Ozempic vs. Rybelsus: Side effects, results, price & ease of use

Sep 22, 2022
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Table of Content

Ozempic and Rybelsus are prescription medications for diabetes and weight loss. They both have the same active ingredient, semaglutide. However, the way each is taken is different. Ozempic is taken as a weekly injection while Rybelsus is a daily pill. This article will look at various aspects such as effectiveness, how they work, benefits, side effects, price differences, results, and ease of use. 

Ozempic vs. Rybelsus effectiveness compared

Both Ozempic and Rybelsus work to lower blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes. On average, both Ozempic and Rybelsus can lower HbA1c (a measure of your average blood sugar over 3 months) by about 1.0%. This is similar or slightly better compared to other commonly used diabetes medications. 

Diabetes Canada also recommends Ozempic for diabetes patients at higher risk of heart disease to reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke. To date, studies haven’t been done yet to show the same benefit with Rybelsus. 

Both medicines work best when used along with diet and exercise.

How do Ozempic and Rybelsus work?

Ozempic and Rybelsus both contain the same active ingredient, semaglutide. Semaglutide belongs to a class of antidiabetic medication called glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) agonist. Ozempic and Rybelsus may also promote weight loss. 

This class of drugs mimics the action of glucagon-like peptide 1 (a natural chemical your body makes). Both drugs can cause an increase in the secretion of insulin when blood glucose level rises. As well, they slow the passage of food from the stomach to the intestines so that sugar from food is absorbed more gradually. These medicines thus help in controlling diabetes. 

Benefits of Ozempic and Rybelsus 

Ozempic and Rybelsus are prescription medications used in adults with type 2 diabetes along with exercise and diet to manage blood glucose levels. By controlling blood sugar and lowering appetite, Ozempic and Rybelsus help with weight loss as well. Ozempic and Rybelsus are not approved to treat type-1 diabetes. 


Side effects of Ozempic and Rybelsus 

Since Ozempic and Rybelsus contain the same active ingredient, their side effects are quite similar. Some of the common side effects include: 

  • Nausea 
  • Constipation 
  • Vomiting 
  • Reduced appetite 
  • Abdominal pain 
  • Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar level) when used together with insulin or sulfonylurea-type diabetes medication (e.g., gliclazide)
  • Diarrhea 
  • Indigestion 
  • Heartburn 
  • Burping 

If the above side effects are severe or persistent, you should inform your doctor immediately. 

Some of the side effects can be serious, and you should inform your physician immediately or seek emergency medical treatment.

Serious side effects

  • Vision changes 
  • Rapid heartbeat 
  • Rash 
  • Swelling of face, tongue, eyes, face, or throat 
  • Difficulty in breathing or swallowing 
  • Decreased urination 
  • Yellowing of the skin or eyes 
  • Pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas)
    • Symptoms may include upper stomach pain, severe nausea or vomiting, and fever

The above list is not comprehensive. Ozempic and Rybelsus may cause other side effects. Call your physician if you experience any unusual problems while on this medication. 

Ozempic and Rybelsus have a boxed warning (a serious warning from the Food and Drugs Administration – FDA). Both the drugs have been shown to cause thyroid cancer and thyroid tumors during animal testing. If you have a family history or personal history of thyroid cancer, you should inform your physician before the treatment is initiated. 

What do reviews have to say for both Ozempic and Rybelsus?

Ozempic and Rybelsus have similar effectiveness in lowering blood sugar levels and reducing weight. There are no studies that directly compare Ozempic versus Rybelsus. 

Everyone is unique in how they react to medication. Your health care provider is the best person who can help you understand if Ozempic or Rybelsus is right for you. Whether or not either medication will work well for you depends on many factors, like your health history and how well the medication regimen fits into your life. 

Reading about other people’s experience with Ozempic and Rybelsus can still be helpful. You’ll have a better idea of what questions and concerns you want to bring to your doctor. 

Ozempic reviews

Ozempic has an average review of 5.8 out of 10. The most common side effects were headache, nausea, and fatigue. Most people were happy about losing weight with Ozempic.

Rybelsus reviews

Rybelsys has an average review of 6.1 out of 10. The most common reported side effects were nausea and a sick feeling in the stomach. People taking this medicine were happy as it helped them manage their blood glucose levels.

Ease of use of Ozempic and Rybelsus 

Whether Ozempic or Rybelsus is easier to use all depends on your preferences. 

Ozempic comes as a prefilled injection pen. You would give yourself an injection in the abdomen, upper arm, or thigh once a week. If you’ve never given yourself an injection, your doctor or pharmacist can teach you how to do it. You can do the injection any time of the day, with or without food.

Rybelsus comes as a tablet to be taken orally. To make sure the medication absorbs properly, you have to take Rybelsus on an empty stomach first thing in the morning. It is also important not to eat for at least ½ hour after taking Rybelsus and to drink no more than half a glass of water when taking your medication.

Price comparison of Ozempic and Rybelsus

Ozempic and Rybelsus approximately cost the same. Ozempic is slightly more expensive. Ozempic costs about $899, while Rybelsus costs about $770. However, the amount you pay depends on the insurance you have.


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