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Rybelsus vs. Jardiance: A Detailed Comparison for Weight Loss

Rybelsus (semaglutide) and Jardiance (empagliflozin) have risen to prominence in diabetes treatment, gaining attention not only for their ability to manage blood sugar levels but also for their potential to aid weight loss.

Although neither medication is officially approved as a primary treatment for weight loss, both have demonstrated significant potential for weight loss among individuals with type 2 diabetes.

In this detailed comparison, we will discuss how these medications work, their influence on weight reduction, and the uses they are officially approved for.


 Key Takeaways:

  • Originally developed for diabetes management, Rybelsus and Jardiance have demonstrated promising potential in facilitating weight loss in type 2 diabetes patients.
  • Rybelsus, which contains semaglutide, is part of the GLP-1 receptor agonist family, primarily aimed at regulating blood sugar levels.
  • Rybelsus, by mimicking incretin hormones, enhances insulin production, decreases glucagon release, and slows stomach emptying, all of which contribute to potential weight loss.
  • Studies have shown that Rybelsus can result in a weight decrease of about 2 to 4 kilograms in patients with diabetes.
  • Officially, Rybelsus is approved for managing blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetes adults and may pursue FDA approval for its use in aiding weight loss.
  • Jardiance, which contains empagliflozin, is categorized as an SGLT-2 inhibitor, operating by inhibiting glucose absorption in the kidneys, thus reducing blood sugar levels.
  • In clinical research, Jardiance has demonstrated weight loss effects, averaging between 2.8% to 3.2% from the baseline over a period of 24 weeks.

Rybelsus: An Overview

Rybelsus, which contains Semaglutide as its active component, belongs to the GLP-1 receptor agonists class of medicines, also known as incretin mimetics.

Aimed at improving blood sugar regulation in adults with type 2 diabetes, it is an important drug in diabetes treatment.

The following points offer a deeper understanding of Rybelsus and its potential role in weight reduction.


Rybelsus – How It Works?

Rybelsus works by mimicking the actions of naturally existing incretin hormones in the body, especially after eating.

Incretin hormones, which are gut peptides, are secreted by the stomach during the intake of food. They play a crucial role in stimulating insulin secretion and reducing blood glucose levels. As a synthetic GLP-1 receptor agonist, Rybelsus closely mimics the function of human GLP-1 and attaches to GLP-1 receptors.

This action results in an increase in insulin release from the pancreas, a decrease in glucagon production from the liver, and a slowing of stomach emptying, which contributes to a sense of satiety.


Weight Management with Rybelsus

While not primarily categorized as a weight loss medication, Rybelsus has shown effectiveness in aiding weight reduction in individuals with type 2 diabetes.

Research has demonstrated that people using Rybelsus typically lose between 2 and 4 kilograms. A study conducted over 26 weeks revealed that:

  • Participants on Rybelsus 7mg lost an average of 2.3 kg (about 5 pounds).
  • Participants on Rybelsus 14mg experienced an average weight loss of 3.7 kg (about 8.1 pounds).

These results indicate that Rybelsus can play a role in weight management for diabetes patients, particularly those with a higher starting body weight and BMI and those experiencing more gastrointestinal symptoms often see more significant weight loss after starting the treatment.


Primary Applications of Rybelsus

Rybelsus is primarily used for managing blood sugar levels in adults diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

It is often recommended as an initial treatment option (first-line medicine), in combination with dietary changes, physical activity, or other typical medications for type 2 diabetes management.

However, its use is not advised for treating type 1 diabetes.


Prospects for Rybelsus as a Weight Loss Medication

Rybelsus has recently expanded its potential uses to include weight management.

Ongoing research on higher dosages of Rybelsus, reaching up to 50 mg, has shown results in weight reduction that are comparable with those of Wegovy (semaglutide), a medication specifically for weight loss.

Encouraged by these promising results, Rybelsus’s manufacturer intends to apply for FDA approval for its use in weight loss by 2023. Upon approval, it might be introduced under a new brand name, further establishing its presence in the field of weight management.


Jardiance: A Comprehensive Analysis

Jardiance, containing empagliflozin as its active substance, stands out in the management of diabetes.

Belonging to the class of SGLT-2 inhibitor drugs, it is formulated to control blood sugar levels in both adults and children (aged 10 and above) diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.


Jardiance – How it Works?

Jardiance functions by inhibiting the reabsorption of glucose in the kidneys, leading to an increased elimination of glucose through urine. This process efficiently reduces blood sugar levels in those with type 2 diabetes.

In the next sections, we will explore the detailed functioning of Jardiance and its potential to aid weight loss.


Weight Management with Jardiance

Jardiance, similar to Rybelsus, is not officially approved for weight loss purposes. However, it has shown promising results in terms of weight reduction during clinical trials.

