Victoza is an injectable medication used to control blood sugar (glucose) levels in the patients with Type 2 diabetes (cells do not respond well to insulin).
Victoza Medication: Diabetes In-Depth
Type 1 diabetes patients do not produce insulin. This is not preventable and patients MUST take insulin to live.
Type 2 diabetes patients have cells that no longer respond well to insulin
Insulin, which is secreted from the beta cells of your pancreas, transports glucose from blood to tissues fulfilling their energy requirements throughout the day.
Diabetic patients release lower amounts of insulin or their cells do not respond to the insulin released into the blood stream.
With this glucose cannot be delivered from blood to tissues leading to increased blood glucose levels.
Decreased glucose uptake by the tissues leads to fatigue and weakness in the diabetic patients. Uncontrolled glucose levels also lead to other fatal conditions like atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries due to cholesterol / fat), fatal heart diseases, kidney failure and retinal damage. Adequate glucose control is the primary goal of the management of diabetic patients.
Victoza Medication: What Does Victoza Do?
Victoza contains liraglutide which is 97% similar to a natural hormone named Glucagon-Like Peptide-1 (GLP-1).
Similar to natural GLP-1, Victoza will trigger the secretion of insulin from your natural pancreatic beta cells in your pancreas when blood glucose levels are abnormally high and this will help you reduce your high blood sugar levels down to normal, safer levels of blood glucose.
The secretion of insulin is subsided when the normal blood glucose levels are achieved; so chances of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) are much lower.
Victoza is available as prefilled multi-dose pen containing 18 mg of liraglutide. The pen can be adjusted to deliver 0.6, 1.2 or 1.8 mg of liraglutide with each dose. The pen should be used to inject the solution subcutaneously in the abdomen, thighs or arms.
Victoza Medication: Daily Use Of Victoza
The injection should be used once daily at any time independently of the meals. Initially 0.6 mg should be injected daily for 1 week. After one week, dose should be increased to 1.2 mg/day. If this does not help controlling the blood glucose levels; dose can be further increased to 1.8 mg/day.
In clinical trials, it has been proven that most of the patients achieve the goal of Hb1Ac less than 7.0% with help of Victoza. Blood glucose levels are decreased by 35% and 38% within 5 hr of administration of Victoza 1.2 mg and 1.8 mg, respectively.
Steady normal blood glucose levels are achieved within two weeks and are maintained to normal levels as long as two years (studies have not evaluated its effect beyond 2 years).
Victoza is used to control the blood glucose levels in the patient with type 2 diabetes not responding to the oral medicines. It can be used in the combination of other diabetic medicines. It is not the alternative to insulin and should not be used by the patients with type 1 diabetes who are not able to secret insulin from the beta cells of pancreas.
Victoza Medication: Victoza Side Effects
Side-effects are mild in nature and include nausea, gastric disturbance, headache and allergic reactions.
Chances of hypoglycemia (when blood sugar is too low) are increased if Victoza is used with other anti-diabetic medicines. Incidences of thyroid tumors and pancreatitis have been reported with the use of Victoza. It should be used only under the prescription and monitoring of the registered medicinal practitioner.
Victoza is a newer and unique anti-diabetic medicine, which helps the pancreatic beta cells to work normally.
Results from the clinical studies are encouraging but being a newer drug that has not been exposed to a larger patient testing population the actual potential of benefits can’t be estimated at this time.
Moreover, it has not been studied beyond 2 years. Hence, patients who have achieved stable blood glucose levels with current medication should not switch to Victoza. It should be kept as a viable alternative for the patients who are not responding to the current therapy for their type 2 diabetes condition.