Rybelsus vs. Jardiance

Authored by The Rx Advocates, / Medically Reviewed by Dr. Conor Sheehy, PharmD, BCPS


Rybelsus vs. Jardiance – which is the best choice for your Type 2 Diabetes?

Both medications have helped patients with Type 2 Diabetes manage their blood sugar levels. But there are some differences between the two.

Your doctor will offer you their recommendation based on your medical history. But you may find it helpful to learn more about each one.

What is Rybelsus?

Rybelsus is classified as a GLP-1 receptor agonist. This medication mimics the effects of GLP-1, a naturally occurring hormone. This hormone stimulates insulin and lowers glucagon secretion. It works by helping to control blood sugar levels in patients with Type 2 Diabetes.

Most doctors only choose to prescribe Rybelsus for their patients when other medications for Type 2 Diabetes have not been effective. But if you are newly diagnosed, your doctor may prescribe Rybelsus if they think it may work well for you.

This medication does not have a generic formulation (semaglutide). It is an oral medication taken once per day. Patients typically begin taking 3 mg; after 30 days, the dose is increased to 7 mg. Your doctor will closely monitor your blood glucose levels and may or may not increase your dose.

Rybelsus should be taken simultaneously every day and works best with a healthy diet and regular exercise.

Common Adverse Effects

If your doctor has decided Rybelsus is right for you, you may experience some adverse effects. They include:

  • Constipation
  • Stomach pain
  • Decreased appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Most of these effects should subside once your body adjusts to Rybelsus. You may notice some weight loss as well, which is normal. This is due to slower digestion caused by this medication.

While uncommon, some patients may experience severe effects when taking this medication. They include:

  • Gallbladder problems
  • Signs of pancreatitis
  • Vision changes
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Kidney problems

If you are allergic to Rybelsus, such as hives or throat swelling, stop taking it immediately and call your doctor. Talk with your doctor or go to the emergency room if you experience severe adverse effects.

Rybelsus Benefits

Rybelsus and other glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists have helped many patients significantly lower their A1C levels by around 1%.

This medication may help you lose weight, contributing to overall good health. Your doctor may combine Rybelsus with insulin or other medications if they feel you could benefit.

What is Jardiance?

Jardiance is an oral medication prescribed to help control blood glucose levels. Jardiance is classified as an SGLT-2 inhibitor. It is available under the generic empagliflozin for people with Type 2 Diabetes.

This medication works by helping your kidneys remove glucose from your bloodstream. It is not for patients with Type 1 Diabetes.

If your doctor recommends Jardiance, they will prescribe a starting dose of 10 mg daily in the morning. Many patients need to increase their dose to 25 mg daily, depending on how this medication works for them.

Jardiance works best when used in combination with a healthy diet and exercise. This medication may be recommended for you if you have been diagnosed with heart disease.

Common Adverse Effects

Patients taking Jardiance will experience some adverse effects. The most common effects include:

  • Yeast infections in women
  • Bladder infections
  • Urinary tract infections
  • More frequent urination
  • Upper respiratory tract infections
  • Joint pain
  • Nausea
  • Low blood sugar
  • High cholesterol
  • Dehydration
  • Ketoacidosis

If you begin taking Jardiance and you notice signs of an allergic reaction (swelling of the tongue, lips, or face, hives, etc.) stop taking this medication immediately and call your doctor.

Other, more severe effects have been reported. Talk with your doctor if you experience any of the following:

  • Signs of a severe genital infection
  • Feeling lightheaded or dizzy
  • Dehydration

Benefits of Jardiance for Type 2 Diabetes

Jardiance has proven effective in helping patients manage their blood sugar levels.

In one 24-week study of adults diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, Jardiance helped some patients reach an A1C of less than 7%. In addition, some patients experienced reduced fasting blood glucose levels of 19-25 points (mg/dL).

Your doctor may choose to prescribe Jardiance if you have previously been diagnosed with heart disease.

According to the FDA, this medication is approved to reduce the risk of cardiovascular death in patients with heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. It may reduce your risk of hospitalization if you have a history of heart failure and low ejection fraction.

Rybelsus vs. Jardiance: Warnings

Some patients taking Rybelsus have reported suicidal behavior and ideation. Patients with a personal or family history of thyroid cancer should use caution before starting this drug.

Rybelsus may not be the right option for you if you:

  • Are taking any medication that could interact with it.
  • Have pancreas or kidney problems.
  • Have ever had glaucoma, cataracts, or other issues with your eyes.
  • Are pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning to become pregnant.

Your doctor may not recommend Jardiance if you:

  • Have a history of kidney or liver problems.
  • Have had problems with your pancreas or have ever had pancreas surgery.
  • Have a history of urinary problems, including UTIs.
  • Drink alcohol often or binge drink.
  • Are pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning to become pregnant.
  • Have recently changed your diet.

Neither of these medications is approved for patients under the age of 18.

Which Type 2 Diabetes Medication is Right for You?

Both Rybelsus and Jardiance have worked well for patients with Type 2 Diabetes. Both have demonstrated effectiveness in lowering A1C levels and blood sugar levels.

But if you also have a history of cardiovascular disease, your doctor may recommend Jardiance over Rybelsus. Alternatively, your doctor may also recommend a completely different medication to treat your Type 2 Diabetes, such as:

Contact The Rx Advocates for Help with the Cost of Your Medication

Jardiance and Rybelsus can be expensive for patients, even with health insurance. Your doctor may recommend the brand-name version of either medication, which can increase the price.

The Rx Advocates offers financial help to patients who qualify for our program. We work directly with pharmaceutical company patient assistance programs to lower the cost of brand-name medications.

Your medication will be delivered to your door free of charge, and you will only be charged our monthly fee. This could save you hundreds of dollars each year or more.

For more information about our program, please contact us today.

  1. Drugs.com. Comparing Jardiance vs Rybelsus. December 2022. Available at Drugs.com.
  2. Rybelsus. What to Expect With Rybelsus. June 2022. Available at Rybelsus.com.
  3. National Library of Medicine. Glucagon-like Peptide-1 Receptor Agonists. November 26, 2022. Available at ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.
  4. Drugs.com. Jardiance. December 2022. Available at Drugs.com.
  5. Jardiance. Type 2 Diabetes. October 2022. Available at Jardiance.com.
  6. U.S. Food & Drug Administration. FDA Approves Treatment for Wider Range of Patients with Heart Failure. February 24, 2022. Available at FDA.gov.
  7. Lantus. Once-Daily Lantus is the Most Prescribed Long-Acting Insulin. 2022. Available at Lantus.com.
  8. Victoza. Victoza (liraglutide) injection 1.2 mg or 1.8 mg. September 2022. Available at Victoza.com.
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