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Rybelsus is an oral tablet version of the drug semaglutide, prescribed for treating Type 2 diabetes. Rybelsus is taken daily to help control blood sugar levels in adults. It can also be prescribed to help weight loss.
Rybelsus is a new pill-form drug for treating Type 2 diabetes containing semaglutide – the same substance as in Ozempic. Rybelsus is an oral tablet version of semaglutide taken daily. Ozempic is an injectable form of the same medication taken once each week.
Semaglutide is a glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist. GLP-1 is a hormone produced in the gut. It is released in response to food, prompting the release of insulin and a reduction in appetite.
In the case of people with Type 2 diabetes, semaglutide works to slow down digestion. This stimulates the increased production of natural insulin. Rybelsus doesn’t work like other treatments of diabetes, that boost insulin levels from external sources (injection or oral insulin).
If you have been diagnosed as clinically obese, your doctor may prescribe Rybelsus as a weight-loss treatment along with appropriate diet controls and exercise. The primary effect of Rybelsus in this mode is as an appetite suppressant.
When starting treatment, the most common side effects of Rybelsus may include nausea, abdominal pain, diarrhea, decreased appetite, vomiting, or constipation. These should gradually decrease over the first few weeks. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if symptoms do not go away or get worse.
Rybelsus may also cause serious side effects, including:
Stop using Rybelsus and get medical help right away, if you have any of these symptoms.
Rybelsus has also been reported as causing thyroid tumors, including cancer, in animal studies. Tell your healthcare provider if you get a lump or swelling in your neck, hoarseness, trouble swallowing, or shortness of breath. These may be symptoms of thyroid cancer.
It is unknown whether Rybelsus will cause thyroid tumors or a type of thyroid cancer called medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) in people. However, do not use Rybelsus if you or any of your family have ever had MTC, or if you have an endocrine system condition called Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia syndrome Type 2 (MEN 2).
For pregnant women, there is a potential risk to a fetus. Advise your doctor if you are pregnant or intend to become pregnant. If you are already on Rybelsus, discontinue treatment at least two months before a planned pregnancy due to the long washout period for semaglutide.
Mothers should not breastfeed during treatment with Rybelsus.
Rybelsus is prescribed to improve glycemic control in adults with Type 2 diabetes mellitus, along with an adjunct diet and exercise treatment.
As well as its effectiveness in controlling blood-sugar levels without insulin, Rybelsus acts to lower the levels of A1C – the most effective test for diagnosis of prediabetes and tracking the development of diabetes.
Once-daily doses of Rybelsus, along with diet and exercise, have been proven to significantly lower A1C.
Rybelsus has been shown to help people lose some weight when used along with diet and exercise.
Rybelsus comes in the form of white to light yellow oval-shaped pills debossed with the mg strength on one side and “novo” on the other side. The three dosages are:
Your prescribing doctor will start you off on the lower dosage, and the dosage will then be increased according to the doctor’s recommendations.
You should take Rybelsus on an empty stomach when you wake up first thing in the morning. (If you have a different sleep cycle, like for shift work, you should leave at least 5-6 hours of no food or drink intake before taking the pill.) An empty stomach means no food, drink, oral medications, vitamins, or supplements.
Take a single pill with a sip of no more than 4 ounces of plain water.
Wait 30 minutes before you eat, drink, or take other oral medications, vitamins, or supplements.
If you miss a dose and have eaten, the missed dose should be skipped, and the next dose should be taken the following day at the regular time. Do not double-dose to make up for a missed dose.
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