FOR WEIGHT LOSS
Rybelsus® (semaglutide) is an oral GLP-1 medication that reduces blood sugar and can help promote weight loss when used alongside intensive lifestyle adjustments including food and exercise.
Calibrate helps you make those changes. Through 1:1 accountability coaching, support from your medical team, and doctor-prescribed medication like Rybelsus®, you’ll achieve weight loss of 10% or more—or your money back (see terms).
Table of Contents
- What is Rybelsus® (semaglutide)?
- How does Rybelsus® (semaglutide) work?
- Is Rybelsus® approved for weight loss?
- Is Rybelsus® (semaglutide) available to Calibrate members?
- Rybelsus® (semaglutide) side effects
- Rybelsus® (semaglutide) interactions & warnings
- Rybelsus® (semaglutide) for weight loss: Key takeaways
For adults seeking an injection-free GLP-1 medication, pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk offers an alternative to their popular Ozempic® and Wegovy® brand names: Rybelsus®. It’s an oral form of semaglutide that’s indicated for use in adults with type-2 diabetes but, like Ozempic®, has been shown to produce weight loss in patients with overweight or obesity. It is one of several GLP-1 medications prescribed by Calibrate doctors.
Rybelsus® is a pill, not a shot—a trait that makes the drug more approachable to those with a fear of needles (or those who simply find injections unpleasant or inconvenient). When used in conjunction with intensive lifestyle interventions, Rybelsus® may help you achieve your weight and metabolic health goals more easily—and more sustainably—than any diet on its own.
What is Rybelsus® (semaglutide)?
Rybelsus® (semaglutide) is a GLP-1 drug, short for glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist. It is an oral medication that helps patients with type 2 diabetes regulate blood sugar levels.
As we’ve mentioned, Rybelsus® is meant to be used alongside lifestyle changes: Changes to food, sleep, and exercise, in particular. Like other GLP-1s, it works best when accompanied by coaching and support from trained professionals to help maintain accountability and incorporate new habits into daily life. The Calibrate program was designed to do exactly this, increasing the efficacy of GLP-1 medications vs. those taking medication alone.
The recommended starting dosage of Rybelsus® is 3.0 mg daily for 30 days. After your first month, your doctor may increase your dose to 7.0 mg daily. If needed after another 30 days, the dose may be increased to 14.0 mg daily (as tolerated). Doses are set and monitored by your Calibrate doctor and may be adjusted to help members meet their blood sugar, weight loss, and metabolic health goals.
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How does Rybelsus® (semaglutide) work?
Rybelsus® works just like the other drugs in the GLP-1 family, despite the fact that it is taken orally (as a pill) rather than injected.
There are several complex mechanisms at play that allow Rybelsus to improve glucose metabolism and cause weight loss by mimicking the natural incretin hormones that your body produces when you eat a meal.
Why mimic incretin hormones?
Incretin hormones are released whenever food is consumed and help promote a feeling of fullness by delaying gastric emptying and activating the satiety centers of the brain. They also improve insulin production in the pancreas and suppress glucagon production, both of which help normalize blood sugar.
You may be wondering, if your body produces incretin hormones naturally, why are GLP-1 agonists needed? Studies have found that people with overweight or obesity may have a reduction in incretin hormone levels, particularly if they have had frequent weight fluctuations due to yo-yo dieting. GLP-1 receptor agonist medications make up for some of that loss in incretin hormones, making it easier to reach your goals and lower your metabolic set point.
In addition, GLP-1 medications can improve blood sugar levels in people living with impaired glucose tolerance or diabetes.
Why Calibrate? Can’t I just take the medication?
As is the case with all GLP-1s, Rybelsus® makes it easier to lose weight and stick to healthy habits—but it doesn’t produce weight loss on its own. It must be used in combination with habits to support metabolic health and avoid weight regain. These tactics may include modifications to what you eat, how and when you exercise, and other healthy lifestyle changes.
Calibrate’s Metabolic Reset combines GLP-1 medication with evidence-based lifestyle recommendations to help participants maximize their success with Rybelsus®. They’re called the Four Pillars of Metabolic Health, and they include: Food, Sleep, Exercise, Emotional Health.
Throughout your Calibrate program, you’ll work your way through a curriculum developed by a world-class medical advisory board that teaches you how to integrate healthy changes into your day-to-day routine, taking a science-based approach to weight loss. You’ll learn how to eat more whole foods and fewer fast-digesting carbohydrates, improve sleep quality, participate in at least 150 minutes of physical activity per week, and develop strategies for managing stressors.
Through the Calibrate curriculum, both your mind and body will be set up for sustainable progress—allowing Rybelsus® (or any other GLP-1 drug you might be prescribed) to work even more effectively.
Is Rybelsus® (semaglutide) approved for weight loss?
As of August 2022, Rybelsus® (semaglutide) is FDA-approved for use in patients with type-2 diabetes mellitus and not for weight loss alone. However, it’s active ingredient, semaglutide, is safe and effective in treating overweight or obesity. Just as it does in adults with type-2 diabetes, Rybelsus® can improve blood sugar levels in adults with insulin resistance or prediabetes—and is an effective tool for weight loss among both groups.
Wegovy®, an injectable form of semaglutide also manufactured by Novo Nordisk, was approved by the FDA for weight loss in 2021.
IT’S ABOUT BIOLOGY
Traditional weight loss programs don’t work because sustainable weight loss doesn’t come from yo-yo dieting or calorie counting. It comes from improving your metabolic health. Calibrate’s One-Year Metabolic Reset helps you do just that, through a unique combination of doctor-prescribed medication, 1:1 video coaching, and lifestyle tweaks tailored to you. The result? Improved metabolic health and sustained weight loss.
Is Rybelsus® (semaglutide) available to Calibrate members?
Rybelsus® is prescribed by Calibrate doctors where clinically appropriate. Other GLP-1 medications currently available to Calibrate members include Wegovy®, Ozempic®, Mounjaro™, Saxenda®, and Trulicity®. Calibrate doctors will prescribe whichever medication will work best for you based on your unique needs and health insurance coverage.
When you join Calibrate, you’ll complete a Comprehensive Health Intake, including blood work, that your Calibrate doctor will carefully review before customizing your treatment plan and prescribing your medication. You may be eligible for semaglutide even if you are already taking another type 2 diabetes medication such as metformin.
If your Calibrate medical team determines that Rybelsus® is the right fit for you, they’ll walk you through all of the details on dosage, how to administer the medication, when to take it, and how it will work alongside your metabolic reset plan.
Rybelsus® (semaglutide) side effects
The most common side effects of Rybelsus® (semaglutide) reported during clinical trials were: nausea, vomiting, stomach (abdominal) pain, diarrhea, constipation
During clinical trials, these side effects occurred mostly during dose escalation (whenever doses were increased).
Keep in mind that these are not all the possible side effects of Rybelsus®. Talk to your health care provider about any side effects of Rybelsus® that become bothersome or that don’t go away.
Calibrate’s medical team can offer recommendations and supportive care for any issues that arise—however, Calibrate does not offer emergency medical services. If you experience any symptoms concerning for anaphylaxis or an acute allergic reaction such as chest pain, throat swelling or shortness of breath, please seek immediate medical care.
Rybelsus® (semaglutide) interactions & warnings
Rybelsus® (semaglutide) is FDA-approved and is safe when used as prescribed. As with all prescription medications, there are warnings and contraindications to keep in mind prior to starting treatment with Rybelsus®. Your Calibrate doctor will discuss these with you and can answer any specific questions you might have about the risks of Rybelsus® as it pertains to your own health and medical history.
The below limitations, contraindications, and warnings are based on FDA recommendations.
Limitations of use:
Rybelsus® is a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist indicated as an adjunct to diet and exercise to improve glycemic control in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus.
- Rybelsus® has not been studied in patients with a history of pancreatitis
- Rybelsus® is not indicated for the treatment of type 1 diabetes mellitus
Rybelsus® is contraindicated in patients with:
- A personal or family history of medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC)
- A personal or family history of Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN 2)
- Known serious hypersensitivity to semaglutide or to any of the components in Rybelsus®
Warnings & precautions:
- Pancreatitis has been reported in clinical trials. Discontinue promptly if pancreatitis is suspected by a medical provider.
- Concomitant use with an insulin secretagogue or insulin may increase the risk of hypoglycemia. Reducing dose of insulin secretagogue or insulin may be necessary and should be followed by your primary care provider or Endocrinologist.
- Hypersensitivity reactions have been reported. Discontinue Rybelsus® immediately if suspected.
- Doctors are instructed to monitor kidney function in patients with renal impairment who are reporting severe adverse gastrointestinal reactions.
- Rybelsus® has not been studied in patients with non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy requiring acute therapy, proliferative diabetic retinopathy, or diabetic macular edema. Patients with a history of type 2 diabetes should have a baseline dilated eye exam prior to starting Rybelsus and yearly follow up exams.
- Rybelsus should be used in caution in patients taking levothyroxine or thyroid hormone supplementation
- Rybelsus should not be used by patients in the Calibrate program by patient intending to become pregnant in the next year, are currently pregnant or currently breastfeeding
Rybelsus® (semaglutide) for weight loss: Key takeaways
Here’s what you need to know about Rybelsus® at a glance:
- Rybelsus® (semaglutide) is a once-daily oral GLP-1 receptor agonist that contains the same ingredient as injectables Ozempic® and Wegovy®.
- Rybelsus® does not work as a standalone medication. To maximize health outcomes including improved blood sugar control and weight loss, patients must make changes to their food intake, exercise, and sleep habits in addition to taking Rybelsus®.
- Calibrate doctors prescribe Rybelsus® to patients where clinically appropriate and insurance-eligible. You may be prescribed a different GLP-1 medication depending on your unique health history and profile.
- Calibrate is a whole-body metabolic reset program, not a medication service. While our doctors prescribe GLP-1 medication, what sets us apart is our comprehensive approach to weight loss that incorporates 1:1 coaching, personalized medical support, and an immersive curriculum designed to help you maintain healthy habits long-term.