Managing diabetes is no easy task, and selecting the right medication is a vital part of this journey. Enter Rybelsus and Trulicity, two leading medications that offer powerful support in controlling blood sugar levels for those with type 2 diabetes. Each comes with its own distinct advantages and mechanisms of action, but the real question is: which one is more effective for you?

In this article, we’ll compare Rybelsus and Trulicity to help you understand their differences, benefits, potential side effects, and costs. Whether you’re newly diagnosed or considering a change in your treatment, this guide will help you understand which option might be better for you. 

Key Takeaways

  • Both Trulicity and Rybelsus belong to the glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists, used for managing type 2 diabetes mellitus.
  • Rybelsus is an oral medication available in tablet form, while Trulicity is administered via subcutaneous injections once a week.
  • Rybelsus has a flexible dosage regimen, starting at 3 mg once daily and increasing to 7 mg or 14 mg daily for additional glycemic control. Trulicity has fixed dosages of 0.75 mg and 1.5 mg administered once weekly.
  • Both medications have common side effects such as nausea, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. However, Rybelsus has additional side effects including decreased appetite and constipation, while Trulicity mentions severe gastrointestinal disease and diabetic retinopathy complications as potentially serious side effects.
  • Clinical trials have shown that Rybelsus effectively lowers blood sugar levels, with 69% to 77% of patients achieving significant improvement. Trulicity has consistently demonstrated the ability to reduce HbA1c levels by about 0.78% to 1.64% from the baseline.
  • While both medications have shown potential for weight management, Trulicity is not FDA-approved specifically for weight loss, whereas Rybelsus, although not officially approved for weight management, is sometimes considered for off-label use due to its effects on insulin and glucagon.

Comparing Rybelsus vs Trulicity

RybelsusTrulicity
Drug ClassGlucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonistGlucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist
Indications and UsesType 2 diabetesType 2 diabetes
Dosage And AdministrationStart with 3 mg once daily for 30 days; it is not effective for glycemic control by itself. After 30 days, increase to 7 mg once daily. For additional glycemic control, increase to 14 mg once daily. Take at least 30 minutes before the first food, beverage, or other oral medications with no more than 4 oz of plain water.The initial dosage is 0.75 mg administered subcutaneously once a week. The maintenance dosage may be adjusted to 1.5 mg once a week. This medication is available in single-dose pens specifically designed for subcutaneous injection. Administer once weekly at any time of day with or without food.
Forms and StrengthsTablets 

  • 3 mg
  • 7 mg
  • 14 mg
Subcutaneous injections

  • 0.75 mg/0.5 mL Single-Dose Pen 
  • 1.5 mg/0.5 mL Single-Dose Pen
  • 3 mg/0.5 mL Single-Dose Pen
  • 4.5 mg/0.5 mL Single-Dose Pen
Side EffectsCommon side effects include nausea, abdominal pain, diarrhea, decreased appetite, vomiting, and constipation. Serious side effects include potential thyroid C-cell tumors, pancreatitis, and hypersensitivity reactions.Common side effects include nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and decreased appetite. Serious potential side effects include thyroid C-cell tumors, pancreatitis, severe gastrointestinal disease, and diabetic retinopathy complications.
Average
US Price
$949-$1,078
(30 tablets)
$845-$1,087
(4 pens)
Our Price$297$282

Rybelsus Semaglutide TabletsWhat Is Rybelsus?

Rybelsus is an FDA-approved oral medication primarily used to enhance glycemic control in conjunction with diet and exercise in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus. It contains semaglutide, a GLP-1 receptor agonist that regulates blood sugar levels by increasing insulin production and decreasing glucagon secretion in a glucose-dependent manner. 

This medication is taken orally and was first approved in the United States in 2017. Rybelsus is not recommended as a first-line therapy due to potential risks associated with rodent studies, such as thyroid C-cell tumors, and is also contraindicated in patients with certain thyroid diseases. 

While not officially approved for weight management, off-label use of Rybelsus for weight loss is sometimes considered due to its effects on insulin and glucagon. Similar to other drugs in its class that have shown efficacy in reducing weight in diabetic and non-diabetic patients, such use should be guided by a healthcare professional, considering the individual’s health profile and the medication’s potential risks.

