Canada Pharmacy Depot

The New Patient's Guide to Rybelsus

Wednesday 13 September 2023
5 minute(s) read
Dr.Stanley Zaslau

Medically reviewed by

Dr Stanley Zaslau, MD

on 12 February 2024

Table of Contents

I. What is Rybelsus Used For?

II. How Does Rybelsus Work?

III. Rybelsus Dosage

IV. How to Take Rybelsus

V. Rybelsus Side Effects

VI. Rybelsus Drug Interactions

VII. Rybelsus Usage During Pregnancy

VIII. Final Thoughts

If your doctor has prescribed Rybelsus to help manage type 2 diabetes, and you're curious about how it works, you're in the right place.

We will explore the essential facts you need to know about Rybelsus. This includes what it does, how it works, and dosage information. Additionally, we will discuss any negative side effects and drug interactions.

We aim to provide a complete guide that empowers you to actively participate in your treatment.

What is Rybelsus Used For?

In 2017, the FDA approved Rybelsus for treating type 2 diabetes. When taken alongside a healthy diet and exercise, Rybelsus has been shown to improve glycemic control. [1]

It’s important to note that Rybelsus is not recommended for individuals diagnosed with type 1 diabetes or for treating diabetic ketoacidosis. [1]

Furthermore, Rybelsus is not FDA-approved for patients with

  • A history of Medullary Thyroid Carcinoma (MTC)
  • A history of Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN 2)
  • High sensitivity to semaglutides [1]

a woman taking a pill while smiling

How Does Rybelsus Work?

Rybelsus falls under the category of semaglutides, which are part of a group of medications known as GLP-1 receptor agonists. These agonists share an astonishing 94% resemblance to human GLP-1. [1]

Let’s simplify this:

GLP-1 receptor agonists act like a hormone naturally made by our bodies. This hormone uses GLP-1 receptors to help manage glucose levels. [1]

To treat type 2 diabetes, GLP-1 receptor agonists work by boosting insulin release, lowering glucagon release, and slowing down stomach emptying, making you feel full for longer. [1]

Rybelsus Dosage

Rybelsus tablets are available in three dosages: 3 mg, 7 mg, and 14 mg. These tablets are oval-shaped and range in color from white to light yellow, with the dosage clearly marked on the tablet. [1]

Finding the right Rybelsus dosage is a collaborative effort with your doctor, who will create a tailored diabetes management plan for you.

The FDA-approved dosing schedule is provided below:

Typically, Rybelsus begins with a 3 mg once-daily dosage for 30 days. Afterward, the dosage is increased to 7 mg once daily. If your doctor thinks additional glycemic control is needed after 30 days on 7 mg, they may increase the dosage to 14 mg once daily for another 30 days. [1]

a person preparing to take several oral medications

How to Take Rybelsus

Take Rybelsus before any medications and on an empty stomach for optimal results. In addition, make sure to take it at least 30 minutes before eating, using a maximum of 4 ounces (118 mL) of water. [1]

It's important to note that strict adherence to these instructions is vital to achieving optimal outcomes. Deviating from these guidelines, such as taking Rybelsus with a meal or on a full stomach, can lead to decreased medication absorption. [1]

Rybelsus Side Effects

As with any medication, Rybelsus has the potential to bring about side effects. Staying vigilant and recognizing any changes when taking Rybelsus is crucial. If you encounter any worrisome effects, it's important to contact your doctor for guidance promptly.

Common side effects associated with Rybelsus include:

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Decreased appetite
  • Constipation
  • Vomiting [2]

When starting the medication, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea are the most common side effects that you may experience. [2]

If you’re experiencing nausea, we recommend the following tips:

  • Opt for smaller, more frequent meals
  • Choose light and bland foods like saltine crackers and bread
  • Sip on ice-cold drinks
  • Avoid fried, greasy, or sweet foods [2]

If you have any questions about the side effects or Rybelsus, please contact one of our friendly pharmacists.

Rybelsus Drug Interactions

Before starting Rybelsus, it’s crucial to let your physician know all the drugs you’re currently taking. When combined with Rybelsus, certain medications might result in undesired side effects or hinder its absorption. [1]

For your reference, we’ve included some common categories of drugs that may be impacted by Rybelsus usage: insulin and oral medications.

If taken alongside insulin, Rybelsus may cause hypoglycemia (a decrease in blood glucose). Your doctor will work with you to adjust your insulin dosage while taking Rybelsus. [1]

Since Rybelsus causes a delay in stomach emptying (explained more in the section “How Does Rybelsus Work?”), it can potentially impact the absorption of any oral medications you’re taking. Depending on your medications, your doctor may increase clinical monitoring to ensure appropriate absorption. Additionally, following the guidelines for administering Rybelsus becomes even more crucial in these circumstances. [1]

a pregnant mother at an appointment

Rybelsus Usage During Pregnancy

Currently, there isn't enough data to establish an official FDA recommendation regarding the use of Rybelsus during pregnancy. However, studies conducted on animals have highlighted potential risks to the developing fetus when exposed to Rybelsus during pregnancy. [1]

In line with these studies, the FDA states that Rybelsus should only be used during pregnancy if the potential benefits outweigh the potential risks to the fetus. [1]

Final Thoughts

Rybelsus is a groundbreaking medication in the treatment of type 2 diabetes. However, it’s important to understand that the full benefits of Rybelsus require a healthy diet and exercise. Furthermore, adhering to the prescribed dosage instructions for Rybelsus (explained further in the section "How to Take Rybelsus") is essential to achieve optimal outcomes.

At Canada Pharmacy Depot, we have a licensed and knowledgeable team of pharmacists ready to answer questions you may have about Rybelsus or any other medication. Don’t hesitate to contact our pharmacists for any concerns or inquiries.

If you’re ready to purchase Rybelsus, visit the medication page for more information and pricing.

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.