Rybelsus (semaglutide) is a brand-name prescription medication that’s FDA-approved to treat type 2 diabetes. The drug helps control blood sugar in adults when used with diet and exercise. Semaglutide is a diabetic medication (and not insulin) that diabetics would use to help manage their blood glucose. This type of medication is usually added on to regular diabetic treatments (such as insulin pens, cartridges, vials and use of insulin plants).
If diet and exercise aren’t helping you manage your type 2 diabetes, Rybelsus shouldn’t be the first medication that you try. Rybelsus isn’t approved to treat type 1 diabetes or a complication of diabetes called diabetic ketoacidosis.
A study has shown that Rybelsus helps lower blood sugar more than a placebo (treatment with no active drug). Researchers used blood tests to measure the level of hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), which is a marker of blood sugar control. Target values of 7% are common for HbA1c, but this varies from person to person. Talk with your doctor about the target goal for your treatment. Rybelsus is used similarly to Ozempic (2mg and 4mg) and Trulicity and has become more common for weight-loss enthusiasts.
Ensure you are open with your dialogue with your doctor about medications you are currently on. As semaglutide may not combine well with other medications (such as Jardiance).
In the 26-week study of adults with type 2 diabetes, those who took Rybelsus had a decrease in their HbA1c level of 1.2% to 1.4%. This was compared with a decrease of only 0.3% in people who took a placebo. At the end of the study, about 69% to 77% of people who took Rybelsus had an HbA1c level of less than 7%, compared with 31% of those who took a placebo.
Although, Rybelsus and Ozempic have similar properties, they do have their differences and your doctor would be able to prescribe which one is best for you.
Rybelsus is FDA-approved for the treatment of type 2 diabetes in adults when used with diet and exercise.
If diet and exercise aren’t helping your type 2 diabetes, Rybelsus shouldn’t be the first medication that you try. The drug isn’t for people who have type 1 diabetes or a complication of diabetes called diabetic ketoacidosis. Also, Rybelsus hasn’t been studied in people who have had a pancreas problem known as pancreatitis.
Type 2 diabetes is a condition in which your blood sugar level becomes too high due to problems with insulin. Insulin is a hormone that your pancreas makes to help control blood sugar. With type 2 diabetes, either your body doesn’t respond well to insulin or doesn’t produce enough insulin.
Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. If type 2 diabetes goes untreated, it can lead to problems with the heart, eyes, and nerves, among other parts of the body. These complications can include high blood pressure, diabetic retinopathy, and neuropathy (nerve damage).
The side effects of Rybelsus can be mild or severe. Below is a list of some of the key side effects associated with Rybelsus. Not all potential side effects are listed here.
Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about Rybelsus’s possible side effects. If there are any side effects that are bothersome, they can give you tips on how to handle them.
The most common mild side effects of Rybelsus can include:
– nausea and vomiting
– belly pain
– decreased appetite
– weight loss
The majority of these side effects can subside within a few days or weeks. Talk with your doctor or pharmacist if they become more severe or don’t go away.
Rybelsus doesn’t typically cause serious side effects, but they can occur. Contact your doctor if you experience serious side effects. In case of a medical emergency or if your symptoms are life-threatening, please call 911.
You may be more likely to have hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) if you take Rybelsus and medication in a drug class called sulfonylureas. (A drug class is a group of medications that work in a similar way.) Sulfonylurea drugs help treat type 2 diabetes.
You may be more likely to have hypoglycemia if you take Rybelsus and any type of insulin.
You should take Rybelsus at least 30 minutes before taking any other oral medications. (“Oral” refers to a drug that you swallow as a tablet, capsule, or liquid.) Otherwise, Rybelsus won’t work as well to treat your condition.
Rybelsus slows down how quickly your stomach empties, and this can change the way your body absorbs other medications. Because of this, your doctor may test you more often to make sure your medication is working well.
Before you start taking Rybelsus, tell your doctor about any medications you take. They can help advise you on when to take them and Rybelsus.
As with most drugs, some people can have an allergic reaction after taking Rybelsus. However, it’s not known how often allergic reactions occur with Rybelsus.
Symptoms of a mild allergic reaction can include: skin rash, itchiness and flushing (warmth and redness in your skin).
A more severe allergic reaction is rare but possible. Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction can include: swelling under your skin (typically in your eyelids, lips, hands, or feet), swelling of your tongue, mouth, or throat and trouble breathing or speaking.
Call your doctor right away if you have a severe allergic reaction to Rybelsus. Call 911 if your symptoms feel life threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency.
If you miss a dose of Rybelsus, wait until the next day to take your regularly scheduled dose. Don’t double up on doses to make up for the dose you missed.
To help make sure that you don’t miss a dose, try setting a reminder on your phone. A medication timer may be useful, too.