Ozempic and Trulicity are brand-name prescription drugs for type 2 diabetes commonly taken with metformin to help lower your blood glucose levels. They also help lower your risk for heart attack, stroke, and death from heart disease. Ozempic is manufactured by Novo Nordisk and Trulicity is manufactured by Eli Lilly.
It is not always easy to know how these medications work and the differences between them. Your doctor will prescribe you the most appropriate medication for your needs, but it is still important to better understand the diabetes drugs available to you.
BothOzempicandTrulicityare injectable type 2 diabetes medications approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). But are they the same? Here we focus on Ozempic vs Trulicity and explain clearly and simply what they are, how they work, and the similarities and differences between them.
Understanding GLP-1 receptor agonists
Ozempic and Trulicity belong to a drug class called GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide-1) receptor agonists. When you eat and drink, your body produces digestive hormones called incretins. GLP-1 is one of these incretin hormones.
GLP-1 incretin hormones help lower your blood glucose levels when you digest food in three ways. They:
- Stimulate your body to produce more insulin
- Prevent the release of glucagon
- Slow down how quickly your body digests food
Ozempic and Trulicity act in the same way as GLP-1 incretin hormones. By stimulating the same receptors, they cause your body to release more insulin, less glucagon, and digest food slower.
Trulicity and Ozempic are more active when you have consumed food and are digesting it. They become less active when you stop eating or drinking. They help to ensure your blood glucose levels do not fall too low causing hypoglycemia. Trulicity and Ozempic can not be used to treat type 1 diabetes.
What is the difference between Trulicity and Ozempic?
So, what is the difference between Trulicity and Ozempic? Both are GLP-1 receptor agonist medications used to treat type 2 diabetes. They are given as an injection under the skin (subcutaneous injection) using a self-injecting pen device, and they work in the same way. Although Ozempic and Trulicity are similar, there are key differences between them.
The active ingredients they contain are the most important difference between Ozempic and Trulicity. Ozempic contains a GLP-1 receptor agonist called semaglutide, while Trulicity contains a GLP-1 receptor agonist called dulaglutide. Semaglutide and dulaglutide do work in similar ways, but they are not identical and you may respond to them differently.
The doses prescribed for each drug also vary. Ozempic pens can be prescribed in 0.25 mg, 0.5 mg, and 1 mg doses, whereas Trulicity pens can be prescribed in larger 0.75 mg, 1.5 mg, 3 mg, and 4.5 mg doses. Ozempic is typically taken in smaller doses, as independent research has shown it to be more effective than Trulicity.
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How effective is Ozempic vs Trulicity?
Both Ozempic and Trulicity are proven and effective treatments for type 2 diabetes. However, in the SUSTAIN 7 clinical trial that compared the two medications, Ozempic was found to be more effective than Trulicity. Thestudywas conducted on 1,201 patients with type 2 diabetes from 194 hospitals in 16 countries. Over the 40-week trial, Ozempic lowered blood glucose levels further than Trulicity on average and caused more weight loss. No noteworthy differences in side effects were found between Ozempic and Trulicity.
Although Ozempic was found to be more effective than Trulicity, it is important to note that people respond to medications differently. This means some people will get better results from Trulicity and some from Ozempic.
The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends using a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) agonist, such as Ozempic or Trulicity, in adults with type 2 diabetes who also have cardiovascular disease or kidney disease.
Common side effects of Ozempic and Trulicity
Ozempic and Trulicity both belong to the same class of medication hence, they both have similar common gastrointestinal side effects such as:
- Abdominal pain
In rare instances, Ozempic and Trulicity can cause more serious side effects, including:
- An increased risk of thyroid tumors, symptoms such as hoarseness, a lump or swelling in the throat
- Kidney problems, including kidney failure
- Serious allergic reactions cause swelling under your skin, normally in your eyelids, lips, hands, or feet. Swelling of your mouth, tongue, or throat leading to shortness of breath
- Inflammation of your pancreas (pancreatitis). Symptoms of pancreatitis include severe abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting that doesn’t stop
- Changes in your vision
- Very low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
For medical advice about side effects, talk with your health care provider and also read the medication guide and instructions for use that comes with Ozempic.
RELATED: Ozempic side effects, Trulicity side effects
Ozempic and Trulicity drug interactions
- Any medications you take orally to reduce the risk of blood clots (oral anticoagulants) like warfarin
- Insulin – Ozempic can be used alongside insulin, but your doctor may change the dose of insulin you take and/or how often you use insulin
- Any other medications that are taken to treat type 2 diabetes such as sulfonylureas
Ozempic and Trulicity warnings & precautions
Don’t take Ozempic or Trulicity if you:
- Are allergic to the active ingredient semaglutide, or any of the other ingredients in Ozempic
- Have had, or anyone in your family has had a type of thyroid cancer called medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC)
- Have an endocrine system condition called multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN 2)
- Have pancreatitis
- Have type 1 diabetes (Ozempic is for type 2 diabetes only)
- Are under 18 years of age
Talk to your doctor before taking Ozempic if you:
- Have had any problems with your pancreas or kidneys
- Have ever had diabetic retinopathy
- Are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant
- Are breastfeeding or are planning to breastfeed
Always speak to your healthcare provider for medical advice regarding drug interactions, taking supplements, taking over-the-counter medications, and drinking alcohol when using Ozempic or Trulicity. Healthcare professionals are the most reliable and accurate source of drug information.
Are Trulicity and Ozempic the same?
Trulicity and Ozempic are both GLP-1 receptor agonist medications used to treat type 2 diabetes mellitus. Although similar, they are different medications that contain different active ingredients. Dulaglutide in Trulicity and semaglutide in Ozempic. The two medications may also affect you differently.
Is Ozempic better than Trulicity?
Ozempic and Trulicity are similar medications that can help to reduce your blood sugar levels in the same way. However, independent research that compared the two medications, found that Ozempic lowered blood glucose levels further than Trulicity. It also caused more weight loss.
RELATED: Ozempic for weight loss
What drug is comparable to Trulicity?
Trulicity belongs to a class of Type 2 diabetes medications called GLP-1 receptor agonists. Other GLP-1 receptor agonists includeBydureon,Byetta,Ozempic,Rybelsus (oral medication of Ozempic),Tanzeum, andVictoza.
How long does it take for Ozempic to work?
Ozempic begins working as soon as you take it. It can take 5 to 8 weeks before you see a noticeable drop in your blood glucose, and up to 6 months for it to be most effective. Ozempic should be taken alongside changes to your diet and exercise. You will get better results faster if you stick to your diet and exercise program.
How long can you stay on Trulicity?
Trulicity can be taken over the long term. It is important to note that you may need to stop using Trulicity if it causes you severe side effects, or if it does not work effectively for you.
Is Ozempic cheaper than Trulicity?
The price paid for Ozempic and Trulicity will depend on your insurance status, the number of self-injecting pens, the strength you buy, as well as where you buy them. Average prices for Ozempic and Trulicity prices are similar, but Ozempic is usually slightly more expensive.
While Ozempic and Trulicity are similar GLP-1 receptor agonist medications used to treat Type 2 diabetes, there are differences between them. Whichever medication you have been prescribed is the one that you should take.
If your doctor has prescribed Ozempic or Trulicity to you, you may be able to receive your medication for $49 per month with NiceRx. Complete our onlineenrollment applicationto find out if you are eligible for Trulicity or Ozempic assistance.