Safety and Precautions: Rybelsus Side Effects

Tuesday 21 November 2023
4 minute(s) read

Table of Contents

I. Understanding Rybelsus

II. Common Rybelsus Side Effects

III. Rybelsus Black Box Warning

IV. Rybelsus Usage During Pregnancy

V. Rybelsus Drug Interactions

VI. Final Tips for Rybelsus

Rybelsus has shown promising results in the treatment of type 2 diabetes. However, like any medication, being aware of potential side effects is crucial for a safe and effective treatment.

In this article, we will explore common Rybelsus side effects, crucial drug interactions, the significance of its black box warning, and the complexities of its usage during pregnancy.

Understanding Rybelsus

Rybelsus was FDA-approved in 2017 for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Studies have shown that Rybelsus can effectively control blood sugar levels when used alongside a healthy diet and exercise plan. [1]

It is important to note that Rybelsus is not recommended for patients with a

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

Before starting Rybelsus, it’s essential to share your complete medical history with your doctor to determine if Rybelsus is right for you.

a woman reading the side effects on a medication label

Common Rybelsus Side Effects

Like any medication, Rybelsus may lead to some unwanted side effects. It’s important to stay vigilant while taking the medication and discuss any concerning symptoms with your physician.

Common side effects include:

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Decreased Appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation [1]

During clinical studies, these side effects occurred in less than 5% of participants and typically appeared when Rybelsus was first started or the dosage increased. Fortunately, these symptoms tend to subside as your body adapts to the medication. [1]

On the other hand, long-term Rybelsus use may trigger more severe side effects, such as:

  • Pancreatitis
  • Diabetic Retinopathy
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Acute Kidney Injury [1]

If you have a medical history of these conditions, your healthcare provider will closely monitor your treatment. Nevertheless, it's vital to remain vigilant about any new symptoms and communicate them to your healthcare team.

Rybelsus Black Box Warning

Rybelsus carries a black box warning, also known as an FDA Boxed Warning, due to its active ingredient, semaglutide. Animal studies have suggested a potential link between semaglutide and the development of thyroid C-cell tumors. [1]

However, the correlation between Rybelsus and these tumors in humans remains unclear. Based on available research, the FDA advises against using Rybelsus in individuals with a history of Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN 2) or Medullary Thyroid Carcinoma (MTC). [1]

a pregnant woman sitting on a bed

Rybelsus Usage During Pregnancy

If you’re taking Rybelsus, it’s important to let your physician know if you’re pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant. While animal studies have raised concerns about potential risks to fetal development when exposed to Rybelsus, it's important to note that there is a lack of human pregnancy studies on this matter. Due to this, the FDA doesn’t have an official recommendation. [1]

Instead, deciding whether to continue Rybelsus during pregnancy should be made in close consultation with your healthcare professional, carefully weighing the potential benefits against the possible risks. [1]

Rybelsus Drug Interactions

Due to potential drug interactions, you must inform your doctor about any other prescription drugs, supplements, over-the-counter medications, or herbal remedies when starting a new medication.

Rybelsus has two types of drug interactions.

1. It may increase the risk of hypoglycemia when taken alongside insulin. In this case, your healthcare provider may adjust your insulin dosage while you're on Rybelsus.

2. Since Rybelsus delays stomach emptying, it can affect the performance of oral medications. To mitigate this, following the instructions for Rybelsus administration is crucial: take it on an empty stomach and wait 30 minutes before consuming any food, water, or oral medications. [1]

a person mixing medications

Final Tips for Rybelsus

Rybelsus is an effective treatment for type 2 diabetes if it’s taken according to the proper guidelines. We’ve listed three of the most important ones in this section.

1. Follow the dosing instructions: Take Rybelsus on an empty stomach and wait 30 minutes before consuming any food, water, or oral medications. This ensures proper absorption without negatively impacting other oral medications. [1]

2. Discuss your medical history with your physician: The FDA states that Rybelsus should not be taken by anyone with a history of MEN 2 or MTC. Studies show a potential link between the active ingredient in Rybelsus (semaglutide) and thyroid C-cell tumors. Your physician will work with you to find an alternate treatment. [1]

3. Do not crush or chew tablets: Swallow Rybelsus tablets whole to maintain the intended dosage. Crushing or chewing alters absorption, potentially leading to overdosing or ineffective treatment. [2]

If you are ready to explore treatment options for diabetes, connect with your healthcare provider to discuss Rybelsus as a possible solution. To learn more about Rybelsus, read our comprehensive Rybelsus guide and equip yourself with the knowledge to make the most informed decision today.

For pricing information, visit our Rybelsus drug page. Your health deserves a proactive approach, and you can manage symptoms of type 2 diabetes with the right treatment and lifestyle changes. Let RxConnected help you as you discover the best treatment plan for your condition.

DISCLAIMER: The content in this article is intended for informational purposes only. This website does not provide medical advice. In all circumstances, you should always seek the advice of your physician and/or other qualified health professionals(s) for drug, medical condition, or treatment advice. The content provided on this website is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.