Trulicity vs Ozempic: What’s the Difference?

By Zina Semenovskaya, MD
Medically reviewed checkmarkMedically reviewed
July 22, 2022

Trulicity and Ozempic are medications in the class of drugs called glucagon-like peptide-1s receptor agonists (GLP-1s).

These medications mimic the hormone GLP-1 naturally made in the digestive tract to help improve glycemic control, body weight, and type 2 diabetes

Though both medications are GLP-1s, Trulicity and Ozempic contain different active ingredients: Trulicity contains dulaglutide, while Ozempic contains semaglutide

There are important differences between Trulicity and Ozempic.

Some research suggests that Ozempic (semaglutide) may offer the best weight reduction and reduction in A1C (a measure of blood glucose levels), but that there are lower rates of gastrointestinal side effects with Trulicity and other GLP-1 medications.

What is Trulicity?

Trulicity is a GLP-1 medication that helps treat type 2 diabetes. It is typically injected once weekly in adults.

It contains the active compound dulaglutide, and is manufactured by Ely Lilly and Company. 

Importantly, Trulicity cannot treat type 1 diabetes or diabetic ketoacidosis.

However, when used as directed, it may decrease the risk of some health complications associated with type 2 diabetes, including heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, nerve damage, eye problems, and gum disease.

What is Ozempic?

Ozempic is a GLP-1 medication that is also usually injected once weekly for the treatment of type 2 diabetes.

It has also been approved by the FDA to support chronic weight management. It contains the active compound semaglutide, and is manufactured by Novo Nordisk.

Ozempic works by helping the pancreas to release the right amount of insulin when blood sugar levels are high.

It also helps to slow the rate of stomach emptying, which can support weight loss. 

Trulicity vs. Ozempic

Both Trulicity and Ozempic should be used alongside a comprehensive diet and exercise program in adults.

Neither Trulicity nor Ozempic should be used as a quick fix for type 2 diabetes or weight loss.

When taken as directed, both medications can also help to reduce the risk of stroke, heart attack, or death in adults with type 2 diabetes who also have heart and blood vessel disease. 

Importantly, Trulicity is only approved for use in adults with type 2 diabetes.

Ozempic is approved for use in people with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or greater or in people with a BMI of 27 or greater who also have a metabolic health condition, like type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure. 

Here’s a summary of the main differences and similarities between the two medications:

Medication classActive compoundDrug administrationStarting doseHighest dose availableGained FDA approval
TrulicityGLP-1DulaglutideInjection0.75 mg/week4.5 mg/week2014
OzempicGLP-1SemaglutideInjection0.25 mg/week1.0 mg/week2017

Conditions Treated

Both Trulicity and Ozempic have been shown to support weight loss, but only Ozempic is specifically indicated for chronic weight management.

Trulicity

Trulicity is only indicated as an adjunct treatment to diet and exercise to improve glycemic control in adults with type 2 diabetes.

When used regularly, it can decrease the risk of some health complications associated with type 2 diabetes, including heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, nerve damage, eye problems, and gum disease.

Ozempic

Ozempic is also indicated as an adjunct treatment to diet and exercise in adults with type 2 diabetes.

However, it’s also approved for use as a weight loss medication in people with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or greater who do not have type 2 diabetes.

For people with type 2 diabetes or another metabolic health condition, like high cholesterol or high blood pressure, Ozempic is also approved as long as the patient has a BMI of 27 or higher. 

Side Effects

Like most medications, both Trulicity and Ozempic can cause side effects. Most side effects are mild and affect the gastrointestinal system.

According to one review, the rate of side effects is higher with Ozempic than with Trulicity. 

Trulicity

The most common side effects of Ozempic are:

Serious side effects are also possible with Trulicity medication. Please seek emergency care if you experience any of the following:

  • Vomiting
  • Hives
  • Rash
  • Ongoing pain that starts in the upper or middle of the stomach (but can spread to the back)
  • Itching
  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • Swelling of the lips, tongue, face or throat
  • Vision changes
  • Fast heartbeat

Ozempic

The most common side effects of Ozempic are:

Serious side effects are rare, but still possible.

If you experience any of the following, please seek emergency treatment:

  • Ongoing pain that begins in the upper left or middle of the stomach but may spread to the back, with or without vomiting
  • Rash and itching
  • Swelling of the eyes, face, mouth, tongue, or throat
  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • Decreased urination
  • Swelling of legs, ankles, or feet
  • Vision changes
  • Fainting or dizziness
  • Pain in upper stomach
  • Yellowing of skin or eyes
  • Fever
  • Clay-colored stools 
  • Rapid heartbeat

Warnings

Before starting either medication, be sure to tell your provider about any medications, supplements, or vitamins you’re currently taking.

It’s also important to disclose any existing medical conditions you may have. 

Neither Trulicity nor Ozempic should be combined with any other GLP-1 or weight loss drug.  

Trulicity

Individuals with a personal or family history of medullary thyroid cancer or Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN 2) should not take Trulicity, as this may increase the risk of tumors of the thyroid gland.

Ozempic

Like Trulicity, Ozempic should not be used by individuals with a personal or family history of medullary thyroid cancer or Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN 2). 

Effectiveness

In general, GLP-1 medications have been researched for over 16 years and have shown consistent results in the reduction of body weight in obese patients with or without diabetes.

Trulicity

The results of six clinical studies showed that treatment with Trulicity in adults with type 2 diabetes resulted in greater reductions in A1C levels when compared with placebo.

In addition to improving glycemic control, Trulicity may help to reduce the risk of a stroke or heart attack. 

Ozempic

Ozempic has been shown to be effective in support of weight loss as well as for the management of type 2 diabetes.

Research suggests that Ozempic may be more effective at supporting weight loss than other GLP-1s; however, the risk of gastrointestinal side effects may also be greater when taking Ozempic compared to other GLP-1 medications. 

Another study funded by Ozempic’s manufacturer Novo Nordisk found that the active ingredient in Ozempic (semaglutide) was more effective than the active ingredient in Trulicity (dulaglutide) at improving glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes

Cost

The cost of GLP-1 medications can vary depending on many factors, including your insurance coverage and the rates at your local pharmacy.

Trulicity

The list price of Trulicity, or what you could pay out-of-pocket without insurance or if your insurance doesn’t cover the medication, is $886.46 per month.

However, with coverage, you could pay as little as $25 per month for the medication.

Ozempic

Without insurance, Ozempic can cost over $1,300 per month. With coverage, you may pay as little as $25 per month.

How K Health Can Help

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is Ozempic the same as Trulicity?
Both Ozempic and Trulicity are GLP-1 medications that are indicated for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. However, Ozempic has also been approved by the FDA to support chronic weight management. Trulicity is only approved for the treatment of type 2 diabetes in adults. However, it has been shown to help support and promote weight loss when used as an adjunct to diet and exercise. Though they are both GLP-1s used to treat type 2 diabetes and support weight loss, each of these medications contain different active ingredients: Trulicity’s active ingredient is dulaglutide, while Ozempic’s is semaglutide. They are also made by different manufacturers: Trulicity is produced by Eli Lilly and Company, while Ozempic is produced by Novo Nordisk.

K Health articles are all written and reviewed by MDs, PhDs, NPs, or PharmDs and are for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute and should not be relied on for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment.

Zina Semenovskaya, MD

Dr. Semenovskaya specializes in emergency medicine, and received her medical degree from Weill Cornell Medical College. She is currently the medical director at Remote Emergency Medicine Consulting, LLC and splits her time working clinically as an emergency medicine attending in California and Alaska. She is the first of our doctors to be fluent in Russian.

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