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Ozempic vs Trulicity

If you have Type 2 diabetes, there are several medications that can help lower your blood glucose levels. 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 medicines available to you.

Both Ozempic and Trulicity are injectable Type 2 diabetes medications. 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.

Conditions treated by Ozempic and Trulicity

Ozempic and Trulicity are prescribed to adults to treat Type 2 diabetes. Taking either medication alongside changes to diet and exercise can lower your blood glucose levels and reduce the risk of major cardiovascular events, like heart attacks and strokes.

Ozempic and Trulicity are not for treating type 1 diabetes and are not approved by the FDA for this use.

Understanding GLP-1 receptor agonists

Ozempic and Trulicity belong to a group of medications 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 (hypoglycemia).

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 taken by 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, whilst Trulicity contains a GLP-1 receptor agonist called dulaglutide. Semaglutide and dulaglutide do work in similar ways, but they are not identical. You may respond to them differently.

The doses prescribed for each drug also vary. Ozempic can be prescribed in 0.25 mg, 0.5 mg, and 1 mg doses, whereas Trulicity 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.

Some of the other differences and similarities of Ozempic and Trulicity are highlighted in the table below:

Brand name: Ozempic Trulicity
Manufacturer: Novo Nordisk Eli Lilly
Medication type GLP-1 receptor agonist GLP-1 receptor agonist
Active ingredient: Semaglutide Dulaglutide
Indication: Type 2 diabetes Type 2 diabetes
Injection method: Injection under the skin (subcutaneous injection) using a pre-filled Ozempic Pen Injection under the skin (subcutaneous injection) using a pre-filled, single-dose Trulicity Pen
Doses 0.25mg once weekly
0.5mg once weekly
1mg once weekly
0.75mg once weekly
1.5mg once weekly
3mg once weekly
4.5mg once weekly
Average cost per injectable pen: $899 $891

More similarities and differences between Ozempic and Trulicity are detailed below. These include side effects, interactions, warnings, and the cost of Ozempic and Trulicity.

How effective is Ozempic vs Trulicity?

Both Ozempic and Trulicity are proven and effective treatments for type 2 diabetes.

However, in independent research that compared the two medications, Ozempic was found to be more effective than Trulicity. The study was 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 on average, 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.

Ozempic vs Trulicity side effects

The side effects caused by Ozempic and Trulicity were found to be similar in clinical trials. The medications will not cause side effects for everyone, but when they do the most common are gastrointestinal complaints. These include:

Ozempic

  • Feeling sick
  • Being sick (vomiting)
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach (abdominal) pain
  • Constipation

Trulicity

  • Feeling sick
  • Being sick (vomiting)
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach (abdominal) pain
  • Constipation
  • Reduced appetite

In rarer instances, Ozempic and Trulicity can cause more serious side effects, including:

Ozempic

  • Thyroid tumors and a type of thyroid cancer called medullary thyroid carcinoma
  • Kidney problems, including kidney failure
  • Inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis)
  • Severe allergic reactions
  • Changes in vision
  • Very low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)

Trulicity

  • Thyroid tumors and a type of thyroid cancer called medullary thyroid carcinoma
  • Kidney problems, including kidney failure
  • Inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis) – severe stomach problems, including pain, nausea, and vomiting
  • Severe allergic reactions
  • Very low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)

These are not all the side effects that can be caused by Ozempic or Trulicity. See the patient leaflet that comes with your medication for more details or talk to your doctor.

Ozempic vs Trulicity drug interactions

Medications can interact with each other. This can change how the medications work and make some side effects more likely. Tell your doctor if you take any of the medications below, as they may interact with Trulicity or Ozempic.

Ozempic

  • Any other diabetes medications, like insulin or sulfonylureas
  • Other medications that can lower your blood sugar levels, diuretics, corticosteroids, estrogens, oral contraceptives, and nicotinic acid
  • Any medications absorbed through your stomach, as Ozempic may increase the absorption of these drugs by keeping them in your stomach for longer
  • Bexarotene used to treat skin cancer

Trulicity

  • Any other diabetes medications, like insulin or sulfonylureas
  • Other medications that can lower your blood sugar levels, diuretics, corticosteroids, estrogens, oral contraceptives, and nicotinic acid
  • Any medications absorbed through your stomach, as Trulicity may increase the absorption of these drugs by keeping them in your stomach for longer
  • Bexarotene used to treat skin cancer

If you are unsure if you are taking any of the above, take the packaging of all your medications and supplements to your doctor or pharmacist.

Ozempic vs Trulicity warnings

Ozempic and Trulicity are not suitable for everyone and both carry similar warnings. You should not use Ozempic and Trulicity if you:

Ozempic

  • Are allergic to the active ingredient semaglutide
  • Are allergic to any of the other ingredients in Ozempic
  • Have Type 1 diabetes (Ozempic is for Type 2 diabetes only)
  • Have an endocrine system condition called multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN 2)
  • Have or anyone in your family has had a type of thyroid cancer called medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC)
  • Have diabetic ketoacidosis
  • Are under 18 years of age

Trulicity

  • Are allergic to the active ingredient dulaglutide
  • Are allergic to any of the other ingredients in Trulicity
  • Have Type 1 diabetes (Trulicity is for Type 2 diabetes only)
  • Have an endocrine system condition called multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN 2)
  • Have or anyone in your family has had a type of thyroid cancer called medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC)
  • Have diabetic ketoacidosis
  • Are under 18 years of age

You should talk to your doctor before using Trulicity or Ozempic if you:

Ozempic

  • Are taking any of the medications that could interact with Ozempic
  • Have or have had any problems with your pancreas
  • Have or have had any problems with your kidneys
  • Have a history of diabetic retinopathy
  • Are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant
  • Are breastfeeding or are planning to breastfeed

Trulicity

  • Are taking any of the medications that could interact with Trulicity
  • Have or have had any problems with your liver
  • Have or have had any problems with your pancreas
  • Have or have had any problems with your kidneys
  • Have severe stomach or intestinal problems
  • Have a history of diabetic retinopathy
  • If you have been sick or have diarrhea
  • Are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant
  • Are breastfeeding or are planning to breastfeed

Ozempic vs Trulicity cost comparison

Ozempic and Trulicity are both bought as packages of self-injecting pens. The price you pay for Ozempic or Trulicity without insurance will depend on the number of pens per pack and the strength of the pens. Prices will also vary by retailer. On average, Ozempic and Trulicity prices are similar, but Ozempic can be slightly more expensive:

  • 2 mg/1.5 ml pre-filled Ozempic Pen costs $899 on average for 1.5 milliliters
  • 0.75 mg/0.5 ml pre-filled Trulicity Pen costs $891 on average for 2 milliliters

The cost of Ozempic and Trulicity, if you have insurance, will depend on the details of your healthcare plan. Contact your pharmacist or insurance provider to calculate your copay with your current insurance.

Ozempic vs Trulicity FAQs

Are Trulicity and Ozempic the same?

Trulicity and Ozempic are both GLP-1 receptor agonist medications used to treat type 2 diabetes. 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.

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 include Bydureon, Byetta, Ozempic, Rybelsus, Tanzeum, and Victoza,

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.

Whilst 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 online enrollment application to find out if you are eligible for Trulicity or Ozempic assistance.

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