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{"id":556718391369,"title":"Rybelsus Review: Is It The Best Diabetes Medication?","created_at":"2022-07-04T16:37:43-04:00","body_html":"\u003cscript type=\"application\/ld+json\"\u003e\/\/ \u003c![CDATA[\n{\n \"@context\": \"https:\/\/schema.org\",\n \"@type\": \"Article\",\n \"headline\": \"Rybelsus Review: Is It The Best Diabetes Medication?\",\n \"keywords\": \"rybelsus, rybelsus reviews, rybelsus review, rybelsus side effects, rybelsus weight loss, rybelsus cost, rybelsus coupon, rybelsus for weight loss, rybelsus vs metformin, rybelsus vs ozempic\",\n \"description\": \"Our research team reviews medical studies on Rybelsus to determine if it's safe and effective for treating type-2 diabetes. We highlight the drug's side effects, compare it to other popular diabetes medications like Metformin, and examine whether there's a cheaper generic version of the drug available.\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/rybelsus-review\",\n\"author\": {\n \"@type\": \"Person\",\n \"name\": \"Calloway Cook\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/pages\/calloway-cook\",\n \"sameAs\": \"https:\/\/www.linkedin.com\/in\/calloway-cook\/\",\n \"jobTitle\": \"President\",\n \"knowsAbout\": \"entrepreneurship, dietary supplements, herbal supplements, eCommerce, medical research\",\n \"alumniOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"EducationalOrganization\",\n \"name\": \"S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University\"\n },\n \"memberOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\"\n }\n},\n\"creator\": {\n \"@type\": \"Person\",\n \"name\": \"Calloway Cook\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/pages\/calloway-cook\",\n \"sameAs\": \"https:\/\/www.linkedin.com\/in\/calloway-cook\/\",\n \"jobTitle\": \"President\",\n \"knowsAbout\": \"entrepreneurship, dietary supplements, herbal supplements, eCommerce, medical research\",\n \"alumniOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"EducationalOrganization\",\n \"name\": \"S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University\"\n },\n \"memberOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\"\n }\n},\n\"editor\": {\n \"@type\": \"Person\",\n \"name\": \"Taylor Graber MD\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/pages\/taylor-graber\",\n \"sameAs\": \"https:\/\/www.linkedin.com\/in\/taylor-j-graber-md-81351642\/\",\n \"jobTitle\": \"Content Partner\",\n \"knowsAbout\": \"medicine, health, anesthesiology, iv therapy, science, drugs, pharmaceutical, medical research, scientific research, medical journals, entrepreneurship, healthcare, orthopedic surgery, biomedical engineering\",\n \"alumniOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"EducationalOrganization\",\n \"name\": [\n \"University of California San Diego\",\n \"Arizona University\",\n \"University of Arizona College of Medicine\"\n ]\n },\n \"memberOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\"\n }\n},\n\"image\": {\n\"@type\": \"ImageObject\",\n\"url\": \"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Rybelsus_Thumbnail.png?v=1656967186\",\n\"width\": \"2392\",\n\"height\": \"2392\"\n},\n\"citation\": [\n\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC8206300\/\", \n\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC5836914\/\",\n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/31637820\/\",\n\"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/wegovy-review\",\n\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC7839771\/\",\n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/32815454\/\",\n\"https:\/\/www.accessdata.fda.gov\/drugsatfda_docs\/label\/2019\/213051s000lbl.pdf\",\n\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC8294388\/\",\n\"https:\/\/www.drugs.com\/comments\/semaglutide\/rybelsus-for-diabetes-mellitus-type-ii.html\",\n\"https:\/\/www.goodrx.com\/rybelsus\",\n\"https:\/\/www.rybelsus.com\/savings-and-support.html\",\n\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC6415809\/\",\n\"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/ozempic-review\",\n\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC8269445\/\",\n\"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/metformin-weight-loss\",\n\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC5648738\/\"\n],\n\"mentions\": [{\n \"@type\": \"Thing\",\n \"name\": \"semaglutide\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Thing\",\n \"name\": \"A1C\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Thing\",\n \"name\": \"blood sugar\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Thing\",\n \"name\": \"FDA\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Thing\",\n \"name\": \"drugs.com\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Thing\",\n \"name\": \"GoodRx\"\n }\n],\n\"datePublished\": \"2022-07-04\",\n\"copyrightHolder\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\"\n},\n\"publisher\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/\",\n \"description\": \"Illuminate Labs is the most transparent supplement company in the U.S., and is a leading publisher of research-based health information.\",\n \"knowsAbout\": \"supplements, science, nutrition, exercise, health, medication, pharmaceutical, wellness, diet, weight loss, medical research\",\n \"publishingPrinciples\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/pages\/editorial-guidelines\",\n \"logo\": {\n \"@type\": \"ImageObject\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Illuminate_Labs_Logo.png?v=1641249064\", \n \"width\": 150,\n \"height\": 150\n},\n \"foundingDate\": \"2019-01-30\",\n \"Address\": {\n \"@type\": \"PostalAddress\",\n \"streetAddress\": \"50 Union Street, Unit 9\",\n \"addressLocality\": \"Northampton\",\n \"addressRegion\": \"Massachusetts\",\n \"postalCode\": \"01060\",\n \"addressCountry\": \"US\"\n},\n \"sameAs\": [\n \"https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/illuminatelabs\",\n \"https:\/\/twitter.com\/illuminatelabs\",\n \"https:\/\/www.linkedin.com\/company\/illuminate-labs-supplements\",\n \"https:\/\/www.youtube.com\/channel\/UCpgSJAsIPb-fZ25djtTxBEA\"\n ]\n }\n}\n\/\/ ]]\u003e\u003c\/script\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003ci\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e\u003cimg src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Rybelsus_Review_Article_Header_Image_Optimized.png?v=1656967148\" alt=\"\"\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/i\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003ci\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eDisclaimer: None of the information in this article constitutes medical advice, and is just the opinion of the writer(s) and published for informational purposes only. We recommend that patients follow their doctor’s guidance in regard to prescription medication.