Description

Victoza (liraglutide) is considered an injectable incretin mimetic. It is a relatively new drug used to treat type 2 diabetes. It is commonly mistaken with dulaglutide.

It is commonly recommended for adults and children over the age of 10 with type 2 diabetes to be used in conjunction with diet and lifestyle modifications to improve glycaemic control.

Incretin mimetics have been proven to be effective in lowering blood glucose. Clinical research studies have also been shown to be beneficial for weight loss compared to subjects on the placebo when used in combination with diet and exercise.

The FDA first approved Victoza for medical use in adults with type 2 diabetes in 2010 followed by approval in 2019 for the use in children older than ten years with type 2 diabetes. It has become the only non-insulin drug approved by the FDA to be used in the pediatric population since metformin was approved for pediatric use in 2000.

Victoza has been attached to other weight loss medications such as Trulicity and Ozempic.

Please note, Victoza does not replicate insulin vials, pens or cartridges.

 

Additional information

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Warnings

Do not drive if you face a hypoglycaemic condition or handle projects which require prompt alertness.

Do not use too much alcohol with the medication course.

Children (especially those under ten years of age) are at more risk of hypoglycemia. Therefore, blood sugar levels should be monitored regularly.

You should recognize signs and symptoms of acute pancreatitis and should seek immediate medical attention if symptoms develop.

You should know the potential risk of dehydration with gastro-intestinal side-effects and should take precautions to avoid fluid depletion

You should be able to recognize the symptoms of cholelithiasis and cholecystitis. Symptoms include fever, jaundice (which indicates raised bilirubin levels presents as yellowish discoloration of skin and sclera), pain in the right adjacent area of the stomach and nausea.

Your healthcare provider will watch for the following signs and symptoms to pick up any neoplastic growth at the earliest as thyroid-related cancers are a significant concern with the use of Victoza.

Before Taking Victoza

Before taking Victoza, tell your healthcare provider if you:

-have any of the conditions listed in the section “What is the most important information I should know about Victoza?”

-are allergic to liraglutide or any of the other ingredients in Victoza.

-have severe problems with your stomach, such as slowed emptying of your stomach (gastroparesis) or problems with digesting food

-have or have had kidney or liver problems,  have any other medical conditions, are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if Victoza will harm your unborn baby. Tell your healthcare provider if you become pregnant while taking Victoza.

-are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if Victoza passes into your breast milk. You and your healthcare provider should decide if you will take Victoza or breastfeed. You should not do both without talking with your healthcare provider first.

Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Victoza slows stomach emptying and can affect medicines that need to pass through the stomach quickly. Victoza may affect the way some medicines work and some other medicines may affect the way Victoza works.

Tell your healthcare provider if you take other diabetes medicines, especially sulfonylurea medicines or insulin. Know the medicines you take. Keep a list of them with you to show your healthcare provider and pharmacist each time you get a new medicine.

Common Side Effects

Victoza can cause mild or severe side effects. The following list depicts a subset of side effects that you will experience while taking Victoza. However, this does not contain all possible side effects. Talk with your doctor or pharmacist for more information on the potential side effects of Victoza.

Common side effects include nausea (the most common side effect), vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, dizziness, dry mouth, gallbladder disorders (cholelithiasis or cholecystitis), gastrointestinal discomfort, gastrointestinal disorders, insomnia and altered taste.

Severe Side Effects

The two major possible sever side effects of Victoza are thyroid tumors and pancreatitis.

Thyroid Tumors

Victoza may cause thyroid tumour including cancer. During the drug testing process, the medicine in Victoza caused rats and mice to develop tumors of the thyroid gland. Some of these tumors were cancers. It is not known if Victoza will cause thyroid tumors or a type of thyroid cancer called medullary thyroid cancer in people. If medullary thyroid cancer occurs, it may lead to death if not detected and treated early. If you develop tumors or cancer of the thyroid, your thyroid may have to be surgically removed.

Before you start taking Victoza, tell your healthcare provider if you or any of your family members have had thyroid cancer, especially medullary thyroid cancer, or Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia syndrome type 2.

Do not take Victoza if you or any of your family members have medullary thyroid cancer, or if you have Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia syndrome type 2. People with these conditions already have a higher chance of developing medullary thyroid cancer in general and should not take Victoza.

While taking Victoza, tell your healthcare provider if you get a lump or swelling in your neck, hoarseness, trouble swallowing, or shortness of breath. These may be symptoms of thyroid cancer.

Pancreatitis

Victor may also cause inflammation of the pancreas , which may be severe and lead to death. Speak to your healthcare provider if you have a family history fo pancreatitis or are experiencing any symptoms. 

Allergic Reaction

Let your healthcare provider know of any of your allergies, as Victoza may cause an allergic reaction.

The active ingredient in Victoza is liraglutide. The inactive ingredients are disodium phosphate dihydrate, propylene glycol, phenol and water for injection.

Storage

Before use:

– Store your new, unused Victoza pen in the refrigerator at 36ºF to 46ºF (2ºC to 8ºC).  Do not freeze Victoza or use Victoza if it has been frozen. Do not store Victoza near the refrigerator cooling element.

Pen in use:

-Store your Victoza pen for 30 days either at 59ºF to 86ºF (15ºC to 30ºC), or in a refrigerator at 36ºF to 46ºF (2°C to 8°C). When carrying the pen away from home, store the pen at a temperature between 59ºF to 86ºF (15ºC to 30ºC) and keep it dry.

If Victoza has been exposed to temperatures above 86ºF (30ºC), it should be thrown away. Protect your Victoza pen from heat and sunlight.Keep the pen cap on when your Victoza pen is not in use.

Use your Victoza pen within 30 days after the first day it is stored outside the refrigerator. After these 30 days, throw away your Victoza pen even if some medicine is left in the pen. Do not use Victoza after the expiration date printed on the carton

Do not store the Victoza pen with the needle attached. Always safely remove and safely throw away the needle after each injection. This may help prevent contamination, infection and leakage. It also helps to make sure that you get the correct dose of Victoza. See the Patient Instructions for Use for information about how to dispose of used pen needles and used Victoza pens.