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A comparison of Ozempic® and Jardiance®

Unsure about whether to choose Ozempic® or Jardiance®? Our article breaks down the options, helping you make an informed decision for your health.Explore their unique features, benefits, and potential side effects, so you can confidently select the best fit for your diabetes management journey.
comparison of Ozempic and Jardiance

Table of Contents

What are Ozempic® and Jardiance® and how do they work?

Ozempic® belongs to a class of medications called GLP-1 receptor agonists. Its generic name is semaglutide. It is an effective medication for controlling high blood sugar levels in those with type-2 diabetes. Ozempic® works by mimicking GLP-1 (Glucagon-like peptide-1), a hormone encoded in the body after food intake. This hormone helps to lower blood glucose levels by increasing insulin production and secretion, and slowing gastric emptying. Ozempic® is administered through a subcutaneous injection once a week. Jardiance® (empagliflozin) is an SGLT2 inhibitor. It is also intended to control high blood sugar levels in patients with type 2 diabetes. SGLT2 inhibitors work by inhibiting Sodium-Glucose Co-Transporter 2 (SGLT2), a protein in the kidneys. SGLT2 helps reabsorb glucose into the blood. By hindering this protein’s function, Jardiance® allows for more glucose to be excreted in urine, helping to lower blood glucose levels. Though both Ozempic® and Jardiance® are used to manage high blood sugar levels in patients with type 2 diabetes, their mechanisms of action are distinctly different. These differences can impact the medications’ side effects, effectiveness, and cost — factors that are essential to consider when choosing between the two.

What are the main differences between Ozempic® and Jardiance®?

In comparing Ozempic® and Jardiance®, several factors stand out. The first and most notable distinction is the medications’ mechanism of action. While Ozempic® operates by mimicking GLP-1, Jardiance® works by inhibiting SGLT2. The modes of administration also differ. Ozempic® is injected subcutaneously once a week, while Jardiance® is a daily oral tablet. This difference may influence a patient’s preference or compliance with their treatment regimen. Furthermore, side effects of the two medications vary. For Ozempic®, common side effects often involve gastrointestinal issues such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. On the other hand, Jardiance® may cause urinary tract infections and a higher likelihood of dehydration due to increased urination. Lastly, the two drugs diverge in moderating cardiovascular risk factors. Studies suggest that both medications can reduce heart-related conditions like stroke or heart attack in patients with type 2 diabetes and heart disease. However, Jardiance® has been found to lower the risk of hospitalization due to heart failure more significantly.

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Are there any common side effects of Ozempic® and Jardiance®?

Both Ozempic® and Jardiance® come with their respective side effects. For Ozempic®, some common side effects include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. On the other hand, Jardiance® may cause urinary tract infections, increased thirst, urinary frequency, and dehydration due to increased urination. In addition to these, there can be less common but severe side effects. For example, Ozempic® can cause kidney damage, pancreatitis, or reactions at the injection site. There’s also a small chance it could cause a type of thyroid tumor in some people. Jardiance®, on the other hand, could cause ketoacidosis (a dangerous level of ketones in the blood), severe urinary tract infections, and may increase cholesterol levels. Notably, both Ozempic® and Jardiance® may lead to hypoglycemia, especially if taken with other diabetes medications. It’s important for patients to report any side effects to their healthcare provider.

What are the cost differences between Ozempic® and Jardiance®?

The costs for Ozempic® and Jardiance® can vary depending on the specific type of health insurance a patient has. Prices can also fluctuate based on location, form, and quantity purchased per prescription fill. On average, the out-of-pocket cost of Ozempic® without insurance can range from $800 to $900 for a one-month supply. Jardiance®, in comparison, is generally lower, averaging around $600 to $700 for a one-month supply without insurance. Many patient assistance programs and coupons are available from both manufacturers—Novo Nordisk for Ozempic® and Boehringer Ingelheim for Jardiance®—that could offset some of these costs if patients qualify. Both drugs are considered brand-name medications, and currently, there’s not a generic form available for either, so patients may find them more expensive than other alternatives.

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How does the effectiveness of Ozempic® compare to Jardiance®?

Both Ozempic® and Jardiance® have been proven effective in controlling blood sugars in those with type 2 diabetes. However, their effectiveness varies based on several factors, including individual patient response and the medications’ unique mechanisms of action. Ozempic® has demonstrated robust efficacy in reducing HbA1c (average blood sugars over the past 3 months), with some studies suggesting it may reduce HbA1c by up to 1.8%. It has also shown potential for weight loss benefit, with some individuals losing up to 5-10% of their body weight during studies. Jardiance® has also shown efficacy in reducing HbA1c, albeit generally to a lesser extent, with an average reduction of around 0.7%. However, it offers unique benefits in cardiovascular risk reduction, particularly about heart failure risk. Some studies have demonstrated a reduction in hospitalization due to heart failure in those taking Jardiance® as compared to placebo. Ultimately, the decision between the two would involve a discussion with your healthcare provider, considering individual needs, cardiometabolic profile, preferences, and potential side effects.

