Victoza (Liraglutide) treatment for Type II Diabetes Mellitus


Q: My husband has type 2 diabetes. He takes Glipizide, Glucophage and was on Actos also. His doctor recently stopped the Actos and put him on Victoza. we would like to know if this shot is safe for long term use, and if it is better than oral medication. Also is this shot better than Byetta or about the Same? Thank you


A:   Liraglutide is a recently FDA approved (JAN 2010) Glucagon like Peptide -1 analog that requires just once-daily subcutaneous dosing. Liraglutide has been shown to be more effective when used in combination with metformin and sulfonylureas, than the oral agents alone. With Liraglutide the risk of hypoglycemia is small, compared with insulin. Unlike insulin, liraglutide promotes weight loss, in part probably because of its high rate of gastrointestinal side-effects including nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. It is more expensive than insulin therapy. Because it is relatively new on the market, long-term safety and efficacy of this therapy are not yet established and there have been reports of benign and malignant thyroid C-cell tumors in animal studies. On comparison of Liraglutide and exenatide, there was a significantly greater reduction in HBA1C in patients using liraglutide than exenatide. Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea were the most common side effects and occurred equally in both groups. Weight loss was also similar between both groups. Exenatide requires more than one daily injection whereas Liraglutide is a once daily SC dose.Therefore Liraglutide is more effective overall. I would advise discussing this treatment with your endocrinologist.

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