Prescription Rybelsus weight loss plan

Rybelsus (the brand name for once-daily, oral semaglutide tablets) was originally used for blood sugar control in type 2 diabetes, but can also be used for weight loss. It's a daily pill you take on an empty stomach, and it reduces appetite, makes you feel more full, and increases the body's production of insulin. Research trials have shown that oral semaglutide can lead to greater levels of weight loss than diet and exercise alone (as well as greater levels than other GLP-1 medications, such as liraglutide).[1]

Our UK-based pharmacy prescribes Rybelsus for weight loss alongside our tracking and habit change app. It's important to engage in behavioural change alongside the medication, which is why we provide both.

Every Rybelsus plan includes:

  • Prescription Rybelsus tablets, delivered every 4 weeks to your door
  • Access to our custom-built habit change app
  • A WhatsApp-based peer support group
  • Daily behaviour change content and exercises to help you make lasting changes

More information about Rybelsus (oral semaglutide)

What is Rybelsus (semaglutide)?

Rybelsus (semaglutide) is a medication that was originally used to control blood sugars for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. It belongs to a class of drugs called glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists.

GLP-1 hormones are normally produced by the body to help to regulate glucose levels in the blood. They work by telling the pancreas to produce more insulin (a hormone that helps the body use glucose for energy) and slowing the absorption of glucose from the stomach.

Rybelsus mimics the effects of natural GLP-1 by binding to GLP-1 receptors in the pancreas, which triggers the pancreas to produce more insulin and slows down the absorption of glucose in the stomach. This helps to lower the levels of glucose in the blood, thus improving glucose control.

Additionally, Rybelsus also suppresses appetite by binding to receptors in the brain, which can lead to weight loss as well.

What are the benefits of taking Rybelsus?

Whilst Ozempic, the injectable version of Rybelsus, has been in the news far more often, Rybelsus is a good option for those looking to lose weight without needing to self-inject. Rybelsus can reduce hunger and cravings and in turn lead to weight loss. Whilst Rybelsus hasn't specifically been studied for weight loss (as it's licenced for use by patients with type 2 diabetes), injectable semaglutide has been shown to lead to about 15% body weight loss after 12 months[2]. Please bear in mind that every patient is different, so you'll need to see how your body reacts to Rybelsus treatment, and how quickly you lose weight whilst taking the tablets.

How do I take Rybelsus?

Rybelsus is an oral medication (tablets) which should be taken daily. You should take your daily tablet on an empty stomach, but it can be taken at any time of the day. On a Habitual Rybelsus plan, your subscription will renew once every 4 weeks, and our new treatment will be delivered straight to you, so no need to go into a doctor or have a video call every time you want to access more treatment. We'll just ask for a short online medical consultation before sending your next dose!

How much does Rybelsus cost?

Our Rybelsus plan costs £189 per month. That includes your medication (regardless of which dose you're on), access to our custom-built habit change app, and an optional peer support group. Whilst you may be able to purchase the medication elsewhere for slightly less, we believe strongly in the importance of a holistic approach, which is why we include support and app access alongside the medication.

Where can I buy Rybelsus in the UK?

Some private doctors prescribe Rybelsus off-label to their weight loss patients, or you can access it via an online pharmacy which tends to be more cost effective. You can complete your Habitual consultation online, purchase, and verify your identity all online and within minutes. Learn more about our semaglutide treatment programmes here.

Are there side effects of Rybelsus?

There are some side effects of Rybelsus that you should know about before starting treatment.

The most commonly reported side effects include:

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhoea
  • Constipation
  • Indigestion
  • Reflux or heartburn
  • Stomach pain and bloating of the stomach

Side effects tend to be worse alongside dose increases, and then subside, but every patient is different. If you experience any unmanageable side effects, please discontinue treatment and seek advice from your GP.

Who can use Rybelsus for weight loss?

Our Rybelsus weight loss plan is available to most people with a BMI of 30 or over, or 27 or over with certain weight-related conditions such as PCOS or high blood pressure. The first step to getting started with Habitual is our medical consultation, which will check that you're eligible for treatment. After that, a UK-based prescriber will double check everything to make sure you're safe before writing your prescription.

Who should not take Rybelsus for weight loss?

Rybelsus is not suitable for:

  • women who are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • those with type 1 diabetes
  • those who have previously discontinued GLP-1 treatment due to side effects
  • patients under 18
  • patients below a set BMI range

To check your eligibility, please and complete our online consultation here.

Is Rybelsus approved for weight loss in the UK?

Rybelsus is an oral semaglutide that is intended for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, however it has become relatively common practice to prescribe Rybelsus off-label for weight loss.

It's important to understand is that “off-label” prescribing is a relatively common and accepted practice amongst prescribers. Off label simply means that the prescriber wants their patient to use it in a different way than that stated in its licence. The licence for Rybelsus states that it should be prescribed for type 2 diabetes, however as it contains semaglutide, the same compound which has been relicensed for weight loss in some countries, off-label prescribing is now common practice.

What dosage of Rybelsus will I take?

The typical Rybelsus treatment plan involves increasing dosage once per month until you reach the maximum dose. This is done to reduce the risk of side effects, which tend to be worse around dose escalation. All Rybelsus patients start on 3mg. If, after one month, your side effects have been manageable and you'd like to increase dosage, the next would be 7mg. After another month you'll have the option to increase to 14mg. Dose changes should always be made between yourself and your prescriber.


[1] Pratley R, Amod A, Hoff ST, Kadowaki T, Lingvay I, Nauck M, Pedersen KB, Saugstrup T, Meier JJ; PIONEER 4 investigators. Oral semaglutide versus subcutaneous liraglutide and placebo in type 2 diabetes (PIONEER 4): a randomised, double-blind, phase 3a trial. Lancet. 2019 Jul 6;394(10192):39-50. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(19)31271-1. Epub 2019 Jun 8. Erratum in: Lancet. 2019 Jul 6;394(10192):e1. PMID: 31186120.
[2] “Once-weekly semaglutide in adults with overweight or obesity” (2021) New England Journal of Medicine, 385(1). Available at: