The American Diabetes Association recommends that metformin be your first line choice for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. However, if you are on the maximum dose of metformin, or can’t tolerate it, there are many other great alternatives that you may not know of—like Victoza (liraglutide).
Victoza is a brand only medication, given once daily as a subcutaneous injection, and is a great option for overweight type 2 diabetics. It could be difficult to get Victoza covered by insurance, but there are many upsides to it.
What are the upsides of Victoza?
- Low risk of hypoglycemia. When added to metformin, Victoza has a very low chance of causing low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). As you may know, hypoglycemia is a major downside of some diabetes medications, and results in many ER visits. A low risk of hypoglycemia is a good thing.
- Weight weight don’t tell me. One of the most attractive things about Victoza is that it results in weight loss. Fun fact, Victoza is actually an active ingredient in Saxenda, a weight loss medication.
- It works. Victoza helps lower hemoglobin A1c levels by about 1.5%, and can help you reach a target A1c level below 7%.
- The squeeze of the heart. In patients with type 2 diabetes, 6 months of Victoza treatment was associated with a significant improvement in diastolic function. Diastolic function refers to the part of the heartbeat where the heart relaxes and fills with blood. Good diastolic function means that your heart is working properly, and lowers your risk for heart failure.
- Fatty liver reversal. Victoza may be an option for treating patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, a condition that is caused by too much fat stored in liver cells. Studies have shown that Victoza can reverse fatty liver disease.
- Oh, that again! My heart. Perhaps the most compelling data is that adding Victoza to another first line agent, like metformin, led to fewer adverse events (heart attack, death or stroke) in those taking it after 3.8 years