Rybelsus vs Jardiance - A Comprehensive Comparison Guide

Type 2 diabetes is a serious health condition that affects millions of people all around the world. Just in America, it is estimated that almost 40 million people have it, with the majority of them (about 90 to 95%) having type 2 diabetes, characterized by the person’s body not responding correctly to insulin, leading to too high blood sugar levels, which, eventually, might result in more serious health issues, such as kidney disease or vision loss. 

While there’s currently no cure for type 2 diabetes, there are certain medications that can make living with it easier by helping your body control insulin production. Two of those are Rybelsus and Jardiance. 

Both Rybelsus and Jardiance are used in the treatment of patients with type 2 diabetes, as they help regulate blood sugar levels – but aside from their prescribed uses, both of them have also shown potential in aiding weight loss management. 

So, if they’re so similar, where do the differences between them lay? That’s what we’ll be looking at in this article.

What Is Rybelsus?

Let’s start with the basics – what even is Rybelsus? Rybelsus is a type 2 diabetes medication with semaglutide as the active ingredient that is prescribed to patients over 18 who have type 2 diabetes. 

There are three ways in which Rybelsus affects the person taking the medication. First of all, it stimulates the pancreas, causing it to produce more insulin when there’s too much sugar in your bloodstream. Secondly, it decreases the amount of sugar your liver makes and releases into your system, and finally, it increases the time the food is kept in your stomach, which means that you feel full for longer.

What Is Jardiance?

In the case of Jardiance, on the other hand, the active ingredient is empagliflozin, which belongs to a class of medicines known as SGLT-2 inhibitors. Just like Rybelsus, it also helps regulate blood sugar levels in those suffering from type 2 diabetes.

Aside from that, it can also lower the risk of death in adults who have both type 2 diabetes and heart or blood vessel disease, as well as lower the risk of either death or hospitalization in those who suffer from heart failure.

How Does Rybelsus Work

Rybelsus is a GLP-1 receptor agonist, although you might also encounter it being called an incretin mimetic.

The medication mimics the functions of natural incretin hormones like GIP (glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide) and GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide-1). They help regulate blood sugar levels, especially after a meal, and are responsible for stimulating the production of insulin when the glucose levels in your blood increase.

If a person has type 2 diabetes, the release of incretin hormones either no longer takes place or is significantly reduced. That’s where Rybelsus comes into play. Since its structure is almost the same as the GLP-1 hormone produced by the body, it is able to bind to GLP-1 receptors and, as a result, stimulate insulin production and reduce the amount of glucose produced by the liver that gets released into the system.

How Does Jardiance Work

While Jardiance also helps in reducing the sugar levels in one’s body, the way it does it is different from Rybelsus.

Jardiance is part of a group of drugs called SGLT-2 inhibitors. The medication blocks SGLT-2 proteins, which are responsible for the reabsorption of glucose into the system, from performing their actions – and since the sugar cannot make it back into the bloodstream, it is released in urine. This, in turn, leads to lower overall blood sugar levels.

In addition, Jardiance also lowers the amount of sodium that is reabsorbed in the proximal tubule of the kidney so that it can help protect it in individuals with kidney disease.

Approved and Off-Label Uses - Rybelsus and Jardiance

Both drugs have approved and off-label uses. 

When it comes to Rybelsus, its approved use is to help patients with type 2 diabetes control blood sugar levels. It can, however, also be prescribed off-label for weight loss management to those with a BMI (body mass index) over 30, provided they have at least one weight-related condition – for example, high blood pressure. 

When it comes to Jardiance, it has FDA’s approval for type 2 diabetes, as well as the treatment of adults with chronic kidney disease and those living with heart failure with reduced ejection fraction. Just like Rybelsus, it is also sometimes prescribed off-label for patients who want to lose weight.

Rybelsus Effectiveness in Type 2 Diabetes Treatment

You might be wondering – just how effective in treating type 2 diabetes Rybelsus is? Let’s take a look at a clinical trial where one of the goals was to test its effectiveness on HbA1c levels in patients with diabetes.

Clinical Trial

The efficiency of Rybelsus was confirmed by a double-blind clinical trial, which involved over 700 adult patients from nine different countries with type 2 diabetes and who were insufficiently controlled with diet. They were divided into groups, and during the 26 week testing period, they either received a daily dose of oral semaglutide or a placebo. The semaglutide group was further divided into three smaller ones based on how much of it they received – 3 mg, 7 mg or 14 mg. 

At the beginning of the trial, the participants underwent HbA1c level testing so that the results could be compared with the same test done at 26 weeks. As it was discovered, those who took semaglutide, regardless of the dosage, noticed a decrease in the HbA1c level of anywhere between 1.2 to 1.4%. In those on placebo, on the other hand, the decrease wasn’t as impressive, oscillating around 0.3%. 

