Victoza is an injection treatment for type-2 diabetes. It works in a number of ways to help manage blood sugar. Made by Novo Nordisk, Victoza is injected underneath the skin, once a day for the duration specified by your prescriber. Before use, a doctor or nurse will need to demonstrate how to administer it.
- Easy to administer
- Adept at helping to manage diabetes
- Once a day treatment
Type-2 diabetes is a non-insulin dependent form of the condition. In persons with type-1 diabetes, the pancreas will often produce no insulin at all due to autoimmune dysfunction. But in those with type-2, the pancreas will generate insulin but not enough to adequately manage blood sugar levels.
Risk factors for type-2 diabetes include being overweight, having an unhealthy diet and being over the age of 40. It is also more common in people of South Asian or chinese origin, and in persons of Caribbean or Black African descent.
Initial symptoms are often fairly mild and non-specific, making them easy to miss. These include dryness in the eyes, increased urinary frequency, and feelings of tiredness. But over time, persistently high blood sugar can lead to damaged blood vessels, nerve dysfunction and heart or organ disease. Getting a diagnosis and seeking treatment for the condition as early as possible is therefore vital.
People who notice symptoms early and visit a doctor may be able to prevent the condition from developing. During the pre-diabetes stage, a doctor may suggest taking measures to adjust diet, introduce exercise and reduce weight, in order to get blood sugar under control. However, in those instances where such measures do not help to adequately lower blood sugar levels, prescription treatment may be necessary.
The main component of Victoza is liraglutide. It works by mimicking the activity of a hormone in the body, called GLP-1. In doing so, it performs a number of functions, including: helping to boost the pancreatic production of insulin, which then extracts sugar from the blood; reducing the effects of glucagon on the liver, to limit glucose output from the organ; slowing digestion so that sugar assimilation through food is more steadily paced; and also helping to convince receptors in the brain that the stomach is full.
Victoza is not available to buy online from our site. To be prescribed Victoza, we recommend you see your GP or diabetes nurse.
Keep to the directions issued by your doctor when using this item. You should also study the patient information leaflet carefully prior to use. This will help you in getting the most out of your treatment and minimising the likelihood of side effects.
- Take as directed.
- A typical starting dose will be one administration of 0.6mg per day, for a period of one week or longer.
- Your prescriber will advise you when to increase your dose to 1.2mg per day.
- In cases where this dose is not adequate, the daily administration may be increased to 1.8mg per day.
- The treatment can be applied at any time of day. It is, however, advisable that you take it at the same time each day, so that you do not forget.
- As it is an injection, the instructions are very specific and should be carefully followed. Detailed information on how to apply it can be found in the provided leaflet.
- Prior to first use, a doctor or nurse will need to show you how to use it.
- To use, remove the outer then the inner cap on the needle.
- You may discard the inner cap but you will need to keep the outer cap for later.
- Use a fresh needle for each dose.
- Check the flow according to the leaflet.
- Select your dose using the selector.
- The injection should be inserted subcutaneously, and not into a vein or a muscle. It is advised to insert into either: the front of your thigh; the upper arm; or the front of your waist.
- After insertion, keep the needle in with the button pushed down for six seconds before removing.
- Place the outer cap on the needle, and unscrew it. Dispose of the needle.
- The pen is stored with no needle attached.
- Do not exceed the dose prescribed for you.
- If you miss a dose, do not double up on your next one. You can take it when you remember provided that you do so within 12 hours of your missed dose. Otherwise you should skip the one you have missed and take your next dose at the usual time.
Please note that the above forms a brief outline only. You will need to follow the directions in the leaflet when using this treatment.
Not everyone who uses this medication will get side effects, but it is nonetheless important to be aware of those associated with it prior to use.
If you notice any signs of the following, speak to your doctor right away: hypoglycaemia, such as a cold sweat, cool pale skin, headache, fast heartbeat, feeling sick, feeling very hungry, visual disturbances, feeling sleepy or weak, anxiety, confusion, difficulty concentrating, or tremors; a severe allergic reaction, such as breathing problems, swelling of throat and face, or a fast heartbeat; a bowel obstruction, which might include a stomach ache, bloating or being sick; an inflamed pancreas, which is characterised by severe and persistent pain in the abdomen which might also be felt in the back, as well as feeling or being sick.
Very common (1 in 10 people or more):
Diarrhoea, or feeling sick.
Common (1 in 10 people or less):
Headache, being sick, indigestion, gastritis, constipation, gastroesophageal reflux disease, abdominal discomfort, flatulence, loss of appetite, bronchitis, common cold, dizziness, increased heart rate, tiredness, toothache, or skin irritation at the site of application.
Uncommon (1 in 100 people or less):
Pruritus, urticaria, dehydration, or a general feeling of being unwell.
The list of side effects provided here is not a complete one. More detailed information can be found in the leaflet supplied with the product.
Taking it with other medicines
Disclose any information relating to other treatments you are using during consultation, particularly if you are taking any of the following: sulfonylureas, such as glimepiride or glibenclamide; or warfarin or other anticoagulants.
Conditions to look out for
It may not be suitable for those who have: type-1 diabetes; diabetic ketoacidosis; severe kidney disease or are on dialysis; liver disease; heart failure; gastroparesis; inflammatory bowel disease; acute pancreatitis; or thyroid disease.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
Do not use Victoza and speak to your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
If you are trying to conceive, ask your doctor for advice.
Driving and using machinery
Do not attempt to drive or operate machines if you become dizzy, or notice anything else which could affect your concentration.
Can I still drink alcohol?
The consumption of alcohol is not recommended for those who are attempting to bring down blood sugar levels.
Will I still be able to drive?
Yes, if you experience no side effects. If you notice anything which may affect your ability to drive, avoid doing so and consult your doctor as soon as you can.
Can I take the medicine while pregnant?
It should not be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding.
How should I store it?
In the fridge, between 2 and 8°C. Do not freeze.
Am I allergic to anything in the medicine?
Do not use this injection if you are allergic to any of the following ingredients: liraglutide, disodium phosphate dihydrate, propylene glycol, phenol and water for injections.
Is it available over-the-counter?
Victoza is only available to buy with a prescription.
Is it right for me?
The prescription treatment you use will be decided upon by your GP. During your regular diabetes review, your doctor will conduct an assessment of how well your treatment is working, and make adjustments if necessary.
We do not sell this item on our site. To renew your prescription, see your doctor.
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