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/i\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e\u003cspan class=\"dc\"\u003eR\u003c\/span\u003eybelsus is a type-2 diabetes treatment that’s available by prescription only. It’s one of the more commonly-prescribed diabetes medications in the U.S. The branded version of the medication is called Rybelsus, and the generic version is called semaglutide. These terms refer to the same active compound so we’ll use them interchangeably throughout this article.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eIn this article we’ll review published medical research on Rybelsus to determine if it’s safe and effective for treating type-2 diabetes. We’ll highlight side effects of the medication and discuss whether it can cause weight loss in overweight and obese patients as a secondary benefit.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eDoes Rybelsus Work?\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eRybelsus is prescribed to treat type-2 diabetes, and it does so by improving blood sugar control.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eA \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC8206300\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003emedical review\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e of Rybelsus and diabetes published in the \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ci\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eDrugs in R\u0026amp;D\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/i\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e journal analyzed results from 39 individual clinical trials on the topic. In every single analyzed study, the medication reduced A1C levels, which is a marker for blood sugar levels over the past 3 months. Most of the trials showed a moderate reduction in A1C levels of between 1-2%.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eA separate \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC5836914\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eclinical trial\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e published in 2018 analyzed whether Rybelsus could reduce the blood sugar spike after a carb-rich meal. The results were impressive: the drug led to 38.5% lower glucose levels, and improved insulin sensitivity.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eAnother \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/31637820\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003emeta-study\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e analyzed results from 9,980 patients using Rybelsus for diabetes. The researchers found that the medication was effective, but the average decrease in A1C levels is not that impressive in our opinion, at only -0.89%. \u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThe study authors note that Rybelsus did reduce A1C levels by 0.35% more than “active comparators,” which refers to other diabetes medications. This suggests that Rybelsus may be a more effective option than many diabetes drugs on the market today.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWe can conclude from the available research that Rybelsus is effective at treating and managing elevated blood sugar levels. While the decrease in blood sugar and A1C levels seen in Rybelsus trials is not that impressive, it is consistent.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eDoes Rybelsus Cause Weight Loss?\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eMany patients often ask about whether Rybelsus causes weight loss, because there are some indications in the research trials that the medication led to decreased weight in overweight and obese patients.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eSince weight loss alone can help normalize blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity, a secondary benefit from a type-2 diabetes medication of weight loss would be beneficial to patients.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThe same active ingredient in Rybelsus is the active ingredient in an FDA-approved weight loss injection called Wegovy. As we detailed in our \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/wegovy-review\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWegovy reviews\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e article, semaglutide is proven to be effective for weight loss when injected, but since Rybelsus uses an oral form of the medication we’ll have to analyze whether that drug delivery mechanism is similarly effective.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eA well-designed \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC7839771\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003emedical trial\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e testing Rybelsus’ effects on weight was recently published in the \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ci\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eDiabetes, Obesity \u0026amp; Metabolism\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/i\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e journal. All trial participants had type-2 diabetes. \u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eOver a 12 week period, the subjects using Rybelsus lost an average of 2.7 kilograms (kg) which equates to 5.95 pounds (lbs). This is an impressive result, and even more impressive than the reductions in blood sugar in our opinion. The researchers documented that most of the weight loss was body fat, which is the ideal type of mass to lose.