The Relatively New Diabetes Medication Victoza From Novo Nordisk Was Only Approved By FDA In 2010
In November 2012 The Annals of Pharmacotherapy published online before print this new medical journal article about Victoza, "Pancreatitis: A Potential Complication of Liraglutide?".
From the Abstract:
OBJECTIVE: To review the evidence surrounding a potential association between [Victoza (liraglutide)] and pancreatitis....
DATA SYNTHESIS: Eleven cases of pancreatitis have been reported in patients taking [Victoza (liraglutide)]. Seven were from the LEAD (Liraglutide Effect and Action in Diabetes) studies, 1 was reported in the extension of a clinical trial, and 1 was in an unpublished obesity trial. Two were published postmarketing case reports. Nine of the cases reported were diagnosed as acute pancreatitis, while 2 were classified as chronic pancreatitis. The mean age of the patients was 57.5 years and mean body mass index was 33.92 kg/m2. Six of the 11 cases occurred in male patients. Nine of the patients were white and 1 was African American. In 7 of the cases, onset occurred at [Victoza (liraglutide)] doses at or above 1.8 mg daily. Common comorbidities included history of pancreatitis, cholelithiasis, and diabetes. One case was fatal.
Victoza is one of only two GLP-1 agonists currently on the market, the other being Byetta (exenatide). Fundamentally, these GLP-1 agonists exert most of their effects by increasing insulin excreted by the pancreas and slowing down the digestion of food. In turn, the increase in insulin is glucose dependent therefore limiting the risk for hypoglycemia compared to other type 2 diabetic medications.
You can watch a short medical animation video, "GLP-1 and Type 2 Diabetes" (approx. 1.5 mins. on MedPage Today web site), to view the role of GLP-1 in the body.
The drug safety controversy which surrounds Victoza and Byetta, both, includes the issue of whether it is the diabetes drug or the diabetes which causes pancreas disease.
For more about the adverse reactions associated with Victoza, see "The Victoza - Pancreatitis Issue: Some Related Developments From April 2011 To April 2012".
We will continue to monitor the safety profile of the increasingly-popular diabetes drug Victoza and report future significant developments here.
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