Interestingly, an increase in body weight loss was also noticed. The group of participants taking a placebo noted an average change in body weight of 1.4 kg, while those on semaglutide lost as much as 3.7 kg.

Jardiance Effectiveness in Type 2 Diabetes Treatment

Similarly to Rybelsus, Jardiance also underwent clinical trials in which the participants had type 2 diabetes. 

The double-blind, placebo-controlled trial involved 986 adult patients with type 2 diabetes. The participants first entered a two-week open-label placebo run-in period, and once that was almost up, the patients with hemoglobin levels between 7 and 10% were randomly assigned a 10 mg dose of Jardiance, 25 mg dose of Jardiance, placebo, or a reference comparator. 

The trial lasted several weeks, and at the 24th-week mark, the participants underwent tests meant to assess the efficacy of their assigned medications. As it turned out, those who took Jardiance showed significant reductions in hemoglobin levels, fasting glucose levels, as well as body weight when compared to the group that was given a placebo.

Rybelsus vs. Jardiance for Weight Loss

How do both Rybelsus and Jardiance perform when it comes to weight loss?

Truthfully, as far as Jardiance vs Rybelsus for weight loss goes, not only have both drugs shown effectiveness in reducing the body weight of those taking them, but the results were also quite similar, with Rybelsus leading slightly.

So, if you’re wondering which one is better, we’re afraid there isn’t a straightforward answer.

Rybelsus Dosage and Administration

woman puts white pill in her mouth

To ensure that Rybelsus is absorbed properly, it should be taken in the morning, approximately half an hour before food or any other oral medication, and with a glass of water. It’s important to note that you shouldn’t crush, split, or chew the pill – Rybelsus should be taken whole. After 30 minutes have passed, you can have your breakfast, or the rest of your medications.

As for the dosage, you will typically start with the lowest dose, which is 3mg every day. After about a month, if the doctor deems it necessary, they will increase the dosage to 7 mg daily and then to 14 mg a day, which is the maximum dosage you can take.

If you miss a Rybelsus dose, then just skip it altogether for the day – don’t take it later in the day. Just remember to take the next dose according to the regular schedule.

Jardiance Dosage and Administration

Jardiance is a tablet taken orally every day, in the morning. While Rybelsus should be taken on an empty stomach, with Jardiance it doesn’t make a difference if you already had or are going to have food. Once taken, the medication takes about half an hour to an hour to start working.

There are two dosages you might be prescribed – 10 mg and 25 mg – usually, you will start with the lower one, and if the need arises, it will then be increased by your doctor to the higher dose.

In case you miss your Jardiance dose, the best course of action would be to take the forgotten dose as soon as you remember about it. However, if it’s closer to the next one than to the missed dose, then just take the next dose according to schedule. If you accidentally double your dose, it might lead to blood sugar levels that are dangerously low.

Rybelsus Side Effects

Just like most medications, Rybelsus also has side effects – some more severe than others. 

Among the common Rybelsus side effects that will usually pass on their own when your body gets used to the medication, you can find: 

  • Low blood sugar levels 
  • Diarrhea, constipation
  • Nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite  
  • Headaches, dizziness, tiredness 

There are also some more severe side effects – if you’re experiencing them, you should contact your doctor as soon as possible so that they can advise you on what to do next. Those include, but are not limited to: 

  • Changes in vision 
  • Unusual mood changes and/or thoughts involving hurting yourself
  • Pancreatitis symptoms, such as severe pain in your upper stomach area spreading to your back, increased heart rate, and/or nausea 
  • Kidney problems, including shortness of breath, tiredness, swelling, and/or urinating less

In some cases, the medication might cause an allergic reaction characterized by a fast heartbeat, hives, itching, dizziness, trouble breathing, and swelling, typically in the face and throat areas. If you do get an allergic reaction, stop using Rybelsus immediately and get professional medical help right away. 

Finally, it’s important to know that Rybelsus might interfere with certain drugs, so always make sure to tell your doctor about any other medication you take so that they can make a fully informed decision on whether you need to switch any of them. Also, since one of the ways in which Rybelsis works is by slowing digestion, any medication that you take orally might take longer to absorb.

Jardiance Side Effects

Jardiance can have several side effects on the patients. Among the common ones you can find urinary tract infections (UTIs) and yeast infections – while they affect both male and female patients taking Jardiance, they are more common among the female patients. 

