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If you've been prescribed Rybelsus, you might wonder how to navigate the side effects.
In this article, we'll explore both the common and serious side effects of Rybelsus and provide tips on how to manage them.
Common Rybelsus Side Effects and How to Manage Them
Nausea is a common side effect when starting Rybelsus or your dosage increases. However, this symptom typically improves as your body gets used to Rybelsus. 
Nausea can be quite uncomfortable, especially when you're trying to focus on managing your diabetes. To cope with this queasy feeling, consider these strategies:
- Eat low-fat, bland foods (e.g., crackers, toast, rice)
- Consider smaller, more frequent meals
- Eat slowly
- Do not lie down after eating 
Abdominal pain may occur when you start Rybelsus or increase your dosage. Fortunately, this symptom is usually temporary and resolved when your body gets used to the medication. 
However, if you experience severe abdominal pain that:
- Radiates to your back or chest
- Worsens after a meal
- Causes vomiting 
Consult your doctor immediately. These symptoms may indicate pancreatitis, a more severe side effect of Rybelsus. 
For more information on pancreatitis and Rybelsus, scroll down to the “Pancreatitis” section. You can also contact our knowledgeable team of pharmacists if you have any questions.
Constipation or Diarrhea
Digestive issues like constipation or diarrhea can be inconvenient and unpleasant. Luckily, these symptoms are usually temporary and occur when you start your medication or increase the dosage. 
To manage these symptoms:
- Eat a fiber-rich diet: Ensure your diet includes plenty of fiber to help regulate your bowel movements. Foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are excellent choices.
- Hydrate: Proper hydration is essential for a healthy digestive system. Drink enough water to keep things moving smoothly.
- Consult Your Doctor: If constipation or diarrhea persists, consult your healthcare provider. They can provide guidance and may recommend adjustments to your Rybelsus dosage.
Rybelsus clinical studies reported vomiting as a common side effect when patients started the medication or when the dosage increased. 
Fortunately, vomiting is usually temporary and disappears when your body gets used to Rybelsus. 
If you experience vomiting
- Stay hydrated. Vomiting causes a lot of fluid loss, which leads to dehydration. This can lead to unwanted symptoms such as light-headedness and confusion. 
- Consult your doctor. Your physician may be able to recommend medications to treat vomiting.
Serious Rybelsus Side Effects
Pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) is a rare but serious side effect of Rybelsus. Clinical trials resulted in six out of 448 participants reporting pancreatitis as a side effect of the medication. 
If you experience severe and persistent abdominal pain that radiates to your back or chest:
- Contact your doctor immediately. The FDA states that Rybelsus should be discontinued immediately if pancreatitis is suspected. If your doctor diagnoses you with pancreatitis, Rybelsus should not be restarted. 
In clinical trials for Rybelsus, 4.2% of the participants reported diabetic retinopathy-related symptoms.  Unfortunately, the early stages of diabetic retinopathy can go undetected. In later stages, you may see dark, floating spots. 
If you notice any vision-related issues:
- Consult your physician: It’s important to consult your doctor even if the symptoms have resolved. Without treatment, there’s a risk of scar formation in the back of your eye. 
Rybelsus may cause acute kidney injury or worsen existing chronic renal failure. If this occurs, hemodialysis may be required for treatment. 
If you experience any concerning symptoms associated with urination
- Notify Your Healthcare Provider: Promptly inform your doctor of any kidney-related symptoms. They will conduct tests to assess kidney function and determine the best course of action. 
Low Blood Sugar
Rybelsus has a minimal risk of hypoglycemia. Clinical trials found less than 1% incidence of hypoglycemia in participants. This symptom is typically more frequent in individuals already taking insulin. 
It’s important to know the symptoms of low blood sugar as it can be dangerous if left untreated:
- Rapid heartbeat 
If you experience any of these symptoms:
- Test your blood sugar levels: If you are experiencing severe symptoms of low blood sugar, call 911. Severe hypoglycemia can be life-threatening and requires immediate treatment.
- Consult your physician: Your doctor will work with you to adjust your Rybelsus or insulin dosage to minimize the risk of hypoglycemia. 
Rybelsus has a black box warning due to its risk of causing thyroid tumors. This warning is based on animal research showing that the active ingredient in Rybelsus (semaglutide) can increase the risk of thyroid C-cell tumors. 
To minimize the risk of developing thyroid tumors while on Rybelsus:
- Contact your doctor if you experience any symptoms of thyroid cancer. These symptoms include:
- Difficulty swallowing or breathing
- A hoarse voice
- A lump or swelling in your neck 
- Before starting the medication, let your doctor know if you have a personal or family history of thyroid cancer or multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN 2). While minimal studies have tested the link between Rybelsus and thyroid tumors in humans, the FDA states that Rybelsus should be avoided in individuals with a family or personal history of thyroid cancer or multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN 2). 
Allergic reactions to Rybelsus are rare but can be serious. Call 911 or contact your doctor immediately if you have any of the following symptoms after starting Rybelsus:
- Difficulty breathing
- Difficulty swallowing
- Hoarse voice
- Skin rashes, itching, hives
- Dizziness and/or fainting
- Abdominal cramping
- Swollen eyes or mouth 
How Long Do the Side Effects of Rybelsus Last?
The duration and type of Rybelsus side effects vary from person to person. Side effects such as nausea, abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, and vomiting occurred in less than 5% of clinical trial participants. These symptoms typically occurred when Rybelsus was first started, or when the dosage increased. Fortunately, the side effects disappeared when the patients' bodies became used to the medication. 
On the other hand, serious side effects may develop after taking Rybelsus for a longer period. These side effects require prompt medical attention and may lead to discontinuation of Rybelsus. 
It's important to remember that regular communication with your healthcare provider is essential to monitor your response to Rybelsus and adjust your treatment plan as needed.
Furthermore, it's crucial to be aware of potential Rybelsus side effects. At Canada Pharmacy Depot, we have a team of licensed pharmacists to ensure you are knowledgeable and up to date on any medications you may be taking. Please don't hesitate to contact our pharmacists with any questions or concerns.
Managing the side effects of medications can be a challenge. While it's important to follow your doctor's instructions carefully, it's also important to be aware of any changes that might occur as you adjust to your new treatment. Doing so ensures prompt treatment of any health conditions that may arise.
If you’re ready to purchase Rybelsus, visit the medication page for pricing information.
The content provided in this article is based on thorough research and in some cases, reviewed by a medical professional. Our goal for the information is to provide helpful, general health informational. It is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice.