Have you or a loved one taken Victoza®, a prescription medication used to treat Type 2 diabetes? Some patients who took this Novo Nordisk diabetes drug have reported suffering from potentially severe side effects.
Victoza® belongs to a group of diabetes drugs known as incretin mimetics. Similar drugs include Byetta and Januvia®. These drugs work by mimicking the incretin hormones produced by the body to trigger the release of insulin in response to a meal. Used to treat adults with Type 2 diabetes, these medications help to lower blood sugar.
In March 2013, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced it would review an unpublished study that found this class of drugs may be linked — in patients with Type 2 diabetes — to an increased risk of pancreatitis and precancerous growths in the pancreas.
Victoza® Side Effects
There have been growing concerns about the safety of Victoza®. In June 2011, the FDA issued a safety alert for Victoza® side effects including an increased risk of thyroid cancer and pancreatitis.
In addition, some preliminary studies suggest that Victoza® use may trigger thyroid cancer (thyroid C-cell carcinomas) in some individuals. One side effect may be elevations in the level of serum calcitonin in the body, which is often a sign of thyroid cancer. Patients with a family history of thyroid cancer or those with acutely elevated levels of calcitonin should seek the advice of a doctor before starting Victoza® or other related diabetes medications.
Patients who use this medication for Type 2 diabetes should be aware that side effects may include:
- Thyroid Cancer
- Pancreatic Cancer
The link between Victoza® and pancreatic cancer is not definitive. However, preliminary research has raised concerns about a possible link between similar diabetes drugs and pancreatic cancer. Similar diabetes drugs to Victoza® including Byetta and Januvia® have been linked to a potential risk of pancreatic cancer.
Patients are urged to always seek a doctor’s advice before stopping or making changes to any medication regimen.