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eIt appears that Rybelsus may be effective for weight loss in patients with type-2 diabetes, but we don’t recommend using the drug for that outcome alone as it’s not approved for weight loss. If patients are interested in semaglutide for weight loss, we recommend that they speak with their doctor about Wegovy, because that medication contains the same active ingredient but is FDA-approved for weight loss.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eHow Does Rybelsus Work?\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eRybelsus is one of a class of prescription medications called glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1RA). These drugs are effective for diabetes because they help normalize glucose levels.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eAccording to \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/32815454\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003emedical studies\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e, GLP-1RA medications may block the release of a hormone called glucagon which is commonly elevated in type 2 diabetics. Glucagon causes the body to increase blood sugar levels, so by limiting its effect, blood sugar levels tend to decrease.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eIn regard to weight loss, Rybelsus may be effective because it reduces hunger and increases the sense of fullness. The medication delays gastric emptying which causes patients to feel full longer.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eRybelsus Side Effects\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThere are a variety of potential side effects from Rybelsus use, but the one we want to highlight first is the increased potential for a specific type of thyroid tumor.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThe \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.accessdata.fda.gov\/drugsatfda_docs\/label\/2019\/213051s000lbl.pdf\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eFDA label\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e for Rybelsus contains a “black box” warning which is the most severe type of warning published by the FDA for prescription drugs, and indicates potentially severe or life-threatening side effects. \u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eAccording to the label, animal studies of Rybelsus noted increased thyroid C-cell tumors. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the same effects will occur in humans, but it’s definitely worth speaking with your doctor about, especially for patients with a family history of thyroid tumors or conditions.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eAn independent \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC8294388\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003emedical review\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e of the side effects of Rybelsus documented those which were most common: nausea (experienced by around 20% of patients), vomiting (4% to 11.5% of patients) and diarrhea (4.5% to 11.3%).\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eClearly the more common side effects are milder than the potential side effect noted in the FDA black box warning.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eRybelsus User Reviews\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eRybelsus has been reviewed many times on Drugs.com, which is the only resource we’re aware of for patients to publish reviews of prescription drugs they’re taking. We cannot confirm the legitimacy of any of these reviews.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThe average user rating of Rybelsus on Drugs.com’s \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.drugs.com\/comments\/semaglutide\/rybelsus-for-diabetes-mellitus-type-ii.html\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003ereviews page\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e is 5.8\/10, which is a mediocre rating.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThe top positive review is from a user named “Jarin” who claims that the medication significantly reduced their A1C:\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cb\u003e“This med Rybelsus is awesome. It has helped me bring my A1C down to 5.1 from a high of 9.7. I first started with the 3mg and am now on the 14mg. Been on this med since March”\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThe top negative review is from a user named “Dori” who claims that the medication caused uncomfortable side effects. Interestingly, this user also reports significant weight loss:\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cb\u003e“I've been on the 7mg for 17 days and the nausea, indigestion, stomach pain and now diarrhea have been almost unbearable and are getting worseI've also lost 18 lbs because I can barely eat anything.”\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eRybelsus YouTube Review\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eOne of the most popular YouTube videos on Rybelsus is from a doctor whose channel is called “SugarMD.” The endocrinologist breaks down the science behind Rybelsus and answers some user questions:\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003ciframe width=\"560\" height=\"315\" src=\"https:\/\/www.youtube.com\/embed\/QHGWqZXm9zI\" title=\"YouTube video player\" frameborder=\"0\" allow=\"accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture\" allowfullscreen=\"\"\u003e\u003c\/iframe\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eRybelsus Cost\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eRybelsus appears to be quite expensive. GoodRx \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.goodrx.com\/rybelsus\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eis reporting\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e a cost of around $900 - $1,000 for a several month supply.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThe manufacturer website has a Savings \u0026amp; Support \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.rybelsus.com\/savings-and-support.html\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eresource\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e containing a coupon. The manufacturer claims that some eligible customers may qualify for prices as low as $10 for a several month supply.