GENERIC NAME: liraglutide
BRAND NAME: Victoza
DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Liraglutide is an injectable drug that reduces the level of sugar (glucose) in the blood. It is used for treating type 2 diabetes and is similar to exenatide (Byetta). Liraglutide belongs in a class of drugs called incretin mimetics because these drugs mimic the effects of incretins. Incretins, such as human-glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), are hormones that are produced and released into the blood by the intestine in response to food. GLP-1 increases the secretion of insulin from the pancreas, slows absorption of glucose from the gut, and reduces the action of glucagon. (Glucagon is a hormone that increases glucose production by the liver.) All three of these actions reduce levels of glucose in the blood. In addition, GLP-1 reduces appetite. Liraglutide is a synthetic (man-made) hormone that resembles and acts like GLP-1. In studies, liraglutide treated patients achieved lower blood glucose levels and experienced weight loss. Liraglutide was approved by the FDA in January 2010.
PRESCRIBED FOR: Liraglutide is used with diet and exercise to improve control of blood sugar in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Liraglutide should not be used for treating diabetic ketoacidosis or type 1 diabetes and should not be used as the first agent for treating diabetes after failure of diet and exercise.
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