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But the agency warned that the once-daily injection shouldn't be used as an initial (first-line) treatment until additional studies are completed, since the drug may cause thyroid tumors or a rare disease called medullary thyroid cancer. People at risk for this type of cancer shouldn't use the drug, the FDA stressed.
Victoza, among a class of medicines called glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists, is meant to be used along with diet and exercise to control blood sugar by helping the pancreas make more insulin after a person eats.
In clinical studies involving more than 3,900 patients, people who took Victoza had more cases of pancreatic inflammation (pancreatitis) than people who took other diabetes drugs, the FDA said. The drug should be stopped if severe abdominal pain develops or tests confirm pancreatitis, the agency said.
Victoza is produced by Denmark-based Novo Nordisk.
-- Scott Roberts
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