Trulicity (Dulaglutide)What is Trulicity?

Trulicity (dulaglutide) is an injectable prescription medication approved by the FDA in 2014 for use in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus to improve blood sugar control and to reduce the risk of major cardiovascular events such as death, heart attack, or stroke in adults with diabetes and established cardiovascular disease or multiple cardiovascular risk factors. 

It is a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist that stimulates insulin release in response to high blood sugar levels, slowing gastric emptying, and suppressing appetite, which can indirectly assist with weight management. However, it’s important to note that while Trulicity may lead to weight loss as a side effect, it is not FDA-approved specifically for weight loss.

Efficacy in Blood Glucose Control for Type 2 Diabetes Patients

In the SUSTAIN 7 clinical trial, researchers compared the effectiveness of two medications, semaglutide (Rybelsus) and dulaglutide (Trulicity), in managing blood sugar levels for individuals with type 2 diabetes. The study included 1201 patients from 194 sites across 16 countries, providing comprehensive data on the performance of these drugs.

The trial results indicated that both medications effectively reduced HbA1c, which measures average blood glucose levels over the past two to three months. Specifically, semaglutide was found to be more effective than dulaglutide. Patients treated with 0.5 mg of semaglutide experienced a reduction in HbA1c by 1.5 percentage points, compared to a 1.1 percentage point reduction with 0.75 mg of dulaglutide. Higher doses of semaglutide (1.0 mg) also showed a significant decrease in HbA1c by 1.8 percentage points, while dulaglutide (1.5 mg) reduced it by 1.4 percentage points.

The study concluded that semaglutide was superior to dulaglutide at low and high doses in improving glycemic control. This suggests that semaglutide could help a significantly greater number of patients with type 2 diabetes achieve clinically meaningful targets for blood sugar levels, potentially offering better management of the condition.

Trulicity vs Rybelsus Weight Loss

Trulicity

Trulicity is effective for weight loss in people with type 2 diabetes. In the AWARD-11 study, different doses of Trulicity were tested: 1.5 mg, 3.0 mg, and 4.5 mg. Patients taking the 3.0 mg dose lost about 4.0 kilograms, and those on the 4.5 mg dose lost around 4.7 kilograms over 36 weeks. These results were better compared to the 3.1 kilograms lost by those on the 1.5 mg dose. 

The study also found that higher doses of Trulicity led to greater weight loss. Notably, weight loss was similar across different body weights and blood sugar levels. This suggests that Trulicity can be a helpful option for weight management in those with type 2 diabetes, especially when used in higher doses.

Rybelsus

Rybelsus, the oral form of semaglutide, has shown significant effectiveness in weight loss. In a 68-week phase 3 clinical trial involving 667 adults who were overweight or had obesity along with one or more concurrent conditions, those who received a daily 50-mg dose of oral semaglutide experienced an average weight loss of 15.1%. This was considerably higher than a 2.4% weight loss in placebo participants.

Rybelsus vs Trulicity Cost

StrengthQuantityUS PriceBCI PriceSAVINGS
Rybelsus3mg30 tablets$1,078$29772%
60 tablets$2,147$57073%
90 tablets$3,216.00$810.0075%
7mg30 tablets$1,078$305.0072%
60 tablets$2,147$580.0073%
90 tablets$3,216.00$855.0073%
14mg30 tablets$1,078$315.0071%
60 tablets$2,147$610.0072%
90 tablets$3,216.00$900.0072%
Trulicity0.75 mg/0.5 mL4 pens$845.41$282.0067%
8 pens$2,166.00$560.0074%
12 pens$3,246.00$831.0074%
1.5 mg/0.5 mL4 pens$1,087.00$282.0074%
8 pens$2,166.00$560.0074%
12 pens$3,246.00$831.0074%

Customers can save more by purchasing in bulk limited to a 90-day supply. Get a 10% discount on your first order of Rybelsus or Trulicity with the coupon code FIRST10

Conclusion

Bboth Rybelsus and Trulicity are effective medications for managing type 2 diabetes, each with its unique features and benefits. Rybelsus, an oral medication, offers flexible dosing and has shown potential for weight management, while Trulicity, administered via weekly injections, has consistently demonstrated the ability to lower HbA1c levels. 

The choice between the two will depend on individual patient preferences, lifestyle, and specific health needs. Patients must consult with their doctors to determine the most suitable treatment option for their diabetes management.

FAQs About Rybelsus and Trulicty

Can you switch from Trulicity to Rybelsus, or vice versa?

Yes, you can switch from Trulicity (dulaglutide), a once-weekly injectable GLP-1 receptor agonist, to Rybelsus (oral semaglutide), a daily oral GLP-1 receptor agonist, or vice versa. When switching to Rybelsus, it’s recommended to start with a 7-mg dose up to 1–7 days after the last injection of Trulicity.

Does Rybelsus work better than Trulicity?

Rybelsus and Trulicity are both medications used to manage blood sugar in adults with type 2 diabetes. The effectiveness of each can vary from person to person. Rybelsus is an oral tablet, while Trulicity is an injection. Your healthcare provider can help determine which medication may work better for you based on your needs and medical history.

Can you take Trulicity and Rybelsus together?

No, Trulicity and Rybelsus should not be taken together. Both medications work similarly to treat diabetes and lower the risk of certain heart problems. Combining them does not offer additional benefits and may increase the risk of side effects associated with each drug, such as diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. Following your healthcare provider’s recommendations regarding using these medications is important.

Can Rybelsus replace Trulicity?

No, Rybelsus cannot directly replace Trulicity. While both are GLP-1 receptor agonists used to manage type 2 diabetes, Rybelsus is an oral medication, and Trulicity is an injectable. Consult your healthcare provider to determine the best treatment for your condition.

Is Trulicity the same as Rybelsus?

No, Trulicity (dulaglutide) and Rybelsus (semaglutide) are different medications. Both are GLP-1 receptor agonists used to manage type 2 diabetes, but they contain different active ingredients and dosing methods. Trulicity is an injectable, while Rybelsus is an oral tablet.

What medicine is similar to Rybelsus?

Rybelsus (semaglutide) is similar to other GLP-1 receptor agonists such as Ozempic (injectable form of semaglutide), Victoza (liraglutide), and Trulicity (dulaglutide). These medications work by mimicking the action of the GLP-1 hormone, which helps regulate blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes.

Is there a generic version of Rybelsus?

Currently, there is no generic version of Rybelsus available. Rybelsus is a relatively new medication that is under patent protection. Generic versions typically become available after the patent expires.

Can you get Rybelsus over the counter?

No, Rybelsus is a prescription medication and cannot be purchased over the counter. You need a prescription from a healthcare provider to obtain Rybelsus.

What is the best substitute for Trulicity?

Other GLP-1 receptor agonists, such as Ozempic (semaglutide), Victoza (liraglutide), or Byetta (exenatide), would be the best substitutes for Trulicity (dulaglutide). The substitute choice depends on individual patient needs and the healthcare provider’s recommendation.

Is there a generic version of Trulicity?

Currently, no generic version of Trulicity is available. Trulicity is also under patent protection, preventing the production of generic versions until the patent expires.

Sources

U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (2019, September 20). FDA approves first oral GLP-1 treatment for type 2 diabetes. FDA. https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/fda-approves-first-oral-glp-1-treatment-type-2-diabetes

Robinson, S., Boye, K. S., Mody, R., Strizek, A. A., Konig, M., Malik, R. E., & Kennedy-Martin, T. (2020). Real-World Effectiveness of Dulaglutide in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: A Literature Review. Diabetes Ther, 11(7), 1437-1466. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7324465/

Bonora, E., Frias, J. P., Tinahones, F. J., et al. (2021). Effect of dulaglutide 3.0 and 4.5 mg on weight in patients with type 2 diabetes: Exploratory analyses of AWARD?11. Diabetes Obesity and Metabolism, 23(10), 2242–2250.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8518850/