Pharmacokinetics and Clinical Implications of Oral Semaglutide for Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

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Since the approval of subcutaneous glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists, this therapeutic class has become a preferred choice for the management of type 2 diabetes due to A1C reduction, minimal risk of hypoglycemia, weight loss, and cardiovascular benefit. An oral option, with gastrointestinal absorption, would overcome any potential fear of injection among patients. Oral semaglutide has been studied in randomized controlled trials within the PIONEER program. From a robust pool of literature with a global patient population, oral semaglutide has been an effective option as monotherapy and combination therapy to improve clinical outcomes, such as A1C and body weight from baseline to week 78, depending on the randomized controlled trial. In addition, a noninferiority result was observed with oral semaglutide versus placebo in a cardiovascular outcomes trial in patients with type 2 diabetes with established cardiovascular disease or risk factors. Similar to injectable glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor agonists, transient nausea and vomiting was seen with oral semaglutide. Overall, this new oral option may be a choice for patients with barriers to injectable therapy. This review evaluates and summarizes the pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and clinical application of oral semaglutide in patients with type 2 diabetes.