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWe strongly recommend patients considering this medication to contact their health insurance company to check what their final cost will be, and to use the manufacturer resource. Speaking with your doctor may also be worthwhile to discuss other ways to bring the cost down.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eCan I Take A Generic Version?\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eAs we referenced in the intro section of this article, Rybelsus is the branded name for a compound called semaglutide. We typically recommend that patients speak with their doctor about generic versions of prescription drugs, because they tend to be cheaper (significantly so for patients without health insurance), and are just as effective on average as branded drugs \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC6415809\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003ebased on medical research\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eUnfortunately in the case of Rybelsus, generic semaglutide doesn’t yet appear to be on the market, at least in the U.S. Patent law can allow drug manufacturers to reserve exclusive rights to selling a drug for a number of years, so they can recoup costs of research and development.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWe recommend that patients ask their doctor to update them when and if generic semaglutide comes onto the market, because for patients on a budget it may be a better option than Rybelsus.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eRybelsus Vs. Ozempic\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eAnother type-2 diabetes prescription medication which uses the exact same active ingredient is called \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/ozempic-review\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eOzempic\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e. It’s an injectable semaglutide formulation, while Rybelsus is an oral tablet.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003ePatients are often curious about which medication is more effective.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eA \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC8269445\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003emedical review\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e compared the efficacy of oral and injectable semaglutide. The researchers found that the injectable version decreased A1C by 1.5% to 1.8%, while the oral version only decreased A1C by 1% to 1.4%.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThe injectable version was also more effective for weight loss, decreasing body weight more than all active comparator drugs tested, while the oral version was only more effective for weight loss than two of the drugs tested.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThis research suggests that Ozempic may be more effective for both type-2 diabetes and weight loss than Rybelsus, but injectable medications often come with more side effects, so we recommend that patients speak with their doctor if they’re considering switching from Rybelsus to Ozempic.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eRybelsus Vs. Metformin\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/metformin-weight-loss\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eMetformin\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e is another commonly-prescribed diabetes medication, so patients are often curious about a comparison. Unfortunately there isn’t medical data directly comparing the two drugs.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eBoth medications are proven to be effective for treating and managing type-2 diabetes, and both have been shown to cause weight loss in overweight patients with type-2 diabetes (but neither medication is FDA-approved for weight loss alone).\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eA \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC5648738\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003emedical study\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e examining the effects of combined Rybelsus and Metformin administration, published in the \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ci\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eClinical Pharmacokinetics\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/i\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e journal, found that there was no safety issues combining the two drugs. This suggests that patients with difficult-to-treat diabetes may benefit from speaking to their doctor about taking both drugs in combination.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eConclusion\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eRybelsus is effective for treating type-2 diabetes, but doesn’t seem to decrease A1C levels by more than 2% on average based on the medical studies we reviewed (which were limited in duration). The drug may also cause weight loss in some patients, but we don’t recommend taking it for that outcome alone because it’s not FDA-approved to treat weight loss.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThe most common side effects of Rybelsus are relatively minor, such as nausea and diarrhea, but there may be a small risk of thyroid tumor growth based on animal studies. This suggests that patients with a family history of thyroid issues may want to seek other options.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThere is no generic version of Rybelsus available in the U.S., and the drug’s efficacy appears to be slightly inferior compared with injectable versions of the same active ingredient such as Ozempic.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e","blog_id":49281925193,"author":"Calloway Cook","user_id":26601750601,"published_at":"2022-07-04T16:47:19-04:00","updated_at":"2022-07-04T16:49:50-04:00","summary_html":"We review medical studies on Rybelsus to determine if it's safe and effective for treating type-2 diabetes. We highlight the drug's side effects, compare it to other popular diabetes medications like Metformin, and examine whether there's a cheaper generic version of the drug available.","template_suffix":"","handle":"rybelsus-review","tags":"_related:diabetes"}

