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Trulicity vs. Metformin

Authored by The Rx Advocates, / Medically Reviewed by Dr. Conor Sheehy, PharmD, BCPS
Last Updated: June 21, 2022

Trulicity and Metformin are two types of medications that are prescribed for people who have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Metformin is the most common treatment used by physicians to treat patients.

Trulicity and Metformin should be used in combination with diet and exercise. These two types of medications have been shown to manage high blood sugar and treat type 2 diabetes.

Trulicity and Metformin are two different types of medication treatments that are prescribed, so a doctor will need to look at each individual’s case to determine which medication might be best for each patient. It is always important to know the differences between Trulicity and Metformin so that the patient understands why the doctor prescribed that specific medication for them.

 

What is Trulicity?

The FDA approved Trulicity in 2014. This medication along with diet and exercise can reduce blood sugar levels.

It is injected into the body with a prefilled pen after meals to help the body control blood sugar levels. It can be used with other type 2 diabetes medications, but it should not be used to treat type 1 diabetes.

There is no generic for this medication. Trulicity works by mimicking the action of a naturally occurring hormone action of GLP-1 that helps regulate blood glucose levels.

Trulicity is an injection that can be done under the skin into the stomach, thing or upper arm.  This is to be done once a week, any time, with or without food. Trulicity has also been used to reduce the risk of major cardiovascular events like heart attacks and strokes.

Trulicity is not to be confused with insulin, and it still relies on the human body to produce, store and release insulin. Trulicity dosage starts with 0.75 mg injections each week and can be increased up to 4.5 mg each week depending on the response from the patient.

 

The Side Effects of Trulicity

As with any medication prescribed by a doctor, it is important to understand the potential side effects of Trulicity. It is important to tell the doctor if you have had thyroid cancer, are allergic to any of the ingredients, or if you have multiple thyroid carcinoma (MTC).

The most common side effect that patients have with Trulicity include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Decreased appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea

There are more serious side effects patients need to be aware of and these include:

  • Inflammation of the pancreas
  • Low blood sugar (rarely)
  • Severe stomach pain
  • Acute kidney injury

Patients will need to recognize these serious side effects and talk to the doctor immediately.

 

What is Metformin?

Metformin is one of the most common medications prescribed in the treatment of type 2 diabetes. It is also used to treat polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

Metformin is the generic name, and it can be sold by many different manufacturers under various names, which include:

It is important to know that if the individual has had severe kidney disease, a history of metabolic acidosis, or diabetic ketoacidosis. If so, the patient should only be put on metformin with caution.

It is important that the patient mentions any health conditions such as:

  • Heart disease, including congestive heart failure
  • Liver disease
  • Kidney disease
  • High ketone levels in the urine or blood
  • Insulin use
  • The use of other medications for type 2 diabetes

These known health conditions might cause Metformin to not be a viable option for the patient.

Metformin can come in a liquid or pill form and can be used with other type 2 diabetic medications. It should be taken with a meal unless the doctor says otherwise.

 

The Side Effects of Metformin

Most people experience side effects when taking Metformin. Some of the more common side effects of metformin include:

  • Indigestion
  • Bloating
  • Flushing of the skin
  • Metallic taste in the mouth
  • Muscle pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Headache

There are some more serious side effects that can occur, which include chest pain and a rash. If these occur, the patient should call the doctor, and a different medication may be prescribed.

 

Trulicity Vs. Metformin: Which Medication Works Best for Type 2 Diabetes?

This is the question every patient asks when diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. It is important to understand that patients are all different, and that is why doctors look at the pros and cons when prescribing medication for type 2 diabetes.

 

What are the Pros and Cons of Trulicity?

The pros of taking Trulicity for type 2 diabetes include:

  • Medicine is ready to use, no need to mix.
  • Only injected once a week.
  • It can help with weight loss and controlling appetite.
  • Lowers A1c up to 1.5%.

Cons of taking Trulicity include: 

  • Only available as an injection.
  • Many who take Trulicity experience minor side effects related to the stomach.
  • Generic is not available.

 

What are the Pros and Cons of Metformin?

The pros of taking Metformin include:

  • It rarely causes any concerns with low blood sugar like other medications.
  • It will not cause any weight gain.
  • It can improve sugar control and lower A1c levels by as much as 2%.
  • It is one of the fewer medications that can lower the risk of death from diabetic-related complications.

The cons of taking Metformin include:

  • It can not be used for individuals who have severe kidney problems.
  • Individuals who drink alcohol can increase their risk of dangerous side effects.
  • It can often cause an upset stomach, diarrhea, nausea, gas, or stomach cramping.

In choosing a medication that is right for a patient, doctors will look at what will give the patient the most benefit in contrast to the risks. This will be done on an individual basis by the doctor.

 

The Rx Advocates Can Help Save Money on Monthly Prescriptions

Many doctors will prescribe Trulicity as a treatment option for type 2 diabetes. Trulicity is not a generic medication, so paying for it can be a challenge. At The Rx Advocates, we help make monthly prescription medications much more affordable for the consumer.

We act on our patients’ behalf with our patient assistance program to get discounts. In the end, you just pay for our services. The benefit is that the medication will be delivered to you at no additional cost.

We have helped many individuals save hundreds of dollars every month on Trulicity and other medications. If paying for medicine has been a financial concern for you, we can help. Please contact us today.

 

Sources:

Drugs. How Does Trulicity Work? https://www.drugs.com/medical-answers/trulicity-work-type-2-diabetes-3544526/. 2020.

The Mayo Clinic. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/pcos/symptoms-causes/syc-20353439. 2021.

Drugs. Glucophage. https://www.drugs.com/glucophage.html. 2021

Drugs. Glucophage XR. https://www.drugs.com/mtm/glucophage-xr.html. 2021.

Drugs. Fortamet. https://www.drugs.com/mtm/fortamet.html.2021.

Drugs. Glumetza.https://www.drugs.com/mtm/glumetza.html. 2021.

Drugs. Riomet. https://www.drugs.com/riomet.html. 2021.

Drugs. Metformin. https://www.drugs.com/metformin.html.  2021.

Medline. Side of Effects of  Metformin.https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a696005.html. 2021.

Iodine. Compare Trulicity vs Janumet. https://www.iodine.com/compare/trulicity-vs-janumet. 2021.

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