For many people with type 2 diabetes, Rybelsus is an excellent choice to help improve insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar levels and A1C.
There are different doses available, but how much to take depends on your health history, health goals, and lifestyle.
All dosing decisions should be made after a conversation between you and your doctor.
This article will outline the dosing for Rybelsus. It will also answer people’s most common questions when they first begin taking the medication.
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What dose do you typically start with?
Doctors will typically recommend the lowest dose for new patients on Rybelsus—or any diabetes medication containing semaglutide.
This is because this active ingredient is known to cause adverse effects, especially when people first start taking the medication.
Side effects of semaglutide include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, low blood sugar, and suppressed appetite. All of which can be severe in the first few weeks of taking Rybelsus.
Start at a lower dose to minimize the likelihood of side effects.
This helps your body adjust to the medication without overwhelming your system.
According to the manufacturer, most people will start with 3 mg taken once per day (in tablet form) for the first 30 days.
Your doctor may increase your dose after the first four weeks if you’re seeing improvements in blood sugar levels and insulin resistance without adverse side effects.
What is a normal Rybelsus dose?
There is no “normal” dose, as everyone is different. However, most people will not stay on the 3 mg dose for more than the first 30 days.
The following are typical doses that people may take:
New to treatment: 3 mg taken once per day
Ongoing treatment: Either a 7 mg tablet or a 14 mg tablet, taken once per day
Talk with your doctor if your blood sugar levels are still high when you’re taking 14 mg per day.
How and when can you increase your dose?
Only increase your dose under the guidance of your doctor. Doing so without talking with your doctor can cause serious side effects.
Usually, people will stay on the 3 mg introductory dose for the first four weeks that they’re on the medication.
If they are not experiencing severe side effects, they will typically start taking 7 mg once per day.
If, after another 30 days, blood sugar levels are still high and you’re not experiencing severe side effects, your doctor may increase your dose to 14 mg taken once per day.
The maximum dose of Rybelsus is 14 m, taken once per day.
What is the right dose for me?
This can only be a decision made between you and your doctor.
Your Rybelsus dose may vary based on your health history, health goals, lifestyle, height, weight, level of insulin resistance, diet, and daily activity level.
Doses may also change over time.
Higher doses will yield more results, such as lower blood sugar levels, weight loss, and improved A1Cs.
However, the higher the dose, the more likely you are to experience adverse side effects, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and low blood sugar levels.
Keep this in mind as you scale up your doses.
If a dose ends up being too high for you, you can always lower it back down to find what is best for you.
What is the right dose for weight loss?
There is no recommended dose for weight loss because Rybelsus is not FDA-approved as a standalone weight loss medication
However, the medication is dose-dependent, meaning that the more you take, the more effective the medication will be, and the more weight people tend to lose.
In the OASIS 1 trial, on average, people taking Rybelsus lost more than 17% of their body weight after 68 weeks of consistent use.
Additionally, 40% of study participants lost 20% or more of their body weight when compared to the group not taking Rybelsus.
Other studies have shown that most people using Rybelsus lose about 10 pounds after one year.
Rybelsus will be more effective if you combine the therapy with healthy eating and exercise.
There are other weight loss drugs approved by the FDA that you can take if you have diabetes.
You can learn more about weight loss drugs in:
Can I split my dose in half?
This is not recommended. You should swallow tablets whole. Never chew, split, or crush tablets.
You should only take the medication once per day, preferably on an empty stomach.
Additionally, if you’re taking 14 mg per day, you’ll need a new prescription. You should not combine two 7 mg tablets to make the dose.
What is the maximum daily dose?
The maximum daily dose of Rybelsus is 14 mg, taken once per day.
Never take more Rybelsus than you are prescribed. If you overdose on Rybelsus, you may experience severe and dangerous side effects, including nausea, vomiting, and low blood sugar.
These side effects can be fatal—especially if you’re also on insulin.
Monitor for signs and symptoms of extremely low blood sugar that include:
- Increased heart rate
- Shallow breathing
Seek emergency medical attention immediately if you suspect that you’ve overdosed on Rybelsus.
What happens if I stop taking Rybelsus?
Do not stop taking any diabetes medications without the guidance of your doctor.
Studies have shown that regaining lost weight and higher blood sugar levels are likely if you stop taking Rybelsus.
People who stop taking medications containing semaglutide (such as Rybelsus) gain back, on average, two-thirds of the weight they’ve lost while on the medication.
Talk to your doctor if you are experiencing severe side effects, Rybelsus doesn’t fit into your lifestyle, or your health insurance doesn’t cover the medication.
What if I need something stronger than Rybelsus?
You may need a stronger medication if you’ve been taking the maximum dose of Rybelsus for a while, and it is not positively affecting your blood sugar levels or insulin resistance.
Talk with your doctor to see what your options may be.
What do I do if I forget to take a dose?
Don’t worry if you forget to take a dose of Rybelsus. Just try and take your dose as soon as possible.
However, never take two doses of Rybelsus within a 24-hour period.
If you’re more than halfway through the day after forgetting to take your medication, it is okay to skip a day and just wait until tomorrow’s dose.
Rybelsus is most effective when it is taken consistently, so try to take your medication regularly.
Talk with your doctor if you’re struggling to take a daily dose of medication like Rybelsus.
There are alternative GLP-1 agonist medications that can be taken once per week instead.
Ozempic, for example, has the same active ingredient as Rybelsus and works in similar ways. It may be a good alternative, although it is an injection instead of an oral tablet.