In the competitive landscape of type 2 diabetes medications, Ozempic injectable pens and Jardiance have emerged as frontrunners, boasting impressive sales figures of $2.8 billion and $2.4 billion, respectively, in 2020.

As the prevalence of diabetes remains high among Americans, the demand for these drugs continues to soar. However, a notable gap has emerged between these two contenders in the market. According to Statista’s projections, by 2024, Ozempic’s sales are forecasted to skyrocket to $6.1 billion, while Jardiance is expected to reach only half of that figure.

In this article, we’ll explore the disparities between these medications to uncover the reasons behind this market gap. Could variations in efficacy, mechanism of action, side effects, cost, or other factors be at play? Let’s find out!

Key Findings

ParametersOzempicJardiance
List price$935.77 per month$570.48 per month
Active ingredientSemaglutideEmpagliflozin
Approved indications
  1. Regulating blood sugar in adults with type 2 diabetes.
  2. Reduce the risk of MACE in adults with type 2 diabetes and known heart conditions.
  1. Regulating blood sugar in patients 10 years and older with type 2 diabetes.
  2. Reduce the risk of MACE in adults with type 2 diabetes and known heart conditions.
  3. Treatment of heart failure in adults, with or without diabetes.
  4. Treatment of CKD in adults, with or without diabetes.
Route of administrationSubcutaneousOral
Dosage recommendationsBegins with a 0.25 mg weekly injection, which may increase to 0.5 mg weekly, with a maximum of 2 mg weekly.For type 2 diabetes, the starting dose is 10 mg orally, taken once daily in the morning. The dosage may be raised to 25 mg if necessary. For other indications, the starting and maximum doses are 10 mg orally, taken once daily in the morning.
EffectivenessIn a 30-week study, semaglutide doses of 0.5 mg and 1.0 mg lowered HbA1c levels by 1.21% and 1.64%, respectively. Weight reductions of 7.65 lbs and 11.40 lbs were observed, respectively.In a 24-week study, empagliflozin doses of 10 mg and 25 mg lowered HbA1c levels by 0.82% and 0.77%, respectively. Weight reductions of 4.76 lbs and 5.27 lbs were observed, respectively.
Side effectsNausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and constipation.Urinary tract infections and genital mycotic infections.
Onset of efficacy4 to 5 months for weight loss, and at least 8 weeks for blood sugar management6 to 34 weeks for weight loss, and up to 24 weeks for blood sugar management

Efficacy

Ozempic is a once-weekly medication containing semaglutide, which falls under the GLP-1 receptor agonist drug category. It has shown promising results in studies involving over 8000 people with type 2 diabetes.

On the other hand, Jardiance contains empagliflozin and belongs to the SGLT-2 inhibitor class of antidiabetic drugs. These medications have gained regulatory approval in the past decade and have shown potential benefits for various types of patients with type 2 diabetes.

Jardiance vs Ozempic for Diabetes

While direct comparisons between Ozempic and Jardiance are lacking, a systematic review in 2019 compared the effectiveness of once-weekly semaglutide versus SGLT-2 inhibitors (empagliflozin, canagliflozin, dapagliflozin) in patients who were not effectively managing their diabetes with one or two oral antidiabetic drugs.

The review found that once-weekly semaglutide was more effective than SGLT-2 inhibitors in reducing HbA1c levels. For instance, the reduction in HbA1c with semaglutide 1.0?mg ranged from 0.56% to 0.95%, which was statistically significant compared to SGLT-2 inhibitors. Even the 0.5?mg dose showed significant reductions in HbA1c compared to SGLT-2 inhibitors, albeit to a lesser extent than the 1.0?mg dose.

