Semaglutide is an antidiabetic medication used for the treatment of type 2 diabetes and long-term weight management.
Semaglutide acts like human glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) in that it increases insulin secretion, thereby increasing sugar metabolism. It is distributed as a metered subcutaneous injection in a prefilled pen, or as an oral form. One of its advantages over other antidiabetic drugs is that it has a long duration of action, so a once-a-week injection is sufficient.
An injectable version (Ozempic) was approved for medical use in the United States in December 2017, and in the European Union, Canada, and Japan in 2018. A version which is taken by mouth (Rybelsus) was approved for medical use in the United States in September 2019, and in the European Union in April 2020. It is the first glucagon-like peptide receptor protein treatment approved for use in the United States that does not need to be injected. It was developed by Novo Nordisk. Side effects include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and constipation.[