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Trulicity vs. Jardiance: Differences, similarities & side effects

See how Trulicity and Jardiance compare in similarities, differences, effectiveness, cost, and more

Key takeaways

  • Trulicity (dulaglutide) and Jardiance (empagliflozin) are brand-name diabetes drugs that are FDA approved to control blood sugar levels in people with Type 2 diabetes, along with diet and exercise. 

  • Both drugs can lower the risk of a heart attack, stroke, or death in adults with Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease (or who are at risk of developing cardiovascular disease). Jardiance also can be used in certain people with heart failure or kidney disease.

  • Trulicity is a once-weekly injectable medication. Jardiance is a tablet that you take daily.

  • Both drugs have various side effects and warnings to consider. Consult your healthcare provider for professional medical advice about your medical condition and treatment.  

Trulicity and Jardiance are two brand-name medications used to help control blood sugar in people with Type 2 diabetes. Trulicity is an injectable medication made by the pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly & Company. Jardiance is an oral tablet made by Boehringer Ingelheim. Although they are both diabetes medications, they are in different drug classes, work differently, have different forms of administration, and have other differences as well. Continue reading to learn more about Trulicity and Jardiance.

Trulicity vs. Jardiance: Key differences

Trulicity is a brand-name drug that contains the active ingredient dulaglutide. It is a member of a drug class called glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists, the same class as drugs like Ozempic (semaglutide) and Victoza (liraglutide). It works in several ways—by helping the pancreas release insulin when blood sugar is high, decreasing glucagon secretion, and slowing the movement of food through the stomach.

Jardiance is a brand-name medicine containing the active ingredient empagliflozin. It is part of a drug class called sodium-glucose co-transporter 2 (SGLT2 ) inhibitors, the same class as drugs like Farxiga (dapagliflozin) and Invokana (canagliflozin). It works by helping the kidneys eliminate glucose through the urine. 

Compare Trulicity vs. Jardiance key differences

Trulicity Jardiance
Drug class Glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist (GLP-1 agonist) Sodium-glucose co-transporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitor
Brand/generic status Brand Brand
What is the active ingredient? Dulaglutide  Empagliflozin
What form(s) does the drug come in? Injection pens: 0.75 mg per injection, 1.5 mg per injection, 3 mg per injection, 4.5 mg per injection Oral tablets: 10 mg, 25 mg
What is the standard dosage? The starting dose is 0.75 mg injected subcutaneously (under the skin) once weekly. A healthcare professional will provide a dosing schedule that gradually increases the dose to a maximum dose of 4.5 mg. Varies by use. The starting dose is 10 mg by mouth once daily. Some people will require 25 mg daily for blood sugar control.
How long is the typical treatment? Long-term Long-term
Who typically uses the medication? Adults and children 10 years and older Adults and children 10 years and older

 

Trulicity vs. Jardiance: Conditions treated

Trulicity and Jardiance are both approved by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) to improve blood glucose levels in adults and pediatric patients 10 years and older with Type 2 diabetes. Either drug can also lower the risk of major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE) such as heart attack, stroke, and death in adults who have Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease or risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

Additionally, Jardiance can lower the risk of cardiovascular death and heart failure hospitalization in adult patients with heart failure. It can also lower the risk of kidney disease progression, cardiovascular death, and hospitalization in adults with chronic kidney disease at risk of progression.

Compare Trulicity vs. Jardiance conditions treated
Condition Trulicity Jardiance
Type 2 diabetes, along with diet and exercise Yes (adults and children 10 years and older) Yes (adults and children 10 years and older)
Lower the risk of a heart attack, stroke, or death in adults with Type 2 diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease (or at risk of developing cardiovascular disease) Yes (adults only) Yes (adults only)
To reduce the risk of cardiovascular death and heart failure hospitalization in adults with heart failure No  Yes 
To reduce the risk of kidney disease progression, cardiovascular death, and hospitalization in adults with chronic kidney disease No  Yes 

 

Is Jardiance better than Trulicity?

