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All About Compounded Medications for Weight Loss

Medications like Ozempic and Wegovy are in high demand, creating a shortage in the supply chain. Filling in the gaps are pharmacies specially licensed to create compounded medications for weight loss, including compounded semaglutide. But are these drugs safe and effective? And how do they differ from manufactured drugs?

What are compounded medications?

Before medications were mass produced, all drugs were compounded drugs. Simply put, compounded drugs are specially made for each patient, while manufactured drugs are produced on a large scale, with the same drug being prescribed to many people.

Despite the widespread manufacturing of drugs, compounding remains a key part of modern medicine. Today there are thousands of compounding pharmacies across the US ensuring patients get the treatments they need—which means millions of medications are compounded each year in America.

Why are weight loss medications compounded?

There are several reasons medications may be compounded. For weight loss meds, the top reason for compounding is to make up for the federally declared shortage of manufactured drugs like Ozempic and Wegovy (semaglutide).  

Are compounded drugs “generic” versions?

No, compounded drugs are not generics. Like branded drugs, generic drugs are mass produced and must be the same as their mass-produced branded counterpart in terms of dosage, form, and labeling

Compounded drugs are created to fill specific prescriptions needs and can be tailor made for each person. 

Are compounded medications legitimate and safe?

Yes. Licensed pharmacies have been creating safe compounded medications for decades. 

Though the FDA does not review compounded drug final products, compounding pharmacies are required to meet high standards of quality and compliance:

  • Substances used in compounding must meet strict criteria set by the United States Pharmacopeia-National Formulary (USP-NF) and US federal law
  • All medication ingredients used in compounding must come from FDA-registered facilities
  • Every active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) has a certificate of analysis showing the potency and purity of the drug 
  • The equipment that compounding pharmacies use is subject to inspection by state boards of pharmacy and by the FDA


There are, of course, bad actors out there who are selling unsafe substances—but these are not licensed pharmacies. The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy offers a list of websites they do not recommend you order from.

Does QuickMD use trusted compounding pharmacies?

Yes! QuickMD refers patients to licensed compounding pharmacies that comply with USP standards, including USP 797: Pharmaceutical Compounding of Sterile Preparations, as well as state board of pharmacy regulations. 

How is compounded semaglutide made?

Making compounded semaglutide is a straightforward process: A licensed compounding pharmacy purchases the active pharmaceutical ingredient called semaglutide base from an FDA-registered pharmaceutical ingredient manufacturer, then combines it with other approved ingredients to create a final product that is stable and injectable.

How do compounded weight loss drugs differ from manufactured weight loss drugs?

In practice, the major difference between compounded weight loss products and manufactured ones is the container the medication comes in. Manufactured semaglutide (Ozempic and Wegovy) comes in an adjustable “pen” with a built-in needle. Compounded semaglutide is drawn up and injected with a needle and syringe.

To see how to properly draw and inject weight loss meds with a needle and syringe, watch our video.

What are common side effects of compounded weight loss medications?

Because the active pharmaceutical ingredient is the same in compounded and manufactured weight loss drugs, the possible side effects are the same. The adverse effects most common in patients taking compounded semaglutide or manufactured semaglutide (Ozempic and Wegovy)  are nausea, diarrhea, or vomiting.

Many times, these side effects will go away over time, but if they don’t, talk to your doctor or medical provider about your symptoms. Your provider can suggest dietary changes, or they may adjust your dose or suggest use of an anti-nausea medication.

Ready to try compounded semaglutide for weight loss?

QuickMD offers several weight loss medication options, including branded and nonbranded (compounded) semaglutide. Check out our prescription weight loss solutions page to view our offerings, and when you’re ready, contact a QuickMD provider to get started on your journey to better health.

People also want to know . . .

How to Relieve Nausea While on Ozempic
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External Sources Referenced:

Alliance for Pharmacy Compounding. What is pharmacy compounding?

American Pharmacists Association. Frequently asked questions about pharmacy compounding. 2021.

National Association of Boards of Pharmacy. NAPB’s not recommended sites. 2024. Acces

The Office of the Law Revision Counsel. United States Code.

The United States Pharmacopeial Convention. USP General Chapter 795.

The United States Pharmacopeial Convention. USP General Chapter 797.

The United States Pharmacopeial Convention. An overview of USP Monographs.

US Food & Drug Administration. FDA Drug Shortages. 2024.

US Food & Drug Administration. Generic drugs: questions & answers. October 4, 2023.

US Food & Drug Administration. Medications containing semaglutide marketed for type 2 diabetes or weight loss. January 9, 2024.

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