Research involving adult participants revealed that a 10 mg dose of Jardiance led to an average weight loss of about 2.8%, while a 25 mg dose resulted in an average loss of 3.2% from their initial weight over a period of 24 weeks.

For an individual weighing 200 pounds, this translates to a potential weight loss of approximately 5.6 pounds for the 10 mg dosage and around 6.4 pounds for the 25 mg dosage.

It is important to note that participants who were given a placebo only recorded a minor weight loss of about 0.4%.


Primary Applications of Jardiance

Jardiance’s primary use is the management of blood sugar levels in adults with type 2 diabetes. It can be used as a standalone treatment or in combination with other medications for diabetes.

Additionally, it has received approval for the prevention and management of cardiovascular events in adults with type 2 diabetes and also those having existing cardiovascular disease.

Moreover, Jardiance is approved for the management of heart failure with a reduced ejection fraction in adults, regardless of whether they have diabetes or not.


Rybelsus vs Jardiance – Key Differences

Rybelsus and Jardiance differ in several important aspects, which are crucial to consider when determining the most suitable option. The following are the key differences between the two:

Drug Classification

  • Rybelsus is categorized as a GLP-1 receptor agonist.
  • Jardiance is an SGLT-2 inhibitor.

Method of Administration

  • Rybelsus is administered in the form of oral tablets.
  • Similarly, Jardiance is taken orally in tablet form.

FDA Approvals

  • Jardiance has been approved by the FDA for controlling blood sugar, reducing cardiovascular diseases, and managing heart failure.
  • Rybelsus is mainly approved for managing blood sugar in type 2 diabetes adults and it may also pursue FDA approval for aiding in weight loss.

Effectiveness in Weight Loss

  • Clinical studies suggest Rybelsus may lead to a marginally higher weight loss compared to Jardiance, although individual results can vary.

Side Effects

  • Both medications may cause gastrointestinal issues, including nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. However, the specific side effects experienced can vary from person to person.

The Bottomline

Initially developed for blood sugar regulation in type 2 diabetes, both Rybelsus and Jardiance have demonstrated potential in aiding weight loss.

Rybelsus works as a GLP-1 receptor agonist, enhancing insulin secretion and diminishing glucagon production, which contributes to weight reduction. On the other hand, Jardiance, classified as an SGLT-2 inhibitor, works by promoting the excretion of glucose through the kidneys, thus lowering blood sugar levels and assisting in weight loss.

The decision to opt for either medication involves considering various factors such as the drug class, mode of administration, approved clinical uses, and the extent of weight loss efficacy. While Rybelsus shows a slightly higher efficacy in weight loss in clinical trials, Jardiance is notable for its extensive FDA approvals, including blood sugar management and the treatment of cardiovascular diseases and heart failure.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Rybelsus and Jardiance

  1. Which is More Effective in Weight Loss: Rybelsus or Jardiance?

Both Rybelsus (14 mg) and Jardiance (25 mg) show comparable effectiveness in weight loss. A study over six months with 822 participants having type 2 diabetes revealed similar weight loss when either Rybelsus or Jardiance was used in conjunction with another diabetes medication.

  1. What is the Optimal Combination Therapy with Jardiance?

Combining Jardiance with metformin has been proven to be effective in reducing blood sugar in individuals with type 2 diabetes. Clinical trials support the efficacy of this combination in diabetes management.

  1. Is It Safe to Take Januvia with Rybelsus?

While Rybelsus can be used alongside other diabetes medications, it is not typically combined with Januvia. Januvia serves as an alternate treatment option for type 2 diabetes and may be preferred for certain patients over Rybelsus.

  1. What are the Alternatives to Jardiance?

As an alternative to Jardiance, Farxiga (dapagliflozin) is recommended for patients with heart failure. In cases of Type 2 diabetes with heart disease, Invokana (canagliflozin) or another class of diabetes medications called GLP-1 agonists might be considered suitable substitutes.

  1. How Long Does the Jardiance Treatment Last?

Jardiance is generally used as a long-term medication to minimize the risk of complications and mortality in treating heart failure. It is likely to be a lifelong therapy.

  1. What Should Be Avoided When Taking Jardiance?

Avoid using Jardiance in conjunction with diuretics, insulin, or insulin-stimulating medications. It may also interact with lithium (Lithobid). However, interactions involving Jardiance can often be managed by adjusting dosages.

  1. Is Rybelsus an Effective Diabetes Medication?

Rybelsus is an effective medication for both diabetes management and weight loss, available in oral form. It is beneficial in enhancing blood sugar control and promoting weight loss in various patient groups, both as a monotherapy and in combination with other diabetes treatments.

 

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Dermatologist Marcela J

 

 

 

 

 

Marcella Jiovanni

Skin Care Professional

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