There is little data comparing these drugs directly. In one clinical trial, Jardiance and Trulicity were not studied alone, but in combination with three other drugs. Researchers added either Jardiance or Trulicity to a drug regimen in people with Type 2 diabetes who were not well-controlled on metformin plus two other diabetes drugs. Patients were studied over six months, and the researchers found that people who took Jardiance as part of a four-drug combination had a greater reduction in hemoglobin A1C (a measure of long-term blood sugar control) and more weight loss. 

When healthcare providers prescribe medication for diabetes or other conditions, they follow clinical guidelines, such as guidelines from the American Diabetes Association. For  Type 2 diabetes, healthcare providers will recommend lifestyle changes and generally prescribe metformin, which is a first-choice diabetes medication. They will take into account many factors and often combine metformin with other medications, depending on the individual patient. For example, for adults with Type 2 diabetes who have cardiovascular disease (or are at high risk of heart disease) or heart failure, an SGLT2 inhibitor (such as Jardiance) and/or a GLP-1 receptor agonist (such as Trulicity) is recommended. Many patients take multiple drugs for diabetes—this is called combination therapy. Certain people may take both Trulicity (or a similar drug) and Jardiance (or a similar drug).

RELATED: Jardiance vs. Metformin

Your healthcare provider can determine the best medication for you, taking into account multiple considerations, such as your medical conditions, medical history, potential side effects, and other medications you take. 

Trulicity vs. Jardiance: Insurance coverage and cost comparison

According to the manufacturer of Trulicity, most commercial insurance plans cover Trulicity with an out-of-pocket cost of $30 or less per month, but some individuals will pay higher prices. About 70% of people with Medicare prescription coverage pay $100 or less per month, but some will pay more. Without insurance, a box of Trulicity 1.5 mg pens (a one-month supply) costs about $1,272, but you can use a SingleCare coupon to pay as low as $786 per month.

According to the manufacturer of Jardiance, almost 90% of people with commercial insurance plans—and 60% with Medicare prescription coverage—pay $50 or less per month for Jardiance, while some will pay more. Without insurance, a one-month supply of Jardiance can cost about $838, but using a free SingleCare coupon can bring the price down to as low as $526 per month. 

RELATED: Jardiance cost with Medicare

You can contact your health insurance provider for the most recent information on pricing estimates. You can also visit the manufacturer’s website for each drug to learn about other ways to save. 

Compare Trulicity vs. Jardiance cost & coverage

Trulicity Jardiance
Typically covered by insurance? Yes  Yes 
Typically covered by Medicare Part D? Yes Varies 
Quantity 1 box 30, 25 mg tablets
SingleCare cost $786 $526

 

Trulicity vs. Jardiance side effects

Common side effects of Trulicity include changes in blood sugar, nausea, diarrhea, heartburn, appetite loss, and tiredness. 

Common side effects of Jardiance include increased urination, urinary tract infections, yeast infections, and joint pain.

This is not a full list of side effects, and others may occur, including serious side effects. Consult your healthcare provider for more information about the side effects of Trulicity and Jardiance.

Compare Trulicity vs. Jardiance side effects

Trulicity Jardiance
Side effect Applicable? Frequency* Applicable? Frequency*
Nausea Yes  12.4%–21.1% Yes  1.1%–2.3%
Diarrhea  Yes  8.9%–2.6% No  n/a
Vomiting  Yes  6%–12.7% No, but some of the complications may involve vomiting n/a
Stomach pain Yes  6.5%–9.4% No, but some of the complications may involve stomach pain n/a
Appetite loss  Yes  4.9%–8.6% No  n/a
Heartburn  Yes  4.1%–5.8% No  n/a
Fatigue  Yes  4.2%–5.6% No, but some of the complications may involve fatigue n/a
Urinary tract infection No  n/a Yes  7.6%–9.3%
Increased urination  No  n/a Yes  3.2%–3.4%
Female yeast infection No  n/a Yes  5.4%–6.4%
Male yeast infection  No  n/a Yes  1.6%–3.1%
Joint pain  No  n/a Yes  2.3%–2.4%
High cholesterol  No  n/a Yes  2.9%–3.9%

*Frequency depends on the dose

Source: DailyMed (Trulicity), DailyMed (Jardiance)

Trulicity and Jardiance drug interactions

Before you take Trulicity or Jardiance, tell your doctor about all the medications you take, including prescription drugs, over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and supplements. 