When comparing semaglutide (Ozempic) to empagliflozin (Jardiance):

Treatment ComparisonMean Difference in HbA1c Reduction
Semaglutide 1.0?mg vs Empagliflozin 10?mgSemaglutide 1.0?mg led to a 0.79% greater reduction in HbA1c levels compared to empagliflozin 10?mg.
Semaglutide 1.0?mg vs Empagliflozin 25?mgSemaglutide 1.0?mg led to a 0.77% greater reduction in HbA1c levels compared to empagliflozin 25?mg.
Semaglutide 0.5?mg vs Empagliflozin 10?mgSemaglutide 0.5?mg led to a 0.53% greater reduction in HbA1c levels compared to empagliflozin 10?mg.
Semaglutide 0.5?mg vs Empagliflozin 25?mgSemaglutide 0.5?mg led to a 0.51% greater reduction in HbA1c levels compared to empagliflozin 25?mg.

Additionally, 1.0?mg semaglutide was significantly better than SGLT-2 inhibitors in achieving the target HbA1c level of less than 7%. The odds ratio of semaglutide 1.0?mg versus SGLT-2 inhibitors ranged from 2.80 to 5.52, indicating a higher likelihood of success with semaglutide. Similarly, the 0.5?mg dose showed favorable odds ratios compared to different doses of SGLT-2 inhibitors, ranging from 2.06 to 4.07.

These findings indicate that both doses of once-weekly semaglutide, 1.0 mg and 0.5 mg, effectively lower HbA1c levels and achieve target levels compared to SGLT-2 inhibitors.

Jardiance vs Ozempic for Weight Loss

Based on the analysis, once-weekly semaglutide is more effective in reducing body weight than SGLT-2 inhibitors. Specifically, individuals taking once-weekly semaglutide 1.0?mg lost between 2.98 lbs and 5.47 lbs more weight compared to those taking SGLT-2 inhibitors.

When comparing semaglutide (Ozempic) to empagliflozin (Jardiance):

Treatment ComparisonMean Difference in Weight Reduction
Semaglutide 1.0?mg vs Empagliflozin 10?mgSemaglutide 1.0?mg led to a 4.94 lbs greater weight reduction compared to empagliflozin 10?mg.
Semaglutide 1.0?mg vs Empagliflozin 25?mgSemaglutide 1.0?mg led to a 4.41 lbs greater weight reduction compared to empagliflozin 25?mg.
Semaglutide 0.5?mg vs Empagliflozin 10?mgSemaglutide 0.5?mg led to a 1.94 lbs greater weight reduction compared to empagliflozin 10?mg.
Semaglutide 0.5?mg vs Empagliflozin 25?mgSemaglutide 0.5?mg led to a 1.39 lbs greater weight reduction compared to empagliflozin 25?mg.

Moreover, the “surface under the cumulative ranking curve” (SUCRA) score of once-weekly semaglutide 1.0?mg is 1. The SUCRA score is a statistical measure used in network meta-analysis to rank treatments based on their effectiveness, 1 being the highest and 0 being the lowest.

This means that once-weekly semaglutide 1.0?mg had the most favorable outcomes compared to SGLT-2 inhibitors and was considered the most effective option.

Jardiance vs Ozempic for Cardiovascular Events

A comprehensive analysis reviewed and analyzed the cardiovascular outcomes of SGLT2 inhibitors and GLP-1 receptor agonists.

In comparing the findings of studies involving semaglutide (Ozempic) and empagliflozin (Jardiance), the results revealed:

10 mg and 25 mg of empagliflozin (Jardiance)0.5 mg and 1.0 mg of once-weekly subcutaneous semaglutide (Ozempic)
Major Adverse Cardiovascular Events (MACE) Reduction~14%~26%
Cardiovascular Death Reduction~38%~4% (nonsignificant)
Heart Failure Hospitalization Reduction~35%no reduced risk of heart failure hospitalization
Non-Fatal Stroke Reductionno reduced risk of non-fatal stroke~39%
Non-Fatal Heart Attack Reduction~13% (nonsignificant)~26% (nonsignificant)

Overall, both medication groups offer distinct benefits. SGLT-2 inhibitors are associated with reduced rates of hospitalization due to heart failure, while GLP-1 receptor agonists show a decreased risk of cardiovascular events, especially stroke.

