Everything you need to know about Victoza

Victoza is a popular prescription drug used to control blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes.

Regular use can improve blood sugar and HbA1C, help with weight loss, and protect against heart attack, stroke, and premature death in people with type 2 diabetes and pre-existing heart disease.

This article will explain everything you need to know about Victoza.

What is Victoza?

Victoza is a branded injectable drug developed by Novo Nordisk. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved it for use in the United States in 2010.

It belongs to the class of drugs that are glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists. Its main ingredient is liraglutide.

It is similar to drugs such as Trulicity, Ozempic and Mounjaro.

It is injected subcutaneously (under the skin) once a day and may be taken with insulin or other diabetes medications.

How does Victoza work?

Victoza helps lower blood sugar in several different ways.

It naturally stimulates the production of insulin from the pancreas. This helps prevent blood sugar spikes after meals, slows down digestion and suppresses appetite.

It also prevents the liver from producing glucagon, which increases insulin sensitivity and prevents blood sugar spikes.

When taken consistently, along with a healthy diet and increased physical activity, Victoza lowers blood sugar and HbA1C levels and helps many people maintain a healthy weight.

What are the benefits of taking Victoza?

In clinical trials, people with diabetes who took Victoza experienced lower blood sugar levels, especially after meals.

Not only do people not experience weight gain while taking Victoza, many people even lose weight while taking Victoza.

In a double-blind study of patients with diabetes, high blood pressure, hyperlipidemia, or obesity, Victoza and lifestyle counseling resulted in an average weight loss of 8.9 to 13.3 pounds that was sustained for more than a year.

Victoza is also a proven protective agent against heart attack, stroke and premature death in people with diabetes and pre-existing heart disease.

Why have you been prescribed Victoza?

You may be prescribed Victoza if you currently live with type 2 diabetes, have insulin resistance, or have trouble keeping your blood sugar under good control.

Sometimes Victoza is prescribed to people without type 2 diabetes to help manage insulin resistance, for example people with type 1 diabetes or prediabetes.

Sometimes people with existing heart disease are prescribed Victoza because of its effect on cardiovascular health.

Finally, Victoza is sometimes prescribed off-label as a weight loss drug for those struggling to maintain or lose weight.

Never take Victoza unless you have been prescribed Victoza and only use the drug under medical supervision.

What are the side effects?

Victoza may cause side effects, especially when you first start taking the medicine.

Side effects are usually mild to moderate and may include:

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Decreased appetite
  • Indigestion
  • Constipation
  • Weight loss
  • Low blood sugar, especially if you are on insulin therapy

Although rare, more serious side effects may include:

  • A severe allergic reaction
  • Impaired kidney function
  • Problems with the gallbladder
  • Medullary thyroid cancer (MTC)

You should not take Victoza if you or your family have a history of MTC, multiple endocrine neoplasia, or if you are allergic to its active ingredient, liraglutide.

Additionally, the FDA issued a black box warning about an increased risk of thyroid cancer if you use Victoza.

If you have chronic kidney disease (CKD), talk to your doctor before starting Victoza, as the medicine may make this condition worse.

Find out more about the side effects of Victoza.

What are the typical doses of Victoza?

There is no typical dose. Dosages will vary depending on your health history, health goals, lifestyle, and insulin resistance.

However, people usually start taking Victoza at a dose of 0.6 mg once a day.

After a week, if you don’t experience too many side effects, your doctor may increase the dose to 1.2 mg daily as a maintenance dose.

If you are still struggling with insulin resistance and high blood sugar levels after several weeks on the 1.2mg dose, your doctor may increase your dose to 1.8mg daily.

What is the maximum daily dose of Victoza?

The maximum daily dose of Victoza is 1.8 mg once a day. Never take more Victoza than prescribed.

What happens if you take too much Victoza?

If you accidentally take too much Victoza, serious side effects can occur, including nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

These side effects can lead to dehydration. Taking too much Victoza can also lead to dangerously low blood sugar levels, especially if you are taking insulin at the same time.

