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Rybelsus Now First Line Therapy for Type 2 Diabetes

Published: 1/13/23 5:02 pm
By Arvind Sommi

The FDA has just announced that Rybelsus has now been approved as an initial treatment option for type 2 diabetes. In addition to the glucose-lowering effects, Rybelsus has also been found to help protect the heart.​

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that Rybelsus (semaglutide), a GLP-1 medication, can now be offered as a first-line treatment option for people with type 2 diabetes. This means doctors can now prescribe Rybelsus to their patients first instead of starting with another diabetes medication, such as metformin. 

Benefits of Rybelsus

Rybelsus is a medication called a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist. It works by increasing insulin production (which lowers blood glucose) and inhibiting glucagon production (which increases blood glucose) to lower A1C. One of the key advantages of Rybelsus is that it is the only approved GLP-1 medication that can be taken as a pill instead of an injection, which makes it more convenient.

Rybelsus can also help people with type 2 diabetes lose weight. This is because the medication can reduce appetite and increase feelings of fullness, leading to weight loss. This is especially important for people with type 2 diabetes, as losing weight is an important way to prevent complications.

Moreover, clinical trials have also found that Rybelsus helps protect the heart. In the PIONEER 6 trial, participants taking Rybelsus experienced cardiovascular protection. Since people with diabetes are at a higher risk for heart disease, taking one pill that addresses both high blood sugar and heart health can be convenient.

FDA approves Rybelsus for first-line treatment

Initially approved in 2019, Rybelsus had a limitation that it should not be used as the initial therapy for treating people with 2 diabetes. The recent FDA announcement removes this limitation and updates the prescribing information for Rybelsus. 

"The removal of the limitation of use is an important step forward for people living with type 2 diabetes and provides the option for Rybelsus to be taken earlier,” said Aaron King, a family medicine and diabetes specialist in San Antonio, Texas, in a statement from Novo Nordisk.

In conjunction with lifestyle changes, such as eating a healthy diet and getting regular exercise, taking Rybelsus earlier could help people with type 2 diabetes better manage blood sugar levels and help to prevent potentially dangerous complications. 

For more information about Rybelsus, semaglutide, and other GLP-1 medications, read our other articles:

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About the authors

Arvind Sommi joined the diaTribe Foundation in 2021 after graduating with Phi Beta Kappa and honors from the University of Florida where he majored in Biology and minored in Sociology.... Read the full bio »