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Oral Semaglutide for the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus


Endocrine, Nutritional and Metabolic

August 2018

Semaglutide is in clinical development as an oral treatment for type 2 diabetes mellitus. Diabetes is a condition that causes blood sugar level to become too high. The majority of diabetes cases are type 2 diabetes, where the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or the body cells do not respond properly to insulin (‘insulin resistance’). Treatment of type 2 diabetes aim to control blood glucose levels and involves a combination of lifestyle strategies (healthy diet, weight control) and use of oral medications. Medication is usually used for those where lifestyle changes do not control blood glucose. Insulin injections are usually used for those in whom lifestyle changes and medications cannot control blood glucose levels.
Semaglutide works by increasing the amount of insulin released from the pancreas and by delaying how quickly food moves through your digestive system, which aid in controlling blood sugar levels. Semaglutide belongs to a class of antidiabetic medications called glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist. Most other medications in this class are administered by injection under the skin. If licensed, semaglutide will be the first effective oral GLP-1 analogue for the treatment of type 2 diabetes and may improve acceptance and adherence for some patients compared with the injectable formulation of GLP-1 receptor agonists.

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