What is the most important information I should know about Victoza® (liraglutide)?
Victoza® may cause serious side effects, including:
- Possible thyroid tumors, including cancer. Tell your health care provider if you get a lump or swelling in your neck, hoarseness, trouble swallowing, or shortness of breath. These may be symptoms of thyroid cancer. In studies with rats and mice, Victoza® and medicines that work like Victoza® caused thyroid tumors, including thyroid cancer. It is not known if Victoza® will cause thyroid tumors or a type of thyroid cancer called medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) in people.
- Do not use Victoza® if: you or any of your family have ever had MTC, or if you have an endocrine system condition called Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN 2).
What are the possible side effects of Victoza®?
Victoza® may cause serious side effects, including:
- inflammation of your pancreas (pancreatitis). Stop using Victoza® and call your health care provider right away if you have severe pain in your stomach area (abdomen) that will not go away, with or without vomiting. You may feel the pain from your abdomen to your back.
- low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Your risk for getting low blood sugar may be higher if you use Victoza® with another medicine that can cause low blood sugar, such as a sulfonylurea or insulin. In children who are 10 years of age and older, the risk for low blood sugar may be higher with Victoza® regardless of use with another medicine that can also lower blood sugar. Signs and symptoms of low blood sugar may include: dizziness or lightheadedness, blurred vision, anxiety, irritability or mood changes, sweating, slurred speech, hunger, confusion or drowsiness, shakiness, weakness, headache, fast heartbeat, and feeling jittery.
- kidney problems (kidney failure). In people who have kidney problems, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting may cause a loss of fluids (dehydration), which may cause kidney problems to get worse.
- serious allergic reactions. Stop using Victoza® and get medical help right away if you have any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including swelling of your face, lips, tongue or throat, problems breathing or swallowing, severe rash or itching, fainting or feeling dizzy, or a very rapid heartbeat.
- gallbladder problems. Gallbladder problems have happened in some people who take Victoza®. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you get symptoms of gallbladder problems which may include pain in the right or middle upper stomach area, fever, nausea and vomiting, or your skin or the white part of your eyes turns yellow.
The most common side effects of Victoza® may include nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, decreased appetite, indigestion, and constipation.
Talk to your health care provider about any side effect that bothers you or does not go away. These are not all the possible side effects of Victoza®.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Who should not use Victoza®?
Do not use Victoza® if:
- you or any of your family have ever had MTC or if you have an endocrine system condition called Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN 2).
- you are allergic to liraglutide or any of the ingredients in Victoza®.
What should I tell my health care provider before using Victoza®?
Before using Victoza®, tell your health care provider if you:
- have or have had problems with your pancreas, kidneys, or liver.
- have any other medical conditions or severe problems with your stomach, such as slowed emptying of your stomach (gastroparesis) or problems with digesting food.
- are pregnant or breastfeeding or plan to become pregnant or breastfeed.
Tell your health care provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, herbal supplements, and other medicines to treat diabetes, including insulin or sufonylureas.
Before using Victoza®, talk to your health care provider about low blood sugar and how to manage it. Tell your health care provider if you are taking other medicines to treat diabetes, including insulin or sulfonylureas.
Know the medicines you take. Keep a list of them to show your health care provider and pharmacist when you get a new medicine.
How should I use Victoza®?
- Do not mix insulin and Victoza® together in the same injection.
- You may give an injection of Victoza® and insulin in the same body area (such as your stomach area), but not right next to each other.
- Do not share your Victoza® pen with other people, even if the needle has been changed. You may give other people a serious infection, or get a serious infection from them.
Your dose of Victoza® and other diabetes medicines may need to change because of:
- Change in level of physical activity or exercise, weight gain or loss, increased stress, illness, change in diet, or because of other medicines you take.
The makers of Victoza® have another non-insulin option for adults with type 2 diabetes.
Click to learn more, then ask your health care provider if this option could help lower your blood sugar.