Man standing on bathroom scale after taking semaglutide for weight loss as a non-diabetic

Semaglutide for Weight Loss in Non-Diabetics: What You Need to Know

Written on August 21, 2023 by Theresa Vuskovich, DMD. To give you technically accurate, evidence-based information, content published on the Everlywell blog is reviewed by credentialed professionals with expertise in medical and bioscience fields.

Table of contents

The obesity epidemic continues to plague America, with approximately two-thirds of the population overweight or obese.[1] Individuals who are overweight or have obesity are more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes (T2D). However, not everyone who is overweight or has obesity develops T2D.[2] Non-diabetics who wish to lose weight may benefit from a medication commonly used to treat diabetes called semaglutide.[3,4] This article explains semaglutide for weight loss in non-diabetics.

What Is Semaglutide?

Semaglutide is a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist designed to bind to GLP-1 receptors, which regulate appetite.[4] Semaglutide was originally developed as a treatment for T2D to improve glucose levels, but clinical trials demonstrated patients lost weight while taking semaglutide.[4-8] Further clinical studies support the effectiveness of semaglutide in promoting weight loss among non-diabetics.[5,8,11]

Semaglutide causes weight loss by suppressing your appetite, delaying stomach emptying, and stimulating glucose secretion.[4] Semaglutide complements dietary changes and exercise in adults with diabetes and non-diabetes.[4] All GLP-1 medications require a prescription from a healthcare provider.

Aside from weight loss, semaglutide may prevent heart attacks and ischemic strokes in adults with T2D and a history of heart disease. During the SUSTAIN 6 clinical trial, semaglutide significantly reduced the risk of major cardiovascular events.[6]

What Are the Brand Names of Semaglutide?

Semaglutide is the active ingredient in three popular medications, Wegovy®, Ozempic®, and Rybelsus®. [5-7] While all these medications contain semaglutide, only Wegovy® is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for weight loss.[5] A healthy diet and frequent exercise are recommended to optimize the benefits of semaglutide.[5-7] The following are details on the different brands of semaglutide:[5-11]

  • Wegovy®: Wegovy® is a once-weekly subcutaneous injection in a prefilled, single-dose pen. Wegovy® is indicated for adults with obesity (30 kg/m^2 BMI) and adults who are overweight (27 kg/m^2 BMI) with at least one weight-related medical condition. Medical conditions may include high blood pressure, T2D, or dyslipidemia. During Wegovy® clinical trials, patients reduced their calorie intake and increased their physical activity. A total of 86% of patients (non-diabetics) who received once-weekly subcutaneous semaglutide injections lost at least 5% of their body weight.[8]
  • Ozempic®: Ozempic® is a once-weekly subcutaneous injection for patients with T2D. However, Ozempic® is prescribed off-label for weight loss.[9] Ozempic® is used alongside diet and exercise to improve glycemic control and reduce cardiovascular risks in adults with T2D.
  • Rybelsus®: Rybelsus® is the oral version of semaglutide and is the first GLP-1 pill. Rybelsus® improves blood sugar levels in adults with T2D. The medication is taken once daily in conjunction with diet and exercise. Rybelsus® is FDA-approved for patients with T2D but is prescribed off-label for non-diabetics to assist with weight loss.

Everlywell Weight Loss Support

What Brand of Semaglutide Is the Best for Non-Diabetics?

Your healthcare provider will determine what brand of semaglutide is best for you. Wegovy® is the only semaglutide medication approved by the FDA for weight loss.[3] However, Ozempic® and Rybelsus® are often prescribed off-label for weight management. According to the FDA, healthcare providers may prescribe a drug for an unapproved use if they judge it is medically appropriate.[9]

What Are the Risks of Semaglutide?

The most common adverse reactions reported in patients treated with semaglutide include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and constipation.[5-7] Semaglutide may increase your risk of pancreatitis, acute gallbladder disease, hypersensitivity reactions, acute kidney injury, and thyroid C-cell tumors.[5-7] Whether semaglutide is safe in people with pancreatitis is unknown.[5-7] Semaglutide is contraindicated in patients with a personal or family history of medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) or patients with Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN 2).[5-7]

How Long Will Semaglutide Weight Loss Results Last?

Various factors, including lifestyle choices, will influence the duration of your semaglutide weight loss results. A clinical trial found that participants regained two-thirds of their previously lost weight within a year of stopping subcutaneous semaglutide.[10] Establishing a relationship with a healthcare provider may help you maintain your weight loss by providing motivation and guidance.

Weight Care+ program with Everlywell

The Everlywell telehealth option for online weight loss makes it easy to connect with a healthcare provider. The program combines GLP-1 prescriptions (if you qualify) with regular virtual care visits, lab testing, and support for related conditions. The program requires a 3-month commitment, but joining the program does not guarantee a prescription for a GLP-1. Your healthcare provider will determine your eligibility for a GLP-1 prescription based on their clinical judgment.

During your first visit, your healthcare provider will evaluate your medical history and order any necessary lab tests. During your second appointment, your provider will assess your test results, discuss your health and weight-related goals, and help you design a plan tailored to your needs.

During regular check-ins with your healthcare provider, you will discuss your weight loss progress, medication tolerance, and follow-up lab tests. Your healthcare provider will then adjust your care plan accordingly. The Weight Care+ program gives you the right tools to monitor and treat weight-related conditions.

What Is Semaglutide?

How to Keep the Weight Off After Semaglutide

How Much Weight Can You Lose On Semaglutide?


  1. Overweight & obesity statistics. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Published September 16, 2022. Accessed May 8, 2023.
  2. Nianogo RA, Arah OA. Forecasting obesity and type 2 diabetes incidence and burden: The ViLA-obesity simulation model. Front Public Health. 2022;10:818816. doi:10.3389/fpubh.2022.818816.
  3. Phillips A, Clements JN. Clinical review of subcutaneous semaglutide for obesity. Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics. 2022;47(2):184-193. doi:10.1111/jcpt.13574.
  4. Latif W, Lambrinos KJ, Rodriguez R. Compare And Contrast the Glucagon-like Peptide-1 Receptor Agonists (GLP1RAs). StatPearls Publishing; 2022.
  5. Wegovy® Prescribing Information. Accessed April 20, 2023.
  6. Ozempic® Prescribing Information. Accessed April 20, 2023.
  7. Rybelsus® Prescribing Information. Accessed May 6, 2023.
  8. Wilding JPH, Batterham RL, Calanna S, et al. Once-weekly semaglutide in adults with overweight or obesity. N Engl J Med. 2021;384(11):989-1002. doi:10.1056/NEJMoa2032183.
  9. Understanding Unapproved Use of Approved Drugs “Off Label.” U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Accessed May 8, 2023.
  10. Wilding JPH, Batterham RL, Davies M, Van Gaal LF, Kandler K, Konakli K, Lingvay I, Mcgowan BM, Oral TK, Rosenstock J, Wadden TA, Wharton S, Yokote K, Kushner RF. Weight regain and cardiometabolic effects after withdrawal of semaglutide: The STEP 1 trial extension. Diabetes, Obesity, and Metabolism. 2022;24(8):1553-1564. doi:10.1111/dom.14725.
  11. Gao X, Hua X, Wang X, et al. Efficacy and safety of semaglutide on weight loss in obese or overweight patients without diabetes: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Front Pharmacol. 2022;13:935823. doi:10.3389/fphar.2022.935823.
Everlywell makes lab testing easy and convenient with at-home collection and digital results in days. Learn More