New Diabetes Medication, Oral Non-Insulin Technology What You Should Know
October 22, 2020
In a person with type 1 diabetes, the body has stopped producing insulin. The person needs to either use an insulin pump or inject the hormone several times a day.
People with type 2 diabetes use insulin when other therapies have failed to control blood glucose. Individuals with type 2 diabetes will usually need to try multiple non-insulin medications without success before a doctor recommends insulin.
Metformin: The First-Line Medication for Type 2 Diabetes
For people with type 2 diabetes, doctors usually prescribe metformin (Glucophage) first.
Metformin helps control blood sugar levels by reducing the amount of sugar that the liver produces and improving how the body uses the sugar.
Metformin is available in the forms of tablets, extended-release tablets and a liquid.
New Product Launches
Rybelsus is the first glucagon-like peptide (GLP-1) receptor protein treatment approved for use in the United States that does not need to be injected.
What is GLP-1?
GLP-1, which is a normal body hormone, is often found in insufficient levels in type 2 diabetes patients. It slows digestion, prevents the liver from making too much sugar, and helps the pancreas produce more insulin when needed.
Since the first GLP‑1 receptor agonist (GLP‑1RAs), exenatide, became available in 2007 as a twice-daily injectable preparation, there have been steady advances in the duration of action, efficacy, and ease of use of this class of medications.
The most common new treatment initiations are now for once-weekly preparations, namely exenatide modified release (Bydureon), dulaglutide (Trulicity), and semaglutide (Ozempic) .
Rybelsus: First Oral GLP-1 Treatment for Type 2 Diabetes
The findings showed Rybelsus to be more effective in lowering blood glucose levels when compared to other diabetes type 2 oral medications: sitagliptin (Januvia) and empagliflozin (Jardiance). In addition, it also helped people lose up to 10lbs (4.4kg) in weight.
Rybelsus will carry a ‘boxed warning’ that there is a potential increased risk of thyroid c-cell tumors. Additional warnings regarding the medication relate to pancreatitis, diabetic retinopathy, hypoglycemia, acute kidney injury and hypersensitivity reactions.