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Rybelsus (Semaglutide)

The tablet version of Semaglutide (Ozempic & Wegovy) is brought to you by the same manufacturer of the daily & weekly injection, Novo Nordisk. It has the same active ingredient as Ozempic and Wegovy. This is known as Semaglutide.

How does it work?

The tablet works in three main ways. The medication mimics a natural hormone already found in your body (GLP-1).

  1. It blocks a key hunger hormone telling your brain that you are hungry, whilst also helping to reduce leptin resistance (a hormone which can affect your metabolism & weight). This also helps stop the weight from coming straight back on when you stop the jab.

  2. It slows down the gastric emptying process, meaning that your body takes longer to process food and it is fuller for longer. This means your body does not need as much intake as normal as it works off the food it has.

  3. The medication helps to speed up your metabolism and increase fat burning by reducing glucogen & reducing insulin resistance. This promotes normal blood glucose levels, the liver metabolism of glucose and helps adipose tissue burn fat in a safe and controlled method without causing a sugar-crash. This avoids the urges for quick-fix sugary foods.

This all helps to reduce the risk of the so-called "starvation mode" and other side effects like ketoacidosis, as you will be burning off a mixture of stored carbs & fats.

 

Unlike fad diets which tend to starve the body when it's shouting out for food, the medication reduces your body's desire for food, which makes it easier to make healthier choices and to reduce calories. It also stops leptin levels from rising due to "starvation". Low leptin levels can cause increased hunger & a slower metabolism!

 

This means that when you stop using the medication, the body isn't desperate for sustenance and therefore, you won't suddenly begin storing fat and gain all the weight back.

 

What is it?

It contains the active ingredient Semaglutide. Semaglutide is similar to Liraglutide, mimicking a hormone in the body called glucagon-like-peptide-1 (GLP-1). This is an appetite hormone that helps regulate your hunger and is released by the intestines after a meal. The medication therefore helps you feel fuller and less hungry.

Your starting dose is discussed during consultation and any changes in your dosing will be reviewed regularly as your body adjusts to the medication.

It is used as an adjunct to a calorie controlled diet and light exercise. This particularly type comes as a daily tablet. Whilst it has the same active ingredient as the weekly injection Ozempic, it needs to be taken daily as our body acts much faster at metabolising oral medication than injections.

What is the dosage?

The starting dose is is 3mg per day for 4 weeks. Official titration guidelines from the manufacturer then recommend 7mg per day for 4 weeks and then 14mg per day for continual maintenance.

Who may be suitable for weight loss medication?

The medication may be suitable for an individual, but this must be assessed on a case-by-case scenario. There is no "blanket fit" for people to use prescription-only medications.

According to the manufacturer, the medication can be used for those with a BMI greater than 30 or those with a BMI greater than 27 (and one weight related co-morbidity e.g. hypertension).

It is also prudent to look at:

  • Your medical history

  • Your current medication

  • Body measurements

  • Current diet & eating habits

  • Current exercise levels

  • Other methods you have already tried

  • Your reasoning for wanting to consider medication

The programme is NOT suitable for:

 

  • Under 18's or Over 75's

  • Ladies who are breastfeeding or pregnant or actively trying to get pregnant.

  • Anyone who has had pancreatitis or thyroid tumours

  • Anyone with a history or direct family history of MEN2

  • Type 1 diabetics or patients taking diabetic medication

  • Renal (kidney) or liver disease

  • Anyone with heart failure

What about side effects?

 

Like any new medication introduced to your body, your body will have to adjust to it. Some people get mild side effects, such as headaches, nausea, dry mouth or tiredness. These side effects are generally mild and are transient - which means they will go after a few days once your body has adjusted.

We will send you aftercare information on how to deal with any potential side effects, along with the Patient Information Leaflet which goes into greater detail.

Everyone is different. You may not experience any side effects, you may experience one side effect or several side effects.

 

Common Side Effects:

  • Nausea

  • Headaches

  • Dry Mouth

  • Constipation

  • Loose Stool

  • Tiredness

  • Stomach Cramps

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you need any support on dealing with side effects. We are more than happy to advise you.

Adverse Effects:

Adverse effects are rare but they are something you should be aware of.

Adverse effects may include:

  • Palpitations / Fast Heart Rate

  • Pancreatitis

If you experience or feel that you may be experiencing these adverse effects, please stop using the medication & contact 111. When you are safe to do so, please contact us.

Anaphylaxis:

There have been no documented cases of an anaphylactic reaction to Liraglutide, Dulaglutide or Semaglutide but as this is a new medication being introduced to your body, we want to make you aware of the possible signs of anaphylaxis.

If you experience swelling of the lips/tongue/throat, difficulty breathing, tightness in the chest, a severe rash or severe itching, discontinue use immediately and call 999.

How much weight will I lose?

During the current initial clinical trials by the manufacturer, the average weight loss has been calculated as between 10lbs and 18lbs. Everyone is different, so your weight loss may be more or less. Try not to compare yourself to others losing weight - focus on yourself, your goals and your progress. - your safety is paramount.

Anything else?

Please note that this medication is not yet licensed for weight loss. It is a prescription-only medication and should be prescribed by a qualified pharmacist. Your full medical history and circumstances should be taken into account to ensure safety & suitability. We prescribe and dispense only from within the UK.

What are the prices?

Please see our treatment options (below).

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