Drugs Q & A

Why Can’t You Cut Rabelsus In Half?

Rybelsus is a prescription medication formulated to treat type 2 diabetes, a condition characterized by elevated blood sugar levels resulting from issues with the hormone insulin. This medication, which received approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2017, is intended for use in adults alongside a regimen of proper diet and exercise to effectively manage blood sugar levels.

It’s important to note that Rybelsus is not typically the first choice when diet and exercise alone are insufficient for controlling type 2 diabetes. This medication is not approved for the treatment of type 1 diabetes or a diabetes-related complication known as diabetic ketoacidosis.

Rybelsus contains a single active ingredient called semaglutide (Semaglutide is also the active drug in a brand-name medication called Ozempic) and falls into the category of medications known as glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists. This group of medications acts by mimicking the effects of GLP-1, a natural hormone that regulates blood sugar.

It’s crucial for individuals with a history of pancreatitis—a pancreatic condition—to be aware that Rybelsus has not been thoroughly studied in this population. As a result, if someone has experienced pancreatitis, their healthcare provider might suggest an alternative diabetes medication.

study has shown that Rybelsus helps lower blood sugar more than a placebo (treatment with no active drug). Researchers used blood tests to measure the level of hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), which is a marker of blood sugar control. Target values of 7% are common for HbA1c, but this varies from person to person. Talk with your doctor about the target goal for your treatment.

In a 26-week study of adults with type 2 diabetes, those who took Rybelsus had a decrease in their HbA1c level of 1.2% to 1.4%. This was compared with a decrease of only 0.3% in people who took a placebo. At the end of the study, about 69% to 77% of people who took Rybelsus had an HbA1c level of less than 7%, compared with 31% of those who took a placebo.

How is Rybelsus taken?

The Rybelsus dosage prescribed by your doctor will be personalized based on various factors, including the severity of your condition and any other existing medical conditions. Typically, your healthcare provider will initiate your treatment with a low dosage and make adjustments gradually to achieve the optimal therapeutic effect. The goal is to determine the smallest effective dosage for your specific needs.

Rybelsus is available in tablet form, and you can choose from three strengths: 3 mg, 7 mg, and 14 mg.

For the treatment of type 2 diabetes, the initial dosage is usually 3 mg of Rybelsus once a day for the first 30 days. Following this period, your doctor is likely to increase your dosage to 7 mg once a day, as this is often the dose required to enhance blood sugar management. After another 30 days of taking 7 mg, your doctor will assess whether further adjustments are necessary. If better blood sugar control is needed, your dosage may be increased to 14 mg once a day.

If you happen to miss a dose of Rybelsus, it’s advised to wait until the next scheduled day to take your medication. Avoid doubling up on doses to compensate for the missed one. Utilizing reminders on your phone or a medication timer can be helpful in preventing missed doses.

Rybelsus is intended for long-term use, and if you and your doctor determine that it is both safe and effective for you, you’ll likely continue taking it. Alongside Rybelsus, maintaining healthy diet and exercise habits can contribute to the improvement of type 2 diabetes. In some cases, if your condition improves significantly, your doctor may consider adjusting your Rybelsus dosage or discontinuing the medication, but these decisions will be made based on your individual health circumstances. Regular communication with your healthcare provider is essential to monitor your progress and make any necessary adjustments to your treatment plan.

Why Can’t You Cut Rabelsus In Half

Why Can’t You Cut Rabelsus In Half?

Rybelsus tablets are not designed to be cut or divided. The reason behind this is that the tablets are formulated with a special coating that facilitates their proper absorption in the body. The coating is crucial for the drug to be effective in treating type 2 diabetes.

Cutting or breaking the tablet may compromise the integrity of the coating and alter the drug’s release mechanism. This can result in an uneven distribution of the active ingredient, semaglutide, and may affect the medication’s effectiveness in managing blood sugar levels.

It’s essential to take Rybelsus as prescribed by your healthcare provider, following their instructions on dosage and administration. If you have difficulty swallowing tablets or have concerns about the dosage, it’s recommended to discuss these issues with your doctor. They can provide guidance on alternative options or suggest strategies to make it easier for you to take the medication. Never alter the dosage or administration of a prescription drug without consulting your healthcare professional, as it can impact the medication’s efficacy and your overall health.


Joan David-Leonhard

Joan David Leonhard is a recent Pharm.D graduate with a strong passion for the pharmaceutical industry and a particular interest in pharmaceutical media and communication. Her brief internship experience includes roles in pharmacy where she built strong patient-pharmacist relationships and a pharmaceutical media internship where she actively contributed to drug information articles, blog posts, social media engagement, and various media projects.
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