Victoza (liraglutide) Medication for Diabetes

FDA Approves New Treatment for Type 2 Diabetes

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Victoza (liraglutide), a once-daily injection to treat type 2 diabetes in some adults.

Victoza is intended to help lower blood sugar levels along with diet, exercise, and selected other diabetes medicines. It is not recommended as initial therapy in patients who have not achieved adequate diabetes control on diet and exercise alone.

Insulin is a hormone that helps prevent sugar (glucose) from building up in the blood. People with type 2 diabetes have difficulty making and using insulin. Victoza is in a class of medicines known as glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists that help the pancreas make more insulin after eating a meal.

"Diabetes is a leading cause of death and disability, with more than 1.5 million new cases diagnosed annually," said Mary Parks, M.D., director, Division of Metabolism and Endocrinology Products in the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. "Controlling blood sugar levels is very important to preventing or reducing the long term complications of diabetes, and Victoza offers certain patients with type 2 diabetes a treatment option for controlling their blood glucose levels."

In five clinical trials involving more than 3,900 people, pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) occurred more often in patients who took Victoza than in patients taking other diabetes medicines. Victoza should be stopped if there is severe abdominal pain, with or without nausea and vomiting, and should not be restarted if pancreatitis is confirmed by blood tests. Victoza should be used with caution in people with a history of pancreatitis.