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Oral GLP-1 Analogues (Semaglutide)

This leaflet is designed for people taking an oral GLP-1 (Semaglutide) for type 2 diabetes.

What does this medication do?

Semaglutide works in the same way as a hormone produced in the gut by increasing the
amount of insulin that the pancreas releases in response to food. This can help with blood glucose levels.

How do I take this medication?

This medicine is taken once daily at the same time each day.

The tablet should be taken on an empty stomach at any time of the day. It should be swallowed whole with a sip of water (up to half a glass of water equivalent to 120ml). After taking this tablet you should wait at least 30 minutes before eating, drinking, or taking any other medication.

If you miss a tablet, the missed dose should be skipped, and you should restart taking it as normal the following day. You should not take two doses together.

Usually, the dose of oral Semaglutide will be gradually increased over a few months.

Who can’t take this medication?

Oral Semaglutide may not be suitable for certain people.

These include people who have type 1 diabetes or have had ketoacidosis in the past.

Your prescriber will review your past medical history when prescribing Semaglutide to
check if it is suitable for you.

What are the common side effects?

Many people will not experience side effects with oral Semaglutide.
However, like all medicines, oral Semaglutide can cause side effects.

Some common side effects include:

  • Nausea: this usually goes away over time
  • Diarrhoea: this usually goes away over time
  • Low blood sugar (hypoglycaemia): This is more likely to happen in people with diabetes that are already taking other diabetes medications. When you start Semaglutide, a change in your diabetes medicines might be needed. Your prescriber will review your other medication when prescribing oral Semaglutide and advise you if any changes are needed
  • Vision changes: seek medical attention if you get eye problems, such as changes in vision during treatment with oral Semaglutide

A rare but serious side effect to be aware of is the risk of pancreatitis. If you have severe and on-going stomach pain, seek medical attention.

Do I need to be monitored?

Specific monitoring after starting oral Semaglutide is not required. Unless you feel unwell,
there is usually no need to have extra blood tests after starting it.

You do not need to test your own blood sugars when taking oral Semaglutide unless you
are also taking other diabetes medications. Your healthcare team can advise you on this.

Are there any sick day rules?

You can continue to take this medication whilst you are unwell.

What about driving?

Certain people with diabetes need to inform the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency
(DVLA). This depends on your medication regimen, whether you hold a group 1 or group
2 licence and other individualised factors.

Full advice can be found via the DVLA website or https://www.gov.uk/diabetes-driving

If you have any queries about this medication, contact your GP, pharmacist or diabetes team.