Jardiance vs Ozempic for Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)

Type 2 diabetes not only raises the risk of cardiovascular complications but also of chronic kidney disease. Trials on SGLT-2 inhibitors have demonstrated their ability to reduce CKD progression. While Ozempic isn’t indicated for CKD treatment, trials on GLP-1 receptor agonists show potential for reducing the progression of CKD in individuals diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

Here’s how semaglutide (Ozempic) and empagliflozin (Jardiance) compare:

  • EMPA-KIDNEY trial: Empagliflozin lowered the risk of kidney disease progression by 29% when compared to placebo.
  • FLOW trial: Injectable semaglutide 1.0 mg showed a 24% decrease in the occurrence of kidney disease events in subjects diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and chronic kidney disease.

Novo Nordisk, the maker of Ozempic, plans to seek regulatory approval for the expansion of its label in the United States and the European Union this year.

Side Effects

The distinct mechanisms of action of Ozempic and Jardiance lead to significant variations in their side effects. Ozempic primarily affects the gastrointestinal tract, whereas Jardiance predominantly impacts the urinary tract, leading to different sets of side effects.

Here’s a side-by-side comparison of how their side effects differ:

SeverityOzempicJardiance
Common side effectsNausea, abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, and constipationUrinary tract infections, and genital mycotic infections, or fungal infections that affect the genital area.
Other side effectsDyspepsia (indigestion), eructation (belching or burping), flatulence (passing gas or farting), gastroesophageal reflux disease, gastritis (inflammation of the lining of the stomach), injection site reactions, increases in amylase and lipase (enzymes produced by the pancreas), increased heart rate, fatigue, dysgeusia (alteration in the sense of taste), and dizziness.Upper respiratory tract infection, increased urination (polyuria, pollakiuria, and nocturia), dyslipidemia (abnormal level of lipids/fats in the blood), arthralgia (joint pain), nausea, polydipsia (abnormally increased sensation of thirst).
Serious side effectsPancreatitis, diabetic retinopathy, acute kidney injury, risk of thyroid c-cell tumors, hypoglycemia, increases in amylase and lipase, cholelithiasis (gallstones), increased heart rate, hypersensitivity.Ketoacidosis, intravascular volume depletion, urosepsis and pyelonephritis, hypoglycemia, necrotizing fasciitis of the perineum (Fournier’s Gangrene), hypersensitivity.

The risk of hypoglycemia is heightened when either medication is combined with insulin secretagogues (such as sulfonylureas) or insulin. Hypersensitivity reactions, while relatively common in many medications, are also reported with both Ozempic and Jardiance.

Active Ingredient and Mechanism of Action

Ozempic and Jardiance take different approaches to managing diabetes. Ozempic contains semaglutide, a medication that mirrors the actions of a hormone called GLP-1.

This hormone naturally regulates blood sugar levels after meals by increasing insulin release, decreasing glucagon secretion (which lowers blood sugar), slowing down the emptying of the stomach, and inducing feelings of fullness. By activating receptors for GLP-1, Ozempic helps regulate blood glucose levels.

On the other hand, Jardiance contains empagliflozin, which belongs to a class of medications called SGLT-2 inhibitors. These drugs work by blocking SGLT-2, which is a protein in the kidneys. Normally, this protein helps reabsorb glucose back into the bloodstream, preventing its elimination through urine. However, in people with diabetes, the elimination of excess glucose through urine can actually be beneficial.

By blocking SGLT-2, Jardiance allows more glucose to be passed out in the urine, helping to lower blood sugar levels. This also results in a loss of calories in the form of glucose, leading to weight loss over time. Additionally, the increased elimination of glucose in the urine can lead to a mild diuretic effect, which may also contribute to weight reduction.