If you have low blood sugar and cannot refrain from eating or drinking because of nausea, this is a medical emergency that can be fatal if left untreated.

Call 911 and seek emergency medical attention immediately if you suspect you have overdosed on Victoza.

Can I miss a dose of Victoza?

Don’t worry if you miss a dose of Victoza.

You won’t experience increased insulin resistance, higher blood sugar, or weight gain if you miss a day or two of your medication.

However, try to take your medications on time as they are most effective when taken consistently.

You can take your dose if you are still within the 12-hour missed dose window.

If more than 13 hours have passed since the missed dose, skip it and take it as scheduled the next day.

Never take two doses of Victoza in the same 12-hour period, and try to take your injections at the same time each day (for example, at breakfast time).

How do I inject Victoza?

Victoza comes in the form of a pen and is injected subcutaneously. Position it perpendicular to an area of ​​your body with fatty tissue, such as your arms, thighs, and stomach.

Clean the area with an alcohol swab and always put a new pen cap on before each dose.

You will set your daily dose to the prescribed milligram (mg), pinch an inch of skin, insert the needle into the skin, and press the top of the pen to release the medication.

Keep the pen needle under your skin for about 10 seconds to release all the medicine.

Unscrew the needle and dispose of it in a sharps container. Finally, wipe off excess medication and blood with another alcohol wipe.

Who shouldn’t take Victoza?

You should only take Victoza if you have been prescribed Victoza.

Victoza is only approved by the FDA for people with type 2 diabetes. Unless you have type 2 diabetes and have not been prescribed the drug, do not take it.

People who are pregnant, planning to become pregnant or are breastfeeding are not recommended to take any GLP-1 agonists such as Victoza.

You should not use Victoza if you are allergic to the active ingredient liraglutide.

You should not use Victoza if you or any member of your family have ever had medullary thyroid cancer (MTC) or if you have multiple endocrine adenomatosis type 2 (MEN 2).

If you have chronic kidney disease (CKD) or gastroparesis, talk to your doctor before starting Victoza, as the medicine may make these conditions worse.

How do I stop taking Victoza?

There are many reasons why you may want to stop taking Victoza – for example, because of side effects. However, it is not recommended to stop taking Victoza suddenly.

If you do, you may experience unwanted side effects such as increased insulin resistance, elevated blood sugar, and weight gain. It can be dangerous to your health.

Talk to your doctor if you want to stop taking Victoza. They may recommend reducing your dose over several weeks to prevent unwanted side effects.

They may also recommend an alternative medication that may be more suitable for you.

Can Victoza replace insulin?

NO. Unfortunately, drugs such as Victoza and other GLP-1 agonists do not replace the need for insulin.

Continue to take your prescribed insulin unless your doctor tells you otherwise.

Over time, Victoza may reduce the amount of insulin you need, but it will not completely eliminate the need for insulin.

Can I take Victoza with other diabetes medicines?

Yes, although it will depend on what medications.

You can take Victoza with insulin, metformin and other medicines that help people manage conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and heart disease.

However, Victoza should not be combined with another GLP-1 agonist. These include Ozempic, Mounjaro, and Trulicity.

Share with your doctor all medications you are currently taking before you start writing a prescription for Victoza.

Does Victoza need to be refrigerated?

Yes. Store Victoza in the refrigerator between 36°F and 46°F. It can be used up to 56 days after opening. Never freeze Victoza or expose it to extreme temperatures.

How do I get a prescription for Victoz?

You may qualify for a Victoza prescription if:

You have type 2 diabetes and struggle with insulin resistance.

You have prediabetes or type 1 diabetes and struggle with insulin resistance and weight gain.

You want to lose weight but do not have any form of diabetes. You may be eligible to try FDA-approved weight loss methods like Wegovy. There may be options for you that don’t cause unwanted side effects as Victoza often does.

Talk to your doctor if you are interested in taking Victoza.


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