throughout the program, you have access to a personal health coach who is there to support you and help you succeed. Over the course of 12 months, the coach will continue to provide education, support, and accountability to keep you healthy, motivated, and progressing at your preferred pace.

Ready to take control of your health for good? You can start at any time by taking our eligibility quiz.