Rybelsus is a brand-name prescription medication that’s FDA-approved to treat type 2 diabetes. The drug helps control blood sugar in adults when used with diet and exercise. Type 2 diabetes is a condition in which your blood sugar level becomes too high due to problems with a hormone called insulin.
If diet and exercise aren’t helping you manage your type 2 diabetes, Rybelsus shouldn’t be the first medication that you try. Rybelsus isn’t approved to treat type 1 diabetes or a complication of diabetes called diabetic ketoacidosis.
Rybelsus contains one active ingredient: semaglutide. Rybelsus belongs to a group of medications called glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists.
Rybelsus comes as a tablet that you swallow. It’s available in three strengths: 3 mg, 7 mg, and 14 mg. You’ll take Rybelsus once a day.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Rybelsus in 2017.
A study has shown that Rybelsus helps lower blood sugar more than a placebo (treatment with no active drug). Researchers used blood tests to measure the level of hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), which is a marker of blood sugar control. Target values of 7% are common for HbA1c, but this varies from person to person. Talk with your doctor about the target goal for your treatment.
In a 26-week study of adults with type 2 diabetes, those who took Rybelsus had a decrease in their HbA1c level of 1.2% to 1.4%. This was compared with a decrease of only 0.3% in people who took a placebo. At the end of the study, about 69% to 77% of people who took Rybelsus had an HbA1c level of less than 7%, compared with 31% of those who took a placebo.
Rybelsus is available only as a brand-name medication. It’s not currently available in generic form. A generic drug is an exact copy of the active drug in a brand-name medication.
Rybelsus contains one active drug: semaglutide. (As the active drug, semaglutide is the ingredient that makes Rybelsus work.) Semaglutide is also the active drug in a brand-name medication called Ozempic.