Rybelsus is not a weight loss medicine but a prescription drug for type 2 diabetes. Diabetic drugs can cause weight loss as a side effect until you adjust to the prescribed dosages. In such cases, Rybelsus for weight loss is a bonus for people struggling with overweight or obesity and diabetes. But it is undesirable if the patient’s weight has a safe body mass index range.
Clinical studies document patients losing weight while taking Rybelsus. Rybelsus affects the metabolism and reduces appetite, leading to lower caloric intake. And if you continue to eat less than usual, you can shed off excess fat and lose weight over time. It is the back-end phenomenon for how Rybelsus helps lose weight. But Rybelsus alone cannot help you get into a perfect body shape. And do not use this medication merely for weight loss if you do not have diabetes or if your doctor did not prescribe it. Consult a doctor if you’re overweight and obese. There are countless other safe and doable approaches and techniques to manage weight. For instance, cautious dietary choices, exercise, and healthy lifestyle habits work best for anyone. Make these practices a routine, and you can keep obesity and other obesity-related health issues at bay.
Nonetheless, explore the following subsections to learn more about Rybelsus, its role in weight management, and whether it’s safe for everyone.
What is Rybelsus?
Rybelsus is an oral medication for type 2 diabetes. Doctors recommend Rybelsus with other diabetes medicines to control blood sugar levels to patients aged 18 years or older and those with a body mass index of 30 or above.
Rybelsus acts on glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) hormone and enhances its functions. The GLP-1 hormone performs two functions: promoting insulin secretion and inhibiting glucagon release. Since insulin and glucagon are primary hormones to control and regulate blood glucose, Rybelsus helps keep blood sugar under safe limits. The glucose-regulating mechanism of rybelsus also helps one lose weight. That’s why many confuse Rybelsus for weight loss purposes.
But doctors do not recommend Rybelsus as a primary weight loss drug, and it takes months to show visible changes for patients with diabetes. In short, taking Rybelsus merely for weight management is not a sound idea.
How Rybelsus helps manage weight
Rybelsus is a receptor protein treatment drug that targets GLP-1 hormone functions. Rybelsus and other semaglutide drugs share 94% homology to the human GLP-1 hormone. These drugs bind to the GLP-1 and trigger insulin secretion from the pancreas to uptake blood glucose when it is too high and signals the liver to stop producing more glucose. This phenomenon slows digestive system functions, and food takes longer to digest and convert to energy.
Your body takes longer to utilize residual food and convert it into nutrients before triggering a hunger signal. As a result, patients on Rybelsus have a lower appetite. And they start to lose weight over time. Watch this video where a healthcare provider explains the phenomenon behind Rybelsus and how it helps manage blood sugar and lose weight.
Can anyone use Rybelsus for weight loss?
Rybelsus is not safe for everyone until you have a healthcare condition where your doctor prescribes this medicine. Even for patients with type 2 diabetes, Rybelsus is not the first choice. Your healthcare provider starts with other approaches and switches to treatments where Rybelsus is one of the drugs. But doctors recommend other alternatives if patients experience severe side effects and allergic reactions with Rybelsus.
In addition, Rybelsus is also not recommended for patients with type 1 diabetes and diabetic ketoacidosis as their livers do not have or lose insulin-producing capability. Thus, triggering insulin via an external source does not benefit. Rybelsus can worsen symptoms if you have multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2 and pancreatitis. Expecting women and new mothers should also consult a doctor if they are using Rybelsus for any purpose, as pregnancy can increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes or worsen symptoms.
In essence, talk to your healthcare provider before taking it.
Side effects of Rybelsus
Like every medicine, diabetes medicines also come with side effects. Some medicines have serious side effects, while others have bearable ones. Rybelsus also induces side effects, including nausea, stomach cramps, diarrhea, loss of appetite, vomiting, and constipation. Some experience severe side effects, such as inflammation in the pancreas, thyroid tumors, vision problems, gallbladder problems, hypoglycemia, rapid heartbeat, allergic reactions on the face, tongue, and throat, hampered breathing, and dizziness.
If you experience these symptoms, consult your doctor to prescribe an alternative. Otherwise, continuing the medicine will be more health inflicting than controlling blood glucose. And continuing Rybelsus for weight loss is wise only if a healthcare provider prescribes it.
Specific doses of Rybelsus for weight loss goals
Since Rybelsus is not a prescribed drug for weight loss, specific dosages for weight loss purposes also do not make sense. Dosages only depend upon the underlying condition for which you use this medication.
For instance, a healthcare provider may start with a 3mg dose once per day for at least 30 days for patients with type 2 diabetes. Likewise, they may vary the dosage to 7mg and 14mg when the patient tolerates the medication and does not experience severe side effects.
As for weight loss, patients with diabetes can discern noticeable results after a few months. Studies document weight loss of 2.3kg with 7mg and almost 4kg with 14mg after 26 weeks of Rybelsus in patients having type 2 diabetes. If you want more rapid and ambitious results, combine treatment with diet and exercise in your routine.
Safe duration to continue the medicine
Since type 2 diabetes is a long-term healthcare condition, patients have to use prescription diabetic drugs for lifelong. The same goes for Rybelsus. If Rybelsus shows promising outcomes, patients use it for a long time. Generally, you will start with a lower dose for at least a month to build compatibility with the drug and tolerate side effects. After 30 days, your doctor may switch to 7mg one time per day for another four to five weeks.
Your healthcare provider may take you to a higher dose depending on your condition and insulin functions. For instance, some patients see results after a 14mg dose. While for others, mild side effects of Rybelsus can worsen and lead to severe complications and health issues after switching to higher doses. Studies show pancreatic inflammation and thyroid cancer in patients with long-term use of Rybelsus. Thus ask your doctor about these concerns and increase your awareness to detect unusual changes in your health. And ask them about the efficacy of Rybelsus for weight loss.
Many take Rybelsus for weight loss, but it is not a clinically proven drug for that cause. And many use it without prescription to manage overweight and obesity. But remember that medicines come with side effects, and therapeutic drugs and procedures do not bring results until you make lifestyle changes. So, it is better to improve your lifestyle and manage weight healthily than to rely on medication.