Rybelsus Review: Is It The Best Diabetes Medication?

Rybelsus Review: Is It The Best Diabetes Medication?


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Read our Editorial Guidelines to learn more about what makes our site the premier resource for online health information.


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Disclaimer: None of the information in this article constitutes medical advice, and is just the opinion of the writer(s) and published for informational purposes only. We recommend that patients follow their doctor’s guidance in regard to prescription medication.

Rybelsus is a type-2 diabetes treatment that’s available by prescription only. It’s one of the more commonly-prescribed diabetes medications in the U.S. The branded version of the medication is called Rybelsus, and the generic version is called semaglutide. These terms refer to the same active compound so we’ll use them interchangeably throughout this article.

In this article we’ll review published medical research on Rybelsus to determine if it’s safe and effective for treating type-2 diabetes. We’ll highlight side effects of the medication and discuss whether it can cause weight loss in overweight and obese patients as a secondary benefit.

Does Rybelsus Work?

Rybelsus is prescribed to treat type-2 diabetes, and it does so by improving blood sugar control.

A medical review of Rybelsus and diabetes published in the Drugs in R&D journal analyzed results from 39 individual clinical trials on the topic. In every single analyzed study, the medication reduced A1C levels, which is a marker for blood sugar levels over the past 3 months. Most of the trials showed a moderate reduction in A1C levels of between 1-2%.

A separate clinical trial published in 2018 analyzed whether Rybelsus could reduce the blood sugar spike after a carb-rich meal. The results were impressive: the drug led to 38.5% lower glucose levels, and improved insulin sensitivity.

Another meta-study analyzed results from 9,980 patients using Rybelsus for diabetes. The researchers found that the medication was effective, but the average decrease in A1C levels is not that impressive in our opinion, at only -0.89%. 

The study authors note that Rybelsus did reduce A1C levels by 0.35% more than “active comparators,” which refers to other diabetes medications. This suggests that Rybelsus may be a more effective option than many diabetes drugs on the market today.

We can conclude from the available research that Rybelsus is effective at treating and managing elevated blood sugar levels. While the decrease in blood sugar and A1C levels seen in Rybelsus trials is not that impressive, it is consistent.

Does Rybelsus Cause Weight Loss?

Many patients often ask about whether Rybelsus causes weight loss, because there are some indications in the research trials that the medication led to decreased weight in overweight and obese patients.

Since weight loss alone can help normalize blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity, a secondary benefit from a type-2 diabetes medication of weight loss would be beneficial to patients.

The same active ingredient in Rybelsus is the active ingredient in an FDA-approved weight loss injection called Wegovy. As we detailed in our Wegovy reviews article, semaglutide is proven to be effective for weight loss when injected, but since Rybelsus uses an oral form of the medication we’ll have to analyze whether that drug delivery mechanism is similarly effective.

A well-designed medical trial testing Rybelsus’ effects on weight was recently published in the Diabetes, Obesity & Metabolism journal. All trial participants had type-2 diabetes. 

Over a 12 week period, the subjects using Rybelsus lost an average of 2.7 kilograms (kg) which equates to 5.95 pounds (lbs). This is an impressive result, and even more impressive than the reductions in blood sugar in our opinion. The researchers documented that most of the weight loss was body fat, which is the ideal type of mass to lose.

It appears that Rybelsus may be effective for weight loss in patients with type-2 diabetes, but we don’t recommend using the drug for that outcome alone as it’s not approved for weight loss. If patients are interested in semaglutide for weight loss, we recommend that they speak with their doctor about Wegovy, because that medication contains the same active ingredient but is FDA-approved for weight loss.

How Does Rybelsus Work?

Rybelsus is one of a class of prescription medications called glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1RA). These drugs are effective for diabetes because they help normalize glucose levels.

According to medical studies, GLP-1RA medications may block the release of a hormone called glucagon which is commonly elevated in type 2 diabetics. Glucagon causes the body to increase blood sugar levels, so by limiting its effect, blood sugar levels tend to decrease.

In regard to weight loss, Rybelsus may be effective because it reduces hunger and increases the sense of fullness. The medication delays gastric emptying which causes patients to feel full longer.

Rybelsus Side Effects

There are a variety of potential side effects from Rybelsus use, but the one we want to highlight first is the increased potential for a specific type of thyroid tumor.

The FDA label for Rybelsus contains a “black box” warning which is the most severe type of warning published by the FDA for prescription drugs, and indicates potentially severe or life-threatening side effects. 

According to the label, animal studies of Rybelsus noted increased thyroid C-cell tumors. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the same effects will occur in humans, but it’s definitely worth speaking with your doctor about, especially for patients with a family history of thyroid tumors or conditions.

An independent medical review of the side effects of Rybelsus documented those which were most common: nausea (experienced by around 20% of patients), vomiting (4% to 11.5% of patients) and diarrhea (4.5% to 11.3%).

Clearly the more common side effects are milder than the potential side effect noted in the FDA black box warning.

