Victoza is the brand name used for liraglutide in Europe. This drug is the first human Glucagon-Like Peptide-1 developed to be taken once per day in order to treat type 2 diabetes. It has only just received its approval for all of the states in the European Union for two uses:
- As a treatment combined with metformin or one of the sulphonylureas among patients who suffer from a lack of glycemic control even after having tried the highest possible dose of metformin or sulphonylurea monotherapies.
- As a treatment combined with metformin and one of the sulphonylureas or metformin and one of the thiazolidinediones among patients who suffer from a lack of glycemic control even after having tried the dual therapy.
Clinical studies with Victoza that involved the participation of over 6,500 people suffering from type 2 diabetes demonstrated a notable decrease in blood glucose levels, allowing for weight loss without the a heightened risk of hypoglycemia. For this reason, it is now considered to be a beneficial type 2 diabetes treatment option and helps to further reduce the risks of the condition by allowing for weight loss.
The drug was first launched by Novo Nordisk – the manufacturer – within Germany, the United Kingdom, and Denmark during the summer of 2009, and throughout the second half of 2009 and throughout the year 2010 the drug will continue to be released throughout the rest of the European Union marketplaces.
The drug functions by only stimulating insulin release when the blood’s glucose levels are high enough to warrant its need. Weight loss is a very common side effect of this drug – one that is often considered very desirable, as one of the things that is most recommended to type 2 diabetes sufferers is weight loss in order to reduce the symptoms of their condition. It is believed that Victoza causes this weight loss because it decreases the speed at which gastric emptying occurs, so that the patient feels more satisfied after meals and for a longer period of time. The body naturally breaks down Victoza and does not need renal excretion for elimination.
Though the drug is not considered to be weight loss medication, it does include this side effect among one of the beneficial reactions that can occur when it is used in order to control type 2 diabetes – especially in cases where weight loss is recommended by the prescribing medical professional.