Approved Indications

Man holding an injection pen for diabetes.

Both Ozempic and Jardiance are prescribed to manage type 2 diabetes in adults, complementing regular exercise and a balanced diet. However, Jardiance caters to a wider age group, as it gained approval for pediatric patients aged ten and above with type 2 diabetes mellitus in 2023.

Moreover, both medications carry approvals for reducing the likelihood of cardiovascular events like heart attacks, strokes, and cardiovascular-related deaths in adults with type 2 diabetes and pre-existing cardiovascular conditions.

Jardiance received two additional FDA indications in recent years. In 2021, it was approved for reducing the risk of cardiovascular death and hospitalization due to heart failure in adults with heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF). Then, in 2023, Jardiance gained approval for treating adults with chronic kidney disease (CKD).

In contrast, Ozempic does not currently have approval for CKD treatment. However, there is some evidence suggesting potential kidney-related benefits. Novo Nordisk, the manufacturer of Ozempic, decided to end its Phase III FLOW trial ahead of schedule. This trial examined the effects of semaglutide on kidney outcomes in patients with type 2 diabetes and CKD. An independent committee recommended early termination based on positive interim results meeting pre-established efficacy criteria.

Definition

Heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) is characterized by a weakened ability of the heart’s left ventricle to pump blood out to the body during each contraction. Ejection fraction (EF) is used to assess how well the heart pumps blood and is expressed as a percentage. In individuals with HFrEF, the ejection fraction is typically defined as less than or equal to 40%.

Dosage and Administration

One of the most apparent differences between Jardiance and Ozempic is their administration methods. Ozempic is administered via a weekly injection, while Jardiance is taken orally once daily.

Ozempic Dosing Schedule

The recommended dosage of Ozempic typically starts at 0.25 mg, administered once weekly for the first four weeks, then increased to 0.5 mg. Individual patient factors, such as tolerability and response to treatment, may influence dosing adjustments.

Here’s a general guideline for the recommended dosing schedule of Ozempic.

MedicationStarting DoseTitration DoseMaximum Dose
Month 1Month 2Month 3Month 4
Ozempic0.25 mg once weekly0.25 mg per week0.5 mg per week0.5-1.0 mg per week1.0-2.0 mg per week2.0 mg once weekly

Jardiance Dosing Schedule

The appropriate dosage of Jardiance varies based on the indication for which it is prescribed. Here are the general dosage guidelines:

PopulationConditionRecommended DosageMaximum Dose
AdultsHeart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF)10 mg once daily in the morning, can be consumed with or without food.10 mg once daily
Chronic kidney disease
Cardiovascular diseases
Type 2 diabetes mellitus10 mg once daily in the morning, can be consumed with or without food. If further glycemic control is needed, the dosage may be raised to 25 mg once daily.25 mg once daily
Pediatric patients (10 years and older)Type 2 diabetes mellitus10 mg once daily in the morning, can be consumed with or without food. If further glycemic control is needed, the dosage may be raised to 25 mg once daily.25 mg once daily

Cost of Jardiance vs Ozempic

Both Ozempic and Jardiance have significant price tags, with Ozempic costing $935.77 per month and Jardiance costing $570.48 for a month’s supply of 30 tablets.

Accessing expensive diabetes medications can pose financial challenges for individuals, especially those without insurance. Many people in the US look for more affordable options and often consider Canadian mail-order pharmacies like Pharma Giant.

At Pharma Giant, customers can potentially save up to 90% on prescription medications like Ozempic and Jardiance. Moreover, customers may benefit from additional discounts and offers when ordering larger quantities. First-time customers can take advantage of a 10% discount by using the coupon code FIRST10 during checkout.

