The image illustrates two injectable pens side by side; one is Wegovy, and the other one is Trulicity

Comparing the Effectiveness: Wegovy vs. Trulicity for Weight Loss

May 31. 2023

Wegovy is a novel weight loss medication, and Trulicity is a type 2 diabetes medication that’s been on the market for almost a decade. What do these two drugs have in common? They can efficiently help you achieve your weight loss goals. To decide which medical weight loss program to choose, you require a deep understanding of their differences. Thankfully, our weight loss clinic in Chicago team did the research for you. In this article, we bring you the comparison between Wegovy vs. Trulicity.

Mechanisms of Action

The first thing you must know about Wegovy vs. Trulicity is how they work. Each drug has a different active ingredient, but still, they act pretty much alike in our bodies. Wegovy is the brand name of the active compound semaglutide, and dulaglutide is the active ingredient in Trulicity.

Both active compounds – semaglutide and dulaglutide – act in our bodies by mimicking the glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) human hormone and its effects. This hormone increases insulin secretion when glucose is elevated and decreases glucagon production from the liver. This effect, combined with a healthy diet, helps individuals with type 2 diabetes control their glucose levels and stay healthy. How does that help with weight management? It does so by promoting slow gastric emptying, which leads to a decreased appetite and more satiety after having a meal—a very similar effect to the one you obtain when using Phentermine for weight loss.

How effective is Wegovy?

Wegovy is manufactured by Novo Nordisk pharmaceutical company; this drug got FDA approval to become a weight management medication in June 2021. Before that, semaglutide (the active compound) was only used to treat diabetes as the brand Ozempic. Clinical trials with Ozempic showed the incredible weight reduction potential this medication has. From that moment, hundreds of thousands of people around the globe wanted to take advantage of the weight management benefits of Ozempic. And Novo Nordisk immediately started developing a new version of the drug with the same active compounds but a higher dosage.

To answer the question, Wegovy is highly effective in achieving substantial weight loss. For this drug to do its magic, it’s vital the patient follows a balanced diet and performs exercise along with the medical program. The individuals that don’t reach their goals often fail at this step. They wonder: why am I not losing weight on Ozempic or Wegovy? These diabetes drugs are absolutely efficient as long as the patient also commits to some habit changes.

Enhanced Appetite Control

Wegovy’s number one side effect is appetite reduction. Have you ever been on a body weight reduction journey before? Then you probably know that the golden rule to attain weight loss is to reach a calorie deficit. You achieve that by consuming fewer calories than the ones you burn during your day. Many individuals’ biggest struggle is maintaining a low-calorie diet for an extended period. With Wegovy, that challenge is easier to overcome. This weight loss medication decreases your appetite, helping you follow a healthy diet and lower your daily calorie consumption. Add regular physical activity to that mix, and you can quickly start losing weight.

How does this approved weight loss drug produce appetite suppression? Wegovy’s active compound is a glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist, and it mimics the actions of the GLP-1 incretin hormone. This hormone occurs naturally in our bodies; it is produced in the lower gastrointestinal tract. The intestines produce GLP-1 as a response to the food we eat. Wegovy’s GLP receptor agonist signals the pancreas to release insulin in the right quantity related to how much we have eaten. That helps lower blood glucose levels in diabetic individuals. But it also produces a second effect: slow gastric emptying. When you eat, the food will travel slower through your stomach, and you will feel fuller for longer. That equals you having a reduced appetite and being able to stick to a balanced diet almost effortlessly.

Positive Effects on Weight-Related Health Conditions

Besides helping to reduce the number on the scale, this weight loss medication can bring many health benefits. Wegovy can be prescribed to teenagers who are 12 or older and adults to treat obesity and to adults who are overweight. Finding ways to tackle obesity is vital. Besides physical changes, this disease can eventually lead children and adults to different severe and life-threatening conditions—diabetes, high blood sugar, high blood pressure, and heart disease, to name a few.

Dealing with obesity can be a challenge; sometimes, diet and exercise are not enough. Maybe your body not absorbing nutrients, or an underlying hormonal condition is leading you to weight gain. And regardless of your best efforts, you can’t prevent it. In such cases, turning to a medical weight loss program is what most healthcare professionals recommend. You will still have to commit to lifestyle changes, but all your efforts will be rewarded. Despite which drug wins the Wegovy vs. Trulicity battle, both medications will assist you in tackling obesity. Besides changing your physical appearance and having more energy, both treatments will improve your overall health by dodging weight-related health conditions.

How does Trulicity work for weight loss?

While Trulicity is not technically a weight management drug, it has the same mechanism of action as Wegovy. Therefore, individuals using this medication to treat type 2 diabetes tend to lose weight. Trulicity (dulaglutide) got FDA approval in 2014; it is one of the oldest diabetes drugs of its type. Its manufacturer is Eli Lilly and Company. This blood glucose level control drug has been around for almost a decade, so its effects are thoroughly studied.

