Victoza diabetes medication was designed with the purpose of helping people who suffer from type 2 diabetes to control their levels of blood sugar as well as lose weight. As diabetes is a widely widespread condition, there is a great need of an effective medication capable of controlling this disease. The basic ingredient of Victoza is liraglutide, a drug that acts as a GLP-1 – a natural hormone that is secreted inside a human body.
How does Victoza work?
Victoza differs from other medications for diabetes as it performs a triple action once injected.
Above all, it acts as a stimulus for the pancreas to release more insulin in order to restore the glycemic balance in case the level of sugar in your blood rises above normal, even after heavy meals.
Also, liraglutide (Victoza) minimizes the risk of sudden rise in blood sugar levels as the medication suppresses the production of extra sugar by the liver.
The third action of Victoza is directly related to food, appetite, and, as a consequence, to weight loss. Due to Victoza administration, the food a person consumes does not leave the stomach as quickly as before, thus preserving the feeling of satiety. The longer this feeling lasts, the more rarely you feel the urge to eat, thus the number of daily calories intake drops and this whole process leads to weight loss.
People who were on insulin injections and were prescribed Victoza, should know that if they start a treatment with Victoza, it does not mean that they can stop taking insulin. These two medications are not interchangeable and cannot replace one another. Only one type of diabetes can be controlled by Victoza: diabetes type 2; type 1 diabetes is not an indication for Victoza.
There are different opinions regarding a treatment which is based on both Victoza and insulin injections; the general opinion is that these two medications could be taken together if a patient needs it, but they definitely must not be mixed. If your doctor advised you to take both these medications, do not mix them in one syringe; take them separately and make sure the injections are made in different parts of the body. Victoza pen can be easily used as it is sold pre-filled. The injections should be made once a day subcutaneously.
Regardless of the fact that the primary purpose of Victoza administration is glucose level control, using Victoza for weight loss only is also possible. Studies have demonstrated that Victoza can be successfully used as appetite suppressant and it can be taken by people whose body mass index reaches or exceeds 27 and who have one or more of the following conditions: hypertension, high cholesterol level, or cardiovascular problems.
The dosage of Victoza injection for weight loss differs from the one needed for diabetes management. The recommended dose for the start of diabetes treatment is 0.6 mg; it is subsequently raised to 1.2 mg and 1.8 mg if the previous dosage was not enough. Victoza dosing recommended for the treatment of obesity is 3.0 mg.
The 3.0 mg dose of liraglutide (Victoza) was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a weight-management drug under the brand name Saxenda. Although the active ingredient in these drugs is the same, they are not interchangeable – Saxenda must not be used for diabetes management and it also should not be used together with Victoza.
Novo Nordisk (Victoza manufacturer) conducted a trial in which the weight-management effect of Victoza was tested on non-diabetics. According to the results of this trial, the 3.0 mg Victoza dosage proved to be an effective weight-management tool – 8% of the initial body weight lost as compared to 2.6% people lost on placebo. Based on this trial, the 3.0 mg dose was approved by the FDA as a medication for weight loss.
People who want to use this medication as a weight loss drug should know an important aspect about the treatment with Victoza: diet and increased physical activity are just as important as the medication. Victoza should be taken as an addition to a healthy diet and regular exercise, not instead of them.
During the first 16 weeks of the treatment patients are expected to lose not less than 4% of their initial body weight. If the treatment during this period hasn’t led to such results, Victoza administration should be discontinued as there is a possibility that the medication is not suitable for them.
Whether you want to use Victoza in order to manage your diabetes or to lose weight, it is for your own safety that you find out about all the contraindications and possible adverse reactions of this medicine.
Victoza must not be used by pregnant or breastfeeding women. The use of Victoza in children hasn’t been studied, so it is not known how the medication could affect them.
Victoza side effects that are considered most typical and least dangerous are:
- Loss of appetite
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Pain in the abdominal area, stomach cramps
Blurred vision, nervousness, mood swings, pounding in the ears, increased or slow heart rate are among possible Victoza side effects, although they are considered less frequent.
The following adverse reactions are classified as rare, but still possible; in case any of these appear, patients should address their doctor as soon as they can:
- Back pain
- Voice loss
- Stuffy nose
- Eye pain or pain in the area around the eyes
- Swollen tongue or mouth
- Anxiety and confusion
- Skin rash or itching
Depending on the patient’s initial health state, other side effects are also possible. If combined with certain medications, Victoza can be the cause of unexpected and very dangerous adverse reactions, so you should ask your doctor whether it is safe to use Victoza weight loss drug together with any other medications you are currently taking.