Our Treatments: Rybelsus (Semaglutide Tablets)

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This content was reviewed and approved for its accuracy on 16/11/2021 by Professor Frank Joseph

Photograph of Professor Frank Joseph, weight loss expert for myBMI

Using Rybelsus Tablets for Weight Loss

If you’ve been considering medical weight loss treatments but don’t love the idea of injecting yourself, then you may have heard about Rybelsus tablets.

 

These tablets use the same active ingredient as Ozempic and Wegovy, making them a suitable alternative for those who don’t mind trading convenience for a lack of needles.

 

If you’re looking to find out more about Rybelsus, how it works, and why it could be right for you, keep reading and see what makes this medication tick.

What is Rybelsus?

Rybelsus is a type 2 diabetes treatment that contains an active ingredient called Semaglutide.

 

While it was being used as a diabetes medication, patients found that it had an unexpected effect on their appetite, sparking research into whether Semaglutide could be used as a weight-loss medication.

 

It turns out that by simply doing what it does best, Rybelsus can help people lose weight by reducing their appetite, making it easier to stick to a lower-calorie diet as a result. 

Are Rybelsus, Ozempic, and Wegovy the same thing?

Rybelsus, Ozempic, and Wegovy are all treatments that use the same active ingredient – Semaglutide.

 

As they’re all based on this ingredient, they all work in the exact same way, even though they’re licensed to treat different things.

 

At the moment, Rybelsus and Ozempic are used to treat type 2 diabetes by lowering blood sugar, while Wegovy is licensed in the US as a weight-loss treatment.

 

Naturally, the biggest difference between Rybelsus and Ozempic or Wegovy is that Rybelsus comes in tablets while the others are weekly injections.

 

This doesn’t make any one treatment more or less effective in general, so the one that’s right for you will depend on your personal circumstances and treatment preferences.

What is Rybelsus used for?

Rybelsus is a treatment for type 2 diabetes and it’s used to reduce blood sugar levels.

 

It uses Semaglutide to stimulate the production of insulin in your pancreas while also slowing down the production of a hormone called glucagon.

 

These two hormones work together to control your appetite — affecting the fullness centre in your brain while also slowing the emptying of your stomach.

 

By affecting these two hormones, Rybelsus effectively reduces your blood sugar and your appetite, helping you to feel satisfied for longer after a meal and making it easier for you to stick to a calorie-controlled diet.

 

Naturally, this makes it easier for you to lose weight as your treatment continues.

Can I use this treatment for weight loss?

Rybelsus is not licensed for weight loss in the UK yet, but it is used for this purpose in the US and it’s only a matter of time before it’s licensed for that here too.

 

So yes, Rybelsus can be used for weight loss, but only if it’s prescribed specifically for that purpose by a doctor or prescriber.

 

With that in mind, if you’ve been using these tablets to manage your diabetes, you shouldn’t try to change what you’re doing to use the treatment for weight loss unless you’ve been advised to do so by a medical professional.

Does Rybelsus have side effects?

Yes, Rybelsus can have side effects, just like any other medication, but you may not experience them for yourself.

 

Many people who experience side effects while taking this product find that they settle down over time as their body gets used to the treatment.

 

The most common side effects of Rybelsus include the following:

If you do experience any side effects while taking this treatment, you should speak to your healthcare team and ask them for advice.

 

Here at myBMI, our team can provide supplementary treatments to help you manage symptoms like heartburn until they’ve settled down, helping to make you more comfortable as you continue your weight loss journey with us.

What dose of Semaglutide tablets should I be taking?

Rybelsus Semaglutide tablets come in three strengths 3mg, 7mg, and 14mg.

 

When you first begin your treatment, you’ll take a 3mg tablet once a day, every day.

 

Over time, your dose will be increased until you’re taking a 14mg tablet every day, this process of increasing your dose is called titration.

 

Although 14mg a day is the highest dose of Rybelsus, you may find that you’ll be able to reduce your dose back down to 7mg as you maintain your weight loss, it all depends on the results you’re seeing and whether you experience any side effects during your treatment.

 

Either way, you’ll consult with your healthcare team and come up with a weight loss plan together that will take your personal needs into account and help you get the best out of your treatment.

Titration Path

When you first start taking Rybelsus tablets you’ll be taking one 3mg tablet a day.

 

You’ll usually be at this stage of treatment for one month before stepping up and increasing your dose.

 

You may not notice a lot of changes at this stage of treatment, but don’t give up hope!

 

Your body is getting used to your new treatment and you’ll be working on building new habits that will carry through your weight loss journey and help you reach your goals.

The Step stage of your treatment will usually last for another month before you finally graduate to Sustain.

 

At this point, you’ll be taking one 7mg Semaglutide tablet a day, so over twice the amount you were taking to begin with.

 

Depending on the changes you’ve made to your diet and exercise routine, you should start to see some progress in different ways.

 

You may notice that you’re feeling less hungry or have fewer cravings and, of course, you could be noticing the difference when you step on the scales.

Congratulations, you’ve made it to the Sustain part of your treatment!

 

This is the highest dose of Semaglutide tablets and will double your dose again to 14mg a day.

 

When you’ve been taking this dose for a few weeks you’ll have a check-in with your prescriber so they can assess your progress and decide whether or not you’ll stay on this treatment.

 

If you continue on Rybelsus, you’ll usually stay on this dose until you reach a healthy BMI and decide what you’re going to do next.

 

Some patients continue to take Semaglutide to help to maintain their healthier weight, whereas others come off it completely and rely on the healthy habits they’ve built up during their treatment.

Can I buy Rybelsus in the UK?

Rybelsus, like all other treatments which use Semaglutide, is a prescription-only medication.

 

This means that you can’t buy it outright as you would with something like paracetamol or an over-the-counter medication like Orlistat, but will need a prescription for your treatment.

 

Rybelsus is available on the NHS, but like Ozempic, it’s currently only available in the UK as a treatment for Type 2 diabetes, so the NHS won’t prescribe it for weight loss.

 

However, as Semaglutide is used successfully as a weight-loss treatment in the US, private prescribers like those here at myBMI can prescribe it for that purpose here, using a system called off-label prescribing.

 

If you choose us as your treatment provider, your consultation will cost £199* and will include 28 days of treatment, which may be Rybelsus or another GLP-1 Receptor Agonist, depending on what will be best for you.

 

You’ll also have access to support from our healthcare team, including help managing any side effects you experience throughout your treatment.

 

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