From Ozempic to Wegovy, these were Yahoo's top weight-loss drug searches of 2023

A woman holds a weight-loss drug injection pen
Ozempic, Wegovy and Mounjaro were among the top weight-loss drug search terms in 2023, according to Yahoo Search data from January to November. (Peter Dazeley/Getty Images)

Weight-loss drugs were this year’s most searched health trend in Yahoo Search, and for good reason: 2023 was flooded with headlines about how the injections and pills can help people lose a significant amount of weight, along with the risks and complications that can go along with using them.

Much of the popularity of weight-loss drugs can be traced to celebrity culture, with everyone from Elon Musk to Oprah to Sharon Osbourne going public about using medications to slim down.

And the trend doesn’t appear to be slowing down, especially as we enter the post-holidays weight-loss season and people try to accomplish their New Year’s resolutions. As we wrap up 2023, here’s what people were specifically searching for this year in weight-loss medications.


Ozempic — a brand name for a drug called semaglutide — was by far the most searched weight-loss drug this year. Semaglutide is part of a class of medications known as glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists, which mimic a gut hormone that regulates blood sugar and appetite. Ozempic, which is a once-weekly injection, is approved by the Food and Drug Administration “to reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke or death in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus and known heart disease.” It’s advertised by Ozempic as “not for weight loss,” though the manufacturer adds that “it may help you lose some weight,” and it’s often prescribed off-label for that.

Semaglutide has upended the diet industry, with Morgan Stanley Research reporting that 7% of the U.S. population could be using Ozempic or Wegovy by 2035.


Semaglutide is also sold under the brand name Wegovy. But unlike Ozempic, this once-weekly injection isn’t just approved for diabetes treatment; Wegovy is approved by the FDA “to help adults and children aged 12 years and older with obesity or some adults with excess weight (overweight), who also have weight-related medical problems, to lose weight and keep the weight off, in addition to diet and exercise.”

Danish drugmaker Novo Nordisk, which produces Wegovy and Ozempic, recently released data showing that the drug can not only help patients lose 15% of their weight but also reduces incidences of heart attack, stroke or death from heart disease by 20%.


Tirzepatide, which is sold under the brand name Mounjaro, was approved by the FDA as a type 2 diabetes medication in 2022, and regulators recently allowed a new version of the treatment to be sold as a weight-loss drug. Tirzepatide works similarly to semaglutide by regulating appetite but also targets a second hormone called glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide, or GIP. It influences the metabolism of fat and appears to stimulate satiety, or the feeling of being full.


Phentermine is the active ingredient in brands like Lomaira — which is taken in tablet form 30 minutes before meals and can be used up to 3 times a day — and Adipex-P, which also comes in pill form. Phentermine is only approved for use for up to 12 weeks, but it can be combined with a drug called topiramate for more long-term use (that drug combination is sold under the brand name Qsymia). Phentermine is one of the most prescribed weight-loss medications, but it’s only recommended for people over age 16 as an appetite suppressant to treat obesity.


Rybelsus is approved for those with type 2 diabetes and delivers semaglutide — the same appetite-regulating medication found in Ozempic and Wegovy — in pill form instead of an injection. It costs about the same as the injections, but unlike the shots, Rybelsus pills are taken daily instead of weekly.


Liraglutide — the active ingredient in Saxenda — is a different type of GLP-1 agonist that works similarly to the appetite-regulating drug semaglutide, which is used in Ozempic. But unlike Ozempic, Saxenda is FDA-approved for weight management in adults and children over age 12. The medication also needs to be injected more frequently — once a day, as opposed to Ozempic’s once-a-week regimen.


Bupropion and naltrexone, the active ingredients in Contrave, work together to target areas of the brain that control hunger and cravings. Contrave is taken in pill form twice a day and has been around as an FDA-approved weight-loss drug since 2014.


Victoza is given as a daily injection and contains liraglutide — the same active ingredient found in Saxenda. But while Saxenda is FDA-approved as a weight-loss drug, Victoza is only intended to treat type 2 diabetes. Still, Victoza has gained popularity as a treatment for obesity.


Along with Lomaira, Adipex-P is one of the weight-loss brand names under which the drug phentermine is sold. Phentermine is recommended for short-term use but can be combined with topiramate for long-term weight management. Adipex-P is generally prescribed as a once-daily pill to adults over age 16.


Qsymia is the brand name of an FDA-approved medication taken orally once a day that combines the drug phentermine (an appetite suppressant, which on its own is only recommended for a few weeks) with the drug topiramate (an anticonvulsant). Qsymia is recommended to be used for a maximum of two years, so like most weight-loss drugs, it’s prescribed in tandem with healthy lifestyle habits, such as a balanced diet and exercise, so that weight loss can be maintained after stopping treatment.

Read more from Yahoo Life:

You can check out more of the weight-loss drug stories that made headlines by reading some of our most popular coverage from 2023. And if you want to share your thoughts with us on Ozempic and other weight-loss treatments, you can do so here.

For a user-friendly manual on weight-loss drugs:

What’s the difference between Ozempic and Zepbound? Our comprehensive guide to weight-loss drugs

For more information on the possible dangers:

Weight-loss medications may help. They also may hurt. Here's what you need to know.

These people experienced complications from weight-loss drugs. Here's what it's like.

For stories about celebrities using weight-loss drugs:

Oprah reveals she's on weight-loss medication: 'I'm absolutely done with the shaming'

Sharon Osbourne reveals she weighs less than 100 lbs. after Ozempic. Why dropping too much weight is a legitimate concern.

Robbie Williams says he’s taking ‘something like Ozempic’ for weight loss: What is it?

For debunking myths:

Berberine is hailed online as 'nature's Ozempic.' Why experts say 'it's not accurate.'

For ways weight-loss drugs are influencing the economy:

Ozempic, Wegovy, and other weight-loss drugs' real business impact

Surge in obesity drugs like Ozempic has pummeled big food stocks. Is it time to eat them up?