Victoza® Step by Step
Here’s a step-by-step guide to using Victoza® throughout your treatment journey. Click on each section to learn things to know and do at the described time.
Build a routine
Victoza® can be taken any time of day, with or without food. For best results, it's best to get into a routine where you take it at the same time every day. In no time at all, taking your Victoza® can become just another part of your day—like brushing your teeth or getting the mail! Learn about your first injection here.
What to expect
As with most medications, Victoza® may cause side effects, with nausea being the most common. In most people who get nausea, it's mild to moderate and lessens over time. If you experience nausea, here are some things that may help:
- Eat bland foods like crackers, toast, and rice
- Eat foods that contain water like soups and gelatin
- Don't lie down after you eat
- Get some fresh air outside
- Stop eating as soon as you start feeling full
If nausea is severe, call your health care professional. Other common side effects of Victoza® may include diarrhea, vomiting, decreased appetite, indigestion, and constipation. Talk to your doctor about any concerns you may have. Do not stop taking Victoza® or skip a dose without talking to a health care professional. Learn more about common side effects here.
The Victoza® pen
Your Victoza® pen contains 18 mg of Victoza® and will deliver doses of 0.6 mg, 1.2 mg, or 1.8 mg. It uses the thinnest needle available from Novo Nordisk in the United States. When starting a new Victoza® pen, be sure to follow the “First-Time Use for Each New Pen” instructions that come with it. You can learn more about the Victoza® pen here.
Diabetes care is a team effort
Good diabetes care takes a team. Your doctor, nurses, and pharmacist are part of this team. You may also have a Diabetes Health Coach, a dietitian, and other experts on your team. Friends and family can play an important role as well. But the most important member of your team is you. See below to learn more about how your diabetes care team can help you follow your care plan.
The role of health care professionals
The doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals on your team are there to help you get the most from your care plan. They should be the first place you turn if you have questions about any part of your care plan—from your medicine and how to take it, to your meal plan, to ways to get the physical activity you need.
The role of family and friends
It may be easy to overlook, but some of the most important members of your diabetes care team can be found right at home. A spouse, an adult child, or even a close friend can offer support, encouragement, and reminders that can go a long way toward keeping you on track with your care. You can also get tasty recipes, tips for being active, and more.
Your role as captain of your diabetes care team
Many of the other members of your care team are experts on diabetes and its treatment. But you are the expert on you. No one else knows how you feel from day to day. And no one else knows how hard or easy you find it to follow your care plan. So along with taking your medication as directed, your role includes making sure your care plan meets your needs. If there's something you're not happy with, you can work with your team to adjust it.
Talk to your doctor about other ways to manage your cardiovascular risk
Victoza® reduces the risk of major cardiovascular events such as heart attack, stroke, or death in adults with type 2 diabetes with known heart disease. Learn more here.
Victoza® starts working in as little as 2 weeks
By your third week on Victoza®, your blood sugar levels may already be starting to go down. If you see a difference, that's great news! Studies have shown that Victoza® helps lower blood sugar in adults with type 2 diabetes in as soon as 2 weeks. If your blood sugar hasn't come down by Week 3, don't get discouraged. Stick with it, and it's likely you will see a difference soon.
Have you lost weight?
Victoza® is not for weight loss, but it may help adults lose some weight. In clinical studies of adults with type 2 diabetes, ranging from 26 to 52 weeks in length, many lost some weight. In a large study, when Victoza® was added to metformin, adults lost on average up to 6.2 pounds. While many adults in clinical trials lost weight, some did gain weight.
Blood sugar control takes more than medication
Of course, there's more to your diabetes care than just taking your medicine. Diabetes medications like Victoza® work best when teamed with healthy eating and safe, sensible ways to stay active.
Doctor knows best
At Week 4 you may be more determined than ever to stay ahead of your diabetes management. Your blood sugar levels may be lower, and you've probably gotten used to eating smarter. Congratulations! You're taking charge of your diabetes. If you have any questions or concerns, be sure to discuss them with your doctor. Do not stop taking Victoza® without first talking to your doctor. See how Victoza® can fit into your daily routine.
Some tips for healthy eating habits
Healthy eating is an important part of managing your type 2 diabetes. You may not always have to follow a special meal plan, and you probably don't have to ban any foods completely. But you should try to make smart decisions about what you eat. Here are some basic guidelines:
- Eat a variety of healthy foods, such as fruits, vegetables, lean meats (such as poultry and fish), and beans for protein
- Balance the number of calories you eat with your activity level
- Choose foods rich in whole grains, vegetables, and fruits
- Limit your intake of saturated fats, cholesterol, salt, and added sugar
Stress and type 2 diabetes
Stress can affect your blood sugar and insulin levels. So it's no surprise that learning to manage stress may help you keep your blood sugar under control. It's important to look out for signals of unusual stress so that you can begin to find ways to cope with it. You'll find some great ideas below.
Tips for managing stress
If you feel overwhelmed, speak with your health care provider. Here are a few things that may help:
- Identify your triggers by paying close attention to how you feel and when you feel that way
- Remember why you're doing this. Stressful periods are an excellent time to think about your commitment to yourself
- Treat your body well with healthy eating habits and exercise
- Try not to tackle everything at once
Find a diabetes support group
You've done a lot of work up to this point! So it wouldn't be unusual for you to feel a little worn out or even frustrated at times. Connecting with others just may give you the boost you need to stay motivated. Support groups like these are a great way to connect with people who are going through some of the same things you are. You can learn a lot from others about different ways to take care of yourself.
Healthy eating habits and diabetes
Things are probably a little easier now than when you first started taking Victoza®. By now, you're used to the Victoza® pen and have likely found a routine that works for you. If you have not yet taken steps toward eating better, now is the time to do so.
Keep moving forward
Be sure to talk to your doctor before starting any kind of fitness routine. Regular exercise can help prevent health problems, help keep your weight down, and help insulin work better to lower your blood sugar. Choose exercises that work for you so that you'll stick with them. If you're not used to exercising, start slow and easy—walking the dog, parking farther away from the entrance when you go to the grocery store, and spending some time in the garden are great ways to be more active every day.
It's important to continue taking Victoza® to help manage your A1C
After a few months on Victoza®, if you've experienced weight loss, you might feel like you're not losing as much weight as you did in the beginning. That's OK. It's normal for your weight to level off around this time. And it doesn't mean Victoza® has stopped working to help control your blood sugar. You should discuss any changes to your treatment with your health care professional.
The makers of Victoza® have another noninsulin 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.