Rybelsus User Reviews

Rybelsus has been reviewed many times on Drugs.com, which is the only resource we’re aware of for patients to publish reviews of prescription drugs they’re taking. We cannot confirm the legitimacy of any of these reviews.

The average user rating of Rybelsus on Drugs.com’s reviews page is 5.8/10, which is a mediocre rating.

The top positive review is from a user named “Jarin” who claims that the medication significantly reduced their A1C:

“This med Rybelsus is awesome. It has helped me bring my A1C down to 5.1 from a high of 9.7. I first started with the 3mg and am now on the 14mg. Been on this med since March”

The top negative review is from a user named “Dori” who claims that the medication caused uncomfortable side effects. Interestingly, this user also reports significant weight loss:

“I've been on the 7mg for 17 days and the nausea, indigestion, stomach pain and now diarrhea have been almost unbearable and are getting worseI've also lost 18 lbs because I can barely eat anything.”

Rybelsus YouTube Review

One of the most popular YouTube videos on Rybelsus is from a doctor whose channel is called “SugarMD.” The endocrinologist breaks down the science behind Rybelsus and answers some user questions:

Rybelsus Cost

Rybelsus appears to be quite expensive. GoodRx is reporting a cost of around $900 - $1,000 for a several month supply.

The manufacturer website has a Savings & Support resource containing a coupon. The manufacturer claims that some eligible customers may qualify for prices as low as $10 for a several month supply.

We strongly recommend patients considering this medication to contact their health insurance company to check what their final cost will be, and to use the manufacturer resource. Speaking with your doctor may also be worthwhile to discuss other ways to bring the cost down.

Can I Take A Generic Version?

As we referenced in the intro section of this article, Rybelsus is the branded name for a compound called semaglutide. We typically recommend that patients speak with their doctor about generic versions of prescription drugs, because they tend to be cheaper (significantly so for patients without health insurance), and are just as effective on average as branded drugs based on medical research.

Unfortunately in the case of Rybelsus, generic semaglutide doesn’t yet appear to be on the market, at least in the U.S. Patent law can allow drug manufacturers to reserve exclusive rights to selling a drug for a number of years, so they can recoup costs of research and development.

We recommend that patients ask their doctor to update them when and if generic semaglutide comes onto the market, because for patients on a budget it may be a better option than Rybelsus.

Rybelsus Vs. Ozempic

Another type-2 diabetes prescription medication which uses the exact same active ingredient is called Ozempic. It’s an injectable semaglutide formulation, while Rybelsus is an oral tablet.

Patients are often curious about which medication is more effective.

A medical review compared the efficacy of oral and injectable semaglutide. The researchers found that the injectable version decreased A1C by 1.5% to 1.8%, while the oral version only decreased A1C by 1% to 1.4%.

The injectable version was also more effective for weight loss, decreasing body weight more than all active comparator drugs tested, while the oral version was only more effective for weight loss than two of the drugs tested.

This research suggests that Ozempic may be more effective for both type-2 diabetes and weight loss than Rybelsus, but injectable medications often come with more side effects, so we recommend that patients speak with their doctor if they’re considering switching from Rybelsus to Ozempic.

Rybelsus Vs. Metformin

Metformin is another commonly-prescribed diabetes medication, so patients are often curious about a comparison. Unfortunately there isn’t medical data directly comparing the two drugs.

Both medications are proven to be effective for treating and managing type-2 diabetes, and both have been shown to cause weight loss in overweight patients with type-2 diabetes (but neither medication is FDA-approved for weight loss alone).

A medical study examining the effects of combined Rybelsus and Metformin administration, published in the Clinical Pharmacokinetics journal, found that there was no safety issues combining the two drugs. This suggests that patients with difficult-to-treat diabetes may benefit from speaking to their doctor about taking both drugs in combination.

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Conclusion

Rybelsus is effective for treating type-2 diabetes, but doesn’t seem to decrease A1C levels by more than 2% on average based on the medical studies we reviewed (which were limited in duration). The drug may also cause weight loss in some patients, but we don’t recommend taking it for that outcome alone because it’s not FDA-approved to treat weight loss.

The most common side effects of Rybelsus are relatively minor, such as nausea and diarrhea, but there may be a small risk of thyroid tumor growth based on animal studies. This suggests that patients with a family history of thyroid issues may want to seek other options.

There is no generic version of Rybelsus available in the U.S., and the drug’s efficacy appears to be slightly inferior compared with injectable versions of the same active ingredient such as Ozempic.





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