Pharma Giant is committed to timely delivery, ensuring that medications arrive within 3-5 business days. Here’s a comparison of the prices of common weight loss drugs available on Pharma Giant compared to those offered by online pharmacies in the US:

Brand NamePharma GiantWalgreensCVS PharmacyRite Aid
Ozempic$429.96$1,141$1,131$1,250
Jardiance$139$596.63$597.13$597.13
Rybelsus$297$1,127.47$1,003$1,058.41
Victoza$250$969$656$737
Trulicity$282$1,106$1,167$1,263

Data Source: GoodRx and SingleCare

Onset of Efficacy

The onset of efficacy of Jardiance and Ozempic can be influenced by individual factors such as physical activity, diet, and overall health.

Ozempic typically takes 4 to 5 weeks to reach a steady level in the body, meaning its effects on blood sugar levels may not be noticeable until at least eight weeks of treatment. Reduction in appetite and increased post-meal satiety can manifest within the first 1 to 4 weeks of taking semaglutide, resulting in weight loss within the initial 4 to 5 months.

In contrast, Jardiance acts quickly to lower blood glucose levels. It starts working within the first day, with the kidneys beginning to remove glucose from the body. While its effects can be felt within 30 to 60 minutes, reaching target blood sugar levels may take several weeks, with results becoming noticeable after up to 24 weeks. Some individuals may experience continued drops in blood glucose for up to a year after starting Jardiance.

Regarding weight loss, an analysis suggests that with SGLT-2 inhibitors like Jardiance, noticeable weight loss typically begins around week six due to increased urine flow and stabilizes between weeks 26 and 34.

Ozempic vs. Jardiance: Determining Your Best Choice

Ozempic and Jardiance are commonly prescribed medications for managing type 2 diabetes. Despite their shared goal, they operate through distinct mechanisms, leading to differences in dosage forms, strengths, side effects, and benefits.

Ozempic (semaglutide), a GLP-1 receptor agonist, is administered via a once-weekly injection. In contrast, Jardiance (empagliflozin), an SGLT-2 inhibitor, is taken orally once daily as a tablet. The side effects of Ozempic typically affect the gastrointestinal tract, resulting in symptoms like diarrhea and vomiting, while Jardiance primarily affects the urinary tract, potentially causing issues such as yeast infections and urinary tract infections.

Although both medications effectively manage type 2 diabetes, they offer unique advantages. Ozempic is associated with greater weight loss and reductions in HbA1c levels, compared to Jardiance. Conversely, Jardiance boasts a broader range of indications, particularly for patients with heart failure or chronic kidney disease. Additionally, Jardiance stands out as an approved treatment for pediatric patients aged ten years and older with type 2 diabetes.

The choice between Ozempic and Jardiance depends on various factors, including treatment goals, tolerability, and comorbidities.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Jardiance the same as Ozempic?

No, Jardiance and Ozempic are not the same medication. While both medications are used to manage type 2 diabetes, they have different mechanisms of action and may be prescribed in different situations depending on individual patient needs and factors such as other health conditions and medication interactions.

Can Ozempic and Jardiance be taken together?

Yes. Combining Ozempic and Jardiance can enhance blood sugar management when monotherapy isn’t effective. Their distinct mechanisms target different aspects of glucose regulation, potentially offering a more comprehensive approach. This combination may provide added cardiovascular benefits, especially for those at risk of heart issues. But, it could also increase the risk of side effects. Deciding on this therapy should consider factors like individual response, adherence, costs, and, most importantly, patient safety.

Which is better, Jardiance or Ozempic?

While direct head-to-head comparisons between Ozempic and Jardiance are limited, a 2019 systematic review evaluated the efficacy of once-weekly semaglutide versus SGLT-2 inhibitors (empagliflozin, canagliflozin, dapagliflozin) in patients whose diabetes wasn’t adequately managed with one or two oral antidiabetic drugs. The findings suggested that Ozempic is more effective than Jardiance in controlling blood sugar levels. Moreover, although neither medication is specifically approved for weight loss, even modest weight loss can facilitate better blood glucose control. For individuals incorporating long-term weight management into their diabetes treatment strategy, Ozempic often offers more advantages than Jardiance.