Which medication is best for people with kidney issues?

Both Ozempic® and Jardiance® are used in patients with type 2 diabetes, including those with kidney disease. However, they do have unique impact on kidney function because of their mechanisms of action. Research suggests that Jardiance® might have a beneficial impact on kidney-related outcomes. It is believed to slow the progression of kidney disease in those with type 2 diabetes. Moreover, it is thought to reduce the risk of kidney disease progression, cardiovascular death, and hospitalization for heart failure. On the other hand, Ozempic® has not shown a detrimental impact on kidney function. Recent studies have also suggested potential renal benefits, such as reducing albuminuria (a marker of kidney disease), although more research is required in this area. It’s important to note that these medications aren’t suitable for everyone with kidney disease. Also, dosage adjustments may be necessary in patients with significantly reduced kidney function. Consultation with a healthcare provider is necessary to make the right choice of medication depending on individual traits and disease conditions.

How do dosing schedules compare between Ozempic® and Jardiance®?

The dosing schedules of both Ozempic® and Jardiance® are different and can influence a patient’s preference and adherence to medication. Ozempic® is prescribed as a once-weekly injection and is usually started at a lower dose of 0.25mg for four weeks, followed by an increase to 0.5mg. Optionally, the dosage can increase to 1mg if additional blood sugar control is needed. On the other hand, Jardiance® is a pill taken orally once daily in the morning with or without food. It comes in two strengths, 10 mg or 25 mg, and the doctor will typically start the patient on the lower strength before adjusting as required. The choice between a once-weekly injectable versus a daily oral medication can significantly affect a patient’s medication adherence. Some may prefer taking a pill daily over weekly injections, while others may find a once-weekly injection more convenient.

Can Ozempic® and Jardiance® be taken together?

Typically, Ozempic® and Jardiance® can be taken together to manage blood sugar levels if monotherapy does not yield the desired results. As they have different mechanisms of action, they can act on various aspects of glucose regulation and possibly offer a more comprehensive approach to blood sugar control. Adding a medication like Jardiance® to Ozempic® therapy could provide additional cardiovascular benefits, particularly in those with heart failure or a high risk of cardiovascular disease. However, this combination therapy may increase the risk of potential side effects. It’s important that this decision should be based on careful evaluation of multiple factors including individual response, tolerance, adherence to therapy, cost considerations, and most importantly, the patient’s overall safety.

Who should not take Ozempic® or Jardiance®?

Choosing a medication should always be individualized, considering a person’s health history, current conditions, and their lifestyle. Certain people should be cautious about using Ozempic® or Jardiance®. Ozempic® is not recommended for individuals with a personal or family history of medullary thyroid carcinoma or Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia syndrome type 2 (genetic disorders that increase the risk of certain tumours). It is also not advised for those with severe gastrointestinal disease or with hypersensitivity to semaglutide or any of its components. Jardiance®, on the other hand, should not be used in individuals with severe kidney disease or dialysis-dependent kidney failure, severe urinary tract infections or a history of ketoacidosis. It is also not for people with hypersensitivity to empagliflozin. Pregnant women or those planning to become pregnant should discuss with their health care provider before starting either of these medications. It’s essential that any individual consults with their doctor before starting a new medication to ensure its safety and efficiency for their specific situation.

What are the unique benefits of each medication?

While both Ozempic® and Jardiance® aim to control blood sugars in those with type-2 diabetes, they offer unique benefits. Ozempic® has been highlighted for its robust impact on blood sugar control and promoting weight loss. Its once-weekly dosing can also be convenient for those who struggle to remember daily medication doses. Besides, it has shown potential cardiovascular benefits in reducing the risk of major cardiovascular events such as heart attack, stroke, and cardiovascular death. On the other hand, Jardiance® is known for its cardiovascular benefits — particularly for reducing the likelihood of hospitalizations due to heart failure. It can also confer kidney-protective benefits and slow the progression of kidney disease in those with type 2 diabetes, a welcome benefit as kidney disease is a common complication of the condition. As an oral medication, it might be more appealing to those wary of injections. Ultimately, it is essential to consider these unique benefits along with individual patient circumstances, lifestyle, preferences, tolerance, and cost when deciding between these two medications.
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