In clinical trials, Trulicity has been shown to help individuals to achieve weight reduction and improve their blood sugar level control. As mentioned above, Trulicity and Wegovy work pretty much the same in promoting weight loss. Their main difference lies in other aspects, such as side effects and dosage. Dulaglutide produces a slow gastric emptying which suppresses your appetite. Just like with a Wegovy or Ozempic program, you must complete the treatment with diet and physical activity. Working out, practicing a sport, dancing classes – you can pick which activity suits you best. Some individuals also resort to fasting to boost their weight loss efforts. Learning about the fasting timeline and how this method works can also bring you other health benefits besides weight loss.

Choosing between Wegovy vs. Trulicity

Choosing between two weight loss programs takes work, especially when discussing two highly efficient and very similar treatments. We already discussed this when we talked about Mounjaro vs. Wegovy. Having options is great, but sometimes making up your mind can be difficult. However, almost always, there’s one that better suits your goals and unique situation.

The first step to making the right choice is knowing your objectives. If you’re still figuring out the amount of weight you want or need to lose or which method to use, you can book a consultation with a healthcare professional. Knowing your strong and weak points – for example, staying true to your workout regime – will also help. The more you understand your goals, it will be easier for the experts to come up with a better and highly customized medical weight loss plan. The next step should be learning as much as possible about your options. In the following section, we’ll highlight the main differences, or similarities, between Wegovy vs. Trulicity.

Dosage Frequency and Administration Method

One of Wegovy vs. Trulicity’s main differences lies in the allowed dosage. Let’s start by saying that both medications use the same administration method: subcutaneous injections. Injectable pens are very common devices for treating type 2 diabetes mellitus. For those in the diabetes or weight loss medication world, we are glad to tell you that such devices are really easy to use, and you can ask your healthcare provider to give you all the insight you need. For Trulicity and Wegovy treatments, the dosage frequency is one weekly shot. You can give the shot yourself; it is a fast and relatively painless injection. While the best place to inject Mounjaro for weight loss is the stomach, you must change the injection spot every week.

Regarding the dosage amount, up until recently, Wegovy allowed patients to take on a higher dosage. However, a couple of years ago, the FDA approved a higher Trulicity dose. With any of these two medications, you will start with the lowest possible dose, and your doctor will slowly increase the amount month by month. Wegovy’s starting dosage is 0.25mg once a week, and its maximum allowed dose is 2.4mg weekly. On the other hand, with Trulicity, you would start with a dose of 0.75mg, and you can go as high as 4.5mg per week.

Body Mass Index (BMI) and Weight Loss Goals

A crucial point to have in mind is that drugs such as Wegovy were developed to treat obesity and excess weight (overweight). On that note, you must have a certain Body Mass Index to become eligible for such weight loss programs. Trulicity and Wegovy stand by the same rule: you must have a BMI of 30 or higher (which is considered obesity) or a BMI of 27 or higher, but paired with a weight-related health condition. Do you not meet that criteria? Don’t worry. Another medical weight loss treatment, such as Lipo C injections, might be a better match for you.

Going back to Wegovy vs. Trulicity differences, let’s move on to how much weight loss you can achieve with each drug. Clinical studies showed that participants taking Wegovy lost an average of 34 pounds or about %15 of body weight after 68 weeks. At the same time, Trulicity’s case studies showed that individuals lost 10 pounds in 36 weeks. When compared, we can see that Wegovy can help you attain more significant weight loss. That may be due to the fact that this drug is FDA-approved for weight management, while Trulicity is only approved to treat diabetes mellitus.

Side Effects

Most drugs, including weight loss medications, often come with a list of potential side effects. Since Wegovy and Trulicity (semaglutide and dulaglutide) belong to the same drug family, their adverse effects tend to be the same. Here is a list of the most common and mild side effects of these weight reductions medications:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Stomach pain
  • Fatigue

These side effects tend to appear each time you increase the dosage. Some people experience them after each shot, while others claim they never experience them at all. There are certain Wegovy, Trulicity, and Mounjaro foods to avoid if you want to dodge or lessen these drugs’ side effects.

Some rare but serious side effects can include pancreas inflammation (pancreatitis), low blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia), sudden kidney injury, gallstones, and severe allergic reactions. Semaglutide can also cause diabetic retinopathy – a condition that damages the back of the eye, known as retina.

Final thoughts

By now, you probably have a good idea of how these weight loss medications work. Each drug has its own advantages that can tilt the scale in its favor. Choosing between Wegovy vs. Trulicity will depend on your unique goals, needs, and preferences. However, to ensure you are selecting the right one for you, the best is to ask for advice from weight loss professionals. Don’t hesitate to schedule a call with us; our dedicated team will guide you toward the program that better suits you.

Nurse Walton


Nurse Walton

Born and raised in Chicago, IL, Chanay received her Practical Nurse licensure and went to work in clinical specialties such as Home Health, Assisted Living, Long-Term Care and Dialysis Centers. Through this work, she realized the importance of diet, nutrition and weight loss among her patients. This led her to open A Better Weigh, Inc. Medical Weight Loss Center in 2009.

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