Can Jardiance, Metformin, and Ozempic be taken together?

Yes, Jardiance, metformin, and Ozempic can be taken together for managing type 2 diabetes. Metformin is commonly prescribed as the initial treatment for type 2 diabetes in individuals aged ten and above. If blood sugar levels remain uncontrolled in adults, additional medications like Ozempic may be added for more effective management. Combining these medications offers a comprehensive approach to controlling blood sugar levels. You can find Reddit discussions about people’s experiences with using Jardiance, metformin, and Ozempic together.

Can I crush or split Jardiance?

Jardiance tablets should not be crushed, split, or chewed. They are designed to release the medication in a specific way to ensure proper absorption in the body. Altering the tablets by crushing or splitting them may affect how the medication is absorbed and could potentially reduce its effectiveness.

Will I need to take Jardiance or Ozempic in the long term?

In many cases, individuals with type 2 diabetes require long-term management to control their blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of complications. Both Jardiance and Ozempic are commonly used as part of long-term treatment plans for type 2 diabetes.

Is Ozempic or Jardiance covered by insurance for weight loss?

Many insurance plans typically do not cover weight-loss medications because they are often seen as cosmetic rather than medically necessary. Both Ozempic and Jardiance are not FDA-approved specifically for weight loss, so insurance coverage for this purpose is unlikely.

Is it okay to switch from Ozempic to Jardiance or vice versa?

If you and your healthcare provider decide to switch medications, they will typically create a transition plan to ensure a smooth switch and minimize any potential risks. Follow your healthcare provider’s instructions carefully and monitor your blood glucose levels closely during the transition period. Never make changes to your diabetes medication regimen without consulting your healthcare provider first.

Which medication is most suitable for individuals with kidney problems?

Jardiance is likely the most suitable option, considering it’s FDA-approved for treating adults with CKD, regardless of whether they have diabetes. The EMPA-KIDNEY trial further supports its efficacy, showing that empagliflozin reduced the risk of kidney disease progression by 29% compared to placebo. In contrast, the FLOW trial demonstrated that injectable semaglutide 1.0 mg resulted in a 24% decrease in kidney disease events in individuals with type 2 diabetes and CKD. These findings suggest that Jardiance may offer significant benefits for kidney health.

Who should avoid taking Ozempic or Jardiance?

Certain individuals should exercise caution when considering Ozempic or Jardiance. Ozempic is not recommended for those with a personal or family history of medullary thyroid carcinoma or Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia syndrome type 2. It’s also advised against individuals with severe gastrointestinal disease or hypersensitivity to semaglutide or its components. Meanwhile, Jardiance should not be used by those with severe kidney disease, dialysis-dependent kidney failure, severe urinary tract infections, or a history of ketoacidosis. It’s also contraindicated for people with hypersensitivity to empagliflozin. Pregnant women or those intending to become pregnant should ask advice from their healthcare provider before initiating either medication.

Which option offers greater convenience?

In terms of convenience, Jardiance requires once-daily oral dosing, making it relatively straightforward to incorporate into daily routines. On the other hand, Ozempic is administered once weekly via subcutaneous injection, which may offer convenience for individuals who prefer fewer dosing occasions. If you’re forgetful and often struggle to remember to take medications every day, then Ozempic could be a better option to mitigate the challenge of adhering to a daily regimen. However, if you have a fear of needles, the injection route of administration for Ozempic might pose a challenge. Ultimately, the perceived convenience may vary depending on individual preferences.

Are there any drug interactions with Jardiance?

Yes, individuals should be aware of potential drug interactions with Jardiance (empagliflozin). Jardiance may interact with diuretics and insulin, as well as sulfonylureas, glinides, and lithium. Certain combinations may increase the risk of dehydration, while others could elevate the likelihood of hypoglycemia.

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