Victoza (liraglutide) is a non-insulin injectable medication that patients can give themselves using an injectable “pen,” or device shaped like a pen.
Is Victoza considered insulin?
No. Victoza is a non-insulin medication, which means it does not contain insulin. Instead, Victoza prompts the body to make its own insulin. The manufacturer states, though, that patients may take this drug along with long-lasting insulin (so long as the injections are not right next to each other) to manage their diabetes. Regardless of whether or not a patient uses this pen along with another medication, Victoza can only deliver optimal results if used with a proper diet.
Medically Reviewed by:
Paul Bossung, Pharm. D. is a Missouri Board of Pharmacy certified pharmacist. He practices at a Mercy ospital in in the inpatient pharmacy aswell as other outpatient pharmacies. Paul attended St. Louis College of Pharmacy (STLCOP) and graduated in 2018. He worked at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon for six years as a student pharmacist prior to graduating.OVERVIEWDOSAGESIDE EFFECTSINTERACTIONSHALF-LIFE
Generic Name: Liraglutide
Brands: Victoza,Victoza 3-Pak, Victoza 2-Pak, Saxenda
Class: Antidiabetics, Glucagon-like Peptide-1 Agonists
Availability: Prescription only
Molecular Formula: C172H265N43O51
Substance UNII: 839I73S42A
What is Victoza?
Victoza is an injectable anti-diabetic drug regularly used with other diabetes medications. The generic drug liraglutide is often sold under the brand names Victoza 3-Pak, Victoza 2-Pak, and Saxenda.
What is Victoza Used For?
People with diabetes use Victoza along with diet and exercise to lower their blood sugar levels and to control their A1C(a blood test that detects blood sugar levels from the previous 3 months). Victoza can control blood sugar levels in adults and in children aged 10 and older who have type 2 diabetes when other medications have not worked well enough. When used along with a reduced calorie diet and exercise plan, this medication can help promote and maintain weight loss people who are overweight or obese and have weight-related medical problems.
Victoza can also reduce the risk of a heart attack, stroke, or death in adults with type 2 diabetes who also have heart and blood vessel disease.
How Does Victoza Work?
Victoza works by increasing the amount of insulin released by the pancreas and by decreasing the excessive release of glucagon. Namely, insulin “unlocks” body cells to allow the cells to absorb sugar, or glucose, from the bloodstream; absorption of glucose from the bloodstream allows blood sugar levels to drop. Glucagon is a hormone that stops the absorption of glucose from the bloodstream to prevent blood sugar levels from dropping too low. An excessive release of glucagon would thereby cause the body to maintain an unhealthy high blood sugar level, known as hyperglycemia.
How Long Does it Take for Victoza to Work?
It takes about two weeks for Victoza to lower blood sugar levels, according to the manufacturer’s website.
Do Not Use Victoza If:
There are several situations where Victoza may not be the right choice for a consumer. According to the FDA, the following should not use Victoza:
- Those with a personal or family history of medullary thyroid carcinoma, a type of cancer that affects the thyroid, or in patients with multiple endocrine neoplasia, which is a group of disorders that affect the endocrine system (a system that releases hormones to the body)
- Those with a prior serious hypersensitivity reaction, which is an overreaction of the immune system, to Victoza or any of its components
Please note that this list may not be complete, and there may be other situations where Victoza use is not advisable.