When taking Trulicity or Jardiance with insulin or sulfonylurea diabetes medications, there is an increased risk of low blood sugar. Close monitoring and a dosage adjustment may be required. 

Because Trulicity affects stomach emptying, it can interfere with the absorption of oral medications. Ask your healthcare provider if you need to time your medications differently while taking Trulicity. This is especially true with certain drugs, such as the blood thinner warfarin

Taking Jardiance with a diuretic (a water pill) can increase urination and urine volume, which may cause dehydration. Jardiance also interacts with lithium, which can result in decreased lithium levels and can make lithium less effective. Careful monitoring will be required.

This is not a full list of drug interactions, and other drug interactions may occur. Consult your healthcare provider for more information about drug interactions and how they may affect you.

Compare Trulicity vs. Jardiance drug interactions

Drug Drug Class Interacts with Trulicity? Interacts with Jardiance?
Humalog

Novolog

Insulin  Yes  Yes 
Amaryl (glimepiride)

Glucotrol (glipizide)

Glyburide

Sulfonylureas Yes  Yes 
Oral medications Oral medications Potentially; ask your healthcare provider if you need to adjust the timing of any medications  No 
Hydrochlorothiazide

Lasix (furosemide)

Diuretics  No  Yes 
Lithium  Mood stabilizer  No  Yes 

 

Trulicity and Jardiance drug warnings

Before you take Trulicity or Jardiance, tell your healthcare provider about your medical conditions and medical history, including if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

With either drug, get emergency medical help if you have symptoms of a severe allergic reaction, such as hives, difficulty breathing or swallowing, or swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat. 

Also, talk with your healthcare provider about blood sugar monitoring due to the risk of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Some symptoms of low blood sugar include headache, weakness, drowsiness, irritability, hunger, confusion, shaking, dizziness, sweating, and fast heartbeat.

Trulicity warnings

Trulicity has a boxed warning, the most serious warning required by the FDA. The warning states that, in animal studies, dulaglutide has caused thyroid C-cell tumors. It is not known whether this affects humans. People with a personal or family history of medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) and people with Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN 2) should not take Trulicity. For people who do take Trulicity, it is important to be alert to the signs and symptoms of thyroid cancer and contact a healthcare provider immediately if there is a lump in the neck, hoarseness, or difficulty breathing or swallowing. 

Other Trulicity warnings include:

  • A risk of pancreas problems (pancreatitis), kidney problems, and gallbladder problems
  • A risk of diabetic retinopathy complications 
  • Severe gastrointestinal side effects 

This is not a complete list of warnings. Consult your healthcare provider for more information about Trulicity warnings. 

Jardiance warnings

Jardiance can cause diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) that can be life-threatening and can lead to death. Certain people are at higher risk, such as people with Type 1 diabetes and people with Type 2 diabetes who are sick or who are following a ketogenic diet. Stop taking Jardiance and get medical help right away if you have nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, tiredness, or difficulty breathing. 

Before taking Jardiance, your healthcare provider will check your kidney function—especially if you have kidney problems, take water pills, or are an older adult. You will be monitored during therapy for volume depletion (low plasma).

Jardiance can increase the risk of the following, which require immediate medical attention:

  • Urinary tract infections, which can be severe 
  • Yeast infections of the genitals
  • Ulcers of the lower limbs, which may require amputation in severe cases
  • Fournier’s Gangrene, a condition that can be life-threatening and can cause pain, redness, tenderness, or swelling around the genitals or anus, along with fever and fatigue

Consult your healthcare provider for more information about what to watch for when taking Jardiance or Trulicity, as they’ll be more familiar with your personal medical history and any other medications or supplements you’re taking that may interact with Ttulicity and or Jardiance.