Generic Name: liraglutide (LIR-a-GLOO-tide)
Brand Name: Victoza
Victoza has been shown to cause thyroid cancer in rats and mice. The risk increased with high doses and prolonged use. It is not known if Victoza may cause thyroid cancer in humans.
Do not use Victoza if you or a family member has had medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) (a certain type of thyroid cancer), or if you have multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN 2) (another type of cancer). Lab tests, including calcitonin levels or thyroid ultrasound, may be performed while you are using Victoza. It is not known if having these tests decreases the risk of thyroid cancer. Discuss any questions or concerns with your doctor.
Contact your doctor immediately if you have a lump or swelling in your neck, hoarseness, trouble swallowing, or shortness of breath.
Victoza is used for:
Treating type 2 diabetes. It is used along with diet and exercise.
Victoza is a glucagon-like peptide (GLP)-1 receptor agonist. It works by increasing the amount of insulin that your body produces. It also helps to decrease the amount of sugar that the liver produces and the intestines absorb.
Do NOT use Victoza if:
- you are allergic to any ingredient in Victoza
- you or a family member has a history of MTC
- you have MEN 2
- you have type 1 diabetes
- you have diabetic ketoacidosis (high blood acid levels)
Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.
Before using Victoza:
Some medical conditions may interact with Victoza. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:
- if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
- if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
- if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
- if you have a history of angioedema (swelling of the hands, face, lips, eyes, throat, or tongue; difficulty swallowing or breathing; or hoarseness) caused by another GLP-1 receptor agonist (eg, exenatide)
- if you have stomach problems (eg, trouble digesting food, slowed emptying of the stomach)
- If you have a history of kidney or liver problems, inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis), stones in your gallbladder (gallstones), high triglyceride levels, or alcoholism
- if you or a family member has a history of thyroid cancer
- if you have never taken another medicine for type 2 diabetes
Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Victoza. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:
- Insulin or oral diabetes medicines (eg, glyburide) because the risk of low blood sugar may be increased
This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Victoza may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.
How to use Victoza:
Use Victoza as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.
- Victoza comes with an extra patient information sheet called a Medication Guide. It also comes with an extra patient leaflet with detailed instructions for use. Read them carefully. Read them again each time you get Victoza refilled. Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist any questions that you may have about this information.
- Use Victoza with or without food.
- A health care provider will teach you how to use Victoza. Be sure you understand how to use Victoza. Follow the procedures you are taught when you use a dose. Contact your health care provider if you have any questions.
- Use the proper technique taught to you by your health care provider. Inject deep under the skin, in the stomach area (abdomen), upper leg (thigh), or upper arm, as directed by your doctor. Do NOT inject Victoza into a vein or muscle.
- Do not use Victoza if it contains particles, is cloudy or discolored, or if the pen is cracked or damaged.
- Before the first use of a new pen, follow the "First Time Use for Each New Pen" instructions in the Patient Instructions for Use. You only need to do this 1 time with each new pen. Also do this if you drop your pen. Do NOT do this before each injection.
- Remove the needle after each injection and dispose of it properly. Do not store Victoza with the needle attached. Doing so may increase the risk that Victoza will leak or that germs will enter your medicine.
- Do not share pen or cartridge devices with another person. Sharing these devices may pass infections from one person to another. This includes infections you may not know you have.
- If you also give yourself insulin injections, do NOT mix Victoza in the same syringe as the insulin. Administer Victoza and insulin as 2 separate injections. Both injections may be given in the same body area, but you should not give the injections right next to each other.
- Check with your doctor to see if you should drink extra fluids while you are taking Victoza.
- Keep this product, as well as syringes and needles, out of the reach of children and away from pets. Do not reuse needles, syringes, or other materials. Ask your health care provider how to dispose of these materials after use. Follow all local rules for disposal.
- Use Victoza on a regular schedule to get the most benefit from it.
- If you miss a dose of Victoza, use it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not use 2 doses at once. If you miss taking Victoza for 3 days or more, contact your health care provider before you start to take it again.
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Victoza.
Important safety information:
- Follow the diet and exercise program given to you by your health care provider.
- Do NOT take more than the recommended dose without checking with your doctor.
- Tell your doctor or dentist that you take Victoza before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
- Carry an ID card at all times that says you have diabetes. Check your blood sugar levels as directed by your doctor. If they are often higher or lower than they should be and you take Victoza exactly as prescribed, tell your doctor.
- Victoza may increase the risk of low blood sugar when used with other medicines that can cause low blood sugar (eg, insulin, sulfonylureas). Low blood sugar may also be more likely to occur if you skip a meal, exercise heavily, or drink alcohol. Low blood sugar may make you anxious, sweaty, weak, dizzy, drowsy, or faint. It may also make your heart beat faster; make your vision change; give you a headache, chills, or tremors; or make you more hungry. Tell your doctor right away if this happens.
- It is a good idea to carry a reliable source of glucose (eg, tablets, gel) to treat low blood sugar. If this is not available, you should eat or drink a quick source of sugar, like table sugar, honey, candy, orange juice, or nondiet soda. This will raise your blood sugar level quickly. To prevent low blood sugar, eat meals at the same time each day and do not skip meals.
- Severe and sometimes fatal pancreas inflammation (pancreatitis) has been reported in patients taking Victoza. Call your doctor right away if you develop severe or persistent stomach or back pain (with or without nausea or vomiting).
- Fever, infection, injury, or surgery may increase your risk for high or low blood sugar levels. If any of these occur, check your blood sugar closely and tell your doctor right away.
- Victoza may change the way that medicines taken by mouth are absorbed into your body. Be sure your doctor knows about all the medicines you take. Discuss any questions or concerns with your doctor.
- If diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting occurs, you will need to take care not to become dehydrated. Contact your doctor for instructions. Dehydration may lead to new or worsening kidney problems.
- Lab tests, including calcitonin levels, thyroid ultrasound, blood glucose levels, or hemoglobin A1c, may be performed while you use Victoza. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
- Victoza should not be used in CHILDREN; safety and effectiveness in children have not been confirmed.
- PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using Victoza while you are pregnant. It is not known if Victoza is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while using Victoza.
Possible side effects of Victoza:
All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:
Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:
Constipation; diarrhea; headache; nausea; pain, swelling, or redness at the injection site; upset stomach; vomiting.
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, throat, or tongue; dizziness; fainting; fast heartbeat; unusual hoarseness); change in the amount of urine produced; severe stomach or back pain (with or without vomiting); symptoms of thyroid cancer (eg, lump or swelling in the neck, persistent hoarseness, shortness of breath, trouble swallowing).
This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include severe nausea and vomiting.Proper storage of Victoza:
Store new (unopened) pens in a refrigerator, between 36 and 46 degrees F (2 and 8 degrees C). Do not freeze or store right next to the cooling element in the refrigerator.
Store used (open) pens either in the refrigerator, between 36 and 46 degrees F (2 and 8 degrees C), or at room temperature, between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C). Do not freeze. Throw away used pens after 30 days, even if they still contain medicine.
Store Victoza away from excessive heat and sunlight. Do not use Victoza if it has been frozen or overheated (above 86 degrees F). Keep the pen dry. Do not store Victoza with a needle attached to the pen. Keep the pen cap on when not in use. Do not use Victoza past the expiration date on the carton. Keep Victoza out of the reach of children and away from pets.
- If you have any questions about Victoza, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- Victoza is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
- If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
- Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.
This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take Victoza or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about Victoza. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to Victoza. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using Victoza.
Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.