However, there are also more severe side effects – if you experience them, you should get in touch with your doctor as soon as you can. Those include: 

  • Ketoacidosis – a condition where the body speeds up the fat break down process, creating too much fuel called ketones, causing them to build up in your blood and making it acidic. 
  • Dehydration
  • Hypoglycemia – blood sugar levels drop below the healthy levels. 
  • Necrotizing fasciitis – while a very rare condition, it can happen when taking Jardiance; it’s crucial that the treatment is applied right away, as it can be life-threatening; necrotizing fasciitis is a bacterial infection that progresses rapidly and is characterized by damage to the muscles, skin and underlying tissue. 

Some people might also find themselves allergic to the medication, more or less severely. For mild allergic reactions, the symptoms include skin rash, itching and flushing. More severe allergic reaction, on the other hand, entails swelling (either under your skin, for example in your eyelids or hands, or of your tongue, mouth or throat) and trouble breathing. 

As for drug interactions, there are a few drugs Jardiance shouldn’t be taken with, including “water pills” also known as diuretics (medications used to lower blood pressure), insulin, sulfonylureas, glinides and lithium.

Rybelsus and Jardiance Costs Compared

When it comes to the costs, Jardiance is the cheaper option, as one tablet comes down to about $19, while for Rybelsus, the cost per tablet is about $30. However, your insurance plays a crucial role in how much you will in the end pay for the medication. 

The plays you buy it from also makes a difference. At Buy Rybelsus, we understand that, which is why we aim to provide you with prices from several different online pharmacies, so that you can see the most affordable options.

Final Thoughts

When being prescribed medication for controlling blood sugar levels in patients with type 2 diabetes, there are a few potential options you might be given – and two of them are Rybelsus and Jardiance.

Both Rybelsus and Jardiance are effective medications in treating type 2 diabetes, with Jardiance also having a few other applications. They both also have shown promising results in weight loss management, although neither has officially been approved for it by the FDA.

While they have some similarities, they also have quite a few differences, as you can see. Whichever will be better for you will be decided by your doctor after assessing your individual situation.

Comparative Analysis Table

Category Rybelsus Jardiance
Generic Name Semaglutide Empagliflozin
Drug Type GLP-1 receptor agonist SGLT-2 inhibitor
FDA Approval Year 2019 2014
Indications and Usage Type 2 diabetes; off-label for weight loss Type 2 diabetes, adults with chronic kidney disease, those living with heart failure with reduced ejection fraction; off-label for weight loss
Mechanism of Action Mimics GLP-1, enhancing insulin secretion, inhibiting glucagon release, slowing gastric emptying Blocks SGLT-2 proteins, preventing sugar from reentering the bloodstream, and causing it to be released in urine
Dosage and Administration Oral tablet: starting dose typically 3 mg once daily, may increase to 7 mg and then max 14 mg Oral tablet; starting dose typically 10 mg once daily, may increase to 25 mg
Efficacy Effective in lowering blood sugar levels, potential weight loss benefits Effective in lowering blood sugar levels, lowering the risk of death in adults with both type 2 diabetes and heart or blood vessel disease, lowering the risk of death or hospitalization in those who suffer from heart failure; potential weight loss benefits
Side Effects Nausea, abdominal pain, diarrhea, decreased appetite UTIs, yeast infections; more severe include ketoacidosis, dehydration and hypoglycemia
Costs Varies; can be expensive without insurance coverage Varies; can be expensive without insurance coverage but tends to be cheaper than Rybelsus

FAQs

When shouldn’t you take Rybelsus?

There are a few instances where taking Rybelsus is not recommended, including when you: 

  • Are allergic to semaglutide or any other ingredient 
  • Have had MTC (medullary thyroid carcinoma)
  • Have MEN 2 (multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2)
  • Have pancreatitis 
  • Have type 1 diabetes 
  • Are underage 

There are also a few situations in which your doctor might decide that it is better to choose another medication, including when you: 

  • When you’re on other medications that can interfere with Rybelsus 
  • Are or were experiencing problems with your pancreas
  • Have kidney disease
  • Are or were experiencing problems with your eyes, such as glaucoma or cataracts
  • Are or are planning on getting pregnant 
  • Are or are planning on breastfeeding

There are a few instances where taking Jardiance is not recommended, including when you: 

  • Are allergic to empagliflozin or any other ingredient 
  • Have type 1 diabetes 
  • Are underage 

There are also a few situations in which your doctor might decide that it is better to choose another medication, including when you: 

  • Have kidney or liver issues
  • Have a history of UTIs or problems with urinating 
  • Are expected to undergo a surgery in the near future 
  • Are or were experiencing problems with your pancreas
  • Are or are planning on getting pregnant 
  • Are or are planning on breastfeeding
  • Engage in binge drinking, or drink a lot of alcohol in general
  • Have changed your diet or are eating less than normally

Resources

https://www.healthline.com/health/drugs/rybelsus

https://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-166762/jardiance-oral/details