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GLP-1 Guide

What to Expect with Rybelsus Guide

What to Expect with Rybelsus Guide

As you begin the program, we wanted to share some useful information on what to expect when starting your GLP-1 medication (glucagon-like peptide-1s).

How the medication works 

GLP-1s are powerful, naturally-occurring hormones in your body that send signals to your brain to improve your metabolic function and regulate your appetite and digestion. The GLP-1 medications that Calibrate doctors prescribe work on the same receptors as the natural GLP-1 hormones.

The GLP-1s you’ll be taking through Calibrate will help your body to fight the natural increases in appetite and hunger that occur as you begin to lose weight. GLP-1s are different from older classes of weight loss medications (like phentermine) because they work on key underlying metabolic pathways to support sustained weight loss and are not a quick fix.

How to take it 

As for high-level things to keep in mind, Rybelsus has to be taken in a specific way to optimize absorption. Take it at least 30 minutes before your first food, beverage, or other oral medications of the day with no more than 4 ounces of plain water only. 

Waiting less than 30 minutes, or taking it with food, beverages (other than plain water) or other oral medications will lessen the effect of Rybelsus. Waiting more than 30 minutes to eat may increase the absorption of the medication. Tablets cannot be cut, crushed, or chewed. Rybelsus comes in a few different doses. 

There are 3 doses: 3 mg, 7 mg, and 14 mg daily. The Calibrate Medical Team will send all of these prescriptions to your pharmacy. To help minimize side effects, you’ll begin with the lowest dose and taper up—start at 3 mg daily—for 30 days. After 30 days, increase to 7 mg daily. And after 30 days at 7 mg, increase to the max dose of 14 mg per day.  

If you increase the dose and have intolerable side effects, go back to the previous dose and stay on that for a couple weeks before trying to increase the dose again. Side effects typically go away with time (usually by 3-4 weeks) so try to stick with it. If you have severe abdominal pain (which is very uncommon), please let us know right away via the Support Center in the app.. If you would like to learn more about this medication read this page. If you have any further questions about how to take your medicine, message the Calibrate Medical Team.

One more quick tip: The bottle that Rybelsus comes in can sometimes be a little difficult to open, partly because of a white plastic band underneath the cap that keeps the seal tighter. Try removing this band and then see if it’s easier to pop the cap off.

What to expect    

If you experience intolerable side effects after a dose increase, contact your Calibrate Medical Team to discuss possibly going back to your previous dose. With our guidance, you’ll most likely stay on the lower dose for a couple of extra weeks before you increase the dose again.

The most common side effects include nausea, constipation, diarrhea, and stomach discomfort. The good news is that they typically go away within three weeks, so try to stick with the medication.  In case of an emergency (such as severe abdominal pain, which is very uncommon) please call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room. If you were to have a medical emergency, when you are able to do so please also notify your Calibrate Medical Team.

How do GLP-1s work?

GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide 1) is a hormone naturally produced by your small intestine. GLP-1 medications work on the same receptors as your natural GLP-1 hormone to control feelings of hunger and fullness and regulate blood sugar.  Mechanistically, GLP-1s address biology in a way that helps lower your weight set point.

What are common side effects? 

Many individuals don’t have any side effects with this medication. However, for those who do, nausea is the most common. We encourage sticking it out because the nausea typically goes away after three to four weeks. If the nausea is intolerable after increasing the dose, you can reach out to the Medical Team to discuss going back to the prior dose. Do not increase the dose faster than recommended, since the dosing schedule was designed to minimize side effects. Things that help reduce nausea are eating blander foods, eating smaller meals, and staying active.

You may also have changes in bowel movements (constipation being the most common). If this happens, you can take a fiber supplement (such as Metamucil or Benefiber) or increase your intake of vegetables and fruits. 

If you’re worried about any side effects, you can also always message the Medical Team through the Support Center in the Calibrate app.

How long does it take for the medication to work?

It usually takes a couple of weeks of titrating up on the medication before you start losing weight, but you may notice that you feel full longer within the first week.

What if I forgot to take it one day? 

If you miss a dose of Rybelsus, restart it as soon as you remember and continue taking it daily as prescribed.

If you experience a lapse in Rybelsus for more than 1 week, please send the medical team a message for guidance on restarting your medication as dosage adjustments might be needed.

Is there a risk of developing thyroid cancer?

We do not recommend GLP-1s if you have a personal or family history of medullary thyroid cancer or MEN syndrome. But for everyone else, there are no human studies